We had been hearing rumors about our niece’s upcoming wedding for some time. She didn’t want a traditional wedding. She didn’t want to spend a lot of money. She didn’t want a wedding dress, fancy invitations, catered food. What would this wedding be like?
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law live out in the country, near Fayette, Missouri. Their house is situated high on a hill, overlooking rolling fields and green trees. This is where the wedding would be held.
The weather in the week leading up to the wedding was wet and miserable. Day after day it rained and drizzled, thundered and stormed. Gloomy clouds hung over Mid-Missouri. But Saturday dawned sunny, breezy and warm. It was perfect weather for an outdoor wedding.
The ceremony was held in their front yard. Chairs for the guests faced the view, and the wedding party came out the front door and down the front walk to a small clearing. The bridesmaids wore green flowered sun dresses. The groom and his twin brother wore simple shirts and jackets, no ties. The bride wore a simple white sundress. The mother of the bride had on a long simple blue dress. She was glowing; the bride was smiling. A friendly beagle wandered among the wedding party. Babies gurgled and the guests beamed as the bride and groom said their vows. As usual I felt tears come to my eyes. My little niece! How could this be?
After the ceremony we walked into the backyard, where tables and chairs had been set up under tents. We enjoyed refreshments while waiting for dinner to be served. Music played from a computer hooked up to large speakers, a combination of country and rock and roll from the past 4 decades. Lemonade, water and iced tea were served in ball jars and jelly jars. They had bought the perforated tin lids for the jars that are normally used for potpourri, but are actually perfect for sticking a straw in and sipping lemonade.
The mother of the bride confided in me that you couldn’t really have a wedding like this unless you had an old barn filled with stuff. They hauled an old claw-footed bathtub out of said barn, painted the outside of it blue and turned it into a perfect container for beer. There was wine, both red and white, out of boxes but not bad at all.
The tables were set with clear colored glass plates in a variety of colors. The tablecloths were white. The centerpieces were pink and white peonies, set in large white and blue vases. The napkins were yellow and green and handmade (my mother in law was very proud of the 25 napkins that she had made). Each place setting had a tin can next to it. The cans were painted a variety of colors – pink, yellow, green and purple, with a ribbon tied around each. Each can contained little herb plants – basil, thyme, rosemary, chives. Those that traveled locally to the wedding could take a can home with them. We had a lot of fun smelling the different plants and figuring out what they were. In addition, each place setting had a packet of seeds, either flowers or vegetables. I managed to trade for a couple of packets that I wanted, so I ended up with broccoli, pumpkin and poppies to add to my garden when I get home!
Dinner was barbeque – both pulled pork and brisket from their own cows. There were roasted potatoes and a wonderful salad that included fresh strawberries. It was really delicious! For dessert there was no wedding cake (maybe my only disappointment; I do love a good wedding cake), but one of the bridesmaids had made two amazing cakes. One was carrot and one was lemon. Of course I had to try them both! There were also a variety of cookies and the fixings for ice cream sundaes.
After dinner they set up games. There was a bean bag toss, which was rather hypnotizing to watch. There was badminton and a zip line for the little kids. There was croquet, and a trampoline. Soon the dance floor was cleared off and music was playing once again. The bride and groom danced together, as did my sister and brother in law and the groom’s parents. Soon the bride danced with her father and the groom with his mother. Eventually the dance floor was taken over by crawling babies, puppies and sleeping dogs.
We left around 9:30pm, but heard that later there was line dancing and that the fun continued late into the night.
I just loved this wedding. The bride got the wedding she wanted at the price she could afford and I am a firm believer in weddings that make people happy and fulfill at least some of their dreams without breaking their budget.
We have had two weddings now among my nieces and nephews. Both of these marriages were from the country cousins; the city cousins may take a bit longer to decide to settle down. There are seven more cousins to go; I wonder who will be next?