Sometimes, things just do not go according to plan, no matter how prepared we think we are. You don’t plan to be 8 months pregnant at your exotic destination wedding in Bali that you planned for over a year. And you definitely don’t plan to have your beautiful reception completely wiped out by Mother Nature. But honestly, I think surprises are way more fun than the perfect results that come from calculated planning. Surprises often give us an experience we never even dreamed of.
It had been such a calm, beautiful day for Derice and Gary’s wedding at Alila Villas Soori in Bali. For a while, everything did go as planned. Welcome party the night before right by the ocean; tea ceremony games; a long, leisurely getting-ready time; and a sweet, emotional ceremony on a cliff overlooking the sea. Then, during dinner, inside the gorgeous white wedding tent that workers had spent 3 days erecting and perfecting and decking out in opulent florals and lights, a sudden rain came down fast and hard, so hard it broke through the tent, creating a funnel that shot water inside the tent with the force of a fire hydrant. Guests jumped up from their tables, and everyone just stood there watching, feeling helpless amid the chaos.
The rain let up, the tent was patched, guests were moved to other tables, and staff came in with mops to push the water back out. Meanwhile, the amazing catering staff continued to serve dinner (escorted into the tent by other staff holding umbrellas over the plates) and the atmosphere remained merry. The wedding coordinator, Donna, breathed a partial sigh of relief as the chaos was contained and guests seemed happy.
Then, a second downpour – as intense as the first, and accompanied by a fierce wind this time that sent a large vase of flowers and a huge speaker crashing to the ground. Donna rushed the cake cutting and fireworks (which were set off on the beach, in the rain) and then decided it was time to admit defeat against Mother Nature, and evacuate everyone. The hotel staff gathered all the umbrellas they could find and escorted each guest out of the tent and into a covered area by the restaurant. For the after-party, instead of hanging out on the beautiful outdoor furniture and dancing on the painstakingly lit dance floor that took all day to set up, guests hovered under the shelter of the restaurant patio, clinking glasses, taking shots, playing in the photobooth and having a blast nonetheless.
But what do ruined plans really matter? I left Bali with memories of dancing barefoot on the sopping dance floor in the rain with the coordinator Donna and her sister, and a few guests who had stopped caring about getting wet. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.
Derice and Gary left Bali with huge smiles on their faces. And today, they have a beautiful daughter named Emma. Someday, they will tell her that she was at their wedding, tucked safely inside her mama’s belly but with a front-row seat to all the love, laughter and hilarious adventure her parents shared when they became husband and wife. What a great story that will be.