Friday, June 14, 2013

Love is in the details, but not the ones you think!

You might think I'm pretty self-absorbed to say that the biggest blackout in history was about me.

That was the weekend of our wedding August 16th, 2003. Ed and I started dating on Valentine's day in 1984, almost 30 years ago. It wasn't until our children were 3 and 5 that Ed decided that the milk was no longer free, so he might as well buy the cow!

We didn't want a big wedding but there were so many people who had taken part in our journey as a couple that we wanted our wedding to be a celebration to include those people. Because of our age difference and the fact that I started working for Ed when I was 19, there were a few who never believed it would last. Surprise! 

In fact, our wedding song was not your typical wedding song but one that says it all. "Looks like we made it" by Shania Twain.

We lived on a golf course with the perfect setting for an outdoor ceremony. It was everything I had dreamed of.  The wedding dress was perfect, champagne silk and ivory lace. I tried on several dresses, many of them seemed silly for a 39 year old bride. The sales person at the bridal salon brought me a few dresses that were not my style. Then she brought a strapless 2-piece and asked me to please try it on for her! You know what happened next. The minute I put it on I got goosebumps and began to cry. (I'm crying now just remembering that moment).

The veil was borrowed from a very close friend who had worn it 20 years before. It reminded me a bit of Jacqueline Kennedy. A pill box with a 20 foot lace trimmed veil. Stunning but simple. 
My mother in law to be had the hankerchief that she carried on her wedding day reworked and embroidered with the date of our wedding.

This would be Ed's second marriage. Our grandchildren from Ed's son were included in the wedding as well as Casee and Evan. Finding the perfect dresses for the flower girls was just as important as my wedding gown. They were beautiful ivory with crocheted tops and tulle skirts. I found the perfect ballerina flats to match. Of course I made matching hair pieces!  Casee and Cassidy carried baskets with flower petals to drop down the aisle. The bridesmaid dresses were a simple design in a rich rust silk. I think the  girls liked them?

I did a lot of research on the cake before deciding on a bakery. The wedding cake had to actually taste good! I always wanted apricot puree and cream with yellow cake but I knew that was selfish so,  I had them make raspberry mousse cake as well.  I scored on the baker because he was the only baker on the west side who could make "Italian Love Knot" cookies. They were placed on each guest's plate with a "love knote".

The flowers gave me the most grief. It was the only time during the planning that I became  "Bridezilla" I had always wanted a simple bouquet of Lily of the valley. Not possible in August. When I saw my choices nothing satisfied me. We settled on ivory calla lilies and roses. I was very clear that I did not want any shade of peach anywhere in the flowers or there would be drama. The color scheme was cream, champagne and rusty shades of orange. The florist included a lot of greenery so, a friend of mine took it home and started clippings. You should see how many beautiful pots of plants that have grown from those clippings in ten years! I think that's a good omen don't you?

In absence of my father who had passed away 5 years earlier I asked the person who he was closest to him to walk me down the aisle, my brother John who lives in Florida. He had just gone through a divorce and was getting back on his feet so just in case he couldn't make it, we asked Ed's best friend as well. In the event that my brother John made it, they would both have the job.

Every part leading up to the big day was a joy.

Then came Thursday August 14th. It started off great. The kids were at daycare and we had a lot to get done. I went to pick up my dress and hung it from the banister of the second floor of our family room.
Then off to the fruit market, the bakery and home to start preparing baskets for the the hotel guests.

I remember it vividly. It was a hot day and my sister in law and I were putting the notes on the love knots. All of sudden the clock on the microwave beeped. I looked at Debbie and said....
"Did the power just go out?" The nightmare began. You know what that day was like.

At one point I was on the phone with our minister, a 20 year friend of my husband. He lovingly said to me, "Tracey I know that it's hard to see right now but, something good will come out of this". At that moment looking at my beautiful dress hanging there I was doubtful and wanted to slap him for saying it! 

How would anything get done? Tent, chairs, food, flowers. A million questions ran through my head. By that evening we had contacted as many people as we could with the little bit of charge we had on our phones. We had decided if nothing else, we would have a ceremony on the golf course and plan a party at another time. It was so hot upstairs we all slept on the floor that night in the kids playroom. Not what I had planned.  Friday was spent worrying about the friends and relatives who were coming in from out of town. By now our cell phones were dead. We had no way of knowing if anyone would make it. How would we get the tuxedos? I had no way of knowing if there would be a cake or flowers.
It was falling a part. Of course, there would be no rehearsal. 

I was so upset and I know many people were upset for me. I kept asking god why is this happening?
That day was so hot and so long...

At 7:15 pm on Friday night I was walking by the powder room and thought I heard a motor running.
It was the fan! I couldn't believe it. I ran outside to praise god. When I opened the door my brother, 
my stepmom and two nieces pulled into our driveway. 

I got down on my knees and thanked god.  Then with tears in my eyes I kissed each of my family members and hugged them tight. 

At that moment I had no idea how things were going to turn out. But I was happy that my family was by my side.

One by one each of the suppliers confirmed. The florist had a generator so there was never a problem.
The bakery was behind but got it done. The tent set up as planned. The clubhouse was able to make everything on the menu except shrimp as a precautionary measure. When the band showed up it looked like we were going to have a wedding after all.

I was numb with happiness as I dressed up as a bride. As we prepared to walk down the aisle I held on to my brother's arm and whispered "Don't let me fall" I was weak with giddiness!   

As I walked down the aisle I scanned the faces of the people who came to witness this special day and tried to make eye contact with each one of them to say "thank you for being here".

The singer sang "The Prayer" for the procession which put the whole crowd over the edge.

By the time I reached Ed and the minister, the message was crystal clear. 

For me, this wedding was not about dresses, flowers, cake,  music or any other physical detail.
It was about the journey and the people who have been a part of our lives. The power going out was necessary to get me to get my attention to not only see it but, feel it.

We spent the evening expressing how much each one of our guests meant to us.

A true celebration of LOVE

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