It all started around 11pm on Saturday, December 21st.  We left early from a party when their lights went out.  Little did we know it wasn’t a little blackout, we were about to encounter the great Toronto Icestorm of 2013.

We put a few extra blankets on the bed that night and were very thankful we did.  We woke up to a very cold apartment – and 2 cats cuddled up to us as tight as could be!  Although the ice on the trees was genuinely beautiful, its destructive powers were fierce.  Over 300,000 Hydro customers were out of power and Christmas was fast approaching.

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A few of my favourite images from the morning after the Icestorm. (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)

Christmas of 2013 was supposed to be a great; I was supposed to host dinner for my parents and my in-laws – it was going to be my first time hosting!  I decorated my tree just right and had all the presents wrapped with bows tied tight.  I even matched all the wrapping paper so that it would look all “Martha Stewart-y” under my tree.

After only 36 hours without power, our apartment was a freezer.  The concrete walls and floors of the building were absorbing the cold and holding onto it for dear life.  Even our cats were starting to feel the chill and were burrowed deep inside blankets.  It was time for plan ‘b’.

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My husband and I decided to have a date night during the blackout. Ice cold beer and candlelight! Gotta take what you can get during an icestorm! (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)

We packed up the cats, a few days worth of clothes, all the Christmas presents and everything we wanted to save from our fridge and (somehow) got it into our little Aveo and hit the road.  As we were driving down the 401 towards my parents house, a.k.a. The Land of Heat and Hot Water, I couldn’t help but be a little sad.  I was looking forward to a picture-perfect Christmas.  In fact, I even had my camera batteries charged and ready to take those perfect pictures come Christmas morn.  What was Christmas going to be like now?

We arrived in Bowmanville and unpacked the car.  The wrapping paper starting to tear a bit, the ribbons slighting crushed.  A few boxes were bent.  There was no tree to put them under; mom opted to not put up tree this year since we were supposed to do Christmas at my house.  Mom had purchased a turkey the day before and although she’s a great chef, I was still sad that I didn’t get to whip up the “12 Dishes of Christmas” that I had planned (I love cooking so, so much!).

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The beautiful snowy view from my parents living room on Christmas morning. Wasn’t where I was expecting to be on Christmas morn, but very thankful for my parents help and excited for the fun day ahead! (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)

Christmas morning came, the snow was falling on the ground and we all opened our stockings as our traditional Christmas breakfast (bacon, bacon and MORE BACON!) sizzled away in the pan.  Seeing my husband’s reaction to his 1-pound Peanutbutter cups was almost as priceless as my dad’s bewilderment at the immense amount of loose-leaf tea samples that filled his stocking.  My in-laws came over to my parents house and we continued to open presents; the joy and excitement were palpable.  We spent the afternoon playing games; my favourite being Cards Against Humanity, and had a truly delightful Christmas dinner.

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A few drinks on Christmas morning – but it was closer to noon, I swear! Bacon was cooking and my fat cat Hercules finally came out of hiding as he was lured out of the basement by delicious bacon smell. (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)
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Playing a game of Cards Against Humanity with my parents and in-laws. The only thing that made it better was a lovely Christmas drink! Mmmm… whiskey – my guilty pleasure! (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)

That night, as I lay in bed, I started thinking about my day.  It had been years since I had had that much fun.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the last time I had such a great day was on my wedding day, three and a half years ago.  Just like on my wedding day, families were united for the sole purpose of celebration!  When there’s no other agenda other than celebration, the day can truly be enjoyed by all.

What does this have to do with wedding planning?

Wedding planning can be stressful, there’s no doubt about that.  You may fret over the style of chair covers, obsess over invitation designs and fume over the florist delivering coral flowers when you asked for blush pink but at the end of the day, a wedding is about celebration!  A wedding is about the union of two people who are very much in love as well as the joining of families.  With all the incricacies of a modern wedding day, it’s easy to lose sight on the main goal of the wedding day: a celebration.

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Having snow fall over the ice resulted in some amazing imagery. (Taken with my Android, edited with VSCO)

Whether you lose power for 3 days in the middle of winter or your DJ plays the wrong song for your first dance, always do your best to be thankful for what you do have: a room full of people who  are always willing to help you, and most importantly, will always love you.