Crisis mode. When the bus with more than half your guests breaks down an hour before the ceremony, you’d better thank your lucky stars you have an expert wedding planner on your side! From Windy at Weddings by Windy While the bride, groom & the wedding party were enjoying wine & appetizers in the bridal suite, Veritas’ event manager, Chloe Frey & I were completely re-arranging the evening’s order of events to accommodate a very late bus of 60 or so people …

This, however, would cause the ceremony to begin much later than the planned 6pm. Starting without those guests was not an option. Chloe had her staff fire up some appetizers for the guests who were already there and we began cocktail hour prior to the ceremony.

In the meantime, how was the bride doing?

While I could tell that Katie wasn’t thrilled that everything was running late, she was happy to hear that the guests who had arrived were very well taken care of and quite happy! She was calmed by the fact that the other bus had picked up the guests and were on their way. She and Lee had a “first look” session and many of the photos were done in some extraordinary light!  Again, I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Next – the ceremony lighting. We were in the mountains, and it was October, so the sun was setting and was going to be all the way down by the time the ceremony started… luckily for us, the photographers we were working with – Sam & Mel Worthington, a husband & wife team from Worthington Photography from Richmond, VA, had shot a candlelit ceremony for one of my clients in the fall of 2009 and it was amazing. So I knew what they would be fine with minimal light. Chloe and her staff at Veritas collected as many candles that had been left over the years and we began creating the most amazing lighting for a ceremony that one could ask for!

6:45 arrived and so did the bus. We ushered the guests to the ceremony site and the ceremony began promptly at 7:00 and it… was…. gorgeous!. The glow of the candles coupled with the glow of the bride was breathtaking.

After the ceremony, as the wedding party gathered on the deck, Mel came up to the couple and said, “I know that wasn’t the ideal situation for you guys, but that was completely the ceremony you were supposed to have.” Katie & Lee totally agreed, especially after seeing the beautiful shots! We escorted the guests right into the ballroom for dinner after the ceremony and the rest of the evening, thankfully, went off without a single issue. Dinner was delicious, the room looked lovely, the band rocked the night away, and most importantly the 2nd bus was fixed and at Veritas by 11:00 for the departure of all the guests. Whew! I realize how lucky I was to have a great couple & families to work with given the situation – everyone was very understanding and thrilled with the end result. I completely feel that this was meant to be! They got the best of both worlds, the earlier light with their planned “1st sighting” of each other prior to the ceremony and then the dramatic look of a candlelight ceremony. Mel was right – it truly was the ceremony they were supposed to have!

See the whole gallery here!

Photography: Worthington Photography (more photos on their blog ~ here) / Flowers: Flowers by Natalie – Charlottesville, VA / Event Planning & Design: Weddings by Windy - Richmond, VA / Reception & Ceremony Location: Veritas Vineyards – Afton, VA / Invitations: By Invitation Only – Richmond, VA / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston