A White Wedding Day Tale


My sweetie is still sleeping, so I may have time to sneak another post or two on the site before it’s time to rustle up some breakfast. School faculty inservice today, so Brit is happily playing in her room. Later I think we have a trip to the public library and maybe a used bookstore on the north side.

As you can see from the tag, this was not our wedding day, but it looked a lot like it. (Brittany and I did get in some great sledding on this one!)

We pondered a 20 January wedding, but our new pastor Msgr Bleich would be in the middle of his annual post-Christmas vacation. He was take aback that we would schedule our wedding around his schedule. We did know priests from afar, but as Anita and I had hoped to get married at Sunday Mass, we knew that would be problematic for many of our old friends. (My second choice was a Friday night wedding, but a parish Mass was an easy choice for both of us.)

The day before the wedding, the whiteout conditions were fun, I’ll tell you. It was like driving on a well-floured countertop. My wife’s friend Nancy had arrived the day before to assist with the packing of Anita’s apartment and merging it into my bachelor pad. (Ha! Anita’s cats had already decided they preferred my place to hers. And I think I had already accumulated the VCR, tv set, and various appliances.)

It was good for us we had planned simply and economically. Our photographer lived a bit north of town, but she assured us by phone she would get there. The DJ was another story. We had engaged one lady to play music after dinner. She got sick. She called us though, and told us she’d lined up a good friend to replace her. When I got to the KC hall after Mass, I introduced myself, calling him by the wrong name. It turned out that DJ #1 had slipped on the ice in front of his house and injured his back.

We realized we weren’t the only ones to experience adventures.

Someone’s car stalled out in the entrance to the apartment building parking lot and by Saturday morning, the snow had drifted up to the top of the car, stranding everybody who lived in our building. Actually everybody on the street was pretty much stranded. Two snow plows got stuck that day.

Nancy took a shot of Anita heading into the whiteout with a shovel trying to dig out the stalled car. Fortunately, our sponsor couple had a solution to get us to the church on time. Bob was a pharmacist and had a serious vehicle he used to make rural deliveries. He expertly steered around the two parked snow plows and whisked us off to the parish a few hours before our 5:15 wedding.

My best man was not as timely. He and his wife had driven from Michigan and they stalled out near the Quad Cities. They and our other Michigan friend Dan had their own adventure getting to the wedding. My buddies finally showed up around 4:30. But you can imagine Anita was in something of a panic by then. As a liturgist, I knew that we could get anybody in the congregation to sign up as our official witness. But still … you like to have your ducks in a row on things like your wedding day.

The snow stopped falling by mid-Saturday. But it was bone-chilling cold. We had the usual full church for Saturday night Mass–much happier than if we had scheduled a separate Mass, for most of our out-of-town guests from back east had been stranded in airports or had flights cancelled.

To this day, I feel a bit sad when people get married in small liturgies. I’m sure the joys of the day overwhelm them and these weddings are specially memorable for them. But there’s nothing like a full church to back you up on your wedding day. Even if the weather outside is frightful.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to A White Wedding Day Tale

  1. Wow, I am so thankful I found this, because in the beginning of my wedding planning it provides me with so many details in order to prepare my occasion!

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