- Miss Politico
- 8 years ago
- Wedding: July 2010
Our wedding made the news! I didn’t get in the NYT weddings and celebrations, but I have my 15 minutes of internet news fame and a lot of people on twitter have picked it up. 🙂
If you live in DC, you might have heard about Saturday night’s transformer fire, shutting down the W and Willard hotels. I was taking pictures after my 7 p.m. nuptial mass when one of my bridesmaids received a text from our guests taking the shuttle from the church to the reception. My bridesmaids and family stalled by taking more pictures but I was wondering why we weren’t headed to the reception. Then my mother-in-law let it slip–There was a fire in the street with 30 foot flames outside the reception site and the power had been shut off and the Williard and W hotels had been evacuated and our reception site, the National Press Club, and all the nearby businesses had been evacuated too.
The firefighters and police had shut down all the surrounding streets and the shuttles had dropped the guests off as close as possible, but some guests that drove, walked or cabbed were having difficulty getting to the temporary site. My yet-to-start reception was moved temporarily to the basement of the JW Marriott, where our out of town guests were staying there was another bridal party two (some said they saw a third bridal party, but I only saw one other). Our elegant reception with all the details and flowers I had spent months planning, five passed appetizers, sushi bar, prawns in pernod station, carving station, and pasta station, four tier wedding cake and a live band was thwarted. When I got to the hotel, it was mass chaos, with two, maybe three, wedding parties at the bar, my vendors talking to my dad and my dad’s law partner and my Junior League friend trying to make an alternate reception site admist the chaos. I ran into the other beautiful bride, who had just said her vows at the Willard, when she was evacuated. I thought, it could be worse. At least I had my ceremony complete! We bonded over the craziness and even got a few pictures together.
The alternate reception happened thanks to the wonderful people in my life. My godmother ordered 50 pizzas, two groomsmen ran to McDonald’s and got 100 hamburgers and cheeseburgers, our guests ran to their hotel rooms and brought down the Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck they received at check in with paper cups to share with others, another guest ran to the liquor store and got champagne and four cases of beer and my cousin ran to her room to get Georgetown Cupcakes for our alternate cake cutting. A bridesmaid’s boyfriend got his Ipod which had a five hour wedding mix on it from a wedding he helped with the week before and someone brought down their Ipod clock radio. My brother sang an alternate first dance song acapella and my college friends sang the Missouri Waltz, aka our fight song, which was my father-daughter dance song. The Press Club sent over wait staff to take our drink orders as the Marriott was not staffed for this craziness.
At 11:30 p.m. we got the word that we could head back to the Press Club. At this point, we had to call back our band. The reception staff had not been able to get to the site with the closed off streets and the band had to drive back, our cake was a little wobbly from being out in the heat. But you know what? It was the BEST WEDDING EVER! They extended the reception to almost 2 a.m. and the dance floor was packed all night. It just goes to show that it is the people, not the things, that make a wedding fun. I wouldn’t change a thing. It may not have been the “dream wedding” I spent 8 months planning, but it was definitely memorable and magical.
I was interviewed by two reporters and this article about our wedding appeared on TBD.com, as well as on ABC online: http://www.tbd.com/articles/2010/08/wedding-reception-goes-on-amid-hotel-fire-power-outage-2312.html
Here’s the link about the fire, which DC fire officials are now downplaying: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/dc/fire-breaks-out-near-willard-h.html