Category Archives: The Wedding

Why We Do It

My house guests sleep peacefully as I wake at the crack of six and am filled with excited energy. Two days till the wedding. By eight I’ve got the dogs fed and walked, the living room dusted and the kitchen tidied. I feel the steady calm that comes when I clean.

It’s a wonderful feeling I get when I can quietly clean my house. The structure infuses me with waves of calm as appreciation for the tender ministrations. I am usually filled with joy when I clean. I know it sounds a little weird, but I love to take care of this house. This old century farm house that needs so much care. We have found each other and out of love and respect we take care of each other. Brent says I’ll wash the pattern right off the floor, but it’s therapy and way cheaper than shopping.

I am envious of my house guests as they sleep on into the morning, but I’m happy to steal this moment to write and relax. Jenn and Billy are my best friends visiting from afar and I am so grateful we have more than just one day together. I’ve realized the wedding is about more than one day. It’s about family and friends coming together to build a foundation for the future. When I hear couples who have been married for over twenty years speak of the best man at their wedding or the maid of honor with pride I know what they’re talking about.

Our wedding party is still reeling from all the work. I thank them with my whole heart. Without our friends and family there is no way we could pull this together in typical Brent and Amy fashion: cheap.

Yesterday we set up the tent and move twenty picnic tables to the beach. It’s sounds fairly simple, but let me tell you it was a bit of a struggle. We made up for the lack of tractor power with man power as we pounded in twenty-four, three feet tall steel tent pegs with sledge hammers. There’s no better work out than the sledge hammer, but there’s not better way to hurt yourself either. The sledge can be oddly daunting until you figure it out. It’s all in the swing and let the hammer do the work.

There was seven of us taking turns with four sledgehammers. You can only swing that thing so many times before you need a break. I was standing over a peg huffing when Billy came over and offered to take a few swings. Gratefully I handed over the sledge and stood back to watch.

Billy is one of those people who was never exposed to tools – power tools, hammers, screw guns or the dreaded circular saw. He doesn’t really have much of an interest in learning for long term used, but he does light up once he figures it out. Last time he was visiting we were building the picnic tables and Billy learned to use the chop saw. He is so proud.

With a gentle swing Billy brought the sledge down onto the steel peg. With a ring and a giggle of delight he pulled back and took a harder hit – he missed. I hate to admit, but we were all watching out of the corner of our eye. Actually, I was standing beside watching in earnest everyone else had a soft smile as they watched from a distance.

I offered the advice of “letting the hammer do the work” and “keep your eye on the peg”, but Billy was going to swing that sledge his way. Much like a princess. It took about ten minutes, but Billy did sink that peg and he stood staring at his new nemesis with pride. He handed the sledge back to me and smiled. I am so proud.

We got the tent erected with a few attempts and as we all sat at a picnic table under the tent eating slightly charred hot dogs watching the sunset, covered in sweat and sand and dirt, I began to realize that this is what is was all about. Working hard together and bringing memories that will last a lifetime.

I can hear the stories decades from now: “Remember when we set that tent up for your wedding and I used the sledge?”

I wonder what today holds in store for Jenn?

The Bride Feels the Heat

I noticed the basics were starting to go off line. I was having trouble eating without feeling sick. I would wake up at 0430 and be up for hours without having to go to work. Wine was replacing Brent as my best friend. I was cranky with family, friends and Brent. I was starting to wish that this whole wedding thing was over. I was starting to think that things would be better after the wedding.

I started to recognize the signs of … Bridezilla.

Oh dear. Was I?

I didn’t have high demands of the wedding, my groom, my family or his parents. I wasn’t looking for perfection. I hadn’t made my bridesmaids wear aqua-marine taffeta. I didn’t want the most expensive dress or an exotic honeymoon.  I didn’t demand the flower girl/puppy dye their hair pink. Please don’t import special flowers that cost a fortune. I would like candles, but if you don’t have blue that’s okay… we’ll manage. I’m pretty sure the groom won’t be wearing shoes.

No. I wasn’t Bridezilla and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I was just worried.

