My dear friend Rachel got married Thursday to the love o' her life, Colin, and the happy couple threw a barn party to celebrate it last night. J and I made the six-hour drive to be a part of it--we would have driven 60 hours if need be.
I was 28 when I got married and at the time felt older than the hills, thanks in large part to the fact that I had a wave of friends get married right out of college. I hate to think back on that panicky feeling I know I had at age 22, wondering if I'd ever find love and wondering why it hadn't happened for me yet. (Actually, I'd found it, but then it went away for four years. It took a gin and tonic, a cell phone and a 3,000-mile flight, but it came back to me when the time was right.)
Of course, I'm eternally grateful now that I had my 20s to explore and grow and find out what made ME happy versus what I could do to make some guy happy. Marrying young worked out well for a lot of my friends, but it would have been a disaster of epic proportions had it happened to me.
So, seeing my dear friend marry just shy of her 36th birthday is beautiful to me. She's a strong, gorgeous, independent woman and she is spending the rest of her life with one fantastic man. I remember sharing heartbreaks with her (both hers and mine), and I think that only magnifies the joy I had this weekend seeing her wedding celebrated her own way--in a barn, with a barbecue dinner, wearing the most darling cardigan sweater and sassy shoes and surrounded by people whose hearts burst with love for her and her groom.
Rachel, if you're reading this, you should know that I took your mom's advice and made a pie tonight from the leftover apples from your table decorations. I've also added "barbecued chicken, baked beans, mac & cheese, caesar salad and big puffy rolls" to my regular lineup of dinner menus here at home. We'll call it the RayandColin and think of you two every time we hit that spot in the rotation.
Here's a little barn-wedding eye candy (sorry I couldn't get the groom's face out from the behind the tree here, but what a beautiful bride):
The drinks were served in mason jars with our names on a tag wrapped around the rim with string (so we could reuse our own jars). Love it:
Love and joy!