weddin’


Yesterday, I wrote briefly about how busy we are, but how much we enjoyed a brief weekend sojourn at Chico Hot Springs Resort, near Pray, Montana.

We attended the weddin’ of lovely friends, Marta and Jeremy.

And y’all know how much I like weddins – planning them, attending them, rehashing them.  I would do my own weddin’ over again every summer … but then Honeydew would divorce me, so that plan is undermined.  Sigh.

To me, if you’re going to the trouble to have a wedding, then you ought to trouble yourself with the details, those little touches that make a wedding unique to the bethrothed couple.

Chico offers several on site wedding venues, including the Field Of Dreams, above, situated with a stunning view of Emigrant Peak.

The Bride was beautiful in white, and Maggie was fascinated by her.

Maggie was beautiful, too, in a blue dress my Grandma Betty smocked for me about 31 years ago.

The reception hall was gorgeous, and the tables were adorned with luscious hot pink and screaming orange flower arrangements, and Glacier County Honey Co. wedding favors, too.  These darling little squeeze top bottles contain a half pound of the best honey you’ve never tasted, and we’ve decided to launch them on our website, for everyone to enjoy.

Our retail line of these bottles will not include darling pink ribbons, but if you’re a bride looking for sweet favors, we’ll be happy to adorn them for you in the color of your choice.  Just get in touch with us for the details!

Congratulations to the happy couple, and thanks so much for offering our honey to your guests!

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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I love weddings.

I believe that a “good wedding” needs just a very few things to make it very good: (1) a bride and groom committed to one another and (2) thoughtful details.

Fabulous champagne, couture gowns, canary diamonds – these are all lovely, but oh-so-not-necessary in the makings of a good weddin’.

Case in point – I went a very good weddin’ over the weekend:

Gorgeous flowers lovingly arranged by a reformed Southern-Belle-Friend-of-the-Bride’s.  Love that gal.  Love her fleurs.

Adorable area for kiddos to frolic in.

Old friends, thrilled for the bride + groom.

Adorable post card guest book.

Precious date, even if he did forget that whole belt detail ….

Cheers to the happy couple!

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

This post marks the last of the weddin’ tomes, as today is our first wedding anniversary.  Our dear friend Torian Donohoe married us, and in her remarks to us, she said this about wedding anniversaries:

Each year when you come upon your anniversary, I encourage you to rededicate yourselves to the vows you make here today.  Take stock of where you are in your marriage and how you are doing as marriage partners.  Express your gratitude to each other, for the ways that you have effectively loved and supported one another, and forgive yourselves and each other for any judgments that have come between you.

I choose you to be my beloved

to have and to hold

from this day forward,

for better, for worse

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

to honor and sustain,

and to be true to you in all things.

I vow to always love you for who you are and to accept the changes that life brings.

Until death do us part, this is my solemn vow.

Happy anniversary, Honeydew!

And now, back to beekeeping, peak bagging, and doing whatever it is we do near Babb, Montana.

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  Photo credits to Tom Whisenand.  All Rights Reserved.

I predicted earlier this week that I would lose all of my male subscribers by indulging in a week’s worth of weddin’ posts.  I was right.  So far, we’ve lost one subscriber, presumably male!  But hang in there guys, there are just two posts left before I return to blathering on about beekeeping and Babb, Montana – plus, today’s post might appeal to the men out there, as it features the get-away “car” that Brother Dear arranged for us, and gunpowder!

This is Tammy, our old Ford Explorer.  Not much is known about Tammy’s youth, but in her middle age, she was acquired by Jay Franck, a good friend of ours who also happens to be Glacier County Honey’s web designer, and who came up with our fabulous logo.  Before Jay was an amazing print and web designer, he was a waiter at Johnson’s of St. Mary, just down the road from Hillhouse, and he owned Tammy.  As a Johnson’s employee, Jay lived on top of a very steep hill, with an absurdly steep driveway.  One morning, he emerged from his cabin to take Tammy for a spin.  Next thing he knew, he was rocketing backwards down the hill, heading directly for the restaurant!  Panicked, Jay jumped out of Tammy, and Tammy crashed into the restaurant, where Brother Dear happened to be frying bacon on the line, at the height of the breakfast rush.  Amazingly enough, no one was significantly injured during this incident, except Tammy.

Tammy ain’t got no back end no mo.

Tammy ain’t got no side windows, neither.

