Fortunately we spent a beautiful week with our friends leading up to our wedding. The skies were blue and the sun was shining all week long. Close to 200 of our closest friends rented 15 beach houses on Folly Beach, SC and we had the best vacation all together. There were friends from Texas, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and several states in between. It was fun to float from house to house and see different friends and family.
Then on our wedding day it was sunny and HOT (just ask the friends of mine who were roped in to setting up for the reception--without my knowledge). The pictures of our ceremony show blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Then the pictures after the wedding started to show more clouds than sun but I wasn't paying attention to that because I was headed from the wedding to the reception--also on the beach--to start the party that I had been planning for 9 months.
We went through the buffet that my Uncle David had set up with the most delicious food. Everyone was eating and enjoying each other's company and it was time for the toasts to begin. About half way through our best man's toast (mostly about how he was right and how he had predicted we would marry before we even started dating) the wind picked up and sand started flying everywhere. Pretty much sandblasting everything and everyone at the reception.
Mothers started pulling the table cloths off the tables to cover their children from the flying sand. The wedding cake, which had been made to look like it was surrounded by sand, got sand blasted as a few of our friends quickly moved it to the center of the tent. Rain started pouring down fast and furious. The thunder grew loud as lightening struck all around us while the men worked quickly to drop the walls of the tent so the guests would stop getting pummeled by sand. It wasn't fast enough for most people, though, and they took off running for their cars so fast that we didn't get to say goodbye. In fact, the whole scene is a little blurry in my mind because people were running in every direction. I have no idea what I was doing while all of this was happening.
By the time the walls of the tent came down and everything calmed down inside, we looked around and only about half of our guests--mostly the young ones without kids--were left. Our photographers took off in the middle of the mayhem. The videographer and bar tenders were nowhere to be found. Our DJs came over to tell us that they weren't going to risk damage to their equipment and had to leave immediately.
The hits. They just kept coming.
I was super lucky to have a great friend who played his guitar and sang during our wedding. He had a mic and an amp at the beach house so he just jumped in the car, grabbed his stuff and returned to play for us so we could dance the night away. Every time lightening struck he would get a little shocked by the mic. It was such an amazing gift that he was willing to entertain the crowd in the face of such a terrible storm.
Matt and I fed each other cake, with slightly more crunch than anticipated. We sang "happy birthday" to my oldest brother. Most importantly, we ended up having a great time with the friends and family that were left. I got to sing with my sorority sisters and dance with my dad. Technically, I got to do everything I had planned for.
Just, you know, with lots of lightening, thunder, rain, and a lot less pictures, video, or guests than I planned for.
The next morning we had a lot of food (especially sandblasted cake) at our brunch. The skies were BLUE and SUNNY once again, as if to mock me. The newspaper shared the news that the storm that hit suddenly turned out to be the tail end of a hurricane that had come up from Florida. Terrible timing, but an unforgettable night.
It wasn't what I planned for. And I REALLY hate that I didn't get to spend more time with the family and friends that were only there for the wedding ceremony (not the full beach week) that left the reception when the storm picked up. I absolutely understand why they left I just wish that things had turned out differently so I could have had the party that I envisioned rather than the one that ended up happening. I do, however, treasure the memories I have of all of us in the rain. And most importantly, after 7 great years together, I got the marriage that I envisioned. In the end, that's all that matters.
(Although I have often considered a "do over" for my reception.)
And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain