When we first started clearing the property here in Rowe the trees were encroaching on the buildings closest to the house. The side field had been maintained but the pasture was all but lost. Our girls were probably in their early teens.
I had been photographing weddings for years before my children were born and they were brought up knowing that the back yard wedding was their only option. They would look at the backyard here and roll their eyes not being able to see the vision Bill and I had. I would tell them that someday they would be married here and it would be beautiful.
This past Sunday my oldest married the love of her life in a very intimate ceremony in one of the gardens. Their being married was something we believed would happen for over 8 years now but being cautious sorts they waited. Amanda is one who hates to be the center of attention in any situation and they told me about 3 months ago that they were just going to city hall in Boston and getting married there. The horror.
With much, much cajoling we convinced them to be married here with parents and siblings only. That was almost too much for them really, the nerves were palpable on Sunday. For what was to be one of the smallest weddings ever we did everything we could to make it a beautiful occasion and it certainly was. From Amanda walking down the “aisle” with her father to the tune of her family humming Pachelbel’s Canon to eating al fresco in the field next to the garden it was as perfect a day as it could be for them. It also allowed all of us to have a very intimate involvement in preparing for those vows to be said.
Bill and I built a rustic arbor out of trees we cut across the field a couple of weeks before the ceremony and set it up at the beginning of a stone path. It was a little wonky but fit the bill with our “rustic chic” theme. I ordered baby’s breath and lemon leaves from my niece’s flower shop to augment the flowers in my garden and picked some at my sister-in-law’s the day before. They were a huge help in the quick planning of this.
Draped and decorated.
I tried to put flowers everywhere and took a lot of photographs. Day lilies are so beautiful and fleeting and I knew once the sun set the flowers would be gone too. Sort of temporary art.
I had also picked some “weeds” along the power line and in the back forty. Queen Anne’s Lace and Joe Pye Weed. Places were set with sprigs of herbs that smelled heavenly – pineapple sage, rosemary, lavender, thistle.
A garden riot of flowers on the table.
Lemon Raspberry cake made with garden fruit. Molly Cantor made a cake stand just for the occasion.
Weddings are monumental occasions in people’s lives. They represent a new chapter for those getting married but also for the parents of the bride and groom. It doesn’t matter how long your child has been out of the house or how old they are when they marry. As monumental as this ceremony is it’s just a fleeting moment. In the span of a few hours my world shifted a little, in a wonderful, beautiful way. I did what I could to make it a beautiful memory in a place where more memories will be made.
Everything is now gone but the undecorated arbor and the flowers from the day. They are taking their time in wilting away, a little gift in a way. A reminder of an occasion but also of how much beauty is constantly around me that can be pulled together and shared.