Tying the knot

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Farm Forum

When I was a kid, if a young person did something really stupid, an adult’s scolding words would often end with the comment: “What’s the matter with you — were you born in a barn? Or, if the adult was really, really upset with the kid, they might yell: “How could you do something so dumb; were you raised in a barn?”

For some reason, barns were not highly regarded in my day. This always perplexed me because wasn’t the barn the central focus of the farm? Wasn’t this the place where it all happened? Wasn’t it the heart of the farming enterprise where cows were fed and milked; lambs were born; horses were harnessed; pigs were farrowed? Then, why was the barn so scorned and ridiculed? I don’t know the answer to this question, but….

Times have definitely changed. No longer do the red barns possess the negative connotations of yesteryear. On the contrary, the old red barns of today are held in such high esteem that the young folks are even getting married in them. And the story goes like this….

Barn Weddings

A few weeks ago, my cousin and I ran into each other at an antique tractor show. I hadn’t seen much of her all summer long, so we had a lot of news to catch up on. One topic lead to another, but the subject that caught my attention the most was her rendition of their granddaughter’s recent wedding reception.

As Cousin L. stated, “Young people come up with the darndest ideas sometimes.” For this granddaughter wanted to hold her June wedding ceremony right in their old cow barn. Well, that was absolutely out of the question as far as grandma and grandpa were concerned. But granddaughters being granddaughters with their extra special powers of persuasion finally convinced the family to allow her to have a wedding reception in the old barn’s attached loafing shed.

So, after much cleaning and hauling in gravel and leveling the area and putting up lights in the rafters and lots of volunteer help, the young couple accomplished the impossible. Within the space of a few days, the much-used loafing barn was magically transformed from a lowly cow barn into a magnificent wedding barn. The two love birds were indeed ecstatic about this transformation, but they were also happy for another reason.

They were extra happy about all the extra space that they could provide for their guests. Not only was there enough room for all the usual wedding reception accoutrements, but there was also enough space for a live band, a good sized dance floor and a photo booth. And then there was even enough space for a special feature which was assembled right outside the shed. To entertain the younger guests, a small bonfire was built so that they could roast some marshmallows and join in the celebration.

Cousin L. further related that everyone had a grand time and that she would never again doubt the abilities of young people in love. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

A True Country Wedding

My research indicates that barn weddings have now become very popular across our country. From the east coast to the west coast and all points in between, couples are finding barn weddings the perfect place for a rustic or country wedding. It provides the couple with a place that is very personal and unique. And that’s exactly what I found recently right in my own locality.

We were invited to our neighbor girl’s wedding. Hubby had to finish baling some hay, so I went to the wedding solo. And am I ever glad that I attended this country affair. Oh, my, according to my Jim, I haven’t stopped talking about it. Well, in all fairness to me, I love old barns, and this wedding took place at a renovated little red barn just down the road from me. (Check out the site at www.letha’sguesthouse.com.)

This little gal and her betrothed centered their entire event around this little red barn. Guests were registered inside the barn at a table set up with an unusual keepsake guest book.

After signing in, the guests were lead by colorful little signs from one point of interest to another. The ceremony was performed outside and even though the minister and the young couple had to fight the South Dakota winds throughout the service, they still tied the knot. And I mean this literally; the young country couple tied a true rope marriage love knot at the end of the ceremony.

As with all weddings, there was great feasting and camaraderie with cowbells, watering holes, cupcakes, tiny milk pail candy dishes, speeches, mason jars, burlap and lace and sunflowers. Oh, I can’t forget the boots. This bride was a true farm gal who, even though a college graduate, hadn’t forgotten her country roots. She proudly sported a brand new pair of exquisitely stitched western boots beneath her radiant white gown. In fact, her entire bridal court was adorned in beautiful western boots. Only her puppy dog ring bear didn’t wear boots. He had something better; he had his own puppy dog tuxedo.

Now, why were the boots so important? Because this newly married couple wanted to celebrate by dancing the night away doing their own boot- scooting boogey. And that’s exactly what took place in the hayloft of the little red barn.

Reflections

As you can tell from this article, I am rather impressed with the new idea of barn weddings. It is something unique and different. Times have definitely changed, and I’m all for it because weddings are supposed to be personal and special and happy.

No longer are the red or white barns of yesteryear scorned and looked down upon. Instead, young people across the country are proudly relating and even bragging that they were married in a barn! How about that?

Tying the Knot

I didn’t get to stay for the wedding barn dance because the old knee wouldn’t let me boogey to the beat. But as I drove away from this recent wedding scene, I was thrilled to see the little red barn smiling happily in the midst of all the commotion. It had found a new positive heartfelt purpose for its existence. It was now busy Tying the Knot for country folks.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: jgreen@itctel.com.