Guest Post by Real Bride Blogger Sandee McGlaun
One of the questions that pops into my bride’s head in the middle of the night and pins me to the bed with worry: what if it rains?
Our venue does have an indoor area, and we have a loose rain plan in place. But so much of the appeal of the Rooftop is in the vistas of the town below and the surrounding mountains, the prospect of watching sunset fall over it all. And I confess, there is more than a little appeal in the drama of descending the curved ”glass” staircase in a beautiful gown, which will be all but impossible in a downpour.
I got a little sneak peek into the “what if it rains?’ scenario with my bridal portraits. I elected to have portraits taken ahead of the wedding in part to ensure that if it did rain on our wedding day, I’d still have some good photos of me in my gown in those dramatic rooftop spaces. What I didn’t count on: that I would wake up the morning of the bridal portrait shoot to the gentle patter of rain on the roof. And that it would keep raining. And then rain some more.
Of course, bridal portraits, unlike a wedding, can be rescheduled, right? Well, yes. But that’s not as simple as it sounds. My dress fitting had been arranged specifically to accommodate portrait day, and I’d also been scrambling to make sure I had all accessories (shoes, jewelry) selected and in place. None of those elements had to be reworked, but everything else did. Arranging the first bridal portrait session required pulling together a significant number of puzzle pieces: coordinating the availability of the venue (we had to find a night there wasn’t another event on the roof) and my photographer, along with same-day appointments for makeup and for hair, plus arranging for a small bouquet to be delivered by the florist. I’d had my nails done a couple of days before, and most importantly, I’d also asked two of my girlfriends, D.B, and Shannon, to come and help. They both have roles in the wedding, and they both happily agreed. We were all really looking forward to sharing what I hoped would be a special evening.
By 1 pm on the day of the session—we were aiming for a sunset shoot—I got a text from my photographer, noting the rain, and asking what I wanted to do. If we didn’t reschedule, we’d have to change locations. My hair and makeup appointments started at 3:30, so I had to call it by 2 pm. The problem was, I couldn’t call it until I knew whether there was another date when I could get all the pieces put back together again. I’d started weeks ahead, arranging the first shoot. This time, I had an hour.
Thus began a flurry of emails, calls, and texts. If we moved it to X day, could the hairstylist fit me in? What night is the venue free? What was the forecast for those nights? It was too late to cancel the bouquet, but if I kept it in the fridge and didn’t put the shoot off too many days, it might last. Okay, let me check back with the photographer again. Should we just give up and change the venue?
By the time I talked to my makeup artist, the stress overwhelmed me. I had a minor meltdown and burst into tears.
Despite the rain and all the anxiety it caused, I did manage to get everything moved to the following Friday. The weather was perfect, and the shoot went beautifully. My one regret: girlfriends D.B. and Shannon had prior commitments, so they couldn’t be part of the evening. My friend and wonderful trainer Sondy came to help, and we had lots of fun. Still, I missed having the other gals there, too, and I later wondered at the wisdom of privileging the pursuit of an ideal (the perfect portrait) over sharing meaningful moments (making memories) with people you love.
The experience gave me some valuable perspective on the question, “What if it rains?” For the bridal portraits, the rain meant my girlfriends couldn’t be present and couldn’t share my joy, and that was deeply disappointing. But if it rains on our wedding day, there won’t be any rescheduling. We’re still going to get married. Our family and friends will still be there, and we’ll still celebrate the occasion surrounded by people we love. If it rains, it rains. It’s still going to be a beautiful day.
And brooding clouds or stunning sunset, the happy smiles that light up every picture will make it seem like the sun was there all along, beaming high and bright.
Sandee McGlaun chronicles the adventures of marrying at mid-life on her blog, 40-Something First Time Bride.