The wildfires in Northern California have flattened countless homes and buildings and have forced thousands of people to evacuate, but that wasn’t enough to stop the wedding of Rick Grenis and Bonnie Frazier from going forward.
NBC Bay Area reports that it was just one week before their wedding when the couple’s plans went up in smoke because of the wildfires raging across more than eight counties in the state.
Grenis and Frazier received phone calls from their wedding planning company within hours of the flames getting out of control. Not only had the owner of the company lost her home to the blaze, but their primary wedding planner had been forced to leave town and their venue near Healdsburg was closed indefinitely.
While the couple spent the following Monday mourning the wedding that almost was, on Tuesday, the couple and their family rallied together to put on the best wedding they could, despite the circumstances.
“It was really amazing that they, on such short notice, put me in contact with their event planning team and said, ‘Normally, we plan these things in advance, but given the situation, we want to help out in any way we can,'” Billy Grenis, Rick’s brother, told NBC.
The wedding planners told NBC they were happy for the distraction from the wildfires, and the staff previously hired to cater and play music at the wedding were grateful for the work.
After a week of hard work, the wedding wound up taking place at Novato, a location in Marin County, and several restaurants graciously stepped up to serve the hungry wedding guests. Many who’d been preparing for the ceremony at Healdsburg were happy to rearrange their plans to help the couple in need.
One guest even managed to get hold of several white face masks, to ensure that everyone who attended the event would be protected from the smoke from the wildfires.
The lesson from all this? Grenis says that sometimes in life, you just have to “roll with the punches.”