So Jay approached Brother Dear about taking Tammy in, giving her a restful environment in which to spend her golden years.  Tammy is officially retired from the paved roads of Montana, but she’s great on the dirt roads of Hillhouse, and she provided a mighty festive exit for Honeydew and I after our weddin’ reception!

Miss Bets also provided Honeydew and I with a fabulous exit – as a surprise to us, she set off beautiful firecrackers as we left the reception.  Earlier this week, I wrote about how much fun Miss Bets is, and I think you can see from this beautiful display that she is incredibly thoughtful, too.  Plannin’ a good Montana weddin’ takes a village.  And a backless Ford Explorer!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  Some photo credits to Tom Whisenand.  All Rights Reserved.

Another day of posts from our wedding last summer … have I lost all of my male readers yet?

In reflection, under the arbor Brother Dear built for us, complete with grapevine from the farm in Virginia and the moose Antler of Love that Honeydew gave me when I knew he was serious about me.

LA catching the bouquet!  She was engaged just weeks later.

Lemon chardonnay weddin’ cake, accented by marzipan bees with almond wings, made by my dear friend Margaret Ambrose-Barton of The Pearl in Missoula, Montana.  I’ve never tasted better cake.

My dad welcoming our guests, and toasting to Honeydew and I.

Flowers at the gate.

We offered our fabulous honey as favors.

And sweet produce treats, too.

And at the end of the night we rocked out to the Broken Valley Roadshow’s high octane bluegrass version of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On a Prayer.

I wish we could go back and do that night again.  But not all the work preceding it!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

In college, I was often told that I’m a guy’s kind of girl.  But I’m pretty sure that was just code speak for “she’ll skip class to go fishing/go to the game/go hiking/go to Son’s/go skeet shooting/go porch sitting and drink cold beer.”  And I do have several close male friends that I treasure.  I have no sisters, and only one female cousin.  I have four uncles.  I have never owned a female dog or horse.  I have two quasi-godfathers.  It is generally true that I am comfortable around males of several species.

But as much as I like boys, I like cold beer better, so I think my college friends were mistaken about me being a guy’s kind of gal.   Especially since I like my girlfriends even more than I like cold beer.  I like my girlfriends so much that when I became engaged, my biggest headache wasn’t the cocktail napkins for the wedding (which we did not have), but how to honor all the women in my life who have held my hand, held my hair back, and helped me hold onto my sense of self in the best of times, and the worst, on my wedding day.

Luckily, I was not the only affianced Southern woman who ever had the lovely problem of having so many close girlfriends that to ask them all to be bridesmaids would make a mockery of the wedding.  Being Southern, I knew I had the option of having The House Party.  What is The House Party, you ask?  Just that wonderful group of women who mean the absolute world to the Bride, so much so that she would not dream of asking them to purchase a chartreuse bridesmaid gown and dyed-to-match shoes.  The Bride will leave those horrid tasks to her actual attendants, whom she is certain love her so much that she will be forgiven.  Rather, the House Party serves as a cadre of honorary bridesmaids, although the Bride may still have formal attendants, as I did.  People make fun of House Parties, but I say if you’re lucky enough to have girlfriends this good, why in the world wouldn’t you want them with you on your wedding day?  I think the naysayers are just jealous.  And they should be – how fabulous was my House Party?

Here a few of ’em, preparing for the wedding – Becky, a founding member of the Hot Buns and my favorite co-worker at the Depot in Missoula, Montana, is to the far left, followed by Kestergill, Layla Jane, Miss Bets, and Michy.  Becky has roots in East Glacier, and our shared love for Glacier brings us back together, no matter where we may be in our lives.

I met Layla Jane, center, in 2000.  She is also a founding member of the Hot Buns.  She is Southern, so we have a love of grits and greens and heat in common, but over the years, our friendship has grown far beyond our shared drawl and become something that I cannot imagine my life without.  Layla Jane has the kind of clarity that living well brings you – she is not shy to tell it like it is, even when what it is breaks your heart.  And she never shies away from seizing joy, either.  I admire her in many ways, and there is no one I’d rather hike with.

Here is the House Party gathering together for their walk down the aisle.

Dr. Deer and Miss Bets made a pretty pair.

Dr. Deer and I became close friends in the summer of 2002, when she began dating my good friend Jeff and bartending at Charlie’s in Babb.  We lived together up at Chief Mountain junction that fall, and my future husband drove past our A-frame each day as he traveled to Cardston, Canada, for his senior year of high school, though of course I did not know that at the time.  That same fall, Dr. Deer began filling out her medical school applications, and she and I talked of dreams beyond $200 tip nights.  She is a treasure in my life, though we see each other very infrequently.

