The story of Shellina Guthries wedding, a tale of nightmares…but luckily with a happy ending!


Every girl dreams of having the perfect wedding day. She plans for months (maybe even years!) for the day when she will bind herself to the man of her dreams. But what happens when all the planning turns out to be a waste? What will you do if everything you worked so hard for begins to fall apart? Not sure? Read on, darling reader.


My wedding day is a memory that, like so many women, will stick with me for a lifetime. It was a beautiful day- filled with love, laughter, and beauty. Our wedding was held at my husband’s family cabin.

The chairs were set up, the aisle leading down almost to the lake’s edge, a beautiful lattice arch placed at the end. With a wedding of just fifty people- everyone was given a flower to wear. The groomsmen dressed in white shirts and black pants, the bridesmaids in tea green dresses. And I felt more beautiful than I had ever felt in my life. But before all of this beauty and perfection- we had some hurdles to clear.

My family flew in from California two days prior to the event, and I escorted them to their lodging for the weekend- a small inn, (one of two in the tiny lake town), that I had rented in its entirety. Due to divorces, the sleeping arrangements for my family was very particular, and I had taken great pains with the manager of the inn to make sure no one experienced any unwarranted stress. (I was a very thoughtful bride!) Everything went smoothly; twenty-seven members of my family settled into the twelve hotel rooms, and we began the festivities. The first night, we all slept well. The second night we returned late, all of us happy but tired. And then the drama began.


I walked up to my hotel room, and noticed my wedding dress hanging outside on a lamp post. I rushed to it, checked for damage, and was happy to see it was in perfect condition. I looked around more, and saw my luggage stacked neatly beneath my dress. And further down the hall, my grandmother’s luggage, followed by my sister’s luggage, and then finally my aunt’s luggage- all stacked outside of our respective hotel rooms. On each door, a note was posted:


Dear wedding guests:

These rooms have been sold.

Your items were gathered and placed outside as gently as possible.

Thank you for your understanding,



I was astounded. Here we all were, at midnight, standing in the dark parking lot of the inn, half of us without places to sleep. Now, before I continue, I need to explain my family. We are loud. None of us fear confrontation. And if there’s anything to distract us from arguing with one another, it’s when we bind together against someone else. As you can imagine- these tired, loud, unafraid people were ready to rumble.


My parents and I went to the inn office, and knocked on the door. The manager and her husband answered- both in their night clothes (the husband in his underwear)- and did not look excited to see us.


I spoke first- explained what I had found waiting for me at my hotel room. The manager explained that she had accidentally overbooked her inn, and our rooms had been sold to other customers, despite the fact that I had reserved them months in advance. These other customers were now sleeping soundly in my five hotel rooms! After a long while of arguing, discussing, and much apologizing from the manager, we finally retreated to our now seven rooms (all 27 of us) to get as much rest as possible before my wedding the next morning.


When we woke, the sun was shining, and all seemed well. Until, that is, I got into the shower. The water ran red with rust and smelled of sulfur. I muddled through, then attempted to dry my hair- only to short out the entire inn by using my hair dryer. Now, all 27 of us were in 7 rooms trying to get ready for the wedding- with absolutely no power.


My parents, never ones to let an unfortunate situation get them down, quickly got in the car, and drove down the road to the only other hotel in the area. They begged the manager to allow us to dress and get ready in their rooms, and thank goodness he agreed. So we all got back into our cars, drove the 10 minutes to the next hotel, unpacked, got ready, repacked, and finally made it to the wedding- only an hour and a half late.


You’d think this story would ruin the memory of my wedding- but it’s quite the opposite. By going through so much trouble, I now have an entertaining tale and STILL managed to preserve my happy ending. Now, five years later, we look back on those days and smile.

So- all you ladies planning weddings out there- if things start to crumble, and all seems lost, remember me: standing in a dark parking lot at midnight on the eve of my wedding, holding my wedding dress, surrounded by 27 very loud, very tired people. And then remember this: it was still the best day of my life.


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