David and Mercedes Rizzo describe how a power outage failed to ruin a perfect wedding, thanks to creativity, a positive attitude, and the power of love.
Our niece Sarah just married Josue. Three generations of the family were there, including several toddlers we had not met before. It was held at the Jersey Shore on a beautiful summer day. What could be better than that?
The festivities started out the day before with a well-deserved pampering for the bride, who was accompanied by several members of the bridal party, as well as cousins Caitlyn, Maria, and our daughters Danielle and Shannon. This was fun and a great memory for all. It was a special treat for those present to go to the nail salon and hang out with the bride and be pampered too. Our girls were happy to be there amid all the fun and excitement.
Later that day, other family members started to arrive. The weather was hot, perfect for cooling off at the beach and pool, taking walks along the boardwalk, enjoying iconic Jersey shore treats, and of course catching up with relatives.
Finally, the big day arrived. It started with Sarah and her brother Sean joining us at dawn to view the magnificent sunrise over the ocean. Later, we sat enjoying coffee and conversation around the pool. Then, just as we were all about to begin to get into our party clothes and glam up, all the lights went out in and around the hotel and on the boardwalk. All the lights ... and the air conditioning. There was a power outage on the entire island. At the time we thought this would be over soon and we didn’t give it too much thought. We managed to get ourselves ready on time and headed off to the church.
The church was beautiful. There were stained-glass windows where colored light streamed in. The electricity was still out, but that was soon solved by candlelight, which turned out to be a pretty romantic setting for a wedding. A few last-minute adjustments were needed since the piano, organ, and microphones were all run by electricity. Our daughter Shannon was the cantor and sang to a lovely guitar accompaniment—special thanks to Tom, who took time out of his day to come by and help out with the music by playing his guitar.
The bridal party walked down the aisle followed by Sarah, who looked truly lovely. The priest spoke directly to the couple and talked about the virtue of love. Josue recited his vows to Sarah in English and Sarah recited her vows to Josue in Spanish.
The soft candlelight and the absence of microphones made this wedding very personal and intimate. It was beautiful to witness the calmness in the church and feel the love radiating for the happy couple inside. Outside, it was still a bit chaotic with police trying to direct traffic on a busy summer day in the absence of working traffic lights. The couple exited the altar to the sounds of a bagpiper playing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," and the wedding guests marveled at the adaptability, style, and grace this young couple had demonstrated. Being able to go with the flow like this is sure to come in handy during good times and bad, as the wedding vows say.
As it turned out, the power outage lasted from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. No one expected this, but everyone was able to adjust and enjoy. It will be a wedding that we will always remember with fondness.
During the ceremony we heard the passage about love from Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, in which we are told,
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)
This seems pretty on target already for this young couple as they begin their life together. May God bless Sarah and Josue as they start out as husband and wife.
Copyright 2023 David and Mercedes Rizzo
Images: copyright 2023 David and Mercedes Rizzo, all rights reserved.
About the Author
David and Mercedes write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media. Visit DavidAndMercedesRizzo.com to learn more. Follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Authors of Praying For Your Special Needs Child, (Word Among Us Press) and Spiritually Able and The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (Loyola Press).