We hosted a wedding this past weekend — a wedding emblematic of a couple’s connection with their community. Andrea Changuris, a No Kids guest blogger and my little sister, and her long-time boyfriend Matt got married in a simple, Greek Orthodox ceremony just a few miles down the road from my parents’ house. The Brethren Church is where we attended preschool and the center community life in our valley.
The reception was held at my parents’ home under a massive tent, but still not massive enough. We borrowed two other tents from a neighbor for food service and a place for wedding gifts and favors. We did a lot of the work ourselves.
The mistress of the kitchen, my mother, spent months planning the menu and cooking the meals for more than 100 guests. We didn’t care that the plates didn’t match, we collected half of them from friends and relatives. The centerpieces were designed it assembled by our aunt and uncle.
The dress was a tea length a-line, originally our mother’s. A close friend and seamstress reworked it for Andrea. We didn’t need to hire a DJ or a band, we had a stereo system, a computer, and our brother acting as emcee. We even got waitstaff from the local high school, friends of my nephew. The entire bill was both elegant and rustic at the same time. The guests were welcome to explore anywhere they wanted, the fields or vineyards or to take a break in the house. They weren’t really guests, they’re friends and family.