The pastor asked Gabe to read his personal vows to Yue. Everyone looked on in anticipation as he retrieved his notes. Then a shrill cell phone ring pierced the silence. It was the pastor’s phone. He quickly moved to quiet it with an apologetic glance to the guests. Then came the sudden sound of shattering glass. Everyone looked toward the sound to see that a rod of hanging flowers and decorative glass bulbs had fallen from the ceiling, right onto Gabe’s mother’s head, then crashed onto the floor at her feet.
No one knew what to do, and Gabe still hadn’t said a word of his vows, so everyone just ignored the broken glass (which was lying in the aisle that Yue and Gabe would have to walk back down in a few minutes), and Gabe looked into Yue’s eyes and began his beautiful words.
Yue and Gabe finished their vows, exchanged rings, shared their first kiss as a married couple, then broke the glass that was meant to be broken, and together, nimbly navigated their way around the broken glass in their path.
I followed them back to their room after the ceremony, wondering how they would react to what had happened. They had both wanted everything to be perfect for their guests, and had attended to every detail, making corrections even just hours before the ceremony when one of the delivered items was not as they ordered it.
“I’m so glad we have a good story to tell!” Yue yelled in delight. And that, there, says everything about these two.
We met Gabe in 2010 at Kay and Thomas’ Costa Rica wedding. He is an accomplished, talented, gentle person with kindness and integrity. We could not have been happier to then meet Yue – equally accomplished, intelligent, kind, and with an infectious joy that makes everyone around him feel happy and light as air. He absolutely adores Gabe, and all day he just bursted with excitement, gratitude and love.
So the florist returned and changed the setup so no more glass would fall during the reception; the four of us left and went to some of Yue and Gabe’s favorite spots for portraits, then returned for the last bit of cocktail hour. The rest of the evening went off without a hitch – a beautiful dinner, thoughtful speeches, and a fun night of dancing – all on the top floor of the Hay-Adams Hotel, where guests had a perfect view of the White House below.
Of course we always want everything to go perfectly, but then life happens, and you realize that the ideal of perfection isn’t real, and we must always find ways to walk around the broken glass. Because it’s those moments that allow us to say that we encountered a challenge, but we found a way around it with grace. And hey, now we have a good story to tell.
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