Friday, June 25, 2010

Wild Weather and a Wonderful Wedding

I cannot get over what a difference a week makes as I look outside right now.  While I am greeted with sunshine and a cool breeze, last week the weather was humid and hot.  This combination brought about some very severe storms, as most know. In Itasca, IL, where my cousin Jenny, who has been much like a sister to me, married Louis, a great, kind man who puts up with all the Unti family antics, the weather was so extreme that power was lost as 80+mph winds tore through the city.  More on that in a minute.  
Having had an outdoor ceremony myself, I know the stress that accompanies planning an outdoor wedding.  Jenny was supremely calm about the weather, and even laughed off the reports that called for possible morning rain.  It was easy to be optimistic when the sun was shining so brightly. 
Fast-forward a few hours, and the girls were busy getting ready.  We took turns getting our hair done and relaxed during our tasty lunch.  Melanie, the matron of honor, Sean, the brother of the bride and one of my very best cousins, and I headed out to check on the father of the bride and the setting for the ceremony.  Put three detail-oriented people on that task, add to it a nervous (though he denies that) father, who too is very meticulous, and it was likely a hilarious sight to see, unless you were the hotel staff assigned with the task of setting up chairs.  Melanie, Sean, and I moved every single chair and repositioned the aisle in order to make it perfect for Jenny and Louis. 
Meanwhile, the lovely bride was getting her hair and makeup done (she looked absolutely amazing, as you’ll see in all the pictures).  The flowers were delivered shortly thereafter.  It was then time to slip into our dresses, strapless, blue, and absolutely perfect for all of us.  Now dressed, with flowers in hand, and excited to be so close to seeing our family member/friend become Mrs. Malic, the ladies, including the moms, headed out for pictures with smiles on our faces. The sun had faded some time before, but the sky still looked promising from inside the hotel suite.  A few pictures in, and the tone changed completely.  We all prepared for a mad-dash back to the hotel as the sky darkened and lightning strikes became a regular occurrence.
Luckily, we beat the rain.  Safely inside the hotel and back on the 10th floor, where the bride and groom’s suite was located, it became very dark.  There was a loud clap of thunder, and power was lost.  Yes, the hotel was now without power, and the ceremony was a little more than an hour away.  Most of us were lucky to have reached the 10th floor prior to the power outage; one bridesmaid, Mary, was not so lucky.  She was trapped in the elevator when the power went out; after 20 minutes or so, the elevator door was opened for her.  I am guessing that whole process wasn’t too fun, but Mary was a good sport about it all.  
It took some time, but eventually the generators were operational, and select portions of the hotel regained power.  Due to safety concerns, the ceremony could not be held in the atrium of the hotel, and the room reserved for an indoor ceremony had no lighting, so another plan was put in place.  Jenny and Louis, after meeting on a spiral, marble staircase, set off to be married in lovely room overlooking a small pond and the intended location of the outdoor ceremony. The ceremony, as expected, was lovely.  
Power was while the wedding party was taking outdoor pictures - yep, the weather improved so much that everyone was able to head out for pictures.  Though rain showers and a few flashes of lightning appeared throughout the evening, the rest of the night went perfectly.  
It certainly wasn’t a smooth ride for Jenny or Louis, but they managed the ordeal wonderfully.  The poise and grace with which Jenny carried herself was admirable.  She’s one tough cookie, and I’m so proud to call her my cousin.  
Thanks for a wonderful day, and congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Malic.     

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