If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few months, then you’ll remember that in Some Knitting and an Announcement I mentioned that my brother had gotten engaged. Well, their engagement was a relatively short one, and they had their wedding day over the weekend. This past Saturday, to be exact. They had set the date about a month after their engagement, and they set the place for their wedding at a favorite local restaurant, a mom-and-pop barbecue joint which is a favorite in our family for its smoked pulled pork, their smoked beef brisket, their barbecued pork ribs, and (I must say) some amazing prime rib (I don’t eat steak or the like all that often, so it’s a treat when I do).
So, here is my experience of their wedding day, as captured though my trusty iPad. Note that out of a want to protect the privacy of my family members, their faces will not be shown in detail in the photos. I will also not be using their full names, but I will use their initials instead. My brother (the groom) will be referred to as “J.”, my sister-in-law (the bride) will be “A.”, and their daughter (my niece) is “R.”.
The day before the wedding, I finally was able to get some new clothes to wear (not an easy task for a plus size woman like me), and I ended up settling on a pair of houndstooth print pants and a long-sleeved purple cotton/polyester v-neck top. I had previously gotten some neutral eyeshadow to round out my makeup kit (although it is still not complete, even now; it still needs some eyeliner, some evening eyeshadow, some darker lip color, and possibly some mascara). I figured with the atmosphere of the venue, super-formal attire was not required. Heck, my dad wore overalls over a plaid button-up shirt! And I was right. Even my own brother didn’t wear a suit! I’m pretty sure their pastor did, though. We were asked to be there for a 4 pm ceremony; we got there at about 3:30. While waiting for the ceremony to begin, I took a selfie (my brother was getting pre-wedding pictures taken all over the place…I won’t be able to show it here, but in one of the pro pictures taken of my brother and his daughter, my dad can be seen photobombing in the background, but it wasn’t on purpose).
The ceremony took place outside the restaurant building, which has a barn-like façade (J. & A. are country music fans and J. especially is a bit of a redneck). My brother built the arch that they were married under, and they also put together their own sign and a fence backdrop where guests could take some polaroids with fun props, and each pic was pinned with a clothespin to some wires spanning a picture frame that serves as a keepsake for the bride and groom. I managed to get a panorama of of the ceremony area before the wedding.
And I also got a couple of shots of the reception area.
Of course, events like this never start on time, and this was no different. The ceremony itself started at around 4:30, and it was a relatively simple ceremony compared to other weddings. There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen (mainly because they were on a tight budget, but likely also to avoid any unnecessary drama or stress that comes with such positions). They instead opted for a ring bearer (A.’s nephew, if I remember correctly) and a flower girl (their little girl R.). My brother wore a simple black button-up shirt, dark blue jeans, a belt, and cowboy boots, and the ring bearer wore a similar outfit. A. wore a white, one-shoulder gown with lace detail and a champagne-colored sash and…cowboy boots. R. wore a white gown with her own little cowboy boots. You can tell they like their country style. The officiant was a pastor (I never asked about the denomination, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Southern Baptist, as this seems to be a common denomination here, and my brother and I both attended Baptist churches in the past), who wore a white beard similar to Abraham Lincoln’s, neatly trimmed with no mustache. This was an unusual wedding (only the fourth I’ve ever attended, the other three being for family friends) in that no vows were recited (rather, the pastor outlined the meaning of marriage and the bride and groom simply confirmed their agreement to the terms with an “I do”) and that no words were recited during the exchange of rings (again, the pastor outlined their symbolism). Within a matter of ten minutes after her father had given A. away, J. & A. were pronounced husband and wife and sealed it with a kiss. Here is the ceremony in a few pictures:
(That’s R. in the little wagon, by the way. She can walk, but doesn’t quite have the stamina to stand still just yet. She’s getting there, though! And the key to getting a perfect kiss pic? Photo burst!)
After the ceremony, everyone filed into the reception area and after some time for the bride and groom and their families to get their pictures taken, it was time for the reception dinner to begin. It was buffet-style, with coleslaw, rolls, macaroni and cheese, French fries, baked beans, and barbecued chicken, pork, and beef brisket. I had coleslaw, a roll, some mac and cheese, baked beans, and beef brisket (which I topped with a little of the house sweet sauce). The bride and groom got champagne and beer, and all the adult guests of drinking age got two tickets to redeem for drinks at the bar. I used both of my tickets on a couple of bottles of Miller Lite, and I think I may have been the only one at the entire reception drinking Miller! Hey…I can’t help it if I’m a Miller girl (which is kind of a big deal, because most people here in the South prefer to drink Budweiser).
The reception went past sunset. There was lots of music, laughter, and general hubbub. Unfortunately, I cannot upload video directly here, but I did manage to catch some video of the kids at the wedding dancing to “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, a song that was about 8 times older than they were, with reckless abandon. It was cute. The bride and groom danced to “Love of My Life” by the country singer Sammy Kershaw, and then they cut the cake.
Unfortunately, we were a week too early for the first major cool down of the season (we have another cold front coming through this week, which will see several nights of temperatures in the 50s Fahrenheit, sweater weather for us Floridians), and we were getting warm and tired, so my parents and I left the reception at around 7:30, but not before we got Polaroids taken…and we got about three or four of them (a couple of them candids).
J., A., and R. are now in the Carolinas for a family honeymoon.
I don’t know if marriage is in the cards for me, but I am so glad that I got to share in my brother’s special day. Sure, I think about what I would want in a hypothetical wedding, but then I remember that I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch. Soon, things will get back to normal, only now…I have in-laws.
I close this post with the two songs I mentioned here: “Love of My Life” by Sammy Kershaw and “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.
Until next time…