Some Kind Of Wonderful: When Planning Doesn't Go As Planned

September 13, 2017 by Kerry DeVilbiss

This was supposed to be a post about fitness . . . this was supposed to be a post about fitness and then I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. It started on a Monday with a text from one of my best friends who is a bridesmaid in the wedding. “Hey sweetie! I really need to talk to you about your wedding. It’s something I’m really dreading talking to you about.” Yeah, that’s what the text actually said. I think we all know how this ends, because nothing sends an already somewhat unstable bride on the fast train to crazy town than receiving a text like this one. I dropped everything and ran to the nearest phone to hear the bad news. Apparently there was a mix-up with a long planned family vacation and she would no longer be in the wedding as a bridesmaid. In fact, she would no longer be attending the wedding period. The call ended and I sat at my desk totally frozen trying to process what she had just said. I thought about when we first met in college, working at the same beer-soaked sports bar where she was a cocktail waitress and I was a bartender. If you know anything about the complex hierarchy of the service industry, you know we didn’t initially get along. Or at least that’s what she always tells people when recounting the story about how we met (because you always have a “how we met” story with a best friend). But like any other solid college friendship, our relationship was sealed over a lot of late night conversations, questionable cocktail choices, and bad dance moves. Throughout the trials of college and into adulthood, we were there for each other as we figured out how to do life. I was there when she met her husband. She was there when I found out I was pregnant. I’ll never forget the day she dragged drove me to Babies R Us to complete my baby registry. I was in my final trimester and wearing the only sundress I had left in my closet that fit my expansive belly (thank the holy Gods for a lycra cotton blend). Let’s just say I already was feeling somewhat emotional, so it’s no surprise that somewhere between the aisles of cribs and car seats the enormity of motherhood hit me. I collapsed onto the closest piece furniture that could support my weight which was a rocking chair in the nursery section. With my swollen calves propped up on the glider I sank deep into the micro suede and began crying, telling my friend I wasn’t sure I could do it. She she sat on the rocker beside me and looked me right in face, and calmly said, “You can do this and you WILL do this. You have no choice.” Then she casually got up and strolled off towards the baby carriers and motioned for me to follow her. And I did. Because I knew she was right. That’s the type of friend she’s always been—when you feel like you’re falling apart, she’s the friend who picks up your pieces and helps put you back together and sends you on your way. A voice of calm amidst the chaos of life. In other words, a friend you definitely want at your wedding. While we don’t see each other as often as we did in college, I always assumed she would be there for life’s big events. I was feeling heartbroken. Wednesday came with the news that our ceremony site was no longer available on the day of our wedding. This was especially painful because it’s a really special place to both Will and myself. Tucked behind the well loved cobblestone streets of historic Fells Point is a beautiful waterfront pier with lush green grass and a friendly family of geese. Depending on the way the wind is blowing, you can either smell fresh baked bread from H&S Bakery, or taste the sweet tang of the sugar drifting thru the air from Domino Sugar. Tall ships come in and out of the Harbor and on a clear day you can see the Key Bridge. In short, it’s everything I love about Baltimore. When we started planning the wedding we didn’t know much but we did know this exactly where we wanted to be married. Did I mention this wasn’t a great week?

Wedding planning wasn’t exactly going as planned. But here is the thing . . . life won’t either. Maybe it’s because I’m a little older, or because I’ve journeyed to some unexpected places in my life (see story above), but I know life won’t always going to go as planned. On the other side of your wedding vows will be real life challenges, like illness, or the loss of a job, or loss of a loved one. In those moments you will need to lean in and lean on one another for support. You’ll face those challenges together knowing that the strength of your unity is stronger than whatever life throws your way. So together we regrouped and made a new plan that included a new ceremony site (which we now love). And a few weeks later I got the news that by girlfriend worked out her travel issues and would be at the wedding after all. Wedding planning can be stressful and it can be easy to lose sight of what’s most important. Try not to sweat the small stuff and be grateful that you already have what’s most important, because you have each other. I know I am.


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