Wedding Mishaps, Laughs and Memories

Tomorrow is my 17th wedding anniversary, which means today marks 17 years since I frantically worked to finish the last of the silk floral centerpieces for our reception. We could have gotten them from the florist, but that’s what I did “on the side” at that time. Silk floral arranging. Poor hubby had to take them, five at a time, to the catering hall – which was about 30 minutes in each direction.

Weather the week prior to our wedding was about the same as it is now – typical NY July with a bit of elevated heat and pollen index thrown in for fun. Thermostats read 102 in the shade.

We’d planned a whole day of partying. Pre-wedding portraits and lunch with family and close friends at our house well before the 7pm ceremony. Neighbors stopped by and even our pets posed for some pictures.

Our grandmothers were there as well. One from each side. And we put those beautiful ladies to good use. We asked them to be our witnesses and they eagerly agreed, each taking a turn to sign our marriage certificate. Precious memories.

After lunch at our house, we headed out for our formal wedding portraits at the EAB Plaza – which was a corporate office with an amazing arboretum in the lobby where brides often went for a bit of the exotic. Our plan after that was to have our wedding ceremony on the grounds of the catering hall, overlooking the Long Island Sound where cool breezes would be welcome.

That didn’t happen.

Why? Because NY air doesn’t like to stay hot and heavy for long. It likes to cool itself off. On its terms. And so, as we left the house and headed out for the start of our festivities, the sky went black… and I mean black… and then the rain came down so hard we had to pull over several times on our way to the arboretum. When we finally got there, it took a bit of coaxing to get everyone out of the cars and into the place, but we did it and those are some of the best moments of the day. The pictures there still make me smile because when I look at them, I still hear the laughter and screams as we darted through driving rain into the place – in gowns and heels and tuxedos. Such fun. Messy. But fun.

And then we headed to the catering hall. At this point, the rain had ebbed to a mere monsoon and we were able to plod along at a safe and respectable pace. Until the lead car – our family car that held both sets up parents, siblings and spouses and our grandmothers – pulled over. It seems the rain found its way into the lounge area of the car and our families, holding champagne flutes above their heads, caught it before it fell into their laps. I guess they used the ice bucket, too, because somehow, we continued on and they were dry – mostly – when we arrived.

Once dry and inside we took some portraits – hubby is a wedding photographer after all.  For some photos, we looked out of a gorgeous wall of windows – toward the Sound. Toward row after row of decorated white chairs sitting empty. Wet. Lonely. We took a moment to mourn our lovely outdoor wedding, then shrugged it off. This was NY after all. On the Long Island Sound. Do you have any idea what kind of feast mosquitoes would have had on our guests?

It all worked out for the best. Lots of friends. Lots of fun. Lots of memories and lots of love.

What went wrong on your wedding day? And did it really matter much after all?

30 Responses to Wedding Mishaps, Laughs and Memories

  • Awww! Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! It’s a wonderful milestone and this is a great story and I love how in spite of the misbehaving weather, your memories of the day are nothing but wonderful. Many more happy years together.

    • Thanks Jeannie. I think without the misbehaving weather, our wedding would have been like any other day – mostly. 😉 The weather gave it that comic touch. 🙂

  • Happy Anniversary. What precious memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Linda! It’s amazing to look back and see how many people are no longer with us. And yet, seeing them in those photos isn’t sad. It’s special.

  • Happy wedding days make for happy lives together. What a great story.

    I got married at Christmas time (not my first choice, but my husband’s ship would be at sea the following summer) which meant a cold and snowy day in northeast Ohio. Which also meant icy roads and sidewalks. Which meant the five-tiered cake didn’t make it to the reception. Someone did take a picture of it before it left the bakery, and it looked lovely. And tasty. Oh well. we’re still married almost 30 years later, so the cake wasn’t the important part.

    • Oh no! Your cake never made it? And a five-tiered cake at that!? Did the caterer chip in somehow or…? How did you fill that void in the reception? Weddings are really big in NY, and people look forward to the cake-cutting “ceremony” at the reception. Is it the same where you are? At least you had pictures of it, yes? 🙂

  • What a cool story. You and your husband looked beautiful. Very nice pictures, too.

    Texas is about like New York in terms of unpredictable weather. We knew better than to try to have an outdoor wedding. It’s been twenty years, and I can’t remember anything going really wrong. My late mother-in-law caused a stink about something, but now I don’t even remember what it was.

    Great post. I loved it.

    • Yeah. Mothers-in-law. At least whatever it was she did or said on your day has faded with time.

      Beside your name, I see a link to what looks like an exciting post about ghosts!! I’m heading there now to read it. 🙂

  • You have a great attitude, Debora! Many people would have cried and stomped and done the “regret” thing. You made the MOST of what could have seemed a disaster and the memories you have are funny and well-remembered. What I recall is that James and I were married in a beautiful restored Victorian house on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, on October 19, 1991, the day before the huge Oakland fire started. It was a crazy hot in-the-90’s day which is totally ridiculous for us in the Bay Area in October. And my parents had surprised us with an ice sculpture of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Luckily it actually lasted longer than one would have thought. It was a lovely piece of art work!

    • How wonderful of your parents to surprise you with an ice sculpture! I was worried you’d say it melted before you could appreciate it. I’m glad it didn’t. Your wedding sound beautiful. A Victorian house on a Lake. It’s what dreams are made of. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing Debbie. I enjoyed reading about your wedding day. You guys looked great! It sounds like you really enjoyed the day and that’s what great memories are made of. Our wedding was in april in Queens, NY so of course we had april showers. We really enjoyed the day. When i look back on wedding photos I also see quite a few people who have passed on and I agree with you it isn’t sad it is special.
    Happy happy anniversary to both of you. Hugs, Lisa

  • Something always goes amiss at a wedding, but you get through and it gives the memories of joy more significance against the disaster. We had a blizzard among other things, and after 34 years, we laugh.

