married: Homegrown Vermont Wedding
Wedding fairies. You may not have heard of them. The term was coined by my mother-in-law, Kathy, when an outpouring of support from her family and the community shocked and surprised her. Her wedding day was going to happen despite recent events. My father-in-law, Terry, and Kathy lost their home in the Springfield tornado. It was a horrible 24 hours as Tom and I felt so far away and out of touch with the reality that was unfolding in Massachusetts. Texts, phone calls and emails kept our large family connected across several states. We were all holding our breath, collectively, until the storm passed. The unfortunate reality sunk in during the following weeks as Terry and Kathy collected their belongings, moved to alternate housing, rented cars, notified their employers and lived in suitcases between two states. Everyone was safe, we were lucky for that, and as Kathy put it the things were just things. This tornado was a huge disruption in their lives but a big day was nearing and they had to set their sights on that – their wedding day.
Kathy put so much thought into their big day. She wanted it to be a joining of families and a celebration of her children and grandchildren. We had all tried to lend a hand from the beginning but it wasn’t until their unfortunate situation unfolded that Kathy could release the reigns. My sisters, Sara and Erin, and I began planning. My task: flowers. The day after the tornado I put a plea on our local message board, Front Porch Forum, to see if anyone had an abundance of flowers they’d like to share from their gardens. Two towns and seven people responded. I visited their gardens and walked the grounds to get an idea of what I could cut. Coordinating all of these wonderful people was tricky but extremely satisfying. I met “neighbors” tucked into mountain hillsides and down long, seemingly endless country roads. I met farmers, families and garden enthusiasts. Each person played a part in this wedding and we were all so touched to have them be a part of the big day. They wanted to know the story and a bit about the bride and groom and they, too, were happy to become a part.
A busy day of flower collections yielded an unbelievable explosion of color. Tom’s truck was filled to the brim with flower pots and cut greens. I stuffed as many buckets of flowers beneath my legs and on my lap for the hour-long haul down to rural Brookfield, Vermont. We felt like wedding fairies after touring gardens and beautiful Vermont landscapes snipping and collecting flowers stem by stem for a day so special.
The bride and groom, Kathy and Terry, after the ceremony. The entire day was personal and incredibly beautiful. This day was perfect. The torrential downpour that dampened the grounds relented shortly before the ceremony. Clear skies allowed the ceremony to be moved outside and Kathy was nearly in tears. This was exactly the celebration everyone needed.
My beautiful sisters, Erin and Sara, as we sat down for dinner. I’ve never had sisters until I married Tom and inherited these two. We’re all so close and I’m so lucky to have them in my life.
Kathy was radiant and Terry so handsome. Smiles all around.
Erin and her little one, Anna, take the dance floor.
Here’s a small sampling of the flower arrangements. I made boutonnieres using cut lavender that a family friend dropped off that morning. I wrapped the stems tight with a hemp string and I’m shocked to say my first attempt at floral work, well, worked! Thank you, thank you to all of the wonderful Starksboro and Hinesburg families that contributed to this beautiful day!
Congratulations Terry and Kathy McManamy!