by Ashley Weeks Cart
Aw, look at that handsome fella!
Just a couple hours before I snapped these photos we were arguing like cats and dogs and I wanted to wipe that smug grin right off his face… Sweet sweet marriage. What a rollercoaster, eh?
Fortunately, we had an evening with amazing friends, and amazing love, and amazing amazingness to heal all tensions between us (i.e. the stresses of coordinating care taking for our children and other assorted dependents so that we could spend 12 hours away from them, while I had to work all weekend leading up to our departure, i.e. the ideal conditions for a marriage shit storm. But we survived! And so did the dependents! SUCCESS ALL AROUND!)
The wedding locale was like a New England fantasy in the flesh: golden foliage decorating the trees and blanketing the ground as a babbling brook rolled by rustic stone fences and assorted vintage barns.
Fall had puked magic all over the Berkshires for these two amazing souls – and it was perfect.
Every detail was effortlessly and sublimely executed, from the garlands strung around the barn beams, to the infused sake “love potion,” a recipe created especially for Amanda & Dave, bottled in miniature mason jars and gifted to each of the guests, to the non-stop live music and ridiculous talent that touched every moment of the celebration. It was enchanting.
I even got a chance to DIY mid-celebration, as the guests made paper airplanes during the ceremony which were thrown at its conclusion as Dave and Amanda walked down the aisle as husband and wife. I collected the airplanes after the ceremony, and strung together a garland for the barn during cocktail hour.
Yes, picture me, huddled in the corner of a barn with a needle and thread in one hand and a cocktail in the other, madly DIYing. Sounds about right, eh? I may have stabbed myself with the needle and bled on a number of the planes… I put my blood and sweat into this, folks.
James dressed in his autumn best, including the Brooks Brothers madras pants from our own rehearsal dinner, his grandfather’s tweed jacket, and his brand new Brackish bowtie made out of real pheasant feathers. He blended in brilliantly.
Two of our college friends officiated the ceremony, and they were hilarious and heartfelt, personal and moving, an inspired combination of humor and sentimentality, lightheartedness and sincerity. I loved every moment of it.
We all cried like babies, men more than included in that count, and I felt all the frustration and anger melt away as I reached for James’ hand and was reminded of why he and I had embarked on a similar journey five years ago. Why we are so very blessed to have one another, and these people, and these moments, these beautiful, picture perfect dreams that we get to live as reality juxtaposed against the chaos of daily life.
During the ceremony, one of the officiates explained that he had sat down with Dave and Amanda separately to talk about their relationship, one another, and why they were getting into this crazy thing called marriage. Amanda said, “People keep asking me whether I know what I’m getting myself into. Whether I really understand that this is going to be like forever.” Then Amanda said, “But what’s sad about the whole thing is that forever is so short. All I really have to give to Dave is a single life. And so when people say—are you ready to give everything? I always say, it’s all I got.”
How very true that is. Thank you for the reminder, Amanda & Dave.