My Wedding Day Story
Every wedding day has their hiccups and snags. On my wedding day, we hit a few. The biggest problem - RAIN. But, we didn't let it get us down. At the end of the day, we ended up with a more beautiful wedding than we originally planned and some great lessons learned I can share with you!
The day before our wedding was a beautiful February day in Saint Augustine, Florida. Not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures just below 65. A slight breeze coming off the water. In the days leading up to the wedding, I intentionally deleted the weather app on my phone so that I couldn't stress myself out about the weather. So seeing this beautiful weather was a confidence builder for me.
Tip: If you're having an outdoor wedding, delete the weather app from your phone in the days or weeks leading up to your wedding day. Don't add stress by checking the weather! It will change - constantly.
During our rehearsal on the rooftop of The White Room, we hoped that this would be the perfect image on our wedding day. But, once we got to our rehearsal dinner, the temperatures started to drop down into the 40s. My dad was checking his weather app by-the-minute telling me "it's up to 40% chance of rain. Oh wait, just changed to 60%."
The next morning I woke up in our wedding suite and looked outside to see clouds rolling in over the marina. "I can deal with clouds," I thought. As my bridal party had their hair and makeup done, my anxiety started to build. My dad was still checking his weather app and texting my sister and fiance, Andy with updates. Thank goodness he wasn't sending it to me!
As my beauty team Sarina Durden Hair and Makeup put the finishing touches on my hair and makeup, my bridesmaids were huddled in a corner exchanging sideways glances and whispers. They were all looking for signs that I was cracking under the anxiety. I sipped my mimosa through a straw and maintained my composure.
Tip: Drinking through a straw will keep your lipstick from smearing all of your face! That would not be good for your photos.
As my photographer and I walked down Avenida Menendez towards the location of our first look, goose bumps started to form on my arms. The temperature had dropped again back into the 40s. My adrenaline was keeping me mostly warm, and I tried my best to ignore the cold.
At this moment, as I spun around holding the skirt of my Maggie Sottero dress, a droplet of rain fell on my shoulder. You can almost see the slight look of worry on my face. The rain had held off for this long, but the clouds were building. Standing off to the side, Andy checked his weather radar app and saw a giant green blob slowly creeping towards the Saint Augustine coast. He didn't tell me.
With an outdoor rooftop wedding, there was always a backup plan. Our day-of coordinator, Shannon at The White Room had explained to us months before that the rain plan would be to move the ceremony and dance floor from the rooftop into the buffet area. She would make the call 3 hours before the ceremony start time. Well, the droplets started less than 3 hours before the ceremony.
Tip: Always have a backup plan and set timing for when to enact the plan if it becomes necessary. Discuss all of this with your day-of execution team so they can implement without you if needed.
As I walked into the bridal staging suite, Shannon came in and said "I've been waiting to make the call in hopes that the rain will hold off. But, I don't think it will. What do you want to do?" Andy and I looked at each other. We both knew that our outdoor rooftop wedding just became an indoor wedding. We calmly told Shannon to go ahead with the rain plan.
To our surprise, Shannon had already spoken with the couple getting married in the venue next door and asked whether they would allow us to use their ceremony space so that we wouldn't have to squish the ceremony into the buffet area. The couple graciously agreed and even sped up their ceremony to give Shannon and her team enough time to set up our ceremony. Andy and I had looked at the venue next door during our site visit and knew it would still be just as beautiful as the rooftop overlooking the marina.
Guests were arriving. Shannon and her team were able to divert them to the correct venue and start our ceremony with only a few minutes delay. I relaxed in the bridal staging room with my bridesmaids and sipped champagne. I wasn't stressed at all. I knew that my day-of execution team had everything under control.
As I walked down the aisle, the only person I saw in the room was Andy. The whole ceremony was as if the two of us and my brother-in-law, who was officiating, were the only people in the room. Our ceremony was heartfelt and funny. Neither of us cried (to both of our surprise!). Meanwhile, outside the rain had started to fall.
After being pronounced husband and wife, I turned around and saw all of these familiar and wonderful faces. My face in this photo literally means "Holy moly you guys are all here too! We're married!!"
After the ceremony our amazing photographer Jessica Sout whisked us away to the Castillo de San Marcos for photos. The rain was still coming down and neither of us cared about getting a little wet or cold. We could have never anticipated how stunningly beautiful these photos would come out. You can see the raindrops creating little flecks that look like stars against the dark clouds in the sky.
Our indoor reception was beautiful and so much fun. We danced the night away with our friends and family. We have so many wonderful memories that we shared with all of the people we care most about. In the end, I'm actually happy it rained on our wedding day. We have a great story to tell and beautiful photos to remember every detail and feeling.
It rained on our wedding day. So what! You can be stressed or upset that things didn't go as planned. Or you can make the most of the situation, trust the people you have invested in for your wedding day and enjoy every moment.
Above all else, we were married. And that is all that truly matters.