I met Miss Bets at a party in Whitefish in the winter of 2002-2003, when I was a ski bum at the Big Mountain.  She was my first friend in Missoula, a town I found intimidating when I first moved there.  Miss Bets introduced me to the wonders of a river, and that love affair changed me forever.  I am no longer allowed to go to Trout Unlimited banquets with Miss Bets!

The House Party did not stand with me, as House Parties don’t do that.  Here, Kestergill, Michy, and LA, are seated just behind my family.

Kestergill is a founding member of the Hot Buns – I have known her since the summer of 2000, when she worked at Rising Sun, in Glacier National Park, and I worked at St. Mary.  Kestergill has the longest resume of anyone I know and I would never have learned to ski without her insistent, though gentle, encouragement.  She also throws the best potlucks in Missoula, Montana, and is the kind of friend who is calm in an emergency and a live wire at a dance party.  She just rocks.

LA and JC, two of my Atlanta Belles, exiting the ceremony.  Love JC’s feather headband!

JC is an artist that I originally met through Clowerpower, and kindness radiates from her.  I have never once had an even borderline mediocre time with JC – she knows how to dance with cacti, how to travel with a casserole, and how to blow out hair, which came in handy on my wedding day!  LA was the first friend I made at Tri Delta, my college sorority, and our friendship grows deeper with every long distance phone conversation – and they are frequent.   LA caught the bouquet at my reception, and I take full credit for her resulting marriage to the darling Bo Cheek.

Miss Bets, Kestergill, and Michy.  The year I fell in love with cross country skiing, I also fell in love with Michy.  She is always game for a day on the skinny skis, and she wouldn’t dream of ending such a day without a fabulous dinner party, often involving her famous champagne risotto.  Michy is a school teacher, a Hot Bun, and a riot.

Clowerpower, Becky, Dhall, and the Q – I love the look on Dhall’s face!   I went to law school with Dhall and the Q, and I would not have survived my brother’s death without their love and support.  We are The Livers, and no three girls have ever had more fun together in Nashville, Tennessee, than we did one weekend in 2007, in matching strapless madras dresses.  You had to be there!

Clowerpower and Becky.  I’ve written about Clowerpower before on this blog – her parents and my mother went to high school together, and encouraged Clowerpower and I to be freshman roommates at the University of Georgia.  Athens has never been the same, nor has my definition of true friendship, especially not after we traveled to Glacier together in 2000.

I asked my House Party to wear brown dresses and cowboy boots, preferably that they already owned or could borrow.  Other than that, I left their attire up to them, and I loved how their personalities shown through the dresses they chose, and how each one of them seemed so comfortable.  Don’t they all look darling?

From left to right: Becky, Dr. Deer, Kestergill, Layla Jane, Michy, LA, me, JC, Clowerpower, Dhall, the Q, and Miss Bets.  Not pictured is my precious cousin, Brooke, who was unable to attend the weddin’ – we missed you, honey.

I don’t believe a Bride ever loved her House Party more than I did.  Ladies, thank you for making my wedding day so very special.  Love y’all.

If you’re a Bride agonizing over the mental image of 12 of your best friends standing next to the altar in lime green, consider a House Party – I don’t think you could ever regret including those you love, who’ve been important to you at all different stages in your life, in your wedding.  After all, they helped to make you the person your husband fell in love with, did they not?  Cheers to the House Party!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  Again, some photo credits to our wonderful wedding photographer, Tom Whisenand.  All Rights Reserved.

This is my family.

Brother Dear, Honeydew, me, Dad, Mom.

I’ve been told many times that a wife does not marry her husband, she marries his family.

This is Honeydew’s mother’s side of the family.

And this is Honeydew’s father’s side of the family.

And of course, it must be equally true that a husband marries his wife’s family.

This is my mother’s side of the family.

And this is my father’s side of the family.

I have another family, too, the family I chose, that Honeydew also married into, whether he chose to or not.

This is the Davis/Luxbacher gang, and the pretty lady in “firecracker” is my Very Best Friend.  Today is her birthday, and I hope it is her very best one yet.  Happy birthday, Cosmo!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co. I think that all of these photo credits go to Tom Whisenand, as did yesterday’s.  All Rights Reserved.

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