I worried we’d never meet with Pastor Tom and in the end we’d not have an anyone to officiate the wedding. Really… did this matter? Naw… we could always white chapel it later.

I worried we wouldn’t find a band and we’d be playing music from an ipod in the house. Would our friends really mind? They’d still have a few drinks and dance like next year wasn’t coming.

I worried the cater wouldn’t make it. Would my family and friends mind take out pizza? Probably not.

I worried the weather would be horrible – rain and wind. Can I stop it? Nope.

I worried the picnic tables wouldn’t be ready in time. I worried the green barn would never be cleaned out. I worried the port-a-potties wouldn’t arrive.

I worried about parking, high heels in the sand, Gizmo licking himself in the middle of the vows.

I never worried Brent wouldn’t show up. I never worried my puppies would run away. I never worried my wedding party would have a huge fight and leave.

My family and friends love us. They support us and care about us. Thanks for listening to my worries and I hope that with your good wishes I’ll finally have a good night’s sleep. This eye cream I’ve started using will only work if I get a little sleep!

Thank you.
ps…. I’m a closet country music fan.  I thought you should know all my secrets.

Dressing for the Wedding

I’ve had many people ask what kind of attire would be most appropriate for the wedding… I’d like to offer this bit of information:

1. It’s on the beach, so choose the right shoes as sand is not forgiving of high heels, but if you can do it – do it. Chances are the bride, groom and wedding party will be barefoot.

2. Yes. I’m wearing a mostly white sort of traditional wedding dress – with a little flair. It makes me feel like a princess.

3. The boys (including groom) will be wearing shorts and super cool and funky shirts – I’m hoping for buttons.

4. When the women in the wedding party asked about dresses I said “wear something that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable”. I offer the same advice to our guests.

5. Pink.

Option two: wear something fun and fancy for the ceremony and a change of clothes for the cool nighttime bonfire. Don’t forget to bring a sweater. Be a diva: have a costume change.

Wear something fun and comfortable. Wear that thing you bought years ago and never had a place to wear it. This is the place. This is the place for hawaiian shirts and tassels. Bring that bedazzled skirt with those red shoes. Yes. Wear the red shoes. Be fun and sexy and playful and comfortable.

Taz is wearing a white dress with a pink ribbon. Gizmo and Poco are wearing white dinner jackets with black bow ties. They are very excited. I hope you are too…

Brent are really excited to be marrying each other. It sounds corny, but it’s true.

Picnic Tables

Thank you. You know who you are… Those wonderful friends and souls who came out to help us build our “wedding” picnic table last Sunday at the beach. We managed to put together thirteen tables in less than four hours with many beach and beer breaks.

We had groups of people working together with nail guns, drills, saws and imagination. We put the tables together is a matter of hours with laughs and the wonderful smell of sand, sun and healthy sweat.

I’m so glad people have started to wander out to the beach and see the glory that exists in the little piece of sand called Long Beach. It is stunning. Better than any resort and friendlier than any family joint. It combines peace with fun, food with wine, family and friends. It’s warm and welcoming, hot and re-freshing.

Bright fires on cool summer nights translate into rhythmic converations about life and love, future plans and wonderful memories. I can’t thank people enough for partaking in our adventures and our lives.

One of our worst qualities: we’re bad with time, but great with friends and family, if you can track us down. We’re generous with our time, muscle, ideas, property and work horses. All you have to do is ask and then inspire us with good food and libations. Deep down: we’re pretty simple folk.

Brent says he’s always happy. He seems like he’s happy most of the time and I strive to be as happy as Brent. I envy his simple views, but don’t mistake them for ignorant or uneducated. The dude is smart. It may not seem like it, but he’s managed a great deal in his life. He’s brave and encouraging and wonderful and often a little frustrating.

Our biggest complaint is having too much stuff. I love to care for the things we have and Brent loves to aquire new things. It’s an interesting mix of personalities and we find a way to make it warm, loving and welcoming.

It’s four weeks to the wedding and I think I’m done panicking over the details. We’ll have food, drinks, friends and family to help us celebrate. What more do we really need? (don’t you dare quote a bridal book).