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All by the book, then one hour late

All by the book, then one hour late

As a very organized person one of my talents is to make plans and stick to them. I always have a plan -and plan B, and have it rehearsed in my head, with realistic time tables. one hour late

Therefore, I had a very clear agenda outlined for my wedding day.

At 10:00 leave the apartment. At 10:30 check into the hotel suite. 11:00 my sisters would arrive too. 12:00 my hair stylist would arrive. Around 2:00 PM I’d be ready with my hair and make up. 2:30 the photographer got there to take some photos of the last minute preparations and freshly finished look. Between 3:00 and 4:00 my bridesmaids would be ready for a group photo. I would get dressed. At 5:00 go to the terrace for a panoramic photo session in my wedding dress. 6:00 we had to be ready for the car  to pick us up. 6:30 arrive at the church. 7:00 the ceremony starts.

It was all clear. And for the first 90 per cent of the day it went by the book. Everybody made it on time, we finished everything on time. At precisely 5:50 I was returning to my room, after the photo session to pick up my things and was ready to leave. Then exactly at 6:00 my sister looked out the window and said “your car is here.”

When the clock showed 6:02 I was waiting for the elevator. Then a terrifying noise roared outside… A thunder.

When we got down to the lobby the sky was falling apart. It was the biggest rain ever! Imagine someone standing at a balcony with a bucket of water and puoring it down on the street. In the few yards that divided the hotel gate and the car I had time to get soaked to the bones.

I had just spent a fortune on the best hair do of my life, and was wearing a white dress, ready to get mud sprinkles all over it. I was wearing open toe shoes and the street had already turned into a river. Five minutes ago it was fine and now there was water everywhere.

We all stood by the door and hesitated. one hour late

While I debated between braving the storm and ruining my looks or being late, the driver advised me to wait a few minutes and see if it the weather calmed down. Tropical rains are like this: they break and rage then pass just as quickly. He said it would only take about ten minutes to get to the church, so even if we waited a little we’d still be on time. So I decided to wait. one hour late

But the rain would not go away or become any softer. If I could catch a break, for just one minute, and the storm turned into a light shower, I could run quickly and jump into the car. But the minutes went by and the storm got worse. I asked my sister what time it was and she refused to tell me. She just kept repeating “Don’t worry; we’ll be OK.”

After a while I had lost track of time. I got tired of waiting and told the driver to take the car to the underground parking lot and I would board it there. Then, for the first time, someone told me the time. It was 6:45.

Because of the heavy rain, the traffic was slow.

I knew everybody was already at the church and waiting. I figured if I get to the church at 7:00 o’clock I can still make it, with just one or two minutes late.

But when we arrived at the church I had a new problem. The rain was worse, heavy, big drops of water falling everywhere and I couldn’t get out of the car. There was a long, big staircase to climb from the car to the front gate.

My dream of stepping out of the car like a queen and graciously walk up those stairs, dragging my train and veil behind me was officially shattered. I would have to pick up my skirt in my arms and run. But even so the distance was long enough to get soaked. one hour late

So we had to wait a few more minutes. one hour late

It was way passed my ceremony time. Eventually the driver turned the car around and parked it by the back door, where there was a small gate. It was only four or five meters to cover, so I figured I could do it.

I scooped my dress, veil and train, into my arms, holding them tight against my chest, like Rapunzel when she held her hair, and gave my bouquet to my sister to take it inside. Three or four people came out with big umbrellas and held them up for me while I rushed out of the car and ran inside as fast as I could. I guess every single person in the church caught a glimpse of my panties.

A bunch of people were standing by the door, amused at my mishap and snapping pics with their cell phones. Later I was told that those were not my wedding guests, but just people that had come to the afternoon mass and could not leave because of the rain.

I ran up the very long isle (the side one, not the center) until I reached the front gate where the ushers were being lined up.

For months I had planned my triumphant entrance to the church and it had looked very different in my head. Before I had time to greet anyone I was pushed inside “Hurry, you’re late! It’s time to start!”  and before I knew it I found myself walking down the isle, with my dress and veil and train all wrinkled and out of place, my bouquet falling apart in my hands and without time to catch my breath or digest what was happening. one hour late


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