The day before our wedding was hot but cooled off a little in the late afternoon when thunderstorms rolled in. As we gathered for the rehearsal, my dad warned everyone we may have to take shelter because the storms were likely to produce tornados. My response was something like, “Okay, let us know if we have to move.”
We ended up having to take shelter twice in two of the church bathrooms (there were two consecutive storms or one big one with two parts). The second storm was the biggest and Dad had us take cover in the shelters right before the city tornado sirens sounded. (A storm-wary dad with a smart phone is better than a weather radio and faster than tornado sirens!)
While we were in the shelters/bathrooms the second time, the power went out. Eventually, the worst of the storm passed and we emerged to a dark church and flooded parking lot (as far as I know, no vehicles were damaged).
Taking shelter with friends & family
Tornado buddies Gram & Eli (a.k.a. my mom & nephew)
Conveniently, we had planned to have the rehearsal dinner in the fellowship hall and the lasagna stayed warm in the ovens. There was still no power, though, so the hall was very dark. I saw someone start lighting tea lights on the tables and realized I had better candles. I recruited my brother-in-law, an usher, and a friend to help me get most of the pillar candles decorating the sanctuary and put them around the dinner tables.
One of the guests seemed surprised, “These are your wedding candles! Are you sure you want to use them?”
“Oh, sure! They won’t burn down much. At my sister’s wedding, we burned the pillar candles all day and barely made a dent.”
Before dinner was over, the power came back on. As people finished eating, Brian stood up to thank everyone. His speech began something like, “Abby and I would like to thank everyone for being a part and – oh, we have a fire!” By the time his sentence registered in my brain, he was already at a nearby table, snatching a burning paper napkin and dropping it on the floor to put it out. Everyone was fine and I found out later that one of the kids had been playing with a tea light. Poking a candle with a paper napkin is not advisable!
Brian finished his thank-you speech and we wrapped up the rest of the evening without further incidents. As Brian drove me to my apartment, I told him, “After what happened today, I think there’s something we need to discuss that most couples don’t think about.”
“If we have to take shelter during our wedding tomorrow, I’m not waiting anymore, I’d want Jon to marry us in the shelter.”
“I don’t think there are any storms forecasted for tomorrow.”
“I don’t care. If there’s another tornado, will you marry me in the shelter?”
He laughed, “Yes. Maybe we could stand with Jon between the two bathrooms and finish the ceremony there so people could see from both sides!”
What’s your funniest or most memorable rehearsal story? Ours is a tornado, a flood, a power outage, and a fire!