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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The stars aligned for a perfect June wedding

Two years ago, a little photo popped up on my Facebook feed. It was a close-up of my daughter and her boyfriend and they were holding up a little heart that declared the date “5.12.2018.”

My heart leaped into my throat and I immediately thought, “BABY.” I don’t put a whole lot of thought into my immediate reactions. Of course they weren’t announcing a pending delivery. The date was two years off. She isn’t an elephant. And although my daughter has occasionally announced something to me via social media – like that new tattoo – I would like to think that the announcement of a coming grandchild would be done more privately. In fact they were announcing their coming wedding day.

The date was significant because he likes the number 5 and she likes the number 12. But when Mother’s Day weekend rolled around, chilly and wet, they decided to move the date forward by a bit – to the long weekend in May. That got changed again in order to match schedules with the photographer. Paulina wanted Elenora Luberto to take her photos because she is a friend of the family and has taken our photos – both personal and professional, for years.

The couple decided to choose a date two years away because Paulina needed to finish school and get a job. They had been living together for years so there wasn’t any rush. The bride-to-be opened up a Pinterest account and got started choosing wedding d├ęcor in her spare time. And thus the royal wedding planning began.

Little did I know, by May 2018 I would be ready to hunt down the people who inspired her on Pinterest. The ideas she found looked simple enough: a swing made of grape vines (we have tons of those hanging from the trees on our farm), charcuterie boards with live edges (the Farmer offered to make some) and a photo backdrop covered in peeling vintage wallpaper with an overstuffed chair in front. They turned out to be much more difficult to create than I could have imagined. It’s very difficult to pull grapevines out of trees in the spring. Those fresh new vines are hanging on for dear life. And do you know how difficult it is to find wallpaper these days?

Paulina bought a wedding dress at the very first sale we went to in the spring of 2016 – but one month before the wedding we were hunting for accessories and she found the dress of her absolute dreams at Bridals By Almor in Winchester. That’s the thing about wedding dresses. You don’t know what you want till you try it on and discover how it transforms you into a svelte goddess – a hippie bride – or a woodland fairy princess. We all agreed it was the perfect dress for Paulina – but it was four sizes two big and there was no time to order a custom made one. This dress had to be completely rebuilt.

In the last few days leading up to the wedding, it was all hands on deck. We had to wait until the day of the wedding to actually set things up because it rained like crazy the day before. But we made it, with just a few minutes to spare. I think everyone was a bit shocked that we managed to keep the bride and groom (who are rarely on time) on schedule. And just like at Christmas when Paulina keeps shopping until the stores close Christmas Eve – she seemed to keep adding ideas to her wedding plan right up until the final moments. I was so happy when the day finally arrived, so we could stop planning.

This event was so meaningful – from the seedling trees that were given as guest gifts to the locations themselves (his family farm for the ceremony and tree planting: our farm for the reception). At the end of the day the Farmer and I looked around and realized that every single person involved in the wedding – from the caterer to the musicians to the guy who put up the tent – were connected to the bride and groom in some way. There were no strangers at this event. It was on our farm. And yes, it took a great deal of planning and effort on the part of many but as one of the groomsmen said a few times, now we have the memories. We can look around our property for years to come and remember this moment. I’d have to say it was worth every moment – but no, we don’t want to do it again anytime soon. Next time we’re hiring people to do all the things. And no, the farm is not for rent as a wedding venue. Not yet, anyway.

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