Schlueterville wedding magic celebration

I wish I could bottle Rocket and Trooper's wedding, and serve it up as a cheerful elixir when nights are long and filled with angst. I've told you quite a bit about the process leading up to this momentous event, which took place in Schlueterville on the evening of June 29.

I'm thrilled to report that we all survived in fine and festive style.

Hunka Burnin' Hubby and I had a unique and slightly out-of-body perspective of the whole affair. Watching a son become a husband was indeed uncharted territory. That the wedding took place in our backyard sent it sailing over the moon.

It was a space that underwent a phenomenal transformation in a few short weeks, including an ousted tree and extensive landscaping. But that was just the beginning. A creative bride and involved groom, surrounded by a legion of hard-working family and friends, turned our humble backyard into a place of pure magic.

God smiled upon the happy couple, grant-ing an evening tailor made for an outdoor wedding. The temperature was uncharacteristically cool for late June, and the breeze died with the setting sun, leaving fireflies to stretch their wings without breaking a sweat. Even the mosquitoes mysteriously vamoosed for the night.

More than 160 guests meandered through the gate and down the brick path to settle at tables decorated with burlap, old books, and vintage cameras.

Mason jars filled with fat, pink peonies, and tea lights in coffee beans added rustic flair. Strands of white Christmas lights looped randomly overhead, casting a gentle aura beneath a maple tree canopy.

People smiled at the claw foot bathtub filled with ice and cold drinks, and they checked out displays of antiques and rust-bucket oddities. Shoulders eased in the informal setting, and faces relaxed with curious anticipation as the ceremony unfolded. Dreamy live music cued up and the show got under way.

Rocket looked remarkably at ease as he ushered in the moms, and I hugged him hard as I wished him luck.

"We're very proud of you, Rocket," I told him. "You'll make a fantastic husband."

The bridal party filtered in, with pretty girls in dresses as individual as their unique personalities, and handsome gents in suspenders and Chucks. Everyone smiled as they wove through the crowd, following a burlap runner that had been meticulously nailed to the ground. A very young ring bearer face planted in epic fashion, but recovered nicely. The flower girl ushered him in double-time to a bridesmaid with a secret stash of candy.

And suddenly there she was, the lovely silk-wrapped Trooper on the arm of her dad, who looked sharp in his Marine dress blues. The bride paused on the way to the patio-turned-altar, to share surprise bouquets with her mom, a close friend, and me. Four women burst into joyful, sloppy tears.

A grinning pastor delivered one of the most faith-based services I've ever witnessed, and the scene before us popped against a background highlighted by antique doors — symbolic of opening a brand new chapter of life.

And just like that, we applauded the newly married and ridiculously happy couple. Schlueterville has changed forever. Thank goodness for that.

There's more I have to share, and will do so in the weeks to come; about a sow's ear-to-silk purse backyard that witnessed copious laughter, a dancer-jammed patio, vintage china plates mounded with potluck delicacies, a previously guy-filled living room overrun with mirrors and a tribe of women, and a bride's promise to attend the NHRA Nationals every year if it would make her husband happy.

Isn't life just grand?

Tamera Schlueter

Tam Schlueter adopts a "strike-fast-and-keep-them-laughing" approach to writing. Her column appears every Thursday in the Hastings Tribune, and showcases the wonder of family, dogs, muscle cars, and folks with blue collars and no-nonsense attitudes.

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