More than a year before her wedding, Katie had a distinct and incredibly specific vision of what she wanted for her big day, from the yellow and navy dresses her bridesmaids would wear at the nearly 100-year-old Gothic castle right down to the order of the reception events and the plated salad with a buffet dinner. As she and Josh worked with their wedding coordinator over the ensuing months, they added plans for an acoustic guitar player, stylish lighting and a dinner party that spilled from the castle’s stone patio onto the lawn below. The night before the wedding, however, a derecho storm hit. A derecho typically packs sustained winds stronger than a hurricane but without the advance warning. The storm tore down trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in the Baltimore-Washington area — including at the castle where the wedding was to be held. There would be no air conditioning in the stifling heat and humidity. There would be no lights. There would be no running water. If Katie was disappointed by the turn of events, she most certainly didn’t let on. She melted into Josh’s arms when they saw each other for the first time and could not have looked happier with him. As we started to walk around the property, strewn with downed branches and leaves, Josh told Katie about all of the changes to the day’s plans: There was only enough generator capacity to power the caterer’s stoves, the pinspot lights and a single lamp for the dance floor. Dinner could no longer be served on the lawn since the lawn would be pitch-black dark after the sun went down. There would be glow sticks in the castle hallways so guests wouldn’t trip down steps. Finally, Katie cut Josh off. “I don’t care, Josh,” she said. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re getting married.” And they did.
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