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A Wedding This Summer


It was the wedding of the century. Forget William and Kate, Laura and Brian’s wedding was the wedding to beat. Of course, when your daughter is the bride there’s nothing like it. And what a bride she was!

Like so many little girls, Laura used to play at being a bride. When she was older, she would talk about her wedding. A lot. In our family, it was a gentle joke: How often Laura brought up her wedding, well before Brian entered the picture. And so, when it was time to plan a real wedding, Laura swung into action. During the 11 months between the engagement and the wedding, people asked me how I was coping, implying I must be going crazy with all the plans. Truth be told, Laura and Brian did most of the heavy lifting. They kept me in the loop, and I did what I could but in the end, the bride and groom were “the deciders,” on everything big and small.

I went with Laura to buy the dress (and what a dress!). I made the initial contact with the caterer and helped devise the menu (what delicious food it turned out to be!). I asked Rose Beranbaum to make the cake (and what a cake!). I worked hard to get the gardens in shape and to insure the tent site was well mowed and ready for the party when August finally arrived.

the cake was a replica of my parents' cake

The week leading up to the wedding was absolutely beautiful. Laura and Brian were at the farm making signs, hand-written menus, gift bags, and all sorts of decisions.  (So many details, so many small chores for a spectacular finish.) Michael arrived from Wyoming, ready to help, which meant several trips to the dump in the pick-up (why is there always so much “stuff” at the farm?). He also painted the playhouse and put up the window box I planted for it.

The rest of the family arrived one or two days before the wedding. The weather held. The rehearsal dinner was a big success — both the official one hosted by Brian’s parents at the inn, and the informal one back at the farm, hosted by my brothers and sisters (they couldn’t say no when I “asked” them to do this).

And then it was Saturday. The big day. The clouds gathered, as did the bridesmaids, the hair dressers, the makeup guy, and the caterers. Danyelle, the wedding coordinator, and her husband Andy put the finishing touches on the tent and it looked absolutely beautiful. Green and white and welcoming.

It was time. We were dressed and the sky was spitting an occasional rain drop. My cousin Susan, an ordained minister and the wedding officiant, decided to omit the charge she had written for Laura and Brian to shorten the service. Regardless, it was a lovely ceremony. So much love. So much care.

And so many people! When did everyone arrive? I was so happy to see the faces of friends and family from Maine, California, Pennsylvania,  Hawaii, Australia, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, West Virginia, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Chicago, Ithaca,  Boston, South Carolina. So many people traveled so far.

Cocktails after the ceremony were planned for the lawn but raindrops drove everyone into the tent. The drops turned into driving rain. I found Andy and together we found the tent side flaps, which were stacked about 30 feet from the tent rather than being furled along the tent’s roof. Our guests helped put the sides up and while the barriers were pretty effective, there was no way to keep that storm at bay.

What happened? Just a great party, thank you very much! The DJ cranked up the music and we danced after dinner was served— which even exceeded our high expectations. There were toasts, there was conversation, but mostly there was dancing.

Laura dances with her dad

And then, the last dance. The Time of My Life, from Dirty Dancing. When she was a little girl Laura watched that movie over and over. When Dick gave her a poster of Patrick Swayze for Christmas one year, she literally swooned. And so, we formed a circle around Laura and Brian as they danced to this very special song.

They are married. They are meant for each other. Brian has sort of known it since second grade, and Laura recognized it almost immediately when they rekindled their friendship during graduate school.

It may have been the wedding of the century. I suspect it’s a marriage for the ages.

copyright © Mary Goodbody

11 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/21/2011 5:29 pm

    It really was a great wedding!

  2. Judy permalink
    09/21/2011 6:06 pm

    You forgot Australia!
    And we had delicious ham from one of Dick’s pigs on Friday night.
    The wedding ended with “Dirty Dancing,” but it began with “The Sounds of Music”–“Edelweis” got me sobbing before the bride even reached the altar.

    • 09/21/2011 6:36 pm

      I have now added Australia. Sorry, Marnie! You’re right, Judy. Laura’s favorite-movies-when-she-was-a-kid bookended the wedding.

    • Marnie permalink
      09/21/2011 11:19 pm

      Thank you, Judy. I’m glad someone remembered!

  3. Liz Berg permalink
    09/21/2011 7:26 pm

    This wedding was the BOMB! LOVED IT!! And so happy for Laura and Brian! (PS – hope there aren’t any grammatical errors in this message … or it could be my head!)

    • 09/21/2011 8:56 pm

      No errors! The wedding may have been “the bomb” but would not have been nearly as explosive without you and your charming husband. And, the fact that you went through it a year earlier helped me a lot. Miss you around here, Liz. Hope all is going well.

  4. 09/21/2011 8:22 pm

    Everything was perfectly wonderful. As it always is with the Goodbodys.

  5. Katie permalink
    09/21/2011 9:10 pm

    I loved reading this. It sounds positively magical.

  6. Tim M. permalink
    09/22/2011 6:21 pm

    I really enjoyed this enchanting account. Best wishes, Laura and Brian.

  7. Mary B permalink
    09/26/2011 8:19 pm

    Just now finding this and have to agree, that wedding was the best and most exciting/dramatic one i’ve been to. I should have known that after all those years of dreaming of her special day that Laura’s wedding would be nothing short of perfection.

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