I know what you are thinking, I crashed a wedding. Although I have always wanted to crash a stranger’s wedding, it didn’t exactly happen like that.
I have been doing a small portion of the Barn’s social-media marketing over the last few months. Amy, the owner, asked me if I would like to help out at the barn during wedding season this year. I of course accepted the opportunity knowing that by being a part of the weddings held at the barn I would be able to connect with the “real weddings” portion of the blog on a much more personal level. I was excited to do this as I have fond memories of planning and preparing for my own wedding.
I had attended weddings of friends at the Barn in the past and felt I had a good understand of the venue. I pulled into the parking field that is positioned on a hill that overlooks the barn. I got out of my car and began to walk. It was quiet as not many people were there yet. I made my way through a lovely path that was covered in long flowing vines. Then on to a gravel pathway that led me to the entrance of the barn. The sky was extraordinarily blue, and a light breeze flew through the valley, it was a perfect day for a wedding, and without all of the chaos and people around I had time to really look at the barn. It was gorgeous!
I walked in, met Amy, and began to learn the ropes. There is so much that goes into making a place like the Barn at Cedar Grove so successful and so special. I had no clue. Amy is beyond prepared for anything! I met the families who had traveled long distance to watch their loved ones unite. At one point I was helping the grandfather of the bride carry mason jars full of babies breath to hang on shepherd’s hooks where the ceremony would be held. I watched him place the jars on the hooks so precisely. I could tell he wanted this day to be exactly the way his Granddaughter had imagined.
A few hours had gone by and the ceremony was about to begin. I sat on a bench out of the way where I could not be easily seen and proceeded to watch, for the very first time, two strangers tie the knot. I watched the bride slowly walk down the aisle being escorted by her father. You can’t help but get teary eyed. I began to think about when I was walking down the aisle. I was shaking and so nervous, but so happy. I remember thinking “do not look at dad.” If his eyes were even just the tiniest bit moist I knew I would breakdown crying. Your emotions are so alert and exaggerated. I wondered if she felt the same way I did.
The ceremony seemed to go quite fast and before you knew it the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife. I watched these two people I had never met before vow to love each other forever, I watched them take their first dance as husband and wife. I watched their families look at them with so much love, and I watched them leave heading off into the world as one.
Everyone was gone now and it was time to close up. As I was heading home I thought about the day and how everything had turned out so nicely. I remembered why I love weddings so much. They have a way of reminding you what is important in life, or WHO is important in life, and I always leave them loving much stronger than when I arrived. I would like to say thank you to this lovely couple. Although you may not even remember me, I will always remember the first day I watched two strangers get married.
~Paige Hutchison Nickel
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What It Is
The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the night before the wedding, most often a Friday, and usually starts at about seven P.M. This leaves time for attendants who can’t take the day off to get out of work to attend the rehearsal itself at around five thirty, and get to the dinner. For a Sunday or holiday wedding, you have more options. Since the rehearsal dinner has become more of a celebration in its own right than just a formality, some couples are holding the event two nights prior to the wedding. This way, there’s more time to relax, recuperate, and get ready for the main event. If most attendants won’t be arriving until late on the eve of your wedding, a breakfast celebration the morning of the wedding is also acceptable (as is skipping the rehearsal meal altogether!).
What It’s For
The dinner is a great opportunity for your two families to get to know each other before the wedding day (if they don’t already know each other well) in a not-too-hectic setting. Take advantage of the relaxed environment — come wedding night, you’ll most likely be pulled in too many directions to put in any real quality time with anyone. The ultimate goal here is to relieve some pre-wedding tension and make everyone invited feel comfortable with the impending nuptials while not upstaging the big event. More here.
Photo by: Cherish the Moments Photography