When our daughter asked if we could possibly have her wedding in the woods below our home, we were both elated and apprehensive. The woods were quite tangled and wild during the summer, but the wedding would be in October…the prettiest time of year there. Almost as if in anticipation of this day, her father (aka Saint) and I had laid a path of huge rocks as stepping stones down to the valley below. There was still much work to be done to clear all the weeds and brush away from the area.
It was her desire to have a wedding that would represent their interests and personalities. Tiffany and Lance love the outdoors. Camping and rafting, hiking, kayaking, and biking were much more a part of their lives than gigantic churches and rented venues. “Something simple, but elegant. Kind of like a garden party with vows,” she suggested. “Just whatever you want to do, but no scarecrows and hay bales, please.”
I began planning, planting, and crafting as Saint began the brush hogging. These shimmery painted pumpkins were my first task. I was encouraged when they turned out beautifully
And then I started some fall plants in a couple of urns to flank the path. Tiffany wanted no attendants, no fluff, just a “garden party with vows.” So, I planned for the guests to stand at the bottom of the path. It was important to Saint that he walk her down the aisle path. Mums, Ornamental Kale, cock’s comb, and greenery grew together in the urns for the rest of the summer. In October, I made the bows and ribbon and gathered the dried florals that would accent both the urns and the centerpieces which were painted clay pots with hurricane globes, bittersweet gathered from Redbud Ridge, leaves, twigs, etc.
Food-we had some! Heavy appetizers- enough for a meal. We made stuffed mushrooms, dried beef roll ups, green chili roll ups, bacon Kalamata olive tea sandwiches, shrimp with margarita dip, and had catered in a sushi tray, beggars purses and meatballs. A platter of artisanal cheese brought from Vermont, fresh veggies, breads; seriously, I can’t even think of all the food. No traditional wedding cake for Tiffany! A friend’s mother has the best tea room in Southwest Missouri (Spring Creek Tea Room) and, as a wedding gift, agreed to bake all her specialty cakes.
Yes, you can do a home grown wedding, and I would recommend it if you have great friends who will pitch in and HELP! But, be prepared for the unexpected. Rain. We had some. We had a back up tent rented just in case, but we really wanted the wedding in the valley. Guests were so gracious to pull out the umbrellas and dump the rain off the china before filling their plates. I spent weeks making some vintage photo wine tags and gold menu item place cards. There was no time to put out the menu cards, and I forgot to distribute the wine tags. The fact that it was at home, that we made most of the décor, and added special touches like a minister cousin who administered the vows as her very first wedding, articles from relatives no longer with us, (the blue lace handkerchief from a great grandmother tucked into the bouquet, a lace tablecloth hand crocheted by a grandmother, and an antique guest table refinished by the fondly.bride’s grandfather)our son singing and playing the guitar as Tiffany walked the path; all made this a very unique and wonderful wedding we will all remember fondly for a long time.
Happy Sixth anniversary, Lance and Tiff!