Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 7-22-13
There’s weddings and then there’s weddings. Recently I attended the nuptials of Lulubelle’s daughter, Belle (not her real name), a dyed-in-the-wool cowgirl. (She had no choice to be anything else given that Lulubelle is the quintessential cowgirl.)
The event was, of course, held outdoors. Haybales, covered over with plastic cloth (to keep stickery twigs from surprising sitters) substituted for church pews.
Newspapers report on weddings by describing participants’ clothing, so I shall follow the traditional format by mentioning that the groomsmen were dressed in high-fashion cowboy duds. Which is to say each sported a black cowboy hat and matching black Wrangler denims. In between belt buckle and throat, their manly torsos were clothed in bright teal-color shirts. Footwear? Freshly shined black cowboy boots, of course. Picture three weather-tanned cowboys standing side-by-side, a bit like parade rest, military style.
The bridesmaids had chosen to avoid satin floor-length gowns so shiny one could have seen one’s reflection. Belle’s bridesmaids wore knee-length dresses of a soft pastel patterned with prairie blossoms. Footgear? Cowboy boots, of course.
The bride, looking as fresh as morning dew, wore a strapless white gown, the skirt made of layers of puffy chiffon. She looked like froth walking. Those moments when she needed to lift the skirt, one could observe her feet — encased in cowboy boots, of course.
Lulubelle, wearing a surprise garment (which is to say, not her usual jeans and shirt), looked smashing in a peach gown accessorized with a lace shawl. However, not to worry. Her tootsies were clad in cowboy boots and her usual black cowboy hat rested on her noggin.
The parson stood behind a tall wooden archway which had been erected facing the haybales arranged with an aisle between them. The ceremony started. Family members were escorted through the aisle and seated along the front haybales. A boy child, all of 2- or 3-feet-tall, walked as if treading on eggshells up the aisle. He carried a pillow upon which rested the rings. He took a stance next to his dad (the groomsman on the end).
Flower girls, well, what’s cuter than tiny girls wearing fluffy dresses and carrying bouquets?
Remember this was a ranch setting. Dad brought the bride down from the ranch house to the back of the haybales in the pickup, of course. The groom had already been delivered via the same conveyance. He stood still as a statue beside the groomsmen, his gaze focused on the place where his bride would appear.
I suppose the tears started about then for most of the women. The guys — well, they did a lot of swallowing. The groom repeated his vows. The bride began hers. Her voice quavered. Her tears flowed. The groom held tight to both of her hands and looked deep into her eyes.
More of us women began crying. The bride’s tears continued as she spoke her vows. At mid point, the 3-foot ring bearer edged forward next to Belle and whispered something. Belle, still leaking tears, looked down and said, “Not yet, Honey, but thank you.”
You could have floated a boat on the amount of water shed from the crowd’s peepers at that moment. Suffice to say, the wedding was heart-wrenchingly beautiful as two youngsters stepped into their future as man and wife.
Where did the newlyweds plan to go on their honeymoon? Would you guess Hawaii maybe? A fancy resort somewhere? A trip to Paris? Or New York?
Heck no. Lulubelle’s daughter and new son-in-law are ranch people. The bride and groom honeymooned in Nevada so they could attend the National Finals Rodeo. Of course. ❖
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.