Like, say, the waterspout.
Or the hail. Or the three-and-a-half inches of rain that fell in about an hour . . . the very hour we were set to marry.
I mean, sure, we took bad weather precautions. For instance, we rented a tent. Heck, we even rented those optional roll-down plastic sides for the tent, thinking that those would be enough to withstand some rain.
But I probably should have known that something more than "some rain" might be in the works when I woke up that Saturday morning to this scene. (Yes, that's the ocean, only you can't see it through the fog.)
Anyway, our invitations said three o'clock. And sure enough at three o'clock on the dot--I kid you not--the loudest clap of thunder ricocheted through the house, the pressure changed and open doors slammed shut, and then the skies opened and released. At about 3:15 we were standing on the front porch scanning the skies when my dad said in his usual calm way: "Look girls, there's a waterspout." I'll never forget that. Needless to say, Plan A (getting married on the beach) quickly went out the window (along with a screen that blew off the house). Plan B (getting married on the dock) and Plan C (getting married under the tent) also went out unless we were comfortable sacrificing a few of our guests to the lightning gods. Plan D (getting married upstairs in the living room) was nixed when someone remembered another wedding a few years ago at Pawleys where the porch collapsed under the weight of everyone standing on it. In the end, it seemed that the safest, most comfortable place for us to get married would be the undercroft of the house. So that was our plan. There really wasn't time to work out too many details.
All I know is that we waited for a break in the weather so we could safely cross the street from our house to Tod's parents' house. That break in the weather occurred at a little after four o'clock. So while dad and Mary Barton studied the radar--I just love how skeptical Mary Barton looks in this picture--our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour. (Thankfully, we'd planned all along to have cocktails available for our guests before the wedding.)
At the first break in the weather, my mom and my sister's family headed across the street.
Then my dad and I headed that way.
We arrived in a white
And I just have to say that our guests were amazing sports through all of this. In fact, some of my favorite men in the whole world were right there to greet me at the car door with umbrellas and smiles. Chivalry is not dead I tell you.
Many of our guests (and even Tod) were not aware that we were arriving at that very minute, so I think some scrambling occurred--to get guests downstairs and into the driveway.
Thankfully, our trusty bagpiper piped up, and it became apparent to everyone that--come hail or high water--a wedding was in progress, albeit a wedding in a driveway beneath a beach house. (And here you thought the chiming of bagpipes and the clapping of thunder only happened simultaneously in the movies. Silly you.)
Maybe it's just me, but I think this picture captures pretty much everything there is to say about motherhood. I'm not a mom though, so like I said, maybe it's just me. (Oh, and Mary Barton's mimicking is also pretty classic.) Thanks, Toni, for capturing such a great moment.
Once Dad and I made it safely to the undercroft, it was time for a wedding.
With no aisle down which to process, we just went with the next best thing and walked around the driveway. I'm not kidding. The good news was that our little driveway processional allowed me to see so many of the smiling faces of our friends and family who were there to support us. I waved at people, too.
When we'd walked from one side of the driveway to the other--again, not kidding--we ended up standing beneath a strand of twinkle lights (I love twinkle lights!) and in front of a giant metal crab hung on the wall--definitely a one-of-a-kind altar.
My sweet friend Lydia, who is an amazing violinist, agreed to learn and play Somewhere Over the Rainbow during the wedding. Originally, we planned for her to play this song while my dad and I walked to the beach to meet our wedding guests (who would have followed the bagpiper to get to the beach ahead of us). As you now know, our beach wedding didn't happen, but thankfully Lydia was able to play that sweet song for everyone once I joined Tod and Judge Blatt at the metal crab. I couldn't see her, and I still have no idea where she was standing or whether our guests could even see her, but she played beautifully, and it was just so special for her to be a part of our ceremony like that. Thank you a million times over, Lydia.
So, I guess you're probably wondering what happened next.
Umm, duh. We got married.
In the midst of thunder and lightning and barking dogs (more about that later), we joined hands and pledged each other our troths.
And that's what it's all about anyway, right?
So although the weather was terrible (really, really terrible actually), the wedding--it was perfect.