Tuesday, November 5, 2013
At the end of June as I was cleaning up, putting away, and recuperating from Catherine's wedding, Debbie and Joe were just beginning to prepare for Tana's wedding. It's been years since there had been a wedding in Salters, but in 2013, our community had two planned. The major difference in the events was that I had a year to prepare for our wedding while Debbie, had 4 months. After a year of planning, preparing, and hosting Catherine's wedding, I was eager to see how Debbie could get everything done in less than half the time we had. By the way, not only was the reception to be in their backyard, but Tana was getting married at home as well. Surely the mother of the bride had to be a bit anxious with both events being at home because it could mean double trouble if it rained or it could be the most perfect wedding Salters had ever seen. From the beginning the Burrows worked like busy bees. A day did not go by that something was being planned, planted, or painted. It was the perfect time to restore, rebuild, and renovate. In fact, one might say that weddings are the best way to get things done at home that had been put off for years. As I watched my friend prepare for the big day it was apparent Debbie had everything under control and the only advice I could offer was to enjoy this time. Planning a wedding for a precious daughter is indeed a special occasion in the life of a family and over all too soon.
The weather in October had been a perfect until the week of the wedding. Wedding week the weather turned cool and of course rain was in the forecast. However, weather conditions were no match for Debbie and her family as they created a wedding venue that any bride would be proud of. In the true southern tradition, family always comes to help the mother of the bride, and Debbie's family was no different. Georgia came from Maryland, Eddie from New York and Betsy from Alabama, all with the intent to put on the perfect wedding. Even though there was much to do, the relatives had great fun with the planning and preparation. The creative handiwork included chandeliers in the trees, an exquisite wedding cake displayed on a real tree trunk, beautiful arrangements, white pumpkins, and a handsome iron gate that welcomed guests into the wedding spot. Instead of a guest register, there were wishing rocks that guests could write personal wishes for the young couple.
I have been to many weddings, but none were more beautiful than Tana and Charles'. The simple elegance and relaxed mood made this event a grand affair. However, regardless of the delightful setting, the lovely bride, the delicious food, the music, and the fun, it was the people that made the sweet memories.
Tana's wedding was a wonderful Salters gathering of family and friends. It is worth noting that the immediate family consisted of four generations beginning with Mr. Gordon; his children; the grand children; and great grand children coming together to celebrate Tana's marriage. To make the event even more exceptional, the gathering was held at the old McCollough home place. It has been said by many people that nothing makes Salters folks happier than just being with other Salters folks. During the evening, friends talked with Mot about his 6 months of (for real) hiking the Appalachian Trail, chatted with Eddie about life in the Big Apple, and visited with friends living in other parts of the country. It was also a time to hear stories about life in Salters as Beth Jonte reminisced about the many make believe weddings that she, Georgia and Betsy had under same tree where Tana was married. And then, going full circle the adults watched Trystan, Meredith, Leah, Katie and Lizzy of the next generation dance and have fun as they imagined their future weddings. It was a wonderful night for everyone.
As the typical Mother of the Bride, Debbie, said the entire night was just a blur, but her best memory was the actual wedding when the couple took their vows under the old Salters Oak Tree. However, my favorite memory of the actual wedding was after the ceremony when the bride and groom were walking down the aisle, Tana turned to her new husband, and with complete seriousness, said: “well, that was not so bad.” With 40 years of marriage under my belt, I thought, no my friend, that was probably easiest thing you will do as a married couple, now comes the real life.
As the evening was winding down, a gentle rain began to fall. Before leaving, Bunny and I stopped under a building with a tin roof to talk to our friends. The merriment in the background, the rain on the tin roof, the gathering of friends, a happy couple, truly it was the making of sweet memories. Oh, and by the way, Debbie did a great job with only 4 months to prepare!