When a wedding planner gets to plan her own wedding, it’s beyond a dream for the little girl who sat on her bedroom floor planning her wedding when she was young. I always dreamed of planning the sweetest backyard wedding with everyone I love in one place and every single detail being perfect. And that was the wedding I planned!! My fiancé and I got married in the backyard of a family friend I had known almost my whole life and we had invited over 300 of our friends and family who had journeyed with us to this big day. And of course, we served In-N-Out Burgers since we had met working there. It was sure to be the perfect not-so-little backyard celebration!
The day before, the weather was perfect, everyone had arrived for the rehearsal, I was in a cute, white sundress, and we were about to get everyone lined up. Then my fiancé walked up to me and told me his dad had just suffered a massive stroke in the front yard. I instantly burst into tears as we ran out front and he was being put into the back of ambulance. Within a matter of moments, everything had changed. Every detail went out the window. And the only thing that mattered to me was being with Jason. I was ready to postpone the wedding or get married in the hospital. After a quick rehearsal, Jason and I sped to the hospital to see his dad and my entire family and bridal party went to our rehearsal dinner that was being hosted by Jason’s parents at their home. There were a lot of questions, and no answers. With less than 24 hours before I was supposed to become Mrs. Dingwall, I didn’t know if we were even getting married the next day.
At 2am on the day of our wedding, Jason had the chance to visit his dad in the hospital and talk to him about the wedding. He said no matter what, May 20th was the day we had prayed for and was the day God ordained for us to get married. When I first met Jason in Hawaii on a work trip two years ago, I talked to his dad more than I talked to him. I couldn’t imagine our wedding day without Jeff there. The doctors told us there was a slight chance Jeff might be released from the hospital in time for the wedding, so I called my coordinator and she rewrote my entire timeline to push the wedding back in order for him to make it. The details didn’t matter to me anymore and we definitely weren’t on time, but the wedding was on and our families and friends prayed fiercely for a miracle in the hospital for Jeff! And God made himself so known and Jeff recovered in amazing ways in the first 24 hours in the hospital! But then 3pm rolled around the doctor said he couldn’t release him. Our guests had begun to arrive, we hadn’t started pictures, Jason was stuck in traffic, and Jeff wasn’t going to be allowed to come to our wedding. Everything I dreamed of and planned was not turning out to be perfect.
Jason had arrived, our guests were seated (bless their hearts for waiting over an hour with no explanation as to why we were so delayed), and Jeff was there on FaceTime. I walked down the aisle and got to marry my love. AND. IT. WAS. PERFECT. Seeing my husband at the end of that aisle, sharing our vows, and promising to serve together forever was the happiest moment of our day. While the details were out the window and nothing seemed perfect, marrying Jason was the most perfect thing. Promising to stand beside him in sickness and in health and in the good times and hard times, was perfect for what our family was experiencing while Jeff was in the hospital. The night flew by on our shortened timeline, but we were surrounded by everyone we loved and got to cut cake, light sparklers, and share a few dances.
After the wedding, the first place we went was to visit Jeff in the hospital. We read our vows with him and got to share about the day with him. It wasn’t the perfect wedding day we dreamed of (and my planner heart had planned), but God’s grace was evident. Walking through the hospital in my white dress after leaving our wedding was not exactly what I imagined for my wedding night, but God being glorified and being surrounded by everyone we loved was all I had hoped for. The day didn’t unfold as I had perfectly planned, but God’s grace was in every detail.