If you’ve planned a wedding before (or been close to someone who’s planned a wedding), you’ve probably heard someone say, ‘everyone has their wedding story.’
By “wedding story,” people mean the thing — or two, if your luck is really bad — that went awry on the wedding day. I love when people ask this question because we have an answer that will blow them away.
Our wedding was five years ago today (!!!) and it was the biggest ice storm North Texas had seen in nearly 20 years. Now, the thing you have to understand about weather in Texas is that meteorologists will usually predict crazy weather and usually be wrong.
So when reports of an ice storm started bubbling up, I didn’t believe it. Sure, it was cold and gray but there was no way we’d be getting ice in early December. Besides, the average temperature on Dec. 7 was 68 degrees. There was no way.
I took Thursday off from work to get last-minute wedding things done and welcome arriving out-of-town guests. Side note, a large portion of our guest list was from out of town, with me being from New Hampshire and all.
The weather was not looking good Thursday but I still didn’t believe it was going to be that bad. This was Texas. We don’t get bad ice like in the north.
Thursday afternoon we went to the venue with our dear friend and pastor to game plan an indoor ceremony. (Plan A was to have it outside because, ya know, average 68 degree weather). It included tables leaned up against the walls during the ceremony but we were OK with it. All we cared about was the fact that we were getting married.
Friday rolled around and things were not looking good. The news was serious about the weather and the streets were starting to mean business. Ice was everywhere.
To kick off wedding weekend, Travis received a call from the venue coordinator Friday morning with the news that the venue had no power. And they had no idea when it would be back on.
We knew we had very few options and the best one at the time was to check with the hotel where our room block was to see if they’d be able to host our wedding should the power stay off at the venue.
I’m going to be honest, I was a little in shock for this one. We specifically chose that day because we really wanted to get married at the Filter Building at White Rock Lake. So much of our relationship took place at that lake and the venue was absolutely perfect for us. It had so much meaning to us that to get married anywhere else felt insignificant.
My now in-laws were able to secure the Holiday Inn as a backup plan should the worst happen. We had our rehearsal dinner on the second floor of a local Mexican restaurant while big chunks of snow fell from the sky and ice glistened on the streets.
As the evening wore on, Travis and I kept getting texts and emails from people who weren’t going to be able to make it: flights canceled, roads closed, conditions too dangerous. My friend who was supposed to do my hair was stranded in San Antonio. One of my bridesmaids, coming from Boston, had to switch airlines completely and take four different flights to get to Dallas.
Luckily, she arrived around midnight and crawled in bed with me to catch a few hours of sleep.
That morning we were supposed to have a prayer breakfast at my friend’s house (where I had been living the past few months) but that, too, was canceled. Instead we sat shivering around hot cups of coffee in complete dismay about what was happening.
Travis called me around 7:30 that morning to tell me the venue had power — the wedding was on! A wave of relief washed over me. Let the festivities begin!
It was truly God’s grace — and a little perspective — that kept me calm throughout this whole ordeal. I was thankful we were still able to have a wedding and thankful for the friends and family who made it in.
I will never forget the moment Travis called me with more news. I was sitting in a chair getting my makeup done when my phone rang.
“Um, the caterer can’t make it,” he said.
Yeah. The caterer was about 40 minutes north of Dallas and not only was he iced out of his kitchen, the highway he needed to take to get to us was shut down. I told him I was getting my makeup done and that he needed to handle the situation. There was nothing I could do from the makeup chair!
Thankfully we had so many friends and family members pitch in to pull everything off. I couldn’t get my nails done before the wedding so my sweet friend painted them for me that morning. My sister-in-law’s bestie, who is an event planner in Dallas, was able to find a caterer at the last minute. They didn’t have any staff and could only drop food off but it was food and it was warm!
The bartender we were supposed to have was coming with the caterer so obviously he couldn’t make it either. I didn’t find out until later that the caterer had called bars all around our venue to see if he could find someone to fill in for us.
By time the ceremony rolled around, I honestly didn’t care anymore. And not in an eff-this-shizz kind of way but a who care, let’s just get married! kind of way.
Friends joked that we might as well have gotten married in New Hampshire because it certainly looked like we did. We did our first look outside in 22-degree temps with our sweet pregnant photographer (shout out, Anne!) and the rest was history.
All photos by Anne Brookshire Photography