We were sitting in my sister's yellow little car on our way to Helsinki. Stephen's parents and sister were staying at my mom's house near Turku. We had an appointment with the pastor who would wed us at noon the following day.
In a little town called Salo, the car broke. We pulled over to a gas station, got the car running again and decided to get more gas. We fed a banknote into the automat to get gas only to realize that we could not fit all the gas we paid for in the tank. Frustration.
Driving on, we arrived in Helsinki, but before our destination, the car started to act up again. We managed to push it to yet another gas station and tried to call the pastor, who was waiting for us at the church. This was before mobile phones, so we failed.
Suddenly my brother walks in. He had seen the familiar car with the hood open and came to see if everything was ok. Praise God! Everything was ok once he had fixed the car so we could at least get home.
I started getting a fever, but we still had to go and bake the wedding cake at some friends' house. They had a good oven and mixer and had promised to decorate the cake for us in the morning. We went and baked the cake. I lay down on their kitchen floor to rest while the cake was in the oven. My nephew had agreed to pick up the cake and my friends in the morning before the wedding.
The following morning the groom decided that he is going to have a haircut after all. This was just two hours before the wedding would begin. We dashed around the city looking for a barbershop that would take walk-ins. When he was seated, I ran off to buy the wedding bouquet. We had tried to go the traditional way of ordering one at a florist, but I had cancelled it. I could not put over 60 euros into flowers! Instead, I purchased a perfectly functional bouquet at a florist nearby for under 5 euros.
Half an hour before the wedding was to begin, our friends called to report that my nephew had not shown and they were still waiting with the cake. I put on stockings, hairpins in my hair and we drove off to pick them up. Without panic or visible distress, they sat in the back seat when we tore off to the reception hall. Once the cake had been dropped off and the car parked, we hurried up the hill to the church. Know this: churches are always on top of a hill in Finland. I was flustered over my narrow wedding dress that did not permit any running.
When we came to the church, everybody was seated and the organist asked us what music we had in mind. It was a couple of minutes before the ceremony was to begin. We answered that wedding music would be fine.
Stephen gave me a kiss and dashed to the front of the church. The music began.
In a few moments I would be crying my eyes out at the altar and there are no pockets for Kleenex in wedding gowns.