    Great post and happy anniversary.

    • A blizzard?! Did everyone who was supposed to be there, get there? We had a blizzard here one year that snarled traffic so badly, the catering halls postponed the weddings. It was the best for everyone, but imagine the stress and heartache of that. Sheesh. I’m glad after 34 years, you can laugh. That’s the sign of a healthy relationship. 🙂

  • Happy Anniversary! You have such a wonderful outlook on things.

    On my wedding day, hubby and I made the mistake of inviting his parents and grandmother to go with us to the park where we were taking the unusual wedding-day photos.

    Hubby’s grandmother nagged at my father-in-law so much, he snapped and took off deeper into the park. I will forever have the visual of this 80 year-old lady in a powder blue gown chasing after a crazed man in a tuxedo. He finally evaded her by crouching behind some bushes. We eventually coaxed him out and went on to the reception.

    Other than that, it was a great day 🙂

    • She chased after him through the park?! LOL! What a sight that must have been! Oh, Maggie. You made me laugh aloud. I hope when you look back you all laugh as well. 😉

  • OMG! First, love the pics. You’re both stunning!

    Next, what a hilarious story! Let’s see – at my wedding almost 26 years ago, we didn’t have a ton of catastrophes. I got married in November and the weather was GORGEOUS that day. I did nearly murder my sister over a hat. She insisted on wearing one. *rolls eyes*

    Then the flower girl freaked out over the long walk down the aisle so we frantically ran around town to find a tux small enough to fit her 2 year old brother. They both went down the aisle together.

    Oh, and at the reception, my husband’s cousin on his mom’s side caught the bouquet and another cousin on his dad’s side caught the garter. I learned the next morning that the two hooked up that night!

    • Thank you, Patty!

      Whoa!! You didn’t have one mishap, you had several! I’m afraid to ask… was the hat your sister wore really that bad? Like Pippa Middleton bad??? :-/

      I can just imagine the search for a mini-tux on your wedding day. Lucky you were in NY. I’d think you’d have had a harder time finding one elsewhere. And how funny that those cousins hooked up! Did they realize they were related or was that the morning-after to remember???

  • Happy 17th, Deb!

    Hmmm… My wedding day was full of mishaps, but all’s well that ends well, right?

    Here are a few of the highlights:

    One of my bridesmaids couldn’t attend most of the reception bc her baby was in the hospital with asthma. We visited him the following morning, and he turned out fine. Another bridesmaid had a wardrobe malfunction. No, not the usual kind. She sat in the limo to learn the seat was soaking wet in that spot. So, it looked like she’d had an accident as she walked down the aisle in her satin dress. I couldn’t get the ring on my husband’s hand, which to me was comical (but not to the priest, oh well). As we left the church, the rain turned into snow flurries(What did we expect, it was April in upstate NY).

    I wasn’t the kind of bride who stressed about stuff. I’d planned our wedding in under two months and to the specifications of my future in-laws from the NYC metro area, no less.

    As I tell my kids, things weren’t perfect that day, but I married the perfect guy for me. (Corny I know, but true.)


    • Thanks, Jolyse!

      I can’t believe you planned a wedding just two months in advance! I’ve been in the wedding business (on the photography end) for decades and have seen planning go from several years down to about six months but TWO months?! Wow. I am impressed. And, considering, your day sounds like it went beautifully.

      I’m relieved the baby was fine after the asthma issue. How frightening that must have been. But your poor bridesmaid with the “accident” stain. lol. I’m sorry to laugh but it IS funny. 🙂

  • Happy Belated Anniverary, Debbie. What wonderful memories. It’s all in the way you look at how things went that makes them good or bad- obviously you had the right way. 🙂

    • Thanks, Donna!

      You know, my grandmother used to say, ‘as long as you can laugh’, meaning if you can laugh then everything will be okay. I miss her in ways I can never explain, and it’s hard to ‘laugh’ now that she’s gone. But, when I think back at moments that involve her, I do laugh. And I feel better. I learned a lot from her, and dealing with the mishaps of my wedding with laughter is definitely one of those lessons she taught, and I learned well.

  • Congrats! Loved the pics. Your wedding dress was BEAUTIFUL! I think it’s a good sign if something goes wrong on the wedding day, and the couple happily adapts. Maybe that attitude stays throughout the marriage! Best wishes.

  • Happy belated anniversary, Debbie! You both looked so happy. As romance writers, how cool would it be to have a section somewhere on our website or somewhere with all of our wedding pictures?! Lol!

  • Congratulations on your beautiful day! It still stinks to hear about the rain. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a wedding where the weather didn’t try to crash the event.

    By the way, which of the catering halls on Long Island did you use? I’ve been to a lot of weddings and I’m always interested to see new locales.

    • Thanks, Vincent! They say rain brings good luck. I’m not sure about that, but it did bring laughs – after the fact. 🙂

      You said you been to a lot of weddings. Do you know how many I’ve been to since mine? ZERO! LOL. Not sure why. Maybe we were just the last of the bunch to jump in. 😀

  • happy belated anniversary. i dont remember anything except a lovely ceremony a beautiful bride and groom. lots of friends and fun that day. i also remember that beautiful dance you and larry did. very entertaining.

    • Such sweet words, Maria Lynn! Thank you. 🙂 You know, we wanted more of a party than a whole wedding ‘show’ and we had that – because of all the wonderful friends and family who participated.

  • Say, you got a nice post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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