Monday, March 13, 2017

Weathering the Storm

On March 13, 1993 my new husband and I woke up in New Jersey to a Winter Wonderland, or Nightmare. 

You see, it was just over two months since we were married in Virginia on January 9th. We lived in Virginia and were married there in a small, intimate ceremony with just family, but agreed to have a wedding reception in New Jersey where our families still lived.

My parents, when initially planning the party with me, suggested we have the reception in June or July after I graduated college. I emphatically refused citing the “facts” that I may be employed by then and could not possibly plan a party away from home at that time of the year. I went on to argue that spring in New Jersey is a “perfect” time to have a wedding reception – our wedding reception. I mean, March is the month when spring begins, and spring in New Jersey is always warm and delightful with blooming flowers and showcasing green-budded trees, right?!

As our reception date neared we started hearing weather forecasts predicting a “sizable snow event”.


So, as our date was upon us, most of the 129 people who sent RSVPs that they’d come and celebrate our nuptials, started cancelling because of the impending weather.

News updates started calling this snowstorm the “Storm of the Century”.

On March 13th we awoke to our surroundings covered in white with snow falling steadily. Our reception was a brunch and was scheduled to start at 12 noon.

The Blizzard of 1993
Storm of the Century

We showered and dressed in our wedding finery we had worn just two months previously to take our vows.

Rugged trucks were warming in the drive as we held our fine shoes and trudged in the snow in our boots.

The reception was decorated beautifully as the vendors did their best to bring in the flowers. The country club’s chefs provided a tasty spread, and the champagne, thankfully, was flowing.

As it turned out, only 29 people came to help celebrate our marriage, including 2 of the five member band hired to perform, the bassist and the pianist.

We danced, sang, laughed, admired the increasingly snow-covered golf course, ate, drank, smiled, and cheered our way through the four hour party.

Slowly revelers decided it was time to check the damage, dig out their cars, and pray they could get home safely.

I was feeling low at several points throughout the day, angry with myself for not listening to my mother, angry that my mother had been right (again), and so relieved that my parents never once said, “We told you so.” They were gracious, fabulous hosts, and loving parents.

Then, somebody said, “…at least you’re already married!”

Ryan and Candice Smith
Wedding Picture
January 9, 1993

So true.

Ryan and I have weathered a lot of storms since that 1993 Storm of the Century. Some were literal and others figurative but equally as ferocious.

But we survived and continue to thrive.

So, as my native New Jersey prepares for another mid-March storm that threatens to halt the world for a few days, I think about that reception 24 years ago. I think about it not with guilt but with love and affection.

I’m so very blessed that I’m already – and still - married.

Stay safe everyone!