Wednesday, September 26, 2012


 Knots are tied, the I-do's have been uttered and with the changing of the season, comes a changing of my name. Our faces are cramped from all the smiling of our wedding day. With the sunset on the first official day of fall, came about a southern charmed wedding worthy of any style magazine. There were no bows, no flower girls, no vocalist singing Ava Marie. There was a short march through a garden accompanied by a bag pipe player and the bride wore a tea length dress baring her ankles (gasp). The officiant wore a real kilt and stood with a clipboard. It is exactly what this couple wanted.

Saturday morning, we awoke to a full service breakfast outdoors with the birds singing.
Thanks to the abundance of reality TV, weddings have been stereotyped as elaborate productions hosted by self-centered needy women with the groom used as a fashion accessory. This wedding was the polar opposite involving everyone including close friends while remembering distant loved ones. These nuptials produced a bargain basement price tag without compromising the fun or simple elegance. The wedding dress was purchased off the rack (gasp). It did not have a train, a bustle, or excessive beading. The groom did not wear a tux and tied his own bow tie (gasp!). There was so sit down three course dinner of dried out chicken surprise served on rented china. The bar was even self serve. No one seemed to mind mixing their own cocktails. No one seemed to mind they were asked to not bring gifts. Instead, we walked into a tent of smiling laughing folks having a good time applauding our short ceremony. 
Bike decoration made by mom.
This three-hour evening was birthed from seven months of careful planning. The largest challenge was keeping things small and simple. So many of the traditional wedding elements did not pair well with this couple. We do not attend a church. We do not enjoy a lot of attention. We do not like cookie-cutter events. Our goal was to make  our wedding as personable and pleasing for us and our small entourage. The guest list was cut off at forty-five persons. We did not invite everyone we wanted. Instead, we invited persons who hold a special place in our lives, who mean something to us. A historic home can only accommodate so many people and the shorter guest list made it easier for us to socialize with everyone.

By far, this was a D-I-Y wedding. Mom, dad, father-in-law, sister-in-law, friends all helped this craft fest get off the ground. The invitations were hand stamped, bouquets were made in the kitchen, homemade sangria soaked in a garage, and table centerpieces were hot glued to ensure durability. No wedding planner was hired. We did not purchase prefab wedding favors wrapped in white tulle. We did not have a plan B if the weather did not cooperate. From day one of planning, we went on blind faith that everything would be outdoors without worry. Every detail along the way had a touch of us and when it came time for us to make our way through the garden with our family and friends looking on, all the hours of crafting, hot gluing, and taping paid off. Every detail was noticed, appreciated, and so well received. At some point, I turned around and could not believe that this little wedding was pulled off so calmly. My stomach ached from the laughter of seeing so many folks and my heels did not tire (I brought back-up shoes). When we finally collapsed in the bed, his heels blistered and my hair matted with hairspray, we laughed.

Cake table with special dedication to couple and those not with us.

An off the rack dress accessorized with great grandmother's pin.
 I've always held the belief that weddings should be about the couple. If the couple loves churches, pews and organ music, then by all means, they should have it. However, so often couples are lost in the haze of making others happy and hosting something that is not them. We succeeded hosting an afternoon that was us. We made it. I could not be happier and I could not have hoped for a better day.

The kiss.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


The wedding date is down to days and soon it will be hours and then minutes. Neither of us feel nervous or unsure. If anything, we are ready to do this wedding and have a great day with our family and friends. It's crazy to think that what started out as having beers three years ago has turned into a wedding producing one dog son and more extended family for both of us.

It's nice to get well wishes from others with their cards and such. I keep smiling because people keep congratulating us and we haven't uttered a single "I-do." We did not register for gifts. We have everything any couple could need and a registry seemed gluttonous. We've asked people to donate to the Golden Retriever Rescue Society in Louisville in lieu of china or bath towels. We love animals but we are more passionate about those animals who need homes. The only thing that trumps our love of the bicycle is the love of our golden retriever.

With wedding bands ordered and marriage licensees secured, we just wait. We wait until a gaggle of family descend on us wanting pictures, toasts, hugs and hand shakes. We wait until Saturday afternoon before dressing in our best clothes sans spandex, cycling tee's or yoga pants that we are more known to wear. We wait until the bagpiper (yes, we have a bagpiper!) arrives announcing a courtship coming full circle.

Where we will have our vows
There are voids along the way. We do not get to share our day with my grandfather whom I miss more than words could ever express. I miss his sounds, his sighs, and his gruff exterior. I miss his "country-ness" and ability to speak his mind without the concerns of being politically correct. I was and still am the favorite granddaughter. He would like JC. He would shake his hand and make some comment about him being bald. We would all laugh. Sadly, we do not get to enjoy that moment. We do not get to share the day with JC's mom and I will forever have a void of not knowing her but I have an arsenal of stories from others that I suspect will bring me closer to knowing who she was. I already know I would have enjoyed being with her. I love cooking and I love her son. As I understand, she had the same loves.
Historic Bed and Breakfast awaiting guests
For all that goes into planning a wedding, the last remaining days are the hardest and most demanding. There are small tasks that make me wish I had a supportive sibling who was eager to help. My mother has been a task general and although she has voiced her distaste for the bagpiper, she has remained supportive and assisted in every stage of the wedding.
Gardens around the Bed and Breakfast
Now we wait. We watch the weather channel constantly hoping for pleasant weather without heavy rain showers, wind storms, or tornadoes. We answer phone calls and emails to show our appreciation for the congratulations we receive. We wait and miss those not here. Yet, this time, next week, the day will have passed, names will have changed and we move on. Mom has always told me I've never been one to stand still or stay in one place. I like to move around, move on, and get to the next chapter. This time, she's right.