On May 4th my husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary. To celebrate, we spent part of the day looking at the wedding photos. I won’t bore you with them. Well, ok, maybe one or two. I’ll never forget that day, and not just because I looked into my love’s eyes and said “I do.” Not just because it was one of those moments you’re meant to remember. No, I’ll remember it because of the showers.

Let me explain.

The day was spectacular. I was blessed that morning with a warm, sunny day. Maybe too warm. I remember being so relieved about the weather because we had an outdoor wedding planned, and I had no Plan B if it started raining.

The day started out perfectly. Breakfast at a salon, followed by hair and makeup with the girls. Photos with everyone, which took so long I was a bit late for my grand entrance. But hey, the show can’t go on without me, right?

I walked down the aisle, with eyes only for the man waiting at the end of it. I sort of remember giving my dad a kiss, then taking David’s hand. My Uncle Claude officiated the service. He said some wonderful words, none of which I remember. We did all the things you’re supposed to do, you know, exchange vows and vague promises, listen to verses, etc., and then it was time for a song. My brother sang “our song”, Straight to the Heart by Michael W. Smith. We all turned to watch him. And then a jet flew over head.

Hazards of an outdoor wedding, right?

I looked around, hoping the sound would fade. The sound continued, and, if anything, got louder. The white plastic aisle runner lifted up. Wow, that must be a low-flying jet. I looked up. No jet.

My brother sang on.

The guests, about 75 of them, started to scream. They rose as one, and split down the middle just as if Moses stood at the front of the aisle instead of me and my husband, and ran for either side of the garden. What the…?

It was then I noticed that my Dad was standing in the middle of the aisle, watching me. He looked…wet. I looked around to see all the guests now standing along the edge of the lawns, reassembled in respectful silence. All of them stared at me.

My brother sang on.

My uncle put a hand on my back and rubbed it. “This is terrible. This is terrible.”

It was then I realized what had really happened. No, it wasn’t a jet. The lawn sprinklers had gone off, and the sound was water hitting the plastic runner. My Aunt Betty, who was sitting directly above a sprinkler head, got quite a dose of water directly up her skirt, which she called “refreshing.” My bridesmaids were soaked from the knees down. Their dyed shoes left green prints everywhere they walked.

My brother didn’t miss a beat.

At this point, I think they all waited to see how I would react. I suppose many brides would have burst into tears. After all, this was my wedding, and something had just gone horribly wrong. I mean, it couldn’t have been worse if it really had rained, right?

What did I do?

See the sprinklers?

I giggled. Then laughed. I leaned over to my groom and said “it’s ok, honey, this is actually pretty funny.” David laughed with me. Then the crowd did too.

And my brother kept singing.

I will never, ever, forget that moment. The crowd parting in the middle, the screams, my brother continuing like 50 people hadn’t just suddenly run straight at him, my Dad standing on the sprinkler head that would have been pointing directly at me, my mother pulling my grandma away from the sprinkler underneath her, the site of my aunt bounding up the stairs to go find someone to shut off the water, how we all reassembled along the edges of the lawn just exactly as if it had been planned, and how desperately funny it all looked from where I stood.

I didn’t get wet at all. Not even a sprinkle. But everybody else did. And most agreed it was a welcome and cooling relief on a very hot day.

The dyed shoes were ruined. The day was not. It was a beautiful, funny, special moment that I remember as if it were yesterday. It’s a memory that makes me smile and feel the joy of that day more clearly than any photo. What’s more, anyone there that day has the same memory. We all laugh over it. I’ve never been to another wedding quite like it.

Why did the sprinklers go off? A power outage the night before had reset all the timers. So instead of 4 am, they went off at 4 pm. Our garden wasn’t the only one soaked that day. I’ve always wondered how the other weddings fared with their own shower. I hope they discovered the same thing we did, that anything happening that day just makes the memory special and uniquely yours. At the very least, it makes for one heck of a story!

So how about you? Did your wedding or other important event go as planned?