Marty and I ran out of the church, breathless, ELATED. We had been married for about sixty seconds! He opened the door for me, we both climbed into the waiting limo, and as the driver pulled out of the parking lot, she called over her shoulder, through the divider window… “Hey! Where are we going?!”
We laughed a little bit, gave her general directions to the park where we were meeting our bridal party for portraits, and thought nothing of it. We made it to the park, took our photos (lalala!), and then hopped back into the limo, ready for the 20-minute drive to the reception. We assumed our driver knew where she was going, and just sat in the back of the limo, giggling and chatting about who cried at the ceremony and how nervous we both had been and just loving that we were MARRIED.
And then, about ten minutes later, we looked out the window and saw unfamiliar streets whizzing by. What?! Apparently, we had never told the limo company where our reception was, and don’t forget, this was 12 years ago — just before iPhones (and Google Maps) blew up the world. This driver had no navigation, and got us lost on the way to our own wedding reception! Thankfully, Marty was able to direct her, once we figured out where we were… but we definitely arrived late, and for some reason, our reception venue wouldn’t let any guests into the building until we got there! We had no idea why, but all 350 of our poor guests were standing outside and crammed into the lobby, waiting for us to arrive! AHH!
So why am I telling you that silly story? Because I wish someone had told me THIS: that there’s a very, very good chance that something will go wrong on a wedding day! Maybe someone will forget the rings. Maybe the flower girl will refuse to walk down the aisle. Maybe someone will faint during the ceremony (it’s happened!). Maybe the best man will get in a minor fender bender on his way to the ceremony (UGH). Or maybe the day will be hopelessly behind schedule, no matter how many color-coded, down-to-the-minute timelines you send to your family and bridal party beforehand. I’ve seen crazy things happen on wedding days, and it’s very possible that something could happen that you just don’t anticipate!
Now, please understand: I’m not saying that you should expect the worst, or be anxious about what could happen — absolutely NOT! But, I do know that it’s extremely beneficial to go into your wedding day with the expectation that sometimes, because of tight schedules or crazy emotions or just LIFE, things happen… and at the end of the day, you’ll be married, regardless!!
One of my favorite things to do is listen to married couples talk about the funny or crazy things that happened on their wedding day — almost everyone has a story to tell! And in the future, I think the very best, most memorable stories will come from the weddings that were planned for 2020.
We had a drive-by bridal shower! All my friends and aunts and cousins lined up in their cars, and we stood there in my parent’s driveway as they dropped off beautiful packages — towels and pots and mixers and silverware. I wore stilettos, and had to hang onto his arm the whole time, and my girlfriends tied giant balloons to their cars that bobbed in the wind as they drove by, and we laughed at how ridiculous it all was, and I felt SO LOVED.
We had to postpone our wedding for months, because of a worldwide pandemic. Can you believe it?! By the time our wedding day came around, I practically RAN down the aisle, right into his arms, and I haven’t let go since.
We downsized our wedding, from 400 people to 30. It killed me. But you know what? As we left our reception, all of our guests that couldn’t be at the wedding had lined the long driveway and lit sparklers. We slowly drove through a twinkling canopy, and our would-be guests cheered their hearts out, and I cried happy tears because I was married to the man of my dreams, and everyone we ever loved was there anyways, cheering from a distance, and at that moment I knew — I was the luckiest girl in the world.
I cry as I watch these beautiful love stories unfold, in 2020 and beyond. Because at the end of the day — in spite of the fender-benders, reluctant flower girls, lost limo drivers, or (trump card!) worldwide pandemics — you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and you’re getting MARRIED. What a beautiful, incredible thing. I think you’re the luckiest, and I’m cheering for you every step of the way.