It Was a Beautiful Day for a White Wedding

Couple holds dream wedding outdoors during huge December blizzard

Imagine planning the perfect wedding -- one of the moments you will remember for the rest of your life.

Then imagine one of the largest snowstorms in history barreling into the area on your special day.

What would you do? Well, if you're Blair Kahora and Matt Cardinal, you proceed as normal with your outdoor December wedding.

Yep, you read that right -- outdoors…in a blizzard. The couple became husband and wife literally in the middle of last Saturday's 20-plus-inch snowstorm.

"Luckily, we're both crazy," Blair said as she recalled the event.

The Queen's Village couple was walking through Headhouse Square at 2nd and Pine Streets on Dec. 19, 2008 -- one year to the day before their wedding -- when they decided that's where they wanted to get married.

The historic, open-air market would be a prime nuptial spot for anyone for three seasons, but the winter isn't one of them.

"Honestly, Matt and I tried very hard to ignore the weather reports," Blair said when they heard of the impending monster snowstorm. "Even on the night of Dec. 18, which happened to be my 28th birthday…we figured, even if it snowed a little, we could still pull this thing off."

Well, it snowed more than just a little and by the next morning the idea of an outdoor wedding was becoming a distant memory.

"The very first call I got was from the makeup artist. She said that she was not coming," Blair recalled.

The tearful bride-to-be figured all was lost, until her fiancé jumped into action.

Matt and his groomsmen began calling vendors to confirm they were still coming and shuttled over from their Society Hill hotel to Headhouse Square to salt and shovel the growing snowdrifts.

"People would say 'There goes the wolf pack! They’re on the move,'" Blair said.

The hotel set up a room to try and convince the couple to have the ceremony inside, but they declined -- opting for the snow instead.

By 5:30 p.m. the heavy snow had reached the area and it was showtime. The bridal party jumped into horse-drawn carriages and trotted their way to the ceremony.

"It was unbelievable to walk up the aisle with my dad and have him join mine and Matt’s hands as the snow drifted into Headhouse all around us," Blair said. " Everything was just so completely silent and still."

Dressy attire was optional for guests. Many came prepared with sweatpants, gloves coats and boots and to the couple's surprise almost all of the 160 invitees made the trek.

"I’m a vegetarian, so I kept getting calls from family and friends to see if it was alright for them to wear fur jackets, hats and muffs," she said. "I told them that they could wear whatever they wanted as long as I was not the one wearing fur."

Blair and the bridesmaids stuck with pashmina wraps and Uggs to weather the storm.

After the vows were read and kisses exchanged, you’d figure outdoor play time would be over. Again, you'd be wrong.

The newlyweds then took to the streets, taking photos at a few snowy spots in the city.

"Every time we jumped off the shuttle we’d yell 'Extreme wedding photos,'" she said.

Finally, after pictures, they took the party inside for the reception. Blair says the wedding would have never happened without the help of friends and family.

"The entire day brought us closer together as a couple, and also with our families and friends. We saw how much they truly love us,” she said.

When asked how she'd respond to people who'd call the couple crazy for holding an outdoor wedding in a snowstorm, Blair said: "Life can be so common and ho-hum, why not jazz things up now and again to really achieve the things you’ve dreamt up."
As for their honeymoon, the couple opted to head south to sunny and warm Costa Rica.

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