August 14, 2017

My Wedding Weekend (The Blackout of 2003)

Recently, when I was going through a big box full of mementos, I came across some stuff from Jerry's and my wedding. I know I've written about this before, but I think about it every year on this day.

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 14, 2003, I was at home working on the centerpieces for the wedding reception. It was a nice day outside, so I was very surprised when the power went out. I didn't think much of it, though, because that tends to happen now and then, and it comes back in within 10 minutes.

Well, we waited all afternoon, and still, there was no power. Jerry called and said that he and Lance, his best man, picked up their tuxes; and then on the way home, the power went out. All of the traffic lights on their way home (about 40 minutes) were out. That's when we knew it was kind of a big deal. But I still had no idea just how big it was.

Eventually, we learned that it was actually a HUGE deal--50 million people had no power! If you lived in the northeast area of the United States, you likely didn't have electricity that weekend 14 years ago. I can't even imagine what NYC would have been like, or any of the major cities. I was just in little old Newport, Michigan, and it was a very big deal.

Blackout of 2003
I saved the newspapers from that Friday

I started to worry a little about the wedding. What was a wedding with no DJ, no food, no air conditioning in August, no lights in the chapel or reception hall... the list goes on. Our rehearsal was Thursday evening, the day that the power went out. The wedding party and my family went to the chapel, and it was so humid in there without air conditioning! We went through the rehearsal quickly, because everyone was ready to get out of there.

We were supposed to go to a nice restaurant for our rehearsal dinner, but since everything shut down, we had to come up with an alternative. My mom ended up inviting everyone to her house for hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill. We ate by candlelight and sat outside. I still wasn't that nervous about not having power, because I was so sure it would come back on Friday.

This is actually the only picture I have from the rehearsal dinner!
This is my childhood friend Lance, who was the best man in our wedding.

But it didn't.

Friday evening, I was really starting to panic. My caterer was trying to think of an alternate plan, and I don't even remember what the DJ said. I think everyone (especially me) was just hoping that the power would come back on. I cried before I went to sleep that night, thinking that it was going to be a disaster. Everyone tried convincing me that it would be a beautiful candlelit ceremony, and that it would make a great story to tell my grandkids one day.

On Saturday morning, the power came back on! I was thrilled. The wedding went smoothly, and the reception was fantastic. Jerry spent the entire evening on the dance floor, while I did the responsible thing and made my rounds to mingle with the guests ;)  That is definitely our opposite personalities at work!

Look at us--we were just children! hahaha

Our opposite personalities have actually been really perfect for our marriage. We balance each other out very well. And on Wednesday, we'll celebrate 14 (mostly great) years of marriage!

runs for cookies
Now we're old, but we still act like the children we were when we got married ;)


  1. Congrats on your anniversary!

  2. I'm glad the power got turned back on but it does make for a great story!! Your wedding pics are so cute! Happy anniversary!!

  3. great story and congrats!

  4. It sure makes for a great story to tell of your wedding day and especially the rehearsal dinner. Your Mom is a trouper to come up with a meal to feed everyone with no warning and NO power! But you guys are not old, and I'm thinking you never will be--not with the attitudes you have (especially Jerry) of always having fun, no matter the situation. Happy Anniversary!

  5. I remember that night(s). I was in grad school in the Boston area. I feel like somehow parts of the area had power and some didn't, because I don't remember our grad school (and I was a TA for undergrad classes) being canceled.

    So glad that things worked out for your wedding! I agree that it makes for a great story!

  6. Love this story, I hadn't realized this before. Congratulations on your anniversary!

    I've been journaling the past few years (personal blogging, right?) You just inspired me to write a 'recollection' entry about my experience with the big blackout.


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