Wedding Bells, Part 2: Just Get Me to the Church on Time!

The Mountain Farmgirl is delighted to announce the marriage of her son, Noah, to the love of his life, Dana … and cordially ‘invites’ you to join her at their wedding! Come share in the festivities under the wedding tent in “Wedding Bells, Part 2 … Just Get me to the Church on Time!!!”  (...and please don't forget to 'sign' their wedding guest book below in the comments section!)

It’s a fact of life right up there with 'death & taxes' and the merits of sliced bread : The Mountain Farmgirl is NEVER late. EVER!!   I’m not sure where the roots of that came from or how it got programmed in there, but it’s hardwired into my brain and my being more indelibly than my fingerprints. Now I can 'go with the flow' and 'savor the moment' through a flower or a sunset as much as the next farmgirl, but when it comes to events I am responsible for, I tend to plan ahead so thoroughly that nothing is left to chance. And that’s why it’s totally incomprehensible to me that my husband and I found ourselves lost on a back road 25 minutes AFTER I was to have delivered the wedding cake I had made to the reception tent. But I’m getting  a bit ahead of myself here. That story will come out all in due time!

Last time, I wrote about the rehearsal dinner which I put on the night before the wedding. Months before, it had morphed into a BBQ for about 75 friends, family members and out of town guests. The more the merrier was my motto.   It was a low key, fun and a rousing success.  Big sigh of relief. After everything  was  cleaned up, my sister and I stayed up until almost 2 am decorating the wedding cake, as well as the tiers of cupcakes and fruit tarts we had made. We were a bit bleary eyed by that wee hour of the morning, but we both felt really good about how it all turned out.  All we had left to do was transport everything to the wedding venue and assemble it by 2:30 pm the next day. Piece of cake, as they say.

Now for the two weeks prior to my son’s wedding, it rained. In fact, it rained LOTS.  Though we were of tired of the damp, gray weather, day after day we managed to say, “Good”, (with all due apologies to anyone who was having their wedding during that time); followed by some comment such as, “Let it get it out of its system by May 25th.” But when the morning of the Big Day finally rolled around, I looked out of our hotel window to a heavy mist of thick, dense fog; a day with practically zero visibility. Not a good omen for an outdoor wedding on the lawn under an arbor --- nor for the updo’s that the bridal party and mothers of the betrothed were about to get at the beauty parlor that morning.


I had been thrilled when my soon-to-be daughter-in-law called me a month earlier to ask whether I would like to be part of the ‘hairdo thing’! I had only ever had an updo once before in my life, and that was almost exactly a year ago when my oldest son’s bride-to-be asked me to join her bridal party at the hairdressers. It was a girlie bonding time that I will always cherish, and I was looking forward to this one with no less zeal. The bride and I had our appointments first, and sat side by side. With camera in hand, I was able to get  ‘Before’ and ‘After’ shots of the both of us. It was a wonderful morning ... two Cinderellas turned Fairy Princesses. Thanks, Marta … you did a great job!


Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel room to wait for my husband and many of our college friends who had gone out on a little morning adventure of their own. I was 'all dressed and ready to go' by the time they got back. My dress was a floor length navy-colored ruched chiffon with a train (Ooh la la!), with a lacy, hand-beaded bodice. I wore a purple-feathered fascinator in my hair, and a beautiful solitaire blue-pearl necklace that had just been given to me by the bride the night before ...  certainly a new treasure of mine. All dolled up, with the sun almost-but-not-really peeking through, my husband and I left the hotel by 1:30, perfectly according to plan. “It’s supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day,” several people offered as we made our way to the car. “Yes, that’s right,” we also kidded ourselves.

