Not long after I proposed to Emily, we set on May 7 as the day of the wedding. A number of factors led to the decision. My classes would end in March, so I expected to be occupied with work up until then. Holy Week fell on the third week of April, so that left very little runway from March. Two weeks after Holy Week then? Ah, that hit the spot.
For the sake of tradition and just for the heck of it, we also checked with the Chinese astrological calendar. The local temple wasn’t much help: when we asked, their charts for the year hadn’t arrived yet. On a long shot, we checked if some Chinese calendar was on the web. It was. May 7, it said, was “a good day for weddings. And for taking a bath.” O-kay.
Having settled on the date, we quickly reserved with the church and with the reception venue. Though the wedding was more than eight months away, it seemed the prudent course of action. Churches and hotels and convention centers tend to get snapped up quickly. In fact, we struck out on our first choice for the church. It worked out for the best, in the end, because our second option turned out to be better. We had better luck with the reception, though; when we asked, it was still available.
A good thing that we booked the venue when we did. Not long after we gave the down payment, another couple came asking if the place was available. We had beaten them by a couple of days! They had to go somewhere else. Emily and I felt so smug when we heard the story from staff. Victory goes to the swift!
We thought that was the end of that, but we had one more surprise coming our way. It turned out that the other couple and we moved within the same social circles. You’d think that this shouldn’t pose a problem, but it does. When we sent out our invitations, we learned that many of our relatives and friends had also been invited to the other wedding. Many took the Solomonic route and split their family members: some would go to our wedding, and some would go to the other.
Still, it’s a blessing in disguise of sorts. It meant that there’d be fewer people in our reception (as, I suppose, in the other wedding as well.) Think of the savings, think of the saving, I consoled myself.
* * *
Emily and I briefly considered another silly superstition. Should we send an offering to the Carmelites to pray for good weather on the day of the wedding? I didn’t like the idea. If it rains, it rains.
“Oh, let’s not bother,” Emily said, finally. “I’m sure the other couple already made their petition for good weather. We’ll just ride on that.”
Flitting through my mind came the image of a little rain cloud following our entourage from the church to the reception while the rest of the city stayed sunny and warm. That couldn’t happen, could it?
Oh, well, the Chinese calendar did say it was a good day to take a bath.