The night before our wedding, Brad, Sara, and I drove out to Nashville to get settled into our hotel before the big exciting day. We were shocked to see all of Brad's family at our same hotel. We unknowingly booked the same place as they did (thank you priceline!). It was so exciting to see Brad's parents, siblings, grandparents, niece, and nephews that I actually locked my keys in my car. Keys still in the ignition. Right about that time my friend Lindsey pulled up, and we all racked our brains trying to figure out what to do. I called my dad, and he gave me the number of the insurance agency he had coverage with, and he said they could send someone out to unlock the door. I called, but they couldn't be out for at least half an hour. Then Brad's ingenious brother Neil straightened out a wire clothes hanger into a hook and threaded it through the slightly open driver's side window and popped the lock open. Thank goodness.
We had planned to take all our pictures outside, because it was May and the weather was always nice in May. (If you know anything about Tennessee weather, you'll know this was a naive assumption.) We woke the morning of May 6th to a huge thunderstorm. It was pouring rain. I called Brad, who was staying in his grandparents' room. I was completely flustered. What in the world are we going to do? Where will we take pictures? He knew there was a Target just down the street since we had driven out to it the night before because I had forgotten hair spray. He came and got my keys and went to Target and bought an umbrella. We'd just have to make the best of it. I was immediately convinced that whoever invented the idea that rain on your wedding day is lucky obviously had a rainy wedding day, and she was just trying to be optimistic about her dreary situation.
Brad came back from his escapade with an umbrella and bagels. My hair and makeup had been done, so while I waited for Lindsey and Sara to finish getting ready Brad and I enjoyed our last few moments together as an engaged couple.
When Brad left, and it was finally time for me to pack up my stuff and get ready to leave I realized I hadn't brought a normal dress to wear into the temple. All I had was my wedding dress. Luckily I had people around me who had planned ahead. Valeri had packed an extra dress and Lindsey had an extra tank top.
When we left the hotel it was still rainy outside, but by the time we drove the 10 miles to the temple the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds. The clouds stuck around all day, which was really quite perfect. It was light outside, but the sun wasn't blinding us. Which meant no one was squinting in any of the pictures. It also made for some really neat shots of the sky.
photo courtesy of Valeri Andersen Photography
At the time, I felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The temple was scheduled to be closed on our wedding day, I locked my keys in my car, I forgot hairspray, it rained, I neglected to pack a dress to wear other than my wedding dress.
But honestly, looking back on it now, none of those things were actually "wrong". I expected everything to go perfect and just the way I had been planning it for the past 5 months. That didn't happen. It probably never will. But all those "wrongs" are what made our day special. We have a great, albeit, stressful story about how we almost didn't get married in Nashville because the temple was supposed to be closed. I have fond memories of my almost-brother-in-law saving the day by getting my keys out of my locked car. I still have that umbrella that Brad went and bought at Target, and every time I look at I remember the whole wonderfully crazy day.
I learned a lot about event planning that I will hopefully be able to use when my sisters get married or when I have to plan a big party. I learned a lot about life in general. But most importantly I learned to love the man I was soon to marry even more.
With the days leading up to the reception as we were hurrying around decorating, many things came up that weren't related to the wedding that I had to deal with. I won't go into detail about everything that happened, but it was some seriously bad timing. I remember being in the gym at our church balling my eyes out in front of Sara, her wonderful mother, and my dear dear friend Gay Baker - all 3 whom made the reception possible. Gay turned me around and had me look at Brad who was up on a ladder stringing Christmas lights. She said to me, "Look at the man. Look at what he's doing for you. You love him, and you're going to marry him. Right now and forevermore nothing else matters." Each day of the past 3 years of our wedded life together this simple yet profound statement has held true. The man I married would do anything for me, because he loves me. Let's be honest, he probably doesn't necessarily enjoy sweeping and mopping the floors, but he does it because he knows I really hate it. Each day I grow to love him more and more and for reasons I never thought I could love someone - like sweeping the floors or taking out the trash or playing with our pup.
I have wonderful memories of the day we were married. And I wouldn't trade the keys locked in the car, the forgotten hairspray, or the rain for anything. Those simple things made our day what it was. It most definitely wouldn't have been the same without them. How we reacted to those at the time what seemed like hurdles set the precedent for the rest of our life together. We'll love each other through thick and thin, through rain and shine, and we'll be grateful and happy for every moment we have together.