Our first (and only) stop was to be the church where we had held the rehearsal dinner the previous night.  Wearing the black satin-and-pearl apron my sister had given to me for Christmas, I gingerly loaded the cake layers and pastries into the back of our Prius. But after driving slowly for several miles so as not to disturb the cakes, I yelled to my poor husband, “STOP THE CAR!  Where are the fresh flowers for the cake?”. I jumped out along the side of the road, high heels and all, searching through the windows from every angle.  Once it was apparent that they were nowhere in the car, we had to go back to the church to get them, which put us more than 20 minutes behind schedule. Hubby was a tad bit annoyed at this and didn’t mind expressing it, so I tried to think of something uplifting to say. Looking at the face of my beautiful antique watch, worn solely on special occasions, I ventured optimistically, “Well, at least it’s not even 2 pm yet.”    “What time zone are YOU in?” he quipped back. I looked at the car clock and to my horror it was almost 2:30, the time we were already supposed to be there setting up. My watch was apparently running slow ... as were we.

Somehow in our angst, we missed a turn somewhere and ended up on a back road in the middle of nowhere. I’ll kindly spare you the dialog, but loosely translated it meant “Just get me to the church on time!!” (Well, it almost went like that).  From the words of that old popular song,  others have apparently found themselves in a similar situation.  True to form, my husband’s unfailing sense of direction kicked in at just the right moment and got us exactly to our destination by 3:00. The ceremony wasn’t until 3:30, but here I was, arriving half an hour AFTER I had planned to be at my own son’s wedding!! I was late! Surely this was a lifetime-first for me and worthy of an entry in my personal Guiness Book of World Records.


By this time, though, the sun did indeed show its beautiful face, a most welcome sight!  But the subsequent heat and humidity, which is death to butter crème frosting, had us storing the cake layers in a refrigerated case until much later. Theoretically at least, with no cake to assemble until later, we were not actually late at all! (“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened” ― Mark Twain)


Beautiful though the day became, the grass was still quite soggy from weeks of rain, and so at the last minute a decision was made by the bride and groom to hold the wedding inside the beautiful reception tent. ‘Plan B’ though it may have been, it was a beautiful stage for the ceremony, with the Wallkill River out front and the Shawangunk Mountains hanging as a breathtaking backdrop behind. No one would ever have guessed it wasn’t planned like this all along. A fabulous breeze blew gently through the tent … it was perfect!


Here I am walking in, escorted by my son Joshua (left), and husband Dana (right).

When the time finally arrived, we made our grand entrance as parents, followed by the wedding party. First came my husband and me, proud as punch; followed by  Rowena, mother of the bride, the bridal party and (sniff, sniff) the Bride and her dad.


The Bridal Party consisted of the brothers and sisters of the bride and groom, as well as my son’s two best friends, Will and Juneki.  Timothy, the bride’s nephew was the Ring Bearer, who did an excellent job not only carrying the wedding bands, but informing everyone that the bride was coming! Good job, Timothy!


Noah with his siblings (Christopher, far left; Joshua, right), and with sister, Alida

The words of the Pastors (all three of them) were amazing and powerful. This was a Christian wedding for a devout young couple, who had courted one another since their teens and had vowed to save themselves in purity for each other until this very wedding day. Their vows were some of the most beautiful and meaningful I’ve ever heard. How they ever spoke them all from memory was totally impressive, but surely these words had been written upon their hearts and needed no prompting.



After the ceremony, we had plenty of time for photos with family and friends, while hors d’ouevres were passed and served. Noah and Dana had chosen not to have alcohol at their wedding, but instead had a marvelous Smoothie Bar, complete with fresh fruit virgin Pina or Strawberry Coladas. Yum!


Noah and I share some special Mother-Son Moments, below … Oh my ‘little’ red-head is married!!



Special moments with my married son!

Parents of the Bride and Groom

The Wedding Party

Dinner was a lovely buffet.  Being somewhat of a rabbit, and being still too excited to eat, I especially loved the fresh salad greens with the delicious homemade herbal dressing. I grazed to my hearts content!

After our meal was over, the entire wedding party was introduced as we made our ‘official’ entrance, followed by, ta da… drum roll please …  Mr. and Mrs. Noah Belcher!! Oh my!! I’m tearing up just writing that.  Thank goodness for the woman who invented waterproof mascara!


The first wedding dance was to a selection called “Lucky” … followed by the Father-Daughter Dance to the song “I Loved Her First”. Ooh no, there I go again!!

