Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Budget Wedding that was Rich on Love

Jennie and Ben
Karen's son, Ben, recently married.  Karen is my oldest and dearest friend.  I was at Ben's birth and he has called me, "Aunt Linda", for 29 years.  Jennie is a sweetheart and definitely gets a thumbs up.
The Wedding Party
In this era of wedding extravaganzas, there was no showboating at this wedding. Ben and Jennie created a unique and personal wedding. Jennie's young cousins had their own ideas of how they would participate. They were superheros in capes and fairies with tiaras. For a beach wedding, Ben and Jennie figured khaki shorts and blue golf shirts were perfect for the Groomsmen. The Bridesmaids wore coordinating long blue gowns. There was no wedding planner, no rehearsal, no rehearsal dinner, no photographer, no wedding cake.  There was a minister, a gorgeous day, and 130 people that loved them.

Budget? It was shoestring at best. These two resourceful kids relied on the help of friends and family to pull it off. Jennie got a floor sample gown on sale for $200 courtesy of  Karen. Karen also supplied the veil. It was a family heirloom worn by 6 past brides. Jennie's favorite movie is Safe Haven. She wanted to get married at the same romantic waterfront in the movie. Uncle Rob, retired Town Manager, provided the venue in Southport, NC. Friend Joe, brought a pig cooker and smoked pork butts for the reception. Ditto Uncle Neil with chicken.  Karen, her sisters and the brides' aunts, etc. made all the other fixins: mac & cheese, slaw, green & baked beans, etc.etc. There was a bounty of delicious food. Jennie and Karen made over 200 cupcakes. Uncle Bill installed a full sound system and provided all the music.
Karen and Ben's Mother/Son Dance
Cowboy and I helped too. We picked up and hauled soft drinks, wine and beer from a distant store freezer, up 3 flights of stairs. to the reception hall. Check out their ingenious idea for icing the drinks.
"Pick Up" a drink

I ironed the grooms' wedding outfits: long sleeve shirt and slacks for the ceremony, golf shirt and shorts for the reception.  I also cleaned a bunch of old pictures and mementos for a Memorial Table.  I'd never seen a Memorial Table at a wedding.  Jennie's mother died of cancer several years ago. The table was a lovely tribute to her mother and other relatives that had passed. 
Cowboy, Groomsman Mike and Me Installing Runner
The biggest challenge happened at 3:10PM.  The attendant for the venue mentioned to Jennie that Yes! she could have a runner.  Huh?  "The other lady said runners weren't allowed."  Dial 911 Runner. Cowboy and I jump in the car to get the runner. Success!  We then NasCar-ed to the hardware store for a hammer and tacks. Return, unroll, install. The wedding is scheduled to start at 4:30PM.  There is no time to tarry.

We finish the runner at 4:10PM.  We run to our nearby B&B.  Somehow, we tag team quick showers, towel off, and dress. I attempt to apply makeup. It refuses adhere to my still-red-and-moist-from-the-heat face.  My hair is sopping from perspiration but there was no time for blow drying.  I throw on my dress, grab my pocketbook and say, "does this look OK?" Cowboy laughs, "I think the zipper goes in the back."  Crap. Backwards. Turn dress. Go.

We hustled back to the venue. Whew! The wedding had not started yet.  I scamper to the restroom hoping to apply some waterproof mascara. (Waterworks at weddings, you know.)  In runs Jennie with a bridesmaid holding up her dress. Like any bride, her nerves caught up with her.  From the stall, she pleads, "Please, talk to me, Linda!"  I managed to talk the bride off a the ledge.  What a precious memory!  She's cool.  I'm mascaraed.  Let's get this party started.
That is me jumping up to give applause. 

This wedding is very, very special.  It is truly their wedding.  There is no pretentiousness-just happiness. There was so much love that it was palatable.  It took a village, but they pulled it off. How refreshing to witness and be part of something so wonderfully organic.  --Namaste.


  1. "Homemade" weddings are the best - it's because everyone has a bit of themselves in it! Looks like a wonderful day.
    And Auntie Linda was to the rescue!!!

  2. The wedding wouldn't have been nearly as exciting without the race for the runner. We have stories that will be retold forever.

  3. As mom of Ben, and now mother-in-law of Jennie, friend of precious Aunt Linda, maker of...yes! 200 cupcakes, pre-wedding fretter extradoinnaire, all that mattered in the end was the look on my boy's face when he first saw Jennie in her beautiful gown and vintage veil. It was a day to treasure, in a gorgeous setting, surrounded by family and loving friends who pitched in to make it everything by beloved boy and his sweet girl wished for.

  4. There were moments of mass confusion when we wondered if it would all work out. Thankfully, it was a success!