Life spins and churns, twists and turns, and in the process dreams are born, moments cherished, and desire becomes reality. Such is the case with a friend of mine who after spending more than twenty years widowed and single married the man of her dreams.
Wedding wishes, preparation, anticipation, and anxiety all come into play when anyone gets married. We are used to watching young people plan big, elaborate weddings, and there is excitement in that type of a “production.” This was different. It was two adults with children and grandchildren planning a small, simple, elopement with tidbits of details that added to the fun and uniqueness of this blending of their lives.
Planning to have an outdoor wedding in Michigan during the month of April is always gutsy. They decided they wanted to get married on the covered bridge in Frankenmuth, a popular location that is a unique, small town atmosphere and also a popular tourist destination. Being that it was two hours from home they needed to search and find a pastor to perform the service. They checked on use of the covered bridge, booked a motel and made arrangements for early check-in, arranged for a second witness, and made plans for photo locations.
Then a week before the date the couple held their breath when snow crept over the state. All was not lost. The day of the wedding was warm and sunny, comfortable for the bride in her sleeveless dress, a bit warm for the groom in his suit. A perfect day, perfect weather.
Vicki held to tradition. The morning of the wedding I received a text message asking if I had something she could borrow. She had the something old, something new, and something blue. She wore a bracelet that belonged to me for her something borrowed. I attended the event and served as witness/matron of honor and photographer.
I met Mark and Vicki at their motel and after Mark dressed and I had taken a couple shots of Vicki helping him with his tie, he left to meet us at the bridge. I helped Vicki with her dress, we took a few preparation shots, and I was shown a gift she had purchased for her new husband. It was fun, girly, and relaxing all at the same time. We arrived on location to find Mark chatting with the pastor and her husband.
Photos by Grace Grogan, copyright 2016
Vicki had been worried about finding an appropriate dress, but she did and made the purchase. Then after reflection decided there was nothing wrong with her purchase, but it lacked the pizazz that one wants for their wedding day. She kept looking and ended up with a lady-like, age appropriate, knock-him-off-his-feet dress. How do I know, because I was walking with them and Mark looked over at Vicki and said “you look good, you look really good!” He was right, she did.
Rather than use the bridge, which was dark and cool, for their ceremony they opted to stand near the water overlooking the bridge. Prior to vows the groom, who is in a band, sang to the bride. Vows were spoken, rings exchanged, and of course the traditional kiss. The marriage license was signed, then they posed for a few photographs before we went to lunch.
When in Frankenmuth the tradition is to go for chicken dinner. Traditions are made to be broken, and when you have a small elopement instead of a over-the-top wedding, plans can be adjusted on a moments notice. How many brides and grooms do you know who have their wedding dinner in a tiny Mexican restaurant? Well I know one, and it was great. They were even presented with a huge, free fried ice cream because it was their special day.
After lunch we shot a few more photographs and then the happy couple went for a horse-drawn carriage ride around town. The end of a perfect day leading into a perfect night, and the beginning of a perfect union of marriage.