There’s surely no better symbol for the uncontrollable than the weather. Try as we might—and the Chinese government is trying—we generally can’t do anything about it. This is frustrating when you’re planning a wedding which takes place partly out of doors. All of this is to say that it rained on (one of) my wedding day(s). Then it stopped. And then, there was a rainbow.
Alanis, a rainy wedding day is not ironic. It’s mildly disappointing, at most, to practical ladies like myself. Something we’ve told ourselves we’ll deal with, because it’s not symbolic, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just weather.
A rainbow, on the other hand, is almost embarrassingly meaningful. At an event planned to emphasize down-to-earth celebrations, rather than grandiose declarations, the sky hadn’t read the memo. It was as though we’d been ambushed by the fairy godmother of bridal magazines. It was the definition of irony.
Everyone loved it, of course, including ourselves. We posed and smooched by it, surrounded by the Dad paparazzi and various tourists out for a stroll in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was a stunning evening. And really, whether it stands for peace or pride, what’s not to love about a rainbow?
I’ve written before about learning not to apologize for getting married and how we made it happen. That is hard for me, and I think embracing the rainbow was hard for the same reason. My parents talk about the dreadful winds that cursed their nuptials and I’ve never seen their photos. Yet they’ve been married for decades. Might it not be because they didn’t take themselves too seriously? That a casual, windblown start to matrimony was the secret to success, rather than a perfect day that would hold them to that impossible standard for the rest of their lives?
The rainbow felt too perfect; too happy-ever-after. So here’s another absurd question to pose on a wedding blog: What happens when things go better than you planned? What happens when you are bracing for normal, and are vaulted instead into a moment of transcendence?
You can try and stay cynical—it’s just an optical phenomenon after all. Or you can surrender. Just for a moment, you can enjoy the sensation of feeling that you, your husband, and your new marriage, are special. Blessed.
Photo credit: Joe Lingeman