I recently moved to Austin, Texas. My friend Lawrence was kind enough to allow me a place to stay while I was settling. So when he asked if I wanted to accompany him to his nephew’s country wedding, I enthusiastically agreed. Only a mere 48 hours later, we were driving to the country where his sister and her husband owned an old farmhouse, just a few hours from Austin.
Now I am a city girl. I grew up in big cities which doesn’t mean I don’t like the outdoors. I love the outdoors, especially being in the mountains. So, I was excited about the experience of driving to the country and participating in the celebration.
It was a 4:00 affair, and as we drove to our destination, rain was coming down heavily. The temperatures dropped. I thought I had left cold weather in Colorado, but here I was almost shivering as we drove deeper into the green countryside.
Driving up to a beautiful 1940’s house with a wrap around porch and deep eaves to keep the rain out, I thought the house, painted light blue with white trim, was something out of a storybook.
The wedding had been planned to be an outdoor wedding. Benches for the wedding guests had been cut from fresh sheets of wood, hammered together and painted white. The reception was taking place in the newly constructed red and white barn. Due to the weather not cooperating, plan B was executed and the ceremony would also be in the barn.
My idea of a barn is something made of weathered wood and dirt floors-perhaps some fresh hay on the floor. This barn was big- a professional basketball court would have fit handsomely inside it. The interior had a cement floor, wood framing that accentuated the shiny red metal walls, and a bathroom with granite counters and sink sitting atop an antique console. They had constructed two upper lofts with adjoining staircases.
For the wedding, tiny white lights had been strung across the entire ceiling beams, and white chandeliers dotted the rafters throughout. The clean newness of the barn and the white lights along with the large round tables covered in white tablecloths created the perfect backdrop for the bride and groom.
But a country wedding is different. Everyone wore boots and wranglers for the most part. The groom had a handsome pair of black boots that he had custom made. There was a large monogram of the couple’s intials stylized on the front in white leather and white stitching. Tin buckets filled with baby’s breath lined the pathway to the temporary alter and a pair of white swags and candles created the backdrop.
Each table had mason jars with candles burning set atop fringed burlap and screenprinted courtesy of Lawrence with the intials of the new couple. Each guest had a mason jar they could mark as their drinking jug for the evening.
Rain still pouring and bridesmaids shivering in their off-the shoulder,electric blue colored bridesmaid dresses, the ceremony began.
It was a sweet and engaging ceremony performed by the neighboring rancher (and minister). At the end of the ceremony, the minister gave people in the audience the chance to speak out words of blessing- “long life”, “a hug each morning”, “prosperity”, and other words spoken outloud on their behalf. It was a wonderful blessing to hear.
After they were declared husband and wife, the barn floor was cleared for dancing- not just country but all kinds. Barbeque was catered in, and we all drank libations (beer and wine along with Texas tea) from our mason jars. It was quite an experience for this city dweller. As we left the affair and drove away into the night, the barn’s lights were still twinkling and music was still pouring out of its large doors. I let out a quiet yeehaa!