Learn to Make Wedding Lemonade

With so many elements to plan for a wedding, there is almost always something that doesn’t go as perfectly as it was planned. Learning how to “adapt and overcome” any chellenge is a key to making a marriage successful in the long term. Read on to find out how one engaged couple made lemonade from the lemons of the worst blackout in US history.

Almost every wedding has oopsies which make that wedding unique in the minds of the guests. Here is one in which bride forgot half of her dress: 

worried French bulldog

The famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, penned the line, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” For those of us like this bulldog here who don’t speak fluent Scots (the dialect of English spoken in Scotland), Mr. Burns wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (or ‘wrong”).

Even for couples whose weddings unfold flawlessly, they may find that wedding planning is stressful and joyful, perilous and playful. Even at the best of weddings, things can go wrong: the caterer accidentally delivers the wrong meals to your reception hall and guests, who are primarily carnivores, are not overly thrilled with vegan fare that arrived. Um, oops. .

But we can, like the U.S. Marines, “Adapt and overcome.” Or as an old proverb reminds us, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

Case in point: August 14, 2003–20 years ago today.

It was a hot night and a day that will live in wedding infamy. On that day, 55,000,000 people from the Midwestern U.S. and Canada to the East Coast were suddenly engulfed in an electrical blackout. It was the largest blackout in the history of the United States.

Yep. In the dark. No lights. No power.

And countless weddings are about to start. .

scared woman
scared lemur

Wedding guests were stranded while traveling to weddings.Elevators ceased to…elevate and trapped people.One bride’s blow dryer turned off while she was getting ready.

At wedding venues all over the region, the halls went dark and silent when there was no electricity to run the lights or the sound systems.

In the New York Times, Lauren Jackson wrote lessons learned by one bride during her blackout day wedding.

As Dr. Dvasha Stollman, D.D.S., prepared for her wedding, she worried about “the small stuff”—in this case, were the flowers the exact shade of purple she thought she ordered?

In comparison to the lights going out, it was not the largest challenge she facedt that day.

electrical blackout
tea light candle with flame

Her outdoor ceremony began at 7 P.M. in New Rochelle, New York. By the time the wedding ended just before 8 P.M., the sun had set and darkness descended. As planned, they moved the reception indoors to the Surf Club on the Sound.

Yes, they were indoors but no, there were no lights. Adapt and overcome: A combination of romantically lit candles and the lights from the marina’s boats shining through the window allowed the 300 guests to find their seats.

The caterers innovated: by using portable warmers, they kept the food hot until it was served.

With no working sound system, the band played acoustically the traditional Jewish music selected. Even though there was no air conditioning on this hot August night, everyone danced. As the guests became hotter, they tossed off layers of clothing into a nearby trash can. Soon it was overflowing with countless stockings and pantyhose! 

Yes, she and her husband are still married. The blackout set up her marriage as a partnership founded on adaptability and that is why her marriage is successful! “It definitely was a good lesson to start out,” she said. “Whatever was going to come at us after that, we could weather the storm.”

As she says to couples at their weddings, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

The flowers being the right shade of purple is of less importance than having a wedding in a blackout.

(Source: Lauren Jackson, “A change of plans,” The New York Times This Morning, August 12, 2023.)

Images courtesy of Ainsworth House & Gardens, Pixabay.com ,and Unsplash.com.

© 2023. Come Rain or Shyne, LLC. All rights reserved.

purple iris
Wedding under a 200 year old Ponderosa Pine at Ainsworth House