What do you do when you wake up on your wedding day to find out that your wedding venue has been evacuated due to raging wildfire? That a year of meticulous planning and a lifetime of dreaming of the perfect wedding day just literally went up in flames? And all this is happening the day after your wedding rehearsal was delayed and the dinner canceled due to the tragic Borderline Bar shooting just up the street from the wedding venue. If you are Nick and Tianna, you re-plan your entire wedding in a few short hours (with the help of amazing friends, family and community) and decide that your love will withstand it all.
Fires in Thousand Oaks on November 9.
I could right a book about everything that did not go as planned on this day, but I’d like to tell you about all the amazing things that went right and some of the amazing people. Somehow, Nick found a venue that was far enough from the fires that there wasn’t any smoke. Not only were they available, but, The Poinsettia Pavilion offered to set up everything free of charge! We did have to pack the entire wedding into a 2.5 hour time slot in between a Rotary Club lunch and a children’s production of The Wizard of OZ. The Aunt of the Maid of Honor, who had never even met Tianna, offered her beautiful home in Ventura for the Bridesmaids to get ready in and for some bridal portraits in her yard. Los Robles Greens (the original venue that was evacuated) sent their event planner to make sure the wedding still went smooth. DJ Matt Nasby from Bouquet Sound helped pack everything that was supposed to happen at a 6 hour wedding into a 2 hour wedding. Beth Chaimberlain made sure all the flowers were finished and delivered despite venue changes. Sara Pacheco at Pacheco Beauty opened her home so Tianna could still be pampered with beautiful hair and makeup. So many other people helped make it possible.
There were understandably times of chaos, no food or drinks at the reception, forgotten vows that had to be retrieved during the ceremony, miscommunications and nothing but a parking lot for photos. But the day was so beautiful and full of love.
I will say that I know that so many people had it so much worse during that tragic weekend. I know that this knowledge weighed heavy on the hearts of Tianna and Nick as they are both Cal Lutheran graduates and have been a part of the Thousand Oaks community for years now. But when Nick called up Tianna on the morning of their potentially ruined wedding to ask if she still wanted to marry him that day, she said yes. Because Nick and Tianna know that when the wedding day is over, the thing that you have left is your love, your marriage, and your commitment to each other (and of course the photos). And those things can be had no matter where or how you get married.