A beautiful outdoor wedding…in the mud…

Jon and I spent the weekend in Ashville, N.C., for his friends’ wedding. It was a beautiful wedding (sadly, neither Jon nor I remembered to bring a camera, so I’ve got no pictures to share with you). The ceremony took place outside at Homewood in Ashville, and although it had rained for two days straight, the sun shined for an hour or two before the ceremony–and it poured again as soon as we got to the reception venue. There was a good number of guests, but it was personal and intimate–two friends of the couple officiated, two more friends played the ceremony music, and Jon read an excerpt of a letter from Mark Twain to his wife. I love how personal they made it–they made the ceremony completely theirs and didn’t put on a show, like so many weddings I’ve been to. And it was completely secular–no sermon, communion, religious readings, etc., which was nice to see because that’s probably how ours will have to be. It definitely felt like a big moment for the couple, and I’m glad they shared it with us. Congrats guys!

That said, there were a few things I learned from this outdoor wedding. This was the first one I’d been to, and from it I realized that I need to think about some things to prepare for this!

1. If it has rained within the past two days, expect mud.

Even if the sun is shining as you walk down the aisle, your guests are standing with their heels two inches deep in mud. This made standing, walking, even sitting difficult–I basically stood on tiptoe until we got back on the trolley to go to the reception! Flats would have been a better option.

I’m going to have to think about a way to avoid this situation at our ceremony. We’ll be getting married outside, and the entire area is grassy. Would it be weird to cheap flip flops to the ladies in heels?

2. Don’t seat your guests on a hill. Especially one that descends from the altar.

Not only does this make the mud issue worse (Jon almost fell out of his chair when he sat down), but because we were sitting down the hill from the couple, I couldn’t see over the tall people.  I don’t think they could help this issue this time around, but thank goodness the garden at Graylyn is flat!

3. In the great outdoors, expect animal noises–and noises from cars, bikers whizzing by, and small children.

I hadn’t really thought about this, and hopefully I won’t need to because Graylyn is set pretty far away from the road, but plenty of people passed by this ceremony without noticing it was going on, so they kept talking, yelling, etc. Of course, they may be guests staying at Graylyn who don’t realize there is a wedding going on–I may decide to put up one of those cute “Brooke & Jon’s Wedding” signs up that people do these days. That won’t keep people from being noisy if they want to, but at least they’ll know what’s going on!

So whew! That’s a lot to think about for the ceremony–and we’ve still got to make a plan to move it indoors in case it rains! Hmm…

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