The trees were glorious, the blue sky cloudless.
A tent mounted over the tennis court had no less than four peaks, was festooned inside with fairy lights, and contained too many tables and floral arrangements to count. Every detail had been thought of and done to perfection. The best part was this wedding took place on the former family summer compound of my husband–which has been turned over to a nearby Nature Center now that the last of the senior generation has passed. It was built in the early 1900s and is still lovely and gracious in it’s old age. My husband’s aunt, the last person to live there during the summers, restored it several years ago so it’s still in beautiful condition. There’s a main house, two cottages (one looks as if Beatrix Potter had lived there–the most charming interior I’ve ever seen), a restored barn (the site was partly a functioning farm in the early days), stables, a beautiful dairy building, and other outbuildings, all constructed in clean white clapboard. Woods all around and abandoned gardens, which in their day, must have been something. The main house’s wraparound screen porch was the scene of many wonderful Fourth of July and birthday celebrations, whose attendees spanned three and sometimes four generations. I will never forget all those happy faces, many now gone. This is the Beatrix Potter cottage.
The occasion was my step-son’s wedding–an unforgettable few days of celebration. The party started in the former rose/peony garden below the pool, white chairs, a rose-studded archway, and a string quartet.
The crowd was beautiful in its diversity–everything from an elderly gentleman with white hair and goatee, black velvet jacket, and silver tipped cane to a young man with a Rastafarian coif, safari shorts, and gold hoop earrings. This wonderful mix was perhaps the truest testament to the open-hearted, loving couple they are. As they said in their vows, he helps her live in the moment and she helps him plan for the future. The flood of goodwill toward them was palpable as it washed over everyone. Such deep joy.
Then the party moved up around the pool, bedecked with small lanterns, bouquets, tables…and, of course, heating towers! (This is Minnesota.) Everyone partook of hors d’oeuvres and the first round of champagne. Then, at dusk we snaked down a fairy lit lane into the tent for a family style dinner, more champagne toasts, and touching tributes to their parents from the bride and groom. Their signature dance to I Love You Baby to was priceless. Then everyone joined them on the dance floor until pizzas were offered up a couple of hours later. I can’t imagine how much planning this took–just the scope of it. The bride is a phenomenon. They were so generous in creating a magical event that ignited such hope and happiness. When we left, walking back to the parking lot, it was like leaving the Tivoli Gardens, Oz, and Disneyland behind. But the glow inside remained. Now they’re off to Bora Bora to relax.
And we were lucky enough to be left with some of the floral arrangements!