Weddings are always great fun, no matter how elaborate or simple, how small or grand, how casual or rehearsed. That the celebration involves two people who are making a lifetime commitment to love unconditionally and cherish one another is reason enough for great celebration.
Nowadays, there’s such a thing as a “wedding industry”. There are hundreds of wedding blogs, many, many wedding magazines. Even TV shows like “say yes to the dress”. There are Bridal Fairs in the cold winter months, (before the wedding season begins) where a prospective bride can shop through a host of vendors who are all too willing to make her wedding an event to remember. Bridal dress stores, photographers, disc jockeys, flower vendors, stationery vendors, videographers, wedding consultants, wedding jewelers, caterers and venue managers, etc.
This morning I read about a summer camp wedding on the etsy blog. It sounded like so much fun, I wish I was invited. https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/real-weddings-a-weekend-at-camp/
When I got married, a wedding was an all day affair. Beginning with a morning wedding mass and communion which required fasting. Therefore, a wedding breakfast was served to the hungry guests. Mid afternoon, a sit down dinner was held in a local restaurant and the evening reception was all about greeting people, handing out “cordials” and cigars and dancing, dancing, dancing to a live band. There was no meal involved at the reception, but huge sheets of Italian made sliced pizza was served along with the traditional Italian “cookie cake”. This was a huge mountain of Italian sweets including fig filled cookies, crème puffs, babas, macaroons, candy covered almonds, other varieties of cookies. Because no dinner was involved, this reception was “kid friendly”. In fact, parents brought their small children, all dressed up in their wedding finery, girls with ribboned heads full of curls and boys with hair slicked down. These children then proceeded to interact with their cousins by chasing them around the huge dance floor until they were all sweaty and curls mussed up, ribbons flying and dresses untied. But they had a ball and, as adults, they would remember this wedding with warm memories.
The FARM WEDDING is one of the new style weddings, held at a venue which stages all inclusive weddings. In this case: A FARM WEDDING. By necessity the venue is usually “out in the boonies” where they usually keep farms. A very close-by Holiday Inn provided hospitality for practically all wedding guests. A shuttle bus ran every half hour between the hotel and the farm. The rehearsal dinner was held at the hotel. While I was a guest there, I noted two other weddings taking place the same weekend as ours. Therefore this seems a perfect partnership between hotel and wedding venue. Wedding guests have to stay at the hotel because no one actually lives near the farm as it’s out in the middle of nowhere.
Because I am the Auntie of this bride, I went to the farm venue way before the wedding, to help her and the bridesmaids get dressed. We arrived at a gated property with gates wide open and a sandwich board sign announcing that the S……… and T……….. wedding is This Way. There were many farm buildings, gravel pathways, ponds, barns, chicken coops, gardens, flowered paths. Two aisles of white chairs were set up on a lawn to view the ceremony.
Upon arrival, we went directly to the Bride’s Cottage where the bride and bridesmaids would apply their makeup and get into their dresses. It was air conditioned and totally charming inside.
During that always awkward time span between the ceremony and reception during which tons and tons of professional photography takes place and guests usually twiddle their thumbs, this venue had the air conditioned barn all ready to receive guests for appetizers and beverages and the signing of the guestbook, which involved a Polaroid pic of each guest to go beside their name in the guestbook. They have enchanting formal gardens to be explored with garden tables and chairs so you could take your refreshments outdoors if you wanted. A horse and carriage ride was available to any guests who desired to have a drive around the farm. All the while chickens and roosters are also in attendance. In fact the rooster made himself known during the ceremony in competition with the minister.
Inside the barn/reception, the huge trusses which went from floor to soaring ceiling were covered with tiny white lights. Dining tables were dressed in white linens with a burlap tied canning jar of field flowers as the centerpiece. Dinner was lovely and the DJ/master of ceremonies did a wonderful job of keeping the party moving, interesting and fun. All of this is part of the package. I’m sure the bride and groom and parents made choices regarding the meal and the evening’s entertainment.
At the end of the evening, the MC ushered all the wedding guests outside of the big barn doors, to stand in two columns on either side of the door with various colored glow sticks. Very festive. The bride and groom passed through this crowd of well wishers and into a 1946 Ford with a “Just Married” flag on it to be driven back to the hotel.
I totally enjoyed this experience. I do hope that one day soon you, too, will be able to attend a FARM WEDDING.