Saturday, July 12, 2014

She's Married!

With a million thoughts about Travis and Shannon's wedding floating around my head, I'll start with this:

I am so glad we had this party at our home. 

We looked at several venues - each one beautiful, with the potential to be an excellent location for their nuptials. Fairview Farm right here in Powhatan was, quite honestly, my first choice. I was secretly hoping she'd pick the rustic barn.

But when we asked, "Where do you see yourself, dancing your first dance with your husband, where do you want to be?"

She closed her eyes and thought for a minute.

"In the backyard. Under the trees."

And that's exactly what happened.

Every moment last night, from the ceremony to the party - it was as we dreamed it would be. Even better, because the reality of the friends and family gathered around to celebrate with us created a sense of fellowship and love unique to that particular moment.

It was amazing.

So, a few things that I've been thinking of since we crawled out of bed this morning, like old decrepit people who worked 16 hour days for the better part of the entire week.

(Because we did.)

First of all, the help of our friends this week was invaluable. Several people came by during the week to offer assistance with set up, flowers, table settings, creating signs and such. People dropped off stuff we needed to borrow. Folks came by with flowers for the happy couple - just because. Folks did so much, offering time and resources so generously; it made my heart full.

We're so thankful for every one of these gestures of love, but Judy Ringgold went above and beyond in unexpected ways. Jackie Heberle was the genius behind a lot of beautiful things. Chad Milburn not only orchestrated a surprise honeymoon (and Shannon was GENUINELY surprised to find out that she'd be leaving Sunday for a week-long cruise!), but he also showed up Thursday asking Tony, "Need any help?" Tony said, "Can you build a stage?"

And so, he did.

Amber Towler is a friend, but she's also and talented and incredibly valuable wedding planner and organizer. Her attitude and her skill set made this wedding happen. She's an honorary Brawley, for life.

Cathy Rusch drove in from Maryland to prepare appetizers and then drove back to Maryland.

Lisa Sizemore and her crew did a bang-up job with food, managing the largest event she'd ever tackled. It was wonderful to see familiar faces on her crew (I love living in a small town!) The food was delicious, and the bonus of special Powhatan High School Marching Band sausage balls specially prepared for Daniel was the icing on the cake.

Not to mention the actual cake she brought as a gift.

All of the friends and family who prepared desserts - you blessed us. The leftovers have provided an interesting post-party breakfast.

Lastly, Katelyn and Michael of Katelyn James Photography were a fabulous addition to the evening. The photographs they took will allow us to relive this incredible celebration for years to come; they give us a chance to share the evening with friends who weren't there. The combination of their professional work and the way Katelyn and Michael interacted with our family and friends made the day better. They became part of the celebration; it surprised me to realize what a great difference that made in our day. We'll have the photos, but we have the memories as well; Michael took the groomsmen to 7-11 to get free Slurpees (after all, the wedding date was 7/11/2014), ostensibly to kill time while Katelyn finished Shannon's pictures - and it became part of the fun of the day.

So many people made this a special day.

I am, truly, so glad we had this celebration at our home. I mean, look at this (all photo credits to the amazing Katelyn James):

That's OUR YARD, y'all!!!! 

What I love about this - the pallet that lived in our backyard for two years with bricks piled on top of it.
The fact that two weeks before the wedding, the kids and I moved bricks and the snow plow and other
assorted stuff to pull this and another pallet out. The fact that David pressure washed it, and Max helped paint
the heart, and Syd hand lettered the words and made the arrow and then REmade the arrow because it
didn't work.

MY YARD, Y'ALL. Have you figured that out yet? You don't know that I look out and see this every morning
from my kitchen window, gazing over the clothesline and the dry patches of grass that never grew.
And the shed, just to the left of where she's standing. It's just my yard.
But add some perspective and narrow the focus -
and put a beautiful girl in a beautiful gown in the frame and you have a thing of beauty.

Gravel. Gravel. Gravel.
Gravel that Tony spread over the course of two days last week.
To you, it looks like a driveway.
To me, it looks like the love of a man who would do anything for the children
he gladly claims as his own, because they belong to the woman he loves.
So he borrowed a tractor and called the gravel guy and spent two entire days away from his business,
sweating in the hot sun, pushing around gravel to make the perfect driveway.
Looks like love.

Indeed, it was a wonderful day at home.

However, the joy of having all this happen at home continues the next day. We woke up this morning and looked around and remembered: We had a big party here. Wow.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

And just a note; the new Mrs. Wagner called early this afternoon. She's at Barnes & Noble, looking for books to take on the honeymoon.

That's my girl.

1 comment:

Bill said...

As always my dear you capture the moments...the words and pictures so that just as I had hoped we could enjoy the next best thing to being there. From the early days I met you through a blog and your arriving there to meet the kids for a meal and a stay and seeing the earliest stages of the Powhatan more recently meeting you and the kids at church and an orchard on a rainy and your family continue to bless us! I consider you a mentor as well as a dear dear friend. Blessings to you and prayers for the new Mr and Mrs!