From the time I was a little girl, I knew I would have an outdoor wedding. I dreamed of flowers blooming and sun shining. I never wanted a fancy church or ball room. I wanted trees and sky for my wedding cathedral. I never dreamed my wedding around the realities of Southern summer heat and humidity. I never considered the worries of hurricane season. I never imagined anything but a perfect summer wedding by a creek, at sunset.I saw myself walking down the grass carpeted aisle dressed like a fairy princess holding a bouquet of daisies.
Early in February, My best friend said, “Will you…” and I said “YES!” and wedding planning began in the dreary cold part of the Georgia year. The park was chosen, pavilion rented, and visions of the perfect wedding danced in my head.
Spring turned into summer, flowers bloomed, the temperature soared. As I watched the thermometer hover near 100 degrees I wondered if planning an outdoor summer wedding was a mistake. Invitations had already been sent, and it was too late to change plans. I wouldn’t have changed even if I could. I knew I wanted an outdoor wedding. Hurricane season started.
Once a hurricane starts traveling overland, it generally loses force and downgrades to a tropical storm before becoming just a bad windstorm. When a hurricane hits Florida, it usually downgrades to a windstorm just as it passes over Northern Georgia. The windstorms can cause damage and power outages, but the day after one passes through all the humidity is gone from the air, the temperature is about 20 degrees cooler than normal and the sky is crystal clear blue. August is right in the middle of hurricane season.
The week before the wedding I worried. I was either going to be sweating like I had run a marathon in my wedding dress or worse, we would be in the middle of a hurricane caused windstorm. The forecasts were projecting that a hurricane was coming through our area that Saturday. I prayed.
We melted from the heat during the wedding rehearsal. The windstorm came as we were leaving the rehearsal dinner. The rain fell and the wind blew all night long. I waited and worried.
The morning of the wedding dawned cloudy, but not stormy. We went to the wedding site for pictures. Just as the photographer was finishing up with the pictures, the clouds broke and the sun began to shine. By the time the ceremony started, we had a clear blue day like the one I had dreamed of as a little girl. I walked down the aisle looking like a fairy princess holding a bouquet of daisies. I , When it comes down to planning for reality, an outdoor wedding has the potential to be a dream or a disaster. I took took my beloveds hand and promised my life to him.
Nearly 6 years have passed since that August evening when I stood with my best friend and we said our vows. We have weathered storms together going from broke college students to honor graduates, renters to homeowners, infertile couple to parents. We have had ups and downs in our relationship but we have always clung to one another, promising daily that when each storm blows over and the sun comes out we will still be clinging to one another, loving one another all the days of our lives.