My youngest daughter was married yesterday. Months of planning and preparation went into this special day so that it would be perfect and memorable. It turned out to be perfect, in its own way. It was very memorable. It was not as we had planned it though, a higher power had different ideas for how this day was to come off leaving us knowing that we are maybe not as in control and as independent as what we sometimes think.
We knew that our plans might need revision early in the week when the long-range weather forecast took a nasty turn with rain and low temperatures. As the day got closer and the forecast became more accurate, snow was added along with high winds. Those high winds morphed into a wind warning. Photos were supposed to happen outside. We started to think about venues other than our carefully manicured lawn.
The day came. The forecast was accurate. High winds, horizontally blowing snow, 2 degrees Celsius. Everyone held on to their good humour and plans were made to move pictures to an old barn that was set up for such events. We were moving towards 3 pm and the service.
At 1:50 the pastor called from the church to let us know that the high winds had blown a tree on to the power lines and the village was without power. Time was running short, we called a friend with a generator not really knowing just what he could do with it. The groom called to say that he needed to find a way to shave; his B&B had no power or water. Tensions rose just a little bit. We were out of control.
We headed for the church on time and were greeted by the sight of a truck on the church lawn with cords running from it into the church. Another generator was humming near the kitchen running the coffee maker. The church itself had only the natural light (weak in stormy weather), but the sound system was partially working.
The service was beautiful. Vows were made, some people cried, the pastor delivered an inspired message, the parents worried about how they would feed 140 people with no power. The photographer, while shooting the service tried to figure out how do her work in gale force winds, again with no power.
The pictures happened inside at the reception venue with 2 portable generators and studio lighting equipment. They will accurately record the day. The wedding party decided that they would brave the elements for some outdoor shots so they went back to our farm and took shelter behind an old barn. They used all of our paper towels cleaning the mud off of their shoes and the bottom of the bride’s dress.
Back at the hall, the meal was being cooked since the stoves are all propane. The caterer was working using construction lights run off of generators. Political lobbying was going on as well. The municipality has generators that will run the facility since it is a designated emergency gathering place for the community. The generator is stored at the other village in the municipality and initially could not be accessed since the wedding was not considered an emergency (to them anyway). After a number of calls were made to the reeve (we didn’t need to make any) success came and the generator was delivered just before the meal was to be served.
The rest of the evening went off in typical style. My daughter is married and we were reminded again how important community is. Many people came to our aid, tended generators, made changes to their schedules, so that this young couple and these families could have their day.
Today would have been a great day for a wedding. Its sunny, warm enough, and only a little windy. But, yesterday was our day. There may be a lesson in this.