A Very Special Winery Wedding

Every wedding I’m part of is special to me. I still get goosebumps with every bride I send down the aisle. Each time I hear wedding vows I rejoice in the notion that I’ve just witnessed two lives become one, two souls joined together for eternity. And I still get teary eyed each time I witness a “first look” between a couple or a father and his daughter.

Speaking as a day of coordinator (a service we offer exclusively to our clients), there’s so much hustle and bustle – setting up, decorating, running through checklists, answering endless questions and solving interesting … we’ll call them “situations”. Admittedly I tend to shift into “go mode” and don’t come out of it until the bubbly is flowing and the guests are happily fed.

Elizabeth and Robbie intended to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony at The Winery at La Grange in Haymarket on June 2nd. Unfortunately Mother Nature made other plans. I have a rule as a coordinator that’s worked out pretty well. I call it the 50/50 rule. If there’s a 50% chance of rain on your wedding day, we move inside and go to plan B. You should always have a plan B – sometimes even a partial plan C!  So with a muddy field before us, thunderstorms in the forecast and very little space, we quickly moved to plan B and devised a new ceremony.

For a lot of other people this would have been the end of everything. Tantrums would ensue and tears would be inevitable. Not Elizabeth and Robbie. Not that they weren’t disappointed, but they were reasonable and they trusted my judgement. Robbie and Elizabeth were not focused on the wedding. WHAT?! Yes you heard me – they were just happy to be getting married.

Taking a moment to soak it all in. Images courtesy of Franzi Lee Photography – www.franzileephotography.com

From the time Elizabeth said “yes to the dress” in my boutique to the morning of her wedding, she was cheerful, calm, and carefree. About two weeks prior, I sat down with the happy couple to discuss the details of their day. I was so excited and quite honestly surprised when Robbie walked in with Elizabeth. I typically have tons of interaction with my brides but limited communication with grooms until the wedding day.

Robbie knew just as many details as Elizabeth. He had all the answers to my questions and he made two very simple, yet amazing, thoughtful and beautiful, requests. The first was to steal his bride away for 15 minutes of alone time once they said “I do”. Robbie was resolved to have that time for them to soak it all in and just be together without distraction. The second request was to dance the last song of the night alone so they could revel in the final few tender moments of their wedding day.

Clearly I’m a sap when it comes to weddings. I’ve sent many brides down the aisle – but this wedding was refreshing in some way. Right before the ceremony, as I’m pinning the last of the boutonnieres and lining up the bridal party, I’m looking for Robbie. Where was the groom?

As the last of the guests were seated the officiant quietly motioned to me. I turned and witnessed the most peaceful, humbling sight I’ve ever seen in my years as a coordinator. Right in the middle of the chaos was Robbie, sitting off in the distance alone, in prayer. He wasn’t taking shots or hauling butt back to the venue because he was going to be late. He was praying. He was calm. And he was READY!

Robbie and Elizabeth were married in the Barrel Room of La Grange and then danced the night away on the patio. Everything turned out beautifully. Did it rain? Oh yes it did! Mother Nature dumped buckets on us – but not until after all of the pictures were taken. Things work out. A wedding is just like life – it’s what you make of it.

My hope for you is this: When you’re stressed out choosing your gown, have fallen in love with the wrong venue and need to change it, find your linens don’t match your centerpieces or discover your petal pink looks more like Pepto-Bismol, take a step back and remember WHY you are planning this wedding in the first place. Remember this is just one day. And while it will be special and you deserve that, it’s your story and it’s perfect – if you write it that way. My hope for you is that you’ll be like Elizabeth and Robbie and focus on your marriage more than your wedding.