95: Locked Out!

95: Locked Out!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

Locked Out!

My heart to you is given:
Oh, do give yours to me;
We’ll lock them up together,
And throw away the key.

~Frederick Saunders

My husband and I were married along the rugged, magical shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. We said our vows on a pebble beach at a resort in the tiny town of Lutsen. Our wedding day was perfect: there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the sounds of lapping waves and loon calls permeated the air.

All our guests had traveled up to the resort to be with us on our special day, and to make the weekend a sort of mini-vacation. Per our request, everyone was staying in the main lodge. No one knew that my husband, Mark, and I planned to stay in the resort’s nearby condos before heading out on our Canadian honeymoon the next morning. We had kept it a secret because we didn’t want any of our groomsmen playing tricks on us.

So, after we said our vows, greeted all our guests, and had dinner, Mark and I got into our car (which had been covered in the words “Just Married”), opened the sunroof, and waved to all our guests as we drove into the sunset. Really, we just pulled out of the parking lot onto the main road and took the next turn into the condo parking area, but no one knew that — they thought they had just sent us on our way to Canada!

We parked our car, lugged all our baggage up the condo stairs to our unit, pulled out our magnetic key card, swiped it, and… nothing! We tried, unsuccessfully, to swipe a few more times before we realized we had a problem on our hands. If our keycard didn’t work, what would we do? We couldn’t go back to the main lodge because our guests had just sent us off, and we had already made our memorable exit. The only other alternative was to call the front desk and have someone bring us a new card. So, we decided to knock on the door of the neighboring condo and see if they would let us use their phone.

As we knocked, we heard a woman’s voice behind the door say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if it was the bride and groom?” When the door opened, there were two women standing there, a mother/daughter pair, and they began screaming, “It IS the bride and groom! Oh, my goodness! We just saw you get married through our window! Come in, come in!” We must have been quite the sight, standing there dressed in our wedding finery with a bunch of suitcases around us.

They told us that they had watched our wedding that afternoon through their picture window, and they were very eager to help us. Once we told them what our problem was, they even offered to run to the main lodge to pick us up a key. We thanked them, but said we could just call down and someone from the front desk could probably drive up a key just as easily.

Mark made the call, and as he did, the women were telling us that the mother, Margaret, who was in her seventies, had just gotten re-married, and that her daughter, who was in her mid-forties, had come along with them on their trip to help them get around. As they were telling me all this, Margaret began waving to a man I hadn’t noticed at first. He was sitting in a chair facing the opposite direction, looking out the big picture window while shaving with an electric razor.

“Hank! Get over here! Come and meet the bride and groom!”

He glanced up and saw her waving, turned off his razor, stood up slowly and walked over to us. He didn’t say a word as his wife began telling him why we were there — that we were the bride and groom from the wedding they had seen earlier.

By this time, Mark had finished calling the front desk, and he turned to join the conversation. Silently, Hank reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He shuffled through the bills, pulled out $100, and tried to hand it to Mark.

“Oh, no, that’s nice of you, but it’s too much,” Mark said.

Hank kept trying to hand it to him, and Mark kept trying to defer the gift. Finally Margaret grabbed the bill out of Hank’s hand and said, “If the groom won’t take it then the bride will!” as she shoved it out to me. So… I took it! We thanked them over and over for their very generous gift, and then maintenance arrived with our new key. It worked, and we were finally able to begin our honeymoon.

So, what did we do with the $100? Well, we were so blown away by how generous the couple had been that we decided to use it on something that would always remind us of our honeymoon and that special time. When we got to Canada, we bought a beautiful print of the Canadian landscape that hangs in our home to this day. It was a honeymoon experience we’ll never forget!

~Laura Smetak

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners