Today was the big day. Our good friend, Rene, was married today and her wedding was most of the reason for our visit to Colorado. It's nice, of course, that we got in some visiting with my Dad but we see him pretty regularly on the East Coast. Joseph was the ring bearer and Margaret the flower girl for this wedding and they have been looking forward to this day for months.
But before I get to the kids, I have to gush a bit about this wedding and the family that hosted it. I've known Rene for several years and heard lots about her family. They always sounded wonderful and creative and resourceful but nothing prepared me for this wedding. Rene wanted to be married at home so the first step was to build a barn. That's right. That beautiful building at the top of this post was built by her family in the last month. Her father owns a sawmill/lumberyard but, still.
The upstairs is a loft room that was used for out-of-town guest housing. The bride and groom exchanged vows on the deck there and Joseph is trying out the boardwalk that was built this morning. And lest you think that a wedding in a barn can't be wonderfully elegant, wonder no longer:
The entire setting was lovely. In addition to building the barn Rene's family also self-catered the reception (delicious Cajun food), made Margaret's dress and about a million other things that many people would have hired someone else to do.
Margaret was a lovely flower girl. After getting dressed and getting her hair done she spent a long time meticulously pulling apart roses to fill her basket with petals.
At the rehearsal Margaret had refused to walk down the aisle alone. She insisted that once she had her flower petals she was going to do exactly what was expected of her. But as anyone who knows Margaret could probably guess, she froze at the prospect of walking past lots of strangers so I had to personally walk her down the aisle and get her into her seat. Everyone loved her anyway, of course.
The ring bearer, on the other hand, performed flawlessly.
Joseph took his job very seriously, wheeled down the aisle beautifully and looked quite dapper while doing it. I was not at leisure to take pictures of the kids actually going down the aisle.
My favorite part of the day was after dinner. Margaret was in a bit of a funk, I think, and asked if we could go find her flower basket. We retrieved it from the house and she asked me to come with her back outside. She walked back to the end of the aisle and proceeded to walk slowly down the aisle scatter flower petals the whole way. The photographer caught it all. Then she walked back and forth up and down the aisle until her basket was empty. Then she asked to find Rene who was only too happy to take another trip down the aisle, hand-in-hand with Margaret, this time over flower petals.
Shortly after Margaret had completed her appointed task the dancing began and the shy flower girl became the life of the party. She wouldn't sit down.
She danced with me:
With the maid of honor:
With the bride:
The boys got in on the fun, too. Joseph raced across the room to ask the maid of honor to dance as soon as the dance floor was open to everyone.
And William, who is a dancing fanatic, couldn't get enough. We couldn't quite capture the sheer delight on his face while he bopped around with us. But William spent a good deal of time trying to get as dirty as possible. He spent the ceremony chucking fistfuls of mulch, most of which landed on himself.
And staring, entranced, at the huge dogs which he loved as long as they remained a safe distance away.
A lovely day for our family and a beautiful start to a marriage for Rene and Bob. Margaret is sleeping in her dress next to me.