My goodness, was Saturday a dramatic day. And yes, the drama happened at a wedding at Barboursville Vineyard in Orange County, Virginia. It happened like this:
The bride and groom, a truly lovely couple, very much in love, chose Barboursville Vineyard in Orange County for their wedding service and reception. Barboursville Vineyard is a historic site in the rolling hills of Orange. It was once owned by William Barbour, the eighteenth governor of Virginia. His home, which was designed by the sainted Thomas Jefferson, is now in ruins. It has a large footprint, and many of the walls are still standing; enough to evoke awe and wonder from visitors. The vineyard itself prides itself in its top-selling wines, a hospitable tasting room, a dining room, and lovely grounds. The site also boasts guest rooms for overnight visitors.
At the rehearsal, Friday, May 25, all went well. No weather drama. The weather forecast for Saturday? sun, sun, sun and more sun. Still, just to keep the rain Gods at bay, we visited Barboursville Vineyard’s tasting room paying special attention to its “library,”—that is, a gathering place which would do in a pinch in case of “iffy” weather.
The wedding was scheduled for 5:30. It was to be out of doors. The ruins would be our backdrop. I showed up early (as is my usual)—4:45. I set up my sound system, chatted with the two string musicians, met some of the early arriving guests. At 5:25, some rain drops began to fall. And then the rain became intense. The musicians and I RAN to our cars. The guests made for the bus. The bride and groom demurred–at the tasting room.
At the tasting room’s “library,” all was craziness. Wet people, invigorated by the drama, talked loudly while outside the wind blew and the rain came down hard. We could see the storm. Floor to ceiling windows lined one entire wall of our gathering space. Close family members sat, but guests and other family members stood in the back. The bride and groom, the bride’s dad, the best man and maid of honor waited for their cues in the keg room. As the processional began, the lights flickered, and then went out completely. I began the service, as I do all religious wedding services, “This IS the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” With emphasis on the IS. The crowd burst into laughter. Tensions eased. In an instant, an evening of drama turned into a true celebration.
The rest of the wedding service went off without a hitch. And when the groom kissed his bride? Well, the shouting drowned out any wind and thunder.
After the wedding, a Barboursville Vineyard staff member, told me that the generator had kicked in. The dinner would continue without electric power. Out in the parking lot, a tree had blown over and flattened a car. Another tree blocked the Vineyard’s exist, which meant I had time to return to the party, while the tree problems were rectified by a friendly chain saw.
- Barboursville Vineyard is a beautiful wedding venue. Tornadoes are extremely infrequent.
- If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, please please, please have an indoor backup plan.
- Even high drama can melt into rejoicing. I will end this blog with a Psalm (since this was, after all, a religious service)
Psalm 30: You have turned my mourning
into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Amen