Part III of V
The first sign of trouble began six months later, when I received the e-mail from the owner of the B&B where the ceremony would be held. The city council on Bainbridge Island had decided to uphold a little known (and rarely enforced) ordinance that prohibited B&Bs from hosting “events” on their property. The e-mail said that she would have to cancel our wedding. That’s right, cancel our wedding.
Panic ensued. We scrambled around trying to see if the ordinance could be overlooked (no); whether there were any other venues we could use on the island for our wedding date (no); and, finally what other options we could scrounge up. We looked at prospective wedding sites in Port Orchard, Seattle and Whidbey Island.
A couple months later, our good friends, Carolyn and Wendell, were visiting from Michigan and staying at Morgan Hill Retreat, a B&B in Poulsbo, just a 20-minute drive north from Bainbridge Island. I called to talk to Carolyn and found myself chatting with Marcia, Morgan Hill’s owner. “Hey, this is a really random question,” I ventured. “Would you ever consider holding a wedding at your B&B?” “Yes,” she said. She would.
Morgan Hill Retreat turned out to have much of the same charm as the first B&B, more in fact. There was a little pond surrounded by greenery and a beautiful old cedar tree at its edge. A rowboat sat on the shore. I made Big Papa promise he’d take me out in it, after we said our ‘I do’s,’ so that our first moments as husband and wife, would be just the two of us.
Marcia even gave us the name of another nearby B&B where Big Papa and I could stay on our wedding night since we couldn’t envision bunking next door to our moms as a newly married couple. We called and made a reservation.
Mid-June, a month before our wedding, an e-mail arrived from the owners of our wedding night B&B. “We’re excited to announce we’re off on a new career adventure and have decided to sell our home. Unfortunately, this means we need to cancel your stay at our inn.” So, with less than a month to spare, in the height of wedding season, we found ourselves searching for a place to lay our heads. We joked with Marcia that we could sleep in her barn with the llamas, until she hooked us up with some neighbors just about to launch a new B&B, A Loft Ab0ve, up the road. We were set. Or so we thought.