Sunday, August 10, 2008


I love a wedding that makes me want to do it all over again.

There was a lot of good natured joking at the rehearsal dinner about whether the bride and groom would actually kiss during the ceremony.  "They barely hold hands," it was quipped, by many in attendance.  In the end, the simple act of a kiss was irrelevant because the love, respect, and friendship that Jason and Suzanne have for each other was apparent in every detail of the wedding, which celebrated not only their relationship with each other but also their love of nature.  (They did kiss, by the way, for those of you not in attendance.  We have it on film and on video).  

Jason and Suzanne's wedding was held in the backyard of her family home in Orrville, Ohio. The garden was impressive, and Suzanne did most of the landscaping herself.  The minister ministers to a small congregation of about 25 people so the ceremony was personal and meaningful.  Cousins, aunts, uncles, and brothers sang, played music, and read Pooh.  The table flowers, from a family member's garden, were arranged in simple but beautiful Ball jars.  I am told the groom arranged quite a few flowers for the event.  The place cards and table assignments were labeled with birds; the pictures on each table described the characteristics of that table's birds and invited the guest to speculate which qualities s/he shared with the birds. The food was comfort food, summer backyard barbecue food, followed by ice cream and the best pie I have ever eaten. Jason and Suzanne brewed their own beer for the event (as did another couple we all know well...almost 9 years ago), and Suzanne designed eye catching labels for each of the four varieties.  The names and pictures featured Jason and Suzanne's cats, and even the ingredients were meaningful.  Jason proudly told us that the orange came from their backyard in Florida and the honey from OSU's agricultural department.  The details were so well thought and planned that the event appeared not only meaningful, but effortless.

And who could forget the flower girl and the ring bearer.  Anna was diligent and practiced walking the "aisle" over and over.  Her seriousness was compounded by her responsibility for leading the ring bearer d.  It went well during the rehearsal, but during the wedding, Duncan was suddenly fascinated by the string trio, from whom he could not lift his eyes.  Anna practically had to drag him down the walk, but they made it, and they were cute as buttons. Shortly thereafter, Duncan's suit came off piece by piece.  Within minutes of the end of the ceremony, he was in shorts and a t-shirt, but no one cared.

When dinner and dessert wound down, families and friends mingled at tables and in the yard. Children shrieked and chased each other in the twilight; grandmothers shared the hammock with grandchildren; cousins rocked on the swing; children from two to sixty watched fireflies; families caught up with each other; people connected.  The event had all the feel of a backyard barbecue, with a long dress and a few suits thrown in here and there.

For the last week, while I thought about what I wanted to write about this wedding, the word "lovely" kept coming to mind, and the more cognitive part of my brain kept tripping up and trying to censor me by telling me that "lovely" was overused and banal and could not possibly appear in my wedding entry. So I looked it up. Here's what says:

1. charmingly or exquisitely beautiful: a lovely flower.
2. having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face.
3. delightful; highly pleasing: to have a lovely time.
4. of a great moral or spiritual beauty: a lovely character.

"lovely." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 05 Aug. 2008.

I'm glad I trusted my first instinct because lovely is the perfect word.  Congratulations Suzanne and Jason.  It was a beautiful wedding, and we wish you all the love in the world.  

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