Yesterday, I attended one of the lowest-key weddings I've ever been to. It was also one of the loveliest.
It's my first trip to New England, and the first thing I did after arriving in Boston was to hop onto the Logan Express bus to nearby Framingham, and then into a cab to a kind of managed forest called Garden in the Woods. It's a forest with trails and flowers and signs illustrating which plants are endangered or invasive. And there's a tent on the top of a slow-sloping hill with a stage at the foot – the site of the wedding I was attending, and the reception afterward.
Gabe and Hilary and their families seem so kindred that the whole affair was a preternaturally relaxed affair. As a friend who also played a small part in the wedding, I was part of a larger group of people in charge of set-up and clean-up. Hilary's grandma made the cake, everyone brought food (in addition to some catering) and everyone decorated the pathway down to the stage together. There was a live band playing dance music all night, and they even let me sing a song with them for the couple (the great-but-cheesy "We've Only Just Begun," which I have never sung before but somehow know the words to).
The entire wedding and party was a pure celebration, with singing, dancing, guitar playing, and lots of eating and drinking. That's what a wedding is really about, right? Celebrating the rare jewel that is real, enduring love. Maybe the fact that many marriages don't endure in that way is a reflection of how few weddings really manage to be that kind of celebration. Maybe not. Just something to think about.
Best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. Holbrow.