Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weddings Happen

 The West has been plagued by wildfires this summer.  Hundreds of homes have burned and it seems that every time we check the news another place in Utah is burning.

A week ago Friday, I got a call at about 3 in the afternoon from our friend, Jamie.  She was in tears.  Their daughter, Shantel, was married that morning, and the golf course clubhouse they'd booked for the reception was now in the Dump Fire fire zone and under evacuation.  She wondered if she could use our backyard as a new location for the reception.

"Coincidentally", a few weeks before, I'd asked Jamie at church how the wedding plans were coming.  As we chatted, she said, "You know, what?  At one point, Shan thought she wanted an outdoor reception and when we were talking about it, I kept wondering if we could use your backyard.  I know Brent always does such a good job on his yard." I said, 'We could have done that for you!  That would have been fun!" and we kinda moved on with our conversation.

Little did either of us know that Heavenly Father was planting a seed of an idea, so that in a few weeks, when fire was literally raging and Shan's big day seemed to be going up in smoke, she knew she could call me.

I called Brent and said, "Hey, we're gonna have a wedding in our backyard tonight, OK?" and he said, "Excuse me?" in a tone that made me think he was wondering if I'd started drinking.  I explained what had happened and he was pleased that they "liked his work" and would want to use his yard.

I stopped at Home Depot on the way home and bought a car load of flowers.  The guy at the checkout counter looked at my carts, looked at me (I must have looked stressed) and said, "What do you think you're doing?"  I explained we were moving a reception from the fire zone of the Dump Fire to our backyard and that I was going to get these planted in the next 3 hours.  He gave us a 10% discount and said, 'It's not much, but it's all I can do.  You tell the happy couple Home Depot wishes them well."

Neighbors showed up and helped us plant.  A neighbor, Layne Downs, had this amazing antique digger thing and he had trenches created for flowers before I could even get the flats laid out.


Miraculously, within 3.5 hours, we had a reception ready in the backyard!  People were calling guests to let them know of the new location; a table rental place had the right number of tables and could deliver them immediately; the original location was able to get their linens and decorations out of the fire zone and got them to us; canopies were rounded up; flowers planted and the ice sculptor located and redirected to our backyard.

And the guests found us.  The bride was glowing.  The wind died down.  Everything came together.

Congratulations, Shantel and Kai!  We're so happy we were able to help out!
Shan and Kai

Flowers were beautiful!

If you build it, they will come!

Nate was so patient.  He loved playing with all the new kids that showed up and he, of course, loved the food.  He commented a couple days later that we had "ten thousand people at our wedding at our yard."

Tired, but happy to help

The grooms cousins licking the ice sculpture as we cleaned up in the dark.

Ice sculpture held up awesome in the extreme heat.
One of my favorite moments, was later, as we were cleaning up.  Someone tied this bundle of balloons to Nate's wrist.  "Mama!" I heard him say.  I turned and saw his little arm stretched as high as he could reach, his eyes bright with wonder.  "Will these balloons carry me up to the ceiling of the night?"