By Marguerite Jill Dye
We rode on a tractor-pulled hayride up to the wedding ground. The mountain glowed in late the day sun that lit up the orchard and colorful woods. When the bagpipes began, we led the procession, then sat on the first wooden bench. The bride’s mother, aunt, and bridesmaids followed, escorted down the aisle by the groomsmen. Flower girls sprinkled rose petals daintily, and the three-year-old ring bearer carried a sign, “Daddy, here comes our girl!” Both rings danced merrily along the ground, attached to the sign with white ribbons.
The piper was clad in full Highland attire. He played a number of Scottish tunes including “Danny Boy” for the groom. But when “Amazing Grace” sounded across the hill, the radiant bride appeared. On her father’s arm, she approached. The groom welcomed her, beaming with pride. Surrounded by family and friends from nearby and far away states, our son and his beautiful bride were wed with ancient Celtic vows. Only true love could express the way they stared into each other’s eyes. The joy they felt was shared by all, in awe of the couple we love so much.
The exchange of the rings symbolized the unending love in their marriage and the Blending of the Sands ceremony signified joining their lives and families together. They poured vials of tan and turquoise sand in layers into one vase. “Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.”
The bagpipes rang out, transporting me back to our own wedding day when the very same piper, my husband’s close friend and UNC college roommate, played the pipes as Dad and I walked down the aisle. The blend of the music, nature and beauty, melded with love and family. The precious moment gave me chills and an unforgettable heartfelt thrill.
Following the ceremony, we descended the mountain to the open barn where festivities began. The minister doubled as the M.C., announcing the arrival of the wedding party. The bride was adorned in a gorgeous white gown, in contrast with her striking black hair. Her stunning, strapless dress was perfectly fitted to her hourglass shape. Each bridesmaid wore the same teal dress, but adjustable straps made each one unique (i.e. strapless, two straps, and a Grecian one strap.)
It was thrilling to see the couple’s dear friends, the bride’s parents and extended family, my brothers, their wives, and most of their children celebrating the happy occasion. (Some met at the rehearsal dinner the night before at Avellino, our son’s restaurant.)
There was no shortage of conversation in the barn filled with pretty, inviting round tables. After the feast their chef friend barbeque-d, the lively dance party began. The talented minister performed once again as the deejay. We danced away, and in between, tasted each layer of the three-tiered cake with its scrumptious flavors of infused green tea, pear, and chocolate/vanilla. Its luscious butter-cream fondant frosting was decorated with spectacular agate-like teal, rock sugar candy.
The young-uns continued to celebrate far into the night at an after party in the pizza restaurant of another chef friend. We Baby Boomers called it a night and settled into our Sturbridge hotel.
Breakfast concluded the series of gatherings, then Papa and I began our duties in earnest—caring for the young ring-bearer while the happy couple, Mommy and Daddy, left on their well-deserved honeymoon.
There’s nothing we’d rather do than spend time with our grandson, Silas, but we definitely met our match. Truly, we’d forgotten the meaning of “exhaustion.” So we took vitamins and went to bed right after Silas’ bedtime. After his bath, curled up in bed, my favorite time is reading him books. We discussed each picture, words, and ideas, adventures, characters, laughed, and giggled.
We listened to Beatles in the car and found Silas’ perfect theme song: “I say ‘yes,’ you say ‘no,’ you say ‘stop,’ and I say ‘go, go, go.’” “I don’t want that,” he says with conviction and his angelic pleading expression.
“He’s exerting his independence,” I remind myself, and that is, indeed, a good thing.
Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between the Green Mountains of Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.