Ah, when spring and summer are here, thoughts often turn to romance, which usually leads to a ring and then a wedding.
The mind’s eye encompasses a beautiful bride dressed in a white flowing gown with several attendants decked out in matching pastel-colored gowns. The groom and his groomsmen are handsome in their tuxedos or matching suits.
And to steal the show is a darling little flower girl with the most nervous mother in the whole place, if not, then it would be the mother of the cute little ring-bearer. The guests are seated in a traditional air-conditioned church with ornate stained-glass windows. This gives the whole affair a fairytale-like experience as sentimental tears of joy and beauty are shed by many.
So, what is this thing about getting married outdoors next to a barn, then going into the barn for the reception? I have attended three such weddings recently. The weddings were all held in a field with many folding chairs set up in rows.
My friend and I were running a tad late for one that I recently attended. It was really out in the boondocks, and we thought that we were lost. We turned around once thinking this couldn’t be it. But it was IT.
We parked our car out in a field with other cars and then hurried down a path that looked like it led to where we were supposed to go. It had rained the day before, and my friend stepped into a muddy hole and drenched one of her formal linen shoes. Not only was the shoe ruined, but she had a dirty wet foot that didn’t go well with her well-chosen fashionable ensemble.
We still had not reached the wedding site but we could hear something. We kept going. We got there in time to stand up in the back behind rows of chairs. We could barely hear the music and there seemed to be a woman warbling out a song, but we couldn’t hear what she was singing. Yep, the PA system malfunctioned.
Shortly after, the bridesmaids and groomsmen appeared from the woods and walked down an opening between the folding chairs. The preacher and groom appeared from somewhere down front to greet them.
All of a sudden, we heard a vehicle coming on a dirt and gravel road behind where we were standing. It was a pick-up truck bringing the bride and her father. With a lot of awkward twisting and turning, the bride finally jumped down, straightening her gown as her father stood there looking helpless.
They soon proceeded down the aisle to recite their vows that nobody could hear. I couldn’t help but think that if this was the norm and the wedding party got a chance to have the wedding in a beautiful and comfortable church, they would jump at the chance.
These barn venues are not cheap. I mean, they cost up into the thousands of dollars, although most include a catered dinner reception. To use a church for a wedding costs very little by comparison. A fee is usually paid to cover a member of the church to be on hand to offer any help with lighting, dressing rooms, etc. And of course, there is a clean-up fee.
Wouldn’t it be much more charming and comfortable in a church setting, not to mention the money saved that could go a long way toward a down payment on a starter home?
Whether the wedding takes place in a church, a barn or at the justice of the peace is really just a matter of preference and is not really of importance. What really matters and is important is the marriage itself.
Fads will come and go. So what is next? I am sure some enterprising entrepreneur will come up with a new idea that will make barn weddings a thing of the past in a few years. Long live capitalism!
If you ask me, life is still good.
Margaret Hudson Kilgore lives in Sharpsburg with her husband Gordon Kilgore (aka Mr. Wanderlust) and two furbabies, Miss Lulu Bichon and Miss Mia Maltese. Margaret can be reached at email@example.com .