It is now two days after Taylor and Aya’s wedding, and I am in bed with a head cold, which I had been fighting all last week but just didn’t have the time to succumb to. I am happily exhausted. Although not everything went exactly as I had planned, I think overall it was a success. The comment I got from the guests was that it was one of the most beautiful and deeply meaningful weddings they had ever been to. This was a wedding pulled together by a loving community of friends and family, and people could feel that.
I still can’t believe we made a wedding happen with only 20 days to plan. I suppose miracles truly can unfold in the presence of love. By the time the wedding day had rolled around, almost every guest there had contributed something to pull it all together, making it somewhat like an Amish barn raising.
Everywhere you looked you saw the handprint of someone who had put their time and heart into this wedding. Alice’s cake, our floral arrangements,100 white origami cranes that hung from the Oak tree, paper doily heart-messages strung by Darci, cupcakes and ceremony music by Taylor’s friends, Pam’s vintage clothes, quilts and tablecloths, Hayden’s handmade signs, Cristen’s custom Ipod mix that was the soundtrack to the reception- I could go on and on.
It made me realize in this day and age of consumerism, when the average wedding costs over $20,000, how much we lose. No cake in the world could have been more beautiful or tasted better than the one Alice made for Taylor and Aya, because we know how much love went into it. We could have bought 100 white cranes to hang from the trees, but then you wouldn’t have seen the handiwork of 12 friends who gathered, told stories and laughed while awkwardly trying to match Aya’s delicate precision in origami. No DJ would have been as thoughtful as Cristen staying up till 2 am selecting songs she knew her brother would love.
If I had hired a florist and a wedding planner, I would have missed out on all the time I spent staying up late making crafts with my new daughter-in-law, and watching my husband and son build a wedding arch together. I would have missed the sensory experience of shopping the flower mart with Aya and Erin, mad dashes to Costco, Starbucks runs for mid-day fades, joking and laughing while making floral arrangements with Erin, Beth and Cristen, setting the tables with Darci at 11pm, bleary eyed and exhausted but still laughing (after sharing a bottle of good wine). I wouldn’t have traded all that for the world.
I have to give a big shout out here to Mother Nature, for giving us one of the most beautiful, sunny days of the year while the rest of the country was buried under “Snowmageddon”. She also provided just the slightest breeze to make the tall green grass sway, lending a light rustling sound as background music for the vows. I know a lot of my friends were praying, thinking good thoughts, crossing fingers and toes, etc. So thank you one and all. It worked!
All in all, I used what was available to make this happen; Friends, family, creativity, the generosity of my neighbors, and the great outdoors. I suppose we could have spent $20,000 and had a beautiful wedding, aesthetically, but it wouldn’t have the heart of our small but mighty production. This wedding was about friends and family surrounding Taylor and Aya, holding them up as they enter into this new journey together. And isn’t that what love is all about?