We’ve all been on pins and needles here at Here Comes The Guide, wondering if any of our Southern California wedding locations were affected by the fires that are still raging after over a week. I’d like to share some heartwarming news from our friend Margie Hopkins, who has both family homes and an event location in Fallbrook. She represents the gorgeous Fallbrook wedding location, The Grand Tradition, and we’re so thankful that it was spared!
Margie’s comments show the undeniable spirit of those affected, and what can happen when a community comes together after disaster strikes:
Dear Here Comes the Guide,
Thanks for the kind email checking in on us. We are among the safe in Fallbrook. The Grand Tradition and our friends there are safe, also. My husband, Frank, and I were evacuated on Monday along with thousands of other residents.
Early Thursday, we were on a list of 12 residents allowed past the military police to reenter Fallbrook so we could man the phone lines of the main (and only) info center in Fallbrook. We were privileged to spend 4 days on the phones talking with distressed residents letting them know who could return and who couldn’t. We let them know when they could expect to return. We had lists of houses destroyed and where those people needed to go to get help. It was such a blessing to tell some folks that there house was not damaged.
Our own home was within a half-mile of the burn. Our son’s home was within a quarter-mile of the burn area. We are told by our Fire Department, that had the winds kept up, all of Fallbrook would be gone.
We are very humbled by this experience, and are now planning our best route to be of assistance to our fellow “Fallbrookians”. It is a different world, and we are speechless to explain the experience of waving and saying “thanks” to Military Police driving down our small private road to check on us. It is also heart-rending to see the high-spirits of our Fallbrook-neighbors who have lost everything and their positive attitudes toward recovery. There were no deaths in Fallbrook. What more can be said!
Our friend, a Navy Chaplain, will tell you that it was not “nature” but our thousands of prayers to God that saved us.
If you have an evacuation story or news about your wedding location, please let us know. We’re happy to help connect those who need help with those who are offering help. Also know that our hearts go out to all our friends, family, clients and colleagues in So Cal. While our wishes for safety may be meager at this time of trauma for so many, the depth of our caring is immense.
Last Wednesday night was not a great one at Chez Schwartz. It was after dinner (one that I had prepared after a very long day at work) and all three kids were working on homework while my husband of 7 years was supposed to be doing the dishes. This is our division of labor, I cook, he cleans. (Very 21st Century.) But he’d had a terrible day at work and had a cold coming on and was really dragging. So I said I’d step in and clean up the kitchen. My teeth may have been gritted when I said it, but I said it. This was, in truth, the very last thing on the planet that I felt like doing. The dishes are HIS job, right? I really was irritated, I gotta say. But I saw his weariness and I knew I needed to do what I could to make his life a bit easier.
And this, in my opinion, is marriage. It’s not the wedding, as we all know. It’s not the party or the photography or the dress. It’s definitely not the ring. It’s doing dishes when you really don’t feel like it. It’s believing that the whole reason we marry is to commit to making our spouses’ path through life just a bit easier. Actually, it was my husband who taught me all about “love through actions”. He lives it every day, making me my morning coffee, surprising me with a shiny, washed car or insisting I stop working at my computer and sit down for a five minute shoulder rub. He’s such a wonderful man.
As I stood there thinking about this that night, I thought that really, this was a great opportunity to show my love for my husband through my actions. And then I thought about all the brides out there right then planning their weddings in the later hours of the evening after a hard day at work. Do try to hear me on this: my husband and I had a lovely wedding. I wouldn’t trade that away for anything. But my experience doing the dishes the other night was a very powerful reminder of what we committed ourselves to on that day.
What if, after you’re married, you commit to putting as much effort into showing your new spouse your love through actions as you did planning your event? What would that mean for your new marriage?
You’d think with my job, running Here Comes the Guide, that I’d be a wedding junkie. And I do love weddings, don’t get me wrong. The pomp, the emotional gravity… But, I gotta say, I am a sucker for the rehearsal dinner. There’s something so nice about that particular part of the wedding festivities: there are usually fewer people, you might actually get to speak to the bride and groom, the dress code is more casual, the food more eclectic, the toasts – well, they might even get a bit off-color. It’s a time where the focus is more on fun and less on formal. And, as two of my three kids are boys, I like the fact that rehearsal dinners give the groom’s parents time to shine. We’ve seen in recent years a definite increasing importance to the rehearsal dinner for many of these reasons and more. I love seeing how creative couples can be with this event.
Our Managing Editor, Lisa Edd, wrote a great piece on some ways that you can increase the impact of your rehearsal dinner. You can read it here. We also highlight some of our fave locations to have said event and we are constantly featuring different ones, so you won’t be short on possibilities.
Ever been to a really awesome rehearsal dinner, one that was maybe more fun than the wedding even? Let me know about it! We’ll share your feedback.