Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Perfect Wedding

July 29, 2007

My brother got married yesterday. His wedding was absolutely perfect. I've never been to a wedding before which I could designate as perfect. Most of the weddings I've attended or been a part of, including my own, have a certain amount of compromise. Tradition or parental wishes or friends' suggestions often supplant the couples' own wedding vision. I know that Randy and I chose a traditional path because we were young and still under the guidance of our parents. Our true to desire was to marry in October on top of Round Bald, which is right up by Roan Mountain. If you've ever been to Round Bald, you know why it is the perfect place to get married. My other choice would have been at Beauty Spot on Unaka Mountain. But we were married in a beautiful stone church, and while we incorporated many of our own wishes into our ceremony--and while I did, without a doubt, marry the man of my dreams--I can't say that our wedding was exactly how I wanted it.

But my brother is 43 years old, and his wedding absolutely overflowed with quintessential Stephen. And although I don't know his wife (his wife!) well, I imagine that the wedding was also quintessential Jen. I can't post photos until I get home, but here is the scene.

The ceremony: An area has been cleared in the orchard for chairs, which face out upon the gently sloping orchard and a view of Cayuga Lake in the distance. The father of perhaps my brother's oldest friend presides. He is a judge and wears his black robes. Several people speak to Jen and Stephen--the friend who introduced them compares their love to a meeting of physics and farm, another friends reads Wordsworth, Jen's parents, and my father, who brings us all to tears. The vows: Jen speaks and reads a perfect poem to Stephen. Stephen tries to speak and has to stop periodically to keep himself from crying. Everyone else is in tears. And everyone cheers. The recessional: Alan picks Jen and Stephen up on a tractor rigged with a bench on a mower. Bubbles shoot out the back-end from some sort of bubble machine, and they release dozens of balloons across the orchard.

The reception: my brother has planted grass in his greenhouse and pulled up the sides, so that the greenhouse is open everywhere except the top. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The perimeter is lined with zinnias, and the wedding buffet is spread out on one end. A band plays. People eat, and talk. I see my brother's childhood friends--Rich, Jack, Carl, Mark, Erich, Mike, and Buzzy--and their families. Duncan and many boys belonging to these childhood friends run off to play in a manure pile. My friend Lisa and I--the tag-along little sisters--remember our shared childhood and wonder if it's really possible that we are now past 40. I have known her--and many of my brother's friends--for over 35 years.

And my own family is there, my very own family and my parents and all but one of my brothers. A couple of nephews. And everywhere are friends of Jen's and Stephen's, and the bride and groom make their way through the crowds, smiling and looking so perfectly happy and at home. It was a very good day.

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Monday, July 30, 2007 - It sounds..

Posted by partyoffive (

So wonderful! Mike and I were also real young when we got married, and I didn't know all I wanted in a wedding, so, I did much of what my sisters did. It would be fun to plan it all again, and put more of us into it...I am so glad it was such a great day.

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Monday, July 30, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by StillHisGirl (

I had a few romantic dates on Roan Mountain myself. :) But my proposal was in the shadow of it, not on top.

The wedding sounds perfect! So happy for all of you. :)

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Monday, July 30, 2007 - I am SURE

Posted by QueenoftheHill (

You must be the only non-native who knows where Unaka is. That is where my dad's homeplace is, and where all my ancestors are buried.

I knew you were special.

Also, only you could write that Duncan was playing in a manure pile and still avoid using an exclamation point. :D

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