Our reception was beautiful, and wonderful, and went off without a hitch -- almost.
I really wanted to do our reception outside. My aunt Julie has a beautiful backyard with the most amazing willow tree and she had spent all Spring working her tail off to plant flowers and groom every last detail. She is wonderful. Of course I had some grasp on reality, so we reserved a church too, just in case. But I wasn't worried, because the weeks leading up to our wedding, the forecast always said it would be clear and sunny.
That is, until Monday of that week, when I checked the forecast again.
Monday: Sunny and Clear.
Tuesday: Clear and Sunny.
Wednesday: Beautifully Perfect, Clear and Sunny.
THURSDAY, WEDDING DAY: RAIN. CLOUDS. DOOM.
Friday: Sunny and Perfect. Because why wouldn't it be.
So then I started freaking out. Our decorations would not look good in a church! Julie had spent all this time getting her yard ready! Why?!?!
At this point I had no choice but to start praying. And it seems like such a silly thing to pray for, but I prayed. And then I got a blessing, too. And in that blessing, I was promised that "the weather would cooperate". So then I just had to have faith. If the weather was going to cooperate, then it was decided - we were going to have the reception outside.
The morning of our wedding day was quite clear, and it was actually pretty hot after the temple when we were taking pictures. But the wind started picking up during our last few (which actually made for some really cool shots in our video) but that's when I started to get nervous again. I'm pretty sure I made a concerned comment about it every other second. But Jim kept reminding me to have faith.
After pictures and grabbing a quick lunch, Jim and I ended up at my parents house so I could finish packing. Procrastinate much? Haha.
The whole time I was packing, I was looking out the window every five seconds. At this point, the sky was starting to cover over with dark, ominous clouds, but we had decided to do the reception outside, and it was too late to change it. Jim and I headed over to my aunt's house. The decorations were all set up (thank you, family!) and everything looked beautiful. But the wind was gusting by this point and I was worried.
And then came the "severe storm warning". Not just rain, not even just a thunderstorm, a SEVERE STORM. The kind that comes over the radio and TV with the creepy beeping sounds. I could not believe it.
Meanwhile, in the backyard, pictures started blowing over, and all the decorations we had worked so hard on were on their way to getting ruined. I was so nervous, but tried to keep it cool. I did alright until the breaking point for me -- when the door my mom painted and set up got knocked over by the wind. The letters broke, the glass in the frames shattered, and I was so sad. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but at this point, I was that bride and I ran inside. I couldn't let anyone see me upset, but I was just so bummed!
And that's when I thought "this is definitely not the definition of cooperating!" And there may or may not have been some fist-shaking at the sky. But then I just had this strong feeling to remember that blessing I was given. So I tried. I said a little prayer in my heart, and I told myself it didn't matter if it was all ruined, because I was still married. Jim came up to sit in the room with me - he couldn't ruin his suit either - and we watched through the window as our family, friends, and even random neighbors and strangers gathered up all the decorations and brought them inside. Soaking wet tablecloths were sent to neighbors homes to be put in their dryers, laid out on every surface in the house.
Our friends told us afterward that they had even stopped everything to kneel and say a prayer that the rain would stop. That's true friendship right there.
And then, as I sat overwhelmed by all the love these people were showing for me and Jim, I started to feel a huge sense of peace. It was like Heavenly Father was telling me to hang on for a little bit longer, and to remember what He promised me. Because then, miraculously, the rain started to clear up! And then it cleared out completely. We were able to save all the decorations - even the door! My friend's husband glued everything back together. The tablecloths were able to be dried, and everything looked perfect. Yes, we started the reception a little later than we planned, but if you hadn't seen the rain yourself you never would have believed it had happened. I could have sworn the grass wasn't even wet after it was all over.
I tell you, it was the strangest freak storm I have ever seen, but the end result was such a huge testament to me that Heavenly Father loves me. He loved me enough to test my faith, to remind me that He is in control, and that when He makes a promise, He keeps it. The priesthood is real, and the weather really did cooperate. Our wedding day was such an edifying experience for me for that reason, among many others.
And honestly, looking back on it now, it wouldn't have mattered if we had done the reception in the church instead, but I'm so glad it turned out. I felt so much love from my friends and family that day. It was beautiful, I love the pictures. I loved my dress, the cake, the flowers, the decorations, everything. But most importantly, I love my Jim and we love all the people that were there to celebrate with us. To all who were there and did so much for us, thank you!! It meant more than we can say. What a wonderful memory, and a wonderful day!
And it makes for a good story, doesn't it?
|Love all these ladies so much!|
|We sure missed Sister Lex.|
|And this is the only time you'll ever see my brothers kiss me|
|People think I'm weird for thinking this is one of my favorite pictures from the day... but I love it! |
Jim's family is so goofy and they're so fun to be around.
Little Peter is on a mission now and we sure miss him a lot!
|Love my cute grandparents. And my grandma's outfit in our colors. :)|
|Jim's nieces had the most adorable matching dresses... such cuties!|
|He SWORE he wouldn't smash it in my face....|
|The little liar punk. ;)|