Oh where to begin with this lovely, love-ful wedding...
Relationships - the good ones - take love, patience, and - let's face it - some serious hard work. We do the hard work because we believe the relationship is worth the effort, but there are times in even the best relationships when it's hard to keep the big picture in mind. Getting ready for a wedding is like a microcosmic version of a relationship, and it can be easy to get lost in the details there, too - the neverending list of to-do's that somehow obscures the goal of the I-do's. In the end, the hard work of coordinating a wedding is like a crash course in relationship management, and given what I saw at Luke & Rachel's wedding, I'm going to go ahead and pencil in a shoot for their 50th wedding anniversary :D
Blog readers, welcome to the Sweet Farm!
Early last Spring, Luke & Rachel sent out save the date cards for a "Barnraising & Celebratory Extravaganza" at a location yet-to-be-determined. At the time, they were looking to purchase land in Virginia on which they would build a farm, but three months prior to their wedding, they were offered the opportunity to move onto a farm owned by Luke's grandparents in Frederick, MD. In the short time they had before their guests were to arrive, they had an enormous amount of work to get accomplished: move in, plan a wedding, and prepare for a barnraising... and the real catch? They did every stitch of the work themselves (with a little lot of help from their friends, of course!).
The barn you see below was constructed of timbers hand-milled from trees felled on the farm, and rose from nothing but a concrete slab in the three days leading up to their Saturday wedding. The community effort was the perfect metaphor for the support a couple needs as they make their way through life, and this couple - more than most - will have this beautiful, functional, and very physical reminder of the support they have from their friends and family for decades to come.
The day of the wedding, everyone pitched in to get a construction site converted into a wedding venue. Flowers were gathered in the adjacent field...
A whole hog was barbecued in honor of the occasion:I love these! These are wine bottle tops hung over Christmas lights (you'll see how the bases were used on the tables below). See also: their lovely programs, sushi made by a friend for the event, and cupcakes by Luke's sister on the cutest stands ever!Most brides spend the morning at the salon getting pampered, but Rachel only got showered about an hour before the ceremony was to take place, then she and Luke got ready together (as they said, they'd been doing all the work together thus far... why split up now?):
(Rachel got hit on the forehead during the barnraising and needed some emergency stitches, which Luke gently trimmed so she could cover them better for the wedding):
True to form, their ceremony was simple and hand-crafted, with a nod to tradition but a soul of its own.
(I absolutely LOVE this one!)
What started as a pretty stormy afternoon turned into a gorgeous August evening, with dinner under the stars and dancing under the very barn that their guests had helped them build... a true "celebratory extravaganza". Luke and Rachel, I'd wish you luck, but I don't really think you need it :D You are an extraordinary couple destined for an extraordinary life together... enjoy it!
P.S. If you want to read more about this super-cool wedding weekend, check out the local paper's coverage here.