Meryl & Johnathan’s Hurricane Irene Wedding
Photography by David Abel Photography
In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene was brewing in the Caribbean Ocean. As their wedding day approached, all Meryl and John could do was hope for the best. When it was all said and done, Irene caused devastation from The Bahamas to New England. However, this did not stop these two lovebirds from moving forward with their special day.
It began back in middle school. Meryl and John always left little love notes for each other in their lockers. After just a few weeks Meryl said she broke up with him because her best friend at the time told her to. “You know how kids are,” she states. Years later in 2008 John reached out to Meryl through Facebook and they never looked back.
On February 1, 2011 John faked a power outage and used it as an excuse to create a romantic setting in the living room. He had a fire going and lit candles everywhere. After he proposed (and she said “yes”), he gave her a dozen roses. As he got up to put them in a vase, much to her surprise, he switched the power back on.
Seven months later, their dream wedding was about to take place. So was the appearance of Hurricane Irene in Richmond. Meryl and John went on a run in the rain (one of their favorite things to do together) the morning of August 27, 2011, their wedding day. Later that afternoon as Meryl and her bridal party prepared for the wedding, Meryl stared in disbelief out of the window of the Richmond Marriott
Downtown at black clouds and rain coming down sideways. She never got down about it, this was still the best day of her life. “The rain had not stopped all day,” she said. The wedding ceremony, originally to take place in the Italian Garden at Maymont, was moved indoors. Maymont was closed for the day due to the hurricane, but they allowed the couple to have their reception there. (“and quickly get out” notes Meryl)
After the ceremony, David Abel with David Abel Photography and the couple had planned on taking pictures throughout the city. Because of Irene, they were not able to do that. Instead they headed back to the Marriott and took some pictures in the lobby.
Since they still had one hour left on their limo rental with Down Under Limousine, they decided to take advantage and spend some quiet time together to “enjoy the moment” before their reception was to take place. Meryl and John ended up falling asleep in the limo. “That moment was so special to me, it was wonderful”.
Meryl and John were so thankful for Eileen Bae at the Richmond Marriott Downtown. She was perfect and handled everything with ease. She made sure everything ran smoothly and without a hitch.
A good time was had by all at the reception of 65 guests (out of the 120 invited!). Flights were cancelled and roads were closed all along the East Coast, so not everyone could make it – but it was still an
amazing day. Meryl wished she had a videographer for her wedding so her and John could share their special day with their loved ones who could not attend.
Bride to Bride advice from Meryl
* Relax-seriously. The most important thing to remember is you are going to be married to the man of your dreams at the end of the day and that is what matters (not if the linens are crisp enough and if the flower petals are shaped perfectly).
* Everyone is going to give you advice and/or criticism for your decisions and choices. Let it roll off your shoulders and keep moving forward. They are doing that out of love.
* Trust the wonderful people you hire to do their job. They are the professionals and you hired them for a reason, trust them to do their job and do it well. I promise you they will if you do this.
* Have fun! This is the only time you get to be a bride, so love every minute of it and don’t waste time freaking out. Yes, you want everything to go perfectly, and it will, but even if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have a funny story to tell later.
* Say “thank you” and send little notes or emails of appreciation to the florist, photographer, cake designer, etc. along the way and throughout the planning process. It is amazing how good it will make both of you feel to say this token of appreciation (and they will want to work even harder for you if they know you are relaxed and appreciative).
* On the big day, make sure you take time to steal away with your new husband. Even that 30 minutes will recharge you for the rest of the day’s festivities and give you that wonderful time to just be together as husband and wife.
* Smile, breathe, and enjoy. Once things get rolling on your big day let things fall into place as they will. You’ve done the hard part and now it’s time to celebrate!