The property was transformed. The Original Hilton and Hilton on the Hill (two old shacks at the back of the property usually used for storage but frequently called into service as sleeping quarters for visiting cousins when we were all kids) been painted barn red with white trim and sported new tin roofs. The wedding arch at the crest of the hill was laced with fall flowers, corn husks and colored leaves. Beyond the arch the hills and mountains were ablaze in all their fall glory.
Family from everywhere arrived in wedding wear and cowboy boots for this unique country wedding.
The young bride and her groom had planned every detail and I know they we pleased with their ceremony. The processional up the hill was like an old fashioned tradition of family and friends accompanying the couple on the walk to the church. Pictures of the missing grandmothers and aunts were brought along at the couple's insistence. The vows were personal and deep. Very very sweet.
Forty six years ago this bride's mother, Andi, was a beautiful nine year old junior bridesmaid at my wedding. CousinAndi was the youngest of all the cousins, and the sweetest and most beloved. She grew up to be a wonderful mother and all of her kids are smart, gracious and kind and adore their mom. I know it was a bittersweet day for her.
And then there was a real party!!! A pig roast in the front yard, a bar in the backyard, a huge tent in the side yard alive with hundreds of tiny white lights and gold glittering mason jar candle holders. Buffet dinner, toasts that had us laughing and crying and cheering, and of course cake and cupcakes. And then the dancing began.
This is a family that LOVES to dance. Lots of country music and moves that haven't quite made it to Seattle or McLean,Va, but Thelma and Louise did their best!! Until they couldn't. We did notice that sixty year old cousin Linda (Linda of red convertable fame) was out dancing almost everyone...and almost everyone was much much younger. In her cowboy boots and leather cowboy hat she was a great reminder that we need to grab happiness and live our dreams.
And that's what Thelma and Louise want for young Ashley and her man Brandon. Happiness and dreams come true.
3 hours ago