As my wife and I approach our wedding anniversary, I can’t help but think of the disaster that turned into a blessing seven years ago. Like many women, my wife had been dreaming of her wedding day for a long time. She envisioned herself walking down the aisle in her beautiful white gown to marry her handsome prince charming. You know, like you see in fairy tales.

Joely and Jess at alterHer fairy tale was set to happen at the Julia Davis Rose Garden on a warm, sunny day in September. In the summer, this lush garden is beautiful. It’s filled with golden yellows, bright pinks, and vibrant reds. The sunlight makes these roses pop with personality. A brick walkway carves a line down the center of the garden, which leads to a small, classic style gazebo. A perfect place to say “I do” in front of dozens of your closest friends and family members.

On September 20, 2008, mother nature had a different plan though. Just hours before the ceremony was to begin, massive dark clouds, swirling winds and heavy rain started to creep into the Treasure Valley and into the beautiful, lush garden. My groomsman and I were taking photos when I got the phone call. It was my wife-to-be. She was FREAKING OUT. After a few minutes of talking her off the ledge, she decided to go ahead with the ceremony at the park. Our family bought umbrellas for the bridal party and we packed everyone into the gazebo.

The reason I’m telling you this story is because we had two options that day; 1. Get upset, feel sorry for ourselves and let the situation ruin us, OR 2. go with the flow and simply look at the bright side. We chose the latter and we benefited from that in three different ways.

First, we got some really cool pictures. There are shots of our groomsman and I in our black suits with black umbrellas. There’s also a unique photo of Joely walking down the aisle with her father holding a red umbrella. None of these images would’ve been possible (or at least made sense) without the rain.

Groomsmen Joely down aisleSecond, our ceremony became more intimate and memorable. A lot of these people didn’t know each other, but were forced to stand in a tight group as if they were best friends. They joked and laughed about the situation, making it an experience they’d never forget. They could also hear and see us much more clearly. They were supposed to be standing outside of the gazebo, which had an obstructed view and would have blocked our voices.

Guests in Gazebo Eric & Joely - Gazebo w:Guests Third, our honeymoon to sunny Mexico became that much sweeter. We spent seven days in the Riviera Maya at an all-inclusive resort. The resort had white, sandy beaches, crystal blue water and palm trees that swayed gracefully in the ocean breeze. An unbeatable scene that was enhanced by the dark cloud that preceded it. Oddly enough though, it rained on our last day there and was sunny and warm when we returned to the states.

The point I’m trying to make is no matter how devastating your situation appears, there is always a positive and negative way to look at it. Joely and I chose the positive outlook. I’m so glad we did, because it actually enriched our experienced and made it more memorable than I could’ve imagined.

Joely & Eric hug~ Eric Rhodes