The old barns that have stood the test of time seem perfectly placed on the farm, with much thought given before even a single rock was placed for a sturdy foundation.
With this symbolism in mind, why not hold a wedding ceremony there?
Our bank barn was built in the mid-1800s, so it is antique material, solid and beautiful. Each hand-hewn beam would have taken an incredible amount of forethought, skill, time, work. From the moment a tree deemed tall enough was chosen, just think of every labor-intensive step required to create the skeleton of a barn.
Each beam running the length of our barn spans an impressive 50 feet, cut and hewn and placed in an era when manpower was truly that, and was aided only by horses.
So, when our son Cort proposed to his intended, he made it clear that his other intention was to hold the ceremony with Karen here on this lovely farm.
When we asked where, both pointed out the grove of trees standing in a meadow just west of the barn.
My sister, who could plan a great event blindfolded with her hands tied behind her back, said why not in the barn? Her excitement began bubbling over, and it became contagious.
We all pitched in, having no real idea just how much work we were in for.
The loose hay was swept and scooped and used as much as possible, our neighbors even coming to haul some of it to their livestock. Burn piles were lit for the junk that accumulates so easily over hundreds of years. The built-in ladders of the old barn were put to good use to climb and clean even the rafters and beams, knocking down enough cobwebs and grit to start a new colony somewhere.
Masks were worn when the worst of this work came, sweeping the barn dirt over and over until the upper barn was transformed into a wedding chapel.
The work spilled over to the rest of the farm as the weeks flew by, cleaning and clearing the meadow, buzzing the chainsaw over volunteer trees that simply had to go.
The house needed to be spruced up, too, because (even though some argued that the house wouldn’t be hosting anyone, this old mama knew better) folks would fill the kitchen and bath, and everything needed to be welcoming and polished.
The morning of the wedding dawned sunny and bright, with a breeze blowing right out of the north, bringing a distinct chill. No one would have to worry about being too warm on this day.
For us, it was a day to behold. Karen, who met Cort through a mutual friend, is an artistic, giving soul filled with enthusiasm and joy, a young woman who is adventuresome, embracing life with an ebullience few ever know.
The bride, beautiful in a vintage gown, carried a natural and lovely bouquet made by my sister; the handsome groom wore his grandfather’s well-worn wedding ring on a gold chain, tucked behind his tie, and the day unfolded.
Two of the couple’s friends played guitar as the wedding party, dressed in champagne and chocolate brown, filed in to place, past an original farm gate decorated for the event, and an old wagon’s ladder back decorated with grapevine and tiny white lights serving as the chapel backdrop, an ancient horse yoke securing it.
The bride walked down the aisle to “Here Comes The Sun,” on this sunny day.
The brilliantly blue sky provided a lovely canopy for outdoor photographs while guests enjoyed a meal and music and laughter.
A barn provides shelter and comfort and a solid, forceful strength; a barn welcomes new life, ever strong and silent as the very old fades in to the sunset.
Our barn faces true north and has withstood life’s storms, from floods and lightning to blizzards and gale-force winds. And so it seems fitting to host this new beginning, a new union, taking flight from its sturdy beams.