We got there on the 20th, and things started out really well. Finished the last-minute shopping, fitted the dress, prepared my sister's house and yard for the lovely outdoor service we had planned.
But as the time drew closer, there seemed to be more and more to do than any of us realized, and tensions mounted. And, the whole time, the sky darkened. On the 22nd and 23rd, it sprinkled briefly, prompting many jokes about rain on the wedding day. We weren't too worried. The national weather service, weather.com and the almanac all seemed to disagree about the chances of rain, but all three seemed to agree that if it happened at all, it would happen in the morning and be light and brief.
I woke up in the morning to the patter of rain on the roof, and panicked. I lay there thinking about what my options were, but then the Pirate looked out the window and said "It's not raining. It's the sound of the water from the tree over the house falling on the metal eaves above our window." Whew!
We went outside and sure enough, there was a weird, thick mist, but no rain. We figured that the mist would clear itself up by midday and everything would be great.
We got to my sister's house and began setting up for Xmas dinner, which would be happening at 2 p.m. We decided that we would leave the pavilion in the driveway for now, and that we would have Xmas dinner under the pavilion and open the garage door and have the food inside the garage.
By this time, my sister and I were freely wigging out. The mist got thicker and heavier and when we finally started sniping at each other, the skies opened up and poured forth with a Biblical downpour. My family gathered under the outdoor pavilion and started saying things like "Can we change the theme of the wedding to Survivor? And you guys can be the hosts and we can vote people out of the wedding and stuff?" No. No we can't.
We watched in horror as the wind blew the sides of the pavilion against the backs of the people eating dinner. The family huddled pathetically around the heaters, and the water collecting in a part of the pavilion roof made a little waterfall down one side. Someone suggested that we could still have the wedding outside, with the guests under the pavilion and the Pirate and I standing outside with something to cover our clothes. But what would be large enough to adequately cover our clothes? And where would we stand, other than just outside the garage in the mud? Well, that's fine. We could stand outside in the mud, and we could put trashbags over our clothes. So...we could get married in trashbags in the mud. This was pretty much the planning nadir.
The Pirate's father came up with the key to his church, and at the last minute, everything was moved there. Maps were drawn, stuff was moved in great haste, people were pressed into service. The Pirate's father said, in a message to his family's mailing list, that God loves a wedding and sent the wind to blow this one to His house. Fair enough.
And in the end, it all came out right enough. Someone told us that rain on your wedding day is a blessing> Man, oh man are we blessed.