Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weddings and Parties on Farms

Yep, I know, it's been a few weeks. I've just been so busy hanging out with farmers. Seriously, I had no idea that I knew so many farmers. 

Hang on tight, this post is a two-for-one special.

Farm #1: First up is Liz and Declan's beautiful Memorial-weekend wedding at her family's farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Not only did I get to visit a picturesque setting to see one of my most favorite couples get married, but I got to stay in my favorite town - Asheville, NC.

Liz and Declan's wedding was the perfect way to kick off wedding season, which for me lasts the rest of the year and includes five celebrations. It may just rival the legendary "Summer of Eight Weddings" a few years ago. 

In case I get behind and am not able to write about all of these sure-to-be splendid events, here are general statements that hold true for every single wedding I ever attend. Feel free to just rearrange the order and write your own post.... 

  • "It was so wonderful to get to see all my [friends/family] from [high school/college/life]. I wish I could see them more often but love that we can celebrate times like these together." 
  • "Normally I'm a red wine drinker but I drank white to avoid the "red wine teeth" in pictures. It's a gift I'm providing my friends in the future when they look back and don't have to see me with a purple mouth. Also, my grandkids won't think grandma was a lush."  
  • "I made everyone stop to take so many pictures which I then uploaded at 6am the next morning. People pretend like they're annoyed that you take pictures but they always love them later. It's a service I provide the people. I'm so giving."  
  • "I tried to sit on the aisle so I could see the bride because everyone is so tall that when they stand, all I see are backs. At my wedding, we're going to assign seating based on height because, if I'm going to buy a dress that's more than $50, then everyone sure as hell better see it. And also, you know, witness the moment of me walking down the aisle, love, marriage and stuff."  
  • "Although I teared up several times during the ceremony, I was able to hold it together until the father-daughter dance. That one gets me every single time." 
  • "I cried again during the toasts. Goodness, what's wrong with me. I blame the champagne." 
  • "I accidentally finished all my champagne before the toasts were over. Why are champagne glasses so much smaller than real glasses? I had to toast with water but the sentiment was still there." 
  •  "Those crab cakes were delicious."
  • "The flowers were gorgeous. I wanted to try to steal them but thought people might notice if I attempted to smuggle them under my dress. I should really start buying fresh flowers for my apartment."  
  • "I couldn't wait for the dancing. Wedding dancing is my favorite and I don't think I've ever danced so hard in my life as I did this past weekend. When they played [name of song that references North Carolina or is currently on the top iTunes chart] we went crazy. Everyone was playing air guitar like it was their job. We. Looked. AWESOME." 
  • "I mostly drank water the whole second half of the reception because I had to rehydrate from all the dancing." 
  • "Mmmm...cake." 
  • "My sparkler wouldn't light." 
  • "I was truly exhausted but had a hard time falling asleep because I kept hearing 'Shout' in my head. A little bit louder now. A little bit louder now. A little bit louder now. (And now it's in your head.) 
  • "What an incredible weekend. I'm so happy for [name of newly wedded couple] and was so honored to be a part of the celebration. My friends have the best, most beautiful weddings." 
Liz and Declan's wedding was especially beautiful. From the rehearsal dinner and welcome party in downtown Asheville to the ceremony on their family's farm to the BBQ the next day, it was a perfect weekend and incorporated countless elements that were personal and reflective of the happy couple. 

I've known Liz since middle school when we were ferocious Marie G. Davis dolphins. I had braces and frizzy hair and she wore sweatsuits. We played on the school soccer team together. My soccer career peaked in 7th grade and I went into retirement soon thereafter but Liz went on to much more success. (She's probably at a soccer game right now). We then went to high school together (me sans braces, but unfortunately not sans frizzy hair) and now both live in DC. 

Because Liz is abnormally good at making friends, the weekend was not only filled with my best girlfriends from high school, but my closest friends from Davidson as well! (Liz didn't even go to Davidson. That's how absurdly good she is at making and keeping friends.)

Even the usually unpredictable mountain weather was idyllic. And, of course, there was dancing. We even got to dance on stage after Sarah and I politely asked the band for permission. I'm sure they're used to drunk people jumping up there acting a-fool and were thrown by two girls who patiently waited for the lead singer to pause so they could say, "Um, excuse me. Would it be OK if we danced on stage if we have the bride with us? Is that OK with you?" 

I still can't get over how gorgeous everything was. Man, I wish my family owned a farm. My mom has a small herb garden by the carport but I don't think it would be as special for me and the man-of-my-dreams (whoever you may be...seriously, call me) to say our vows standing in front of a 3x3 plot of thyme. (ALTHOUGH, now that I think about it, the thyme puns are abundant. Our love is thymeless. A love for all of thyme. It's thyme to celebrate! Oh man, someone stop me. God bless my future groom. He has no clue what he's in for.) 

In case you didn't see them the first four times I posted them on Facebook (I have trouble uploading pictures from my phone. It's total user-error), here are some photos from that weekend.Congrats Liz and Declan!
Rehearsal dinner at The Venue

Me and my co-conspirator for stage dancing. I temporarily abandoned my no-red-wine-for-pictures rule. 

Wedding Day view. Not too shabby.

Saying their vows. 

Gorgeous flowers. For the record, I didn't try to steal these. 

Davidson Wildcats and honorary Wildcats.

My high school favorites. If you think they're pretty in this picture, you should see them when the camera is in focus.

Me and the newlyweds. (R.I.P my flower that fell off and was trampled about 30 minutes later.)

This picture is amazing. 

I make this face far too often in photos. It's like a tick I can't control. 

After more than a decade of friendship, we've really mastered standing in a line for a photo. 
Farm #2: Next up in this farmapalooza of a post is the annual Hickman Family Farm Party, a summertime tradition filled with fun people, delicious food, a beer truck, karaoke and red-white-and-blue everything. Go America. 
Just when you think she can't get any cooler, she goes and buys American flag cowboy boots. 
This was my second time driving to lovely Chestertown, MD for Farm Party hosted by (in case you didn't guess) the Hickman Family and it was well worth having to drive over the super scary Bay Bridge. I had a car full of friends and we practiced our best karaoke the whole way there, just in case anyone specifically requested we sing "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston or anything by Nelly.  We wanted to be ready.

I missed the first several Farm Parties but I hear they keep getting bigger and better. As Tim McGraw would say, we were all just "country boys and girls gettin' down on the farm." I had good ol' American beer from a good ol' American beer truck, pulled pork, a red-white-and-blue Hawaiian lei, field games and karaoke. Name me something better than that. You can't. 

This year, there was also a moon bounce but I never got to jump because, by the time the little kids were done and it was safe for grown-ups (which apparently I am, ugh.), karaoke was in full swing and I had bigger priorities than a moon bounce - more specifically, singing "I Want It That Way" with my Davidson Warner Hall girls, Sarah, Sarah and Anna. I don't want to brag but, we were pretty fantastic. 

Thanks to the Hickmans for their hospitality and to the Bay Bridge for not collapsing. 
So lovely.


Hitting golf balls in a field. I couldn't tell the difference between left-handed and right-handed clubs but I did manage to hit the ball. So, move over Tiger Woods. 

Host family takes the mic.

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