An Elegant Country Wedding, Part 1

In September, I married the man I love. So, yes, we are indeed newlyweds. After two years of dating and getting to know one another we took the next step. Our wedding was a home based affair up on the ranch community at my parents’ 35 acre lot where we planned and organized almost everything. At first, with a fiance who never attended a wedding before, we mostly shared ideas on what we wanted. However, there were some instances where the dream wedding I always envisioned seemed on the verge of not happening. He wanted to make it pot luck and grill brisket all on his own during the reception. Um, I didn’t see that happening and realized he had no clue just how much the groom does. Then, he thought my dress could cost us $40 and would simply be a sundress. There went every hope of my three dream dresses. How would I feel like a princess on my special day?

These were simply some of the dileemas we ran into. There will be more in future posts. Yet, as things went on, the now hubby suddenly grew engaged with the concepts and more eager too. He loved the little touches of elegance and little sense of regal life I started to throw in. Our big day turned from his idea of a family barbeque to what we both wanted for our special day. After all, it’s not every day we marry the love of our lives. In the end, the day turned into the perfect combination of both of us and a true testament of who we are. The feel of laid back, joyful, fun, and yet special really made a mark. Over the course of several blogs, I intend to chronicle how we had the laid back country wedding of our dreams with a dash of elegance and refinement.

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To start, I need to go back to how we met. At 33, I wasn’t a naive, little bride ready to start out life. I’d had a few relationships and experiences leading the way to know what I want. I must say thank you to all the past guys in my life, and I do mean guys. I’ve only ever been with one “man” in my eyes. Without those experiences I never would’ve known what I wanted in life and the type of relationship I sought. Just after a bad spell of feeling it was time to give up and being disappointed again, I received a message from a man recently moved here who was looking for simply a friend and someone he could spend time with while getting to know the area. He stated he read my profile and thought we shared several things in common. For some reason, I was inclined to write back. The irony: I’d just stated while in bed the night before in a little plea to my deceased, beloved grandfather to help me out. The man I met the next day was a lot of what I looked for even in one meeting and also someone I knew Grandpa would’ve loved too.

He stated he’d be in town the next day too and would come by where I worked to introduce himself. I knew I would be a mess between meetings and events I organized with my employer that day, but he still came by. Several people and other young men stopped in at times to talk where I worked, but this was different. This was a man I felt I knew already; it was so natural and just felt right. We continued talking more and hung out that weekend, going to a store together and then having a quick dinner we picked up and made, and then going on the Ghost Tour of our town that evening. I was really amazed how easy it was to talk with him and how safe it felt with him. One thing that always stood out in my mind too was how when we rose from a stone wall overlooking the river and had to jump down, he placed a protective hand against the curve of my back. What a gentleman! We continued talking and within a week we decided we were indeed dating. Some people thought we moved things pretty rapidly along the way, but to us it just felt right. I guess when you know, you know.

Over the months we discussed that if we made it to the year point, he pretty much knew he’d propose. He said he already felt that way about us, but just wanted to be sure we’d make it. I knew our anniversary was coming up and we planned a trip to take the old steam train narrow gauge railroad trip in Durango, Colorado. I’ve always loved the trains and thought the trip was one of my favorites. He went when he was very little and didn’t remember much of it. It also was a special place between my Grandpa and myself. In case you can’t tell, my Grandpa was really my best friend when I was little. So the sentimental reasons of places special to us always get to me. We went on the weekend getaway and I wondered at times if he was going to propose or not, but also knew he rambled on about how finances were tight and he couldn’t even afford a ring. But the train ride and everything was so much fun, even the old west shoot out reenactment at the Belle Saloon after the train ride was fun. Little did I know then he was shuffling around, wondering if that was his moment.

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Million Dollar Highway image from that day

Since we run the photography business together (he’s the photographer and I’m the writer and it’s another shared hobby with my Grandpa), we decided to drive the Million Dollar Highway the next day with all the glorious fall leaves. He’d capture lots of cool images and I’d read up on a lot of the sites. Our first goal was to capture video of the steam train arriving in Silverton from Durango. As the train sat and pepared to back up, the hubby had me get in position by the back of it for a photograph of us together. He set up his camera on the tripod and put me in position. Then, he set the timer. I thought for sure he’d run in and put his arm around me like always. However, he ran in and dropped to one knee, pulling out a little box and asking, “Will you marry me?”

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The proposal caught on camera

Even though I knew we’d discussed it and I knew it was the anniversary weekend, I still was caught off guard. In some crazy way, I thought he was joking. Then, I looked up and saw the camera on the tripod and saw the red light showing it was on, and I realized this wasn’t a joke. He was actually asking. Immediately, the adrenaline of the moment kicked in and I said yes. So, he caught it all on the camera with a quick timed snap. It was his grandma’s ring who gave it to him after it was his great grandma’s. Now I’ve shared how close my Grandpa and I were, but I must also share how close he and his grandma are. So, the weekend held special meaning for us in its entirety.

And that is how it started for us… the one year of planning for our big day which I’ll share more of in a series of blogs mixed in with my others. We knew before we left for home that weekend we wanted our wedding the same weekend a year later so we could return and capture more images of the leaves and also because a year gave us time. It was the same time of year as when we met and with the proposal, and would be a good time to celebrate our uniting in marriage too.

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