However, to kick off the recaps, I’d like to first shine a spotlight on the biggest thing that went wrong. Why? Well, first to tell all of you yet-to-be-married girls that no matter how much you plan and prepare, something (hopefully small) will most likely go wrong on your wedding day. And secondly, because I hope you’ll realize that when it does, it will definitely not ruin the day or take away from the happiness you feel. Unless, of course, you let it.
From on early in my engagement, I’ve shared numerous tales about how strict the Catholic Church can be. And on my wedding day, I learned just how far they’re willing to take that.
There I was, waiting in the bride’s room at the church with my bridesmaids and parents, feeling more nervous than I had expected to feel. Maybe it was simply nerves, or perhaps the Jamba Juice smoothie I drank the hour before didn’t agree with me. Either way, as the start-time approached, I started to feel slightly sick to my stomach. With my sister’s help, I was able to retreat to the restroom and take a couple minutes to gather my composure. Thankfully, I started to feel better.
But then, all of a sudden, there was a frantic knock at the door. It was my mom, and I could hardly believe my ears as she cried out, “They’ve all gone down the aisle!” What?! Without so much as asking me or even checking to see if I was still waiting in the bride’s room, the church’s coordinator had started the processional at 3:30 p.m. on the button! Moving as fast as anyone probably ever has in a wedding gown, I flew from the bathroom with Kellie right ahead of me.
Cari, our own day-of coordinator, appeared to feel terrible about what the church’s director had done. Kellie snatched up her bouquet and headed straight down the aisle. Luckily, she was walking most of the way by herself, with the best man meeting her close to the altar, so no one else had been left without a partner.
At this point, things began to blur together in my mind. I vaguely recall that on the church’s TV screen, I could see Stephen and all of our friends assembled up at the altar. I remember Cari and my mom asking whether I was OK. I can recollect my mom and dad taking their places at either side of the archway marking the start of the aisle, where I would a couple seconds later join them.
In these frantic moments, things could have gone horribly wrong. But in the end, they didn’t. Looking back, I’m thankful Kellie and I hadn’t gone into the bathroom even just a minute later, because when talking with Stephen after the ceremony, he told me that neither he nor the guests had any inkling that we almost missed our cue and were completely caught off guard. The slight pause before Kellie went down the aisle added a dramatic effect, he said, and I somehow appeared right at the appropriate moment, also after a few seconds of added suspense.
And now, a couple weeks later, this is by far the most utterly silly but entertaining story we have from the day. Who knows? Maybe 50 years from now, when all the sweet wedding tales have been worn out and the photo albums get old, this funny, ridiculous snippet will be the one that survives. Only time will tell…
LESSON LEARNED: Though it should be common sense to any coordinator, I’d recommend telling whoever is in charge at your venue to check in with you before starting the wedding ceremony. And if you’re marrying in a church or at another venue where there’s a coordinator you didn’t hire yourself, be sure he or she gets the message, since these individuals often ignore or go over the heads of any other planners who might be present.
If you’re already married, what are the biggest “oops” moments that popped up during your wedding day? If not, what are you most concerned might go wrong? What would you have done in my situation?
(Photo Credits: Personal Library)