My son and his lovely fiance were married on Saturday. They chose to be married in her family’s country church near her hometown in rural Maine. A simple wood clad structure on a hill, unadorned and not overly showy or grande. Simple, rustic and elegant…a perfectly beautiful place for the two of them to seal their sacramental commitment to each other. Witnessed by family and close friends, my son and his bride made their vows and were surrounded by generations full of love.
The reception that followed was in an even more rural location, in a ski lodge on a hill over looking a lake. My husband and I drove to the spot and understood immediately why they chose that location to celebrate their new marriage. The small lodge nestled on the hill allowed for it’s guests to take in the spectacular late summer scenery and enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed setting. A bucket of local brews and a table full of snacks greeted us as we entered. The caterer set up her brick oven/ food truck and created magnificent hand thrown pizzas. A bounty of homemade fruit and custard pies was promised for dessert – plus the Italian cream wedding cake that Aunt Carol had whipped up that morning. “Grab a drink, kick back, enjoy each other and have fun” was the rule. We all willingly and happily obeyed.
Wedding planning began in earnest a little less than a year ago as the two tried to figure out how to assemble the many cousins and aunts and uncles as well as their many mutual friends. The found a rustic barn/venue that would accommodate a large crowd and set to putting all of the reception must-haves together. As the costs escalated beyond control, and after a very emotional discussion about the whole event, the two decided to step back and reevaluate. I’m so proud of the way they took back control of their wedding day and escaped the grips of the conventional wedding industrial complex. They lost some of their deposit on the barn, but regained their sanity.
Together, they came up with ways to keep their celebration unique and simple. They problem solved together. They listened to each other. They thought about the ways their decisions could affect their families, in terms of logistics and expense. They were sensitive to tradition, but added the modern hipster flare we all expected from them. They relied heavily on her family to help with preparations, for which I am ever so grateful. In doing so, they created the day they had dreamed about; an occasion unique to them. They planned to celebrate their love in their own style, on their own terms. Not one detail was lost on me….
The weather however, was out of their hands. On Saturday it was muggy out, to be sure. And rain was promised. We all hoped the skies would be kind and not open up on us until we left the church… and then, until we got to the lodge…. and then, a little while longer, please… the pizza truck was outside after all – and we had to go get our food. My sweet daughter-in-law never showed concern over the impending bad weather, but surely, she must have thought, good weather just makes everything easier on wedding day. The rain began after the last pizza was cooked and continued for less than half an hour. The downpour was steady and intense at times, but we were all safe inside, drinking, dancing and eating pie. All worrying about the rain had ceased. It was with us and there was nothing we could do about it.
As the rain settled into a drizzle, and then a mist, we noticed the sun beginning to break from under neath the cloud cover. The dark clouds moved east and the sun enlightened them with her rays. I’m not sure who first noticed it, but forming in the east, over the lake was a glorious rainbow. Faint hues, beginning on the surface of the lake, became a vivid, arched, full-blown rainbow. We called to each other to come look, thinking if we blinked we would miss its glory. But the rainbow lasted 10 minutes or so, giving us ample time to capture its radiance in photos. Not only had the newlyweds been given this amazing symbol of faithfulness- they were also given enough time to have a proper photo shoot to preserve the moment forever. A wedding miracle for sure!
These two young people dreamed about and planned a day that would be unique and special for them. They managed to escape the customary wedding rituals and traded them for something much more meaningful. And along the way, with the help of the most spectacular rainbow I have ever seen, I learned the lesson of trust. That – when we stray from our true path, to follow the crowd, we may miss some magical surprises. And that worrying about rain is useless and unnecessary. Because without rain, there would be no rainbow.