At last we come to the finale of the exciting Red Dirt Wedding Series with the gorgeous reception. The dinner and dance portion of the evening were held at the historic turn of the century Harn Homestead.
This little farmstead was as close as you can get to Wisconsin in the heart of Oklahoma City within sight of the capital building.
Rob and Nicole appeared at the barn door balcony looking like the red dirt royalty they are.
Speaking of dirt, the little ringbearer who didn’t bear the rings had gotten plenty of sleep by this point, and led the other kids in aclassic farm wedding game consisting of digging, tossing, and pouring dirt upon themselves.
Olympia, his first cousin, thought this game was fantastic.
There was wine, there was sunlight.
There was whiskey, there was beer.
Heading inside the barn…
There was a red velvet stagecoach.
And a pretty darn impressive cake.
Let’s take one more look at that cake and the stagecoach. I do believe that is a surrey with the fringe on top.
Of course the rugged wooden beams were hung with tulle and strung with lights.
There were also mason jars of lemon drops on every table. Altogether lovely. Of course the loveliness of the bride outshone all else. Here is the fantastic back of her dress.
Outside the sun kept shining and kids were clambering up on an old wagon wheel.
Girls had flowers in their hair.
And a good game of horseshoes was going on.
A fine time was had by all.
Slowly the sun set.
The two stepping wound down, and then it was time for the happy couple to be on their way.
I didn’t photograph the end of the night, but it was beautiful. All the yellow rose petals had been gathered and were handed out to the guests, who made two lines at the door of the barn. Rob and Nicole headed into the farmhouse to change, and camerunning out into the deep dusk hand in hand. Rob was wearing a flannel shirt and Wranglers, and Nicole had on the perfect honeymoon sundress and cowboy boots. They passed through the lines of cheering, laughing, crying friends and family in a whirl of yellow rose petals, and then they were through the barn and off in the big white truck to take on the world together.
Now in Wisconsin, this would have been when the real party kicked into high gear and raged on into the night. In fact, one of the most vivid stories at the reception was that of a Wisconsin couple from our ridgetop parish of St. Peter’s who have been married 50 years or so. They were able to attend the wedding in Oklahoma since they have a daughter in Dallas, and they told us that when they were married in Middle Ridge, they had 21 kegs of beer. 21! Every drop was gone by the end of the night, which I imagine was also the beginning of the morning. That is how we do it on the ridge. The reception is only partially about the glowing new couple and also very much about the rest of the community, from babies to couples married 50 years, who are ready to dance and drink the night away. In Oklahoma, when the bride and groom head off into the sunset all the guests do too. As soon as Rob carried Nicole off in that huge white pickup truck the music went off, the lights went down, the lemon drops got loaded up, and the kegs were wheeled away- to the slight consternation of the young Wisconsinites.
All is not lost, however, and kegs of beer beckon on the horizon. If you’ll recall, when Rob asked Nicole to marry him he was building a barn. Well, that barn is done now.
On June 25th my parents will be hosting a Barn Dance and Wisconsin reception for Rob and Nicole and all the folks who couldn’t make it to the Oklahoma shindig. There will be lots of music and cheese and my Mom’s fresh bread. The Slattery girls are baking and there will be babies and farmers and city folk and wine and beer, and a bonfire. You’re invited, of course- if you can’t make it to Wisconsin we promise we’ll keep you posted right here.
In case you missed the rest of the series:
Our Red Dirt Royal Wedding
Red Dirt Wedding Part One
Red Dirt Wedding Part Two
Red Dirt Wedding Part Three