We planned and rehearsed.
It took a lot of coordinating.
Some things didn't go according to plan. For instance, Don planted a thousand sunflowers, some for the ceremony site, some behind the barn for cutting for the reception tables. These by the ceremony bloomed. The hundreds behind the barn did not. What would we do for the reception tables? All those empty canning jars, bottles and vases we'd collected.
The morning of the wedding Don welcomed the fellow with the straw bales for a farm wagon our good neighbor Bill loaned us. I watched Don climb high up to help the power line stay clear. I pictured him breaking a leg.
We set up table and chair groupings around the yard with the chairs we collected through Freecycle. Remember when we were going to collect enough chairs for all the guests? We didn't get that far. You can see rental chairs set up for the ceremony there in front of the tent. We used old doors we found in the barn on straw bales for tables.
Flowers from the florist waited in my studio.
Lesley's paper lanterns floated and tossed in the wind that started picking up on Saturday. Clouds accumulated, the sky darkened. The wedding was at 6, and by 5:30 we had phone calls from folks driving in through a torrential downpour. We women were in the house getting dolled up, and Lesley and I tried not to stress about rain.
By the time guests arrived, a soft rain had begun to fall. The chairs had been moved from the original ceremony site into the tent around tables. Most guests never knew it was meant to be outside.
They picked up their table seating cards from the laundry line.
A few minutes after 6 it was time to go! Don and I escorted Lesley from the house to the tent in the sweet rain, under a big golf umbrella. The photographer wouldn't let my hair get wet, although with all the product on it I don't think anything could touch it, nor could it possibly frizz.
The ceremony inside was cozy and romantic under the high reach of the tent.
Lesley's dad and grandpa, and Brian's grandpa (pictured here) joined them in planting a wedding plum tree. At that moment I knew the rain was a blessing, watering the tree at the start of a new marriage. Several guests informed me that rain is considered auspicious for a wedding.
Many people expressed how special the rain was. And I agree.
When the couple were married and the ceremony ended, the rain had stopped.
It was time for appetizers, wedding portraits and running around the farm.
This wedding arbor Don built saw a lot of people walk under and get their pictures taken.
Guests sat and chatted at the seating areas. These are Brian's relatives from Texas, including his mom in brown. Lesley is so fortunate to have Julia for a mother-in-law.
My three sisters and I had our picture taken with our daughters.
These vintage windows from the farm were hung with some snapshots of Lesley and Brian.
Lesley's brother Peter was Man of Honor, and her best friend since age 10 Michelle was Matron of Honor. If happy, fun energy made the world go 'round, these three alone would keep it in operation.
Peter was also in charge of the music at the reception and played his guitar in the ceremony. The wedding party processed to "Viva la Vida" the Coldplay song, Peter playing it on guitar.
It was fantastic connecting with old friends we don't see often, as well as family from distant places. Dennis, below, was Best Man at our wedding.
My dear friend Inge made the rounds. Here she is with my nephew Nathan who officiated the ceremony.
Twenty-five percent of the guests were children. You think they didn't love Don's birds?
I wish someone had gotten a picture of just the parking lot next door. Our neighbors let us use their field.
When the sun set and the moon rose, the tent and the farm became like a fairyland. I love this photo of my nephew Paul's.
did dance, but that doesn't mean I can dance. Now Julia, Brian's mom above in the brown silk suit, she can dance. Peter's playlist was fabulous, and I think most of the guests danced, especially the kids. He had some special songs so Julia could show us her line dance steps. I have no idea where they got all their energy. You can see Nicholas here dancing at Peter with his grandma, my sister Ginnie, looking on.
What is a wedding?
Is it flowers? Hairdos? Lights, cake and a lovely homily? The loving, attentive guests who fly in from around the country?
Yes, those things make up a wedding. But the marriage - now that it is different matter entirely. But wow, I love how this one began.
I have to acknowledge the "it would not have been possible without them" gang:
Lesley (planning) Brian (planning)
Peter (music, painting, cleaning, organizing, humor)
Nancy (envisioning, planning, scraping, painting, cleaning, sweeping, light hanging, what did I miss . . .)
Jennifer (painting, weeding, weeding and weeding)
Bootsie (scraping, painting, staining, photographing, what did I miss . . . )
Grandpa (hanging windows)
Pam (lights, etc.)
Barb (lights, etc.)
Sally (lights, etc.)
Dan (lights, etc.)
Diane (lights, etc.)
Mike (lights, hanging windows, barman, etc.)
Chadd (bar - oops)
DeeDee (taking pictures with my camera)
Special thanks to Bootsie (Ginnie), Paul and Jaclyn for sharing their photos. I did not have my camera in hand, of course. And the official photographer's images are a couple of weeks away. I tried to label each picture with their names, but I had a hard time with formatting and gave up, I apologize to the photographers. You can see their albums at the sites below.
Ginnie's wedding album is here.
Paul's wedding album is here.