In the heart of summer, and under the forecast of a heat advisory, I attended an outdoor wedding right out of a picture book. The ceremony took place at a shady spot underneath an evening sky with a backdrop of picturesque trees and a blooming flower garden. The setting highlighted the young bride, lovely and graceful, and the handsome bridegroom, tall and witty, as they exchanged vows of love and fidelity.
Seated in a row of white folding chairs near the string quartet, I admired the chic bows tied onto the chairs along the center aisle. Dangling from each was a wooden heart about the size of a Christmas ornament. And painted on each heart were the couple’s initials, K+N, as if they were carved on a tree.
I mentioned the clever and special detail to the mother of the bride at the reception.
The bride made those, she said, explaining that after the venue for the ceremony became official, the bride wanted to go to the local craft store. There, she bought plenty of wooden hearts, spools of decorative burlap ribbon, 150 various jars, and an assortment of electric votive and tea-light candles that would fit inside the glass.
In addition to lighting up the wedding reception area with candles, the bride also made her own place cards from lace-like paper adorned with miniature burlap flowers. She slipped bouquets of purple and pink flowers into mason jars to create her dinner table centerpieces. And with her father’s help, she orchestrated a star-like night sky in the overhead beams of the dining room using strands of white Christmas lights.
The guests enjoyed music, food, dancing and toasts. They browsed wedding portraits of the couple’s relatives that were placed along the dining room windowsills. Family and friends also wrote memories, well-wishes, advice and prayers upon postcards provided at each table for the newly married couple to read on their honeymoon and beyond.
What I will remember most about this wedding was the love the couple had for one another and how welcome they made their guests feel. The personal touches that the bride made with her crafts added an elegant and celebratory ambiance to the entire event.
More importantly, the warmth and love that the bride shared through her handiwork will no doubt be the same care and attention that she gives to her marriage.