The weather in late August into early September in 2008 was beautiful. 10 days in a row, perfect. The weather on September 7th was also beautiful, and was like that for another week straight. However, there was a hurricane plowing along up the coast, much like it is today, and the forecast was for light winds but torrential rains on September 6th, the Saturday after Labor Day. Our wedding day.
Well, the morning of the 6th I woke up in the place I’d been living for about 3 years, a small house 50' from the water on my lake. I heard pouring rain and thought, “shit.” Because besides our wedding being outdoors, I didn’t properly cover my boat. I ran down to it and used a bucket to scoop water out of the cover so it didn’t rip, then put up the proper support pole and re-fastened it, all in my underwear. As I’m finishing, the rain stops, and I sit down on the back of the boat, soaking wet, thinking about being hungover, and what we’re going to do about the rain. My sister’s boyfriend heard the commotion and ambled down to the dock. “Want to go for a ski?” The lake was dead flat, and now it wasn’t raining. “Yup.”
The rest of the day was overcast, dead calm, and not a drop of rain. But the forecast had been so dire that NO ONE else was on the lake. We got married out at an island with an outdoor chapel, and the ~25 boats that came were the only ones out that day. It was actually pretty glorious.
In the picture above, we borrowed that boat from a customer of my work (one of the marinas on the lake); it was a $175,000 custom design based on old Chris-Craft plans. A 24' Grand-Craft, with an 8.1 liter V8, single 5" exhaust. Oh, the sounds that thing made.
Shortly after the above picture was taken, we realized neither of us thought to bring champagne to have on the ride back. A small oversight on an otherwise detail-oriented, and perfect day. We thought of everything... but that. But our eyes were soon caught by a friend in his boat, using an 18-pack of Coors Light to flag us down. So we celebrated our nuptials with a couple of “frost-brewed” cold ones. Champagne came later.
Much later that night after some tasty champagne indeed, the rain finally came, for real this time. We had no provision for this besides a flimsy umbrella, but that was okay. We took my boat (we had to return the woody) about 1/2 mile at low speeds to the cabin we were renting for the night. Naturally, I gave my new wife the umbrella while covering the boat, so I was pretty wet by the time we got to the door of the cabin, about 150' from the dock. And the door was locked.
Wait here, wife, I’ll check the back door. Also locked. We didn’t have a key because we had previously arranged it this way, minus the locked part. The windows were locked, too, I checked. I wasn’t always responsible. I almost put my maglite flashlight through a window. I should have.
This cabin is part of a weird sort-of resort hotel kind of thing and all the rest of the infrastructure is up a hill from the lake. A 5-minute walk if you were strolling. So off I went at a run, only to find that they don’t staff a desk after 10pm or something. I called the “on call” line, and someone says, “I’ll be there in about 20 minutes.”
I lost it. TWENTY MINUTES!? This is my wedding and we specified MANY times that the room should be left unlocked, I called today even to confirm that, and it’s locked and I’m soaked and my wife is standing alone in the rain on my wedding night and someone better be there when I get back there.
Someone was there in 5 minutes, and they let us in. Not another word was spoken between us and that person - who turned out to be the owner. We go inside and there’s a bottle of champagne on ice with two glasses, waiting for us, courtesy of the resort staff.
You see, as the night shift came on, they saw we were staying there for our wedding night. So they thought, I’ll send someone down with a bottle as a nice gesture. And out of habit, that person locked the door behind them as they left. Oops. The owner actually came to our brunch the next day to personally, repeatedly, apologize.
It was still the best night of my life. And it made a good story. We got over it. And they comped our stay.
So eleven years later, we have two beautiful children, and are as happy as ever. I hope it’s a sign of many, many more great years to come. Happy Friday all.
As I wrote this, I realized I may have told this story before. But I don’t care.