Finally it was time for my sister and me to go into action and set up the cake on the dessert table. After all, we wanted everyone to have a chance to see it before it was cut and devoured!


The cutting of the cake was (thank goodness) a very civilized affair! (I’m definitely not a fan of cake mashing and throwing!). The cake was a made-from-scratch French vanilla, filled with fresh strawberries and cream.  The top layer has since been frozen and saved for Noah and Dana’s First Anniversary.


The wedding certificate I made for them was positioned on an easel so that everyone had a chance to sign it before the evening was over. It has been framed so they can hang it on their wall to remember this special day, and the many people who were there to witness Noah and Dana's covenant before God.


A magnificent sunset was the closing act to a lovely wedding day. Noah and Dana were then off to the Old Rhinebeck Inn, an historic (c 1745), 4-room, 5-star B&B where they spent their first two nights of married life. Knowing how much I love history and old buildings, Noah texted me the next day: “You and Dad would LOVE it here. It is amazing. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING. I love you, mom”.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect wedding!

Such special memories ...

Two days later they were off on a 12 day trip to Alaska, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The photos I have seen so far are incredible. The one below is a self-portrait they took from their balcony on the cruise ship. It is actually their reflection in the sliding glass door with the mountains in the background.  Noah and Dana are finally settled into their new home now, an apartment in VA, a commutable distance to their respective jobs in Washington, DC. After months of wedding planning, final papers, college exams, graduation and new jobs, their lives are finally settling into a more normal and sustainable pace.

And so to all my farmgirl friends, thank you so much for sharing in this special day of ours. Won’t you please  sign our “guest book” in the comments section below?  And to Noah and Dana … May your lives be full of Blessings and the Love of God through thick and thin.  I love you both so very much!

Until next time,
Mountain Bounty, Mountain Blessings from Cathi
The Mountain Farmgirl








By: Mary
On: 07/08/2012 11:38:47
I'm so very happy for your son and his new wife. The cakes, et al. look fabulous! Dr. Laura Schlesinger said on her radio program once to remember not only your wedding day, but those who did what they could to make it special for you, as well as those who did not and you will learn a lot about how to move forward in life.
My son will be 19 in August and I hope to do all you did for your son someday for him and his bride. Pat yourself on the back for giving them a great start.
By: Victoria Crisman
On: 07/09/2012 05:27:55
Blessings to Noah and Dana and to the entire Belcher family! As the wedding words go, 'Let nothing put asunder the beauty that God has wrought.' You are indeed a very special, beautiful family. I wish this young couple all the very best; they are an inspiration to young people everywhere.
By: Addison Pierce
On: 07/09/2012 06:44:13
Congratulations to you and the happy couple. I loved "being there" with you all and wish you all the very best of life from this day forward ... Cheers!
By: Nancy Couden
On: 07/09/2012 12:28:09
With God as the head of their home--they cannot fail. May they have many happy and blessed years.
By: Dorothy
On: 07/09/2012 23:48:51
Blessings on the happy couple. Thank you for sharing their day. Beautiful.
By: Karin Thomas
On: 07/10/2012 06:02:58
Congratulations to Dana and Noah. And to all the family members. What a lovely, lovely wedding! Thank you for letting us share and for all the wonderful pictures. You looked beautiful! So did everyone else. Praying for many, many, happy and blessed years for them.
By: Adrienne
On: 07/11/2012 11:52:29
Congratulations and best wishes to a blessed couple who will have a long and happy future together.
By: Marlene J
On: 07/14/2012 13:37:16
Absolutely beautiful wedding! I am in awe of all the hard work you put in to making the day so very special for the lovely couple. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you all! Sincerely, MJ
By: Ruth
On: 07/17/2012 18:10:19
What an awesome testimony to the beauty of marriage as God
planned it! Everyone looked so beautiful and happy, especially you, Cathi! May God bless their marriage as they honored HIM before it! Thanks for letting us see and read all the beautiful memories of their wedding. God bless you and your family!
By: Dianne
On: 07/31/2012 10:22:27
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful day with us. First you have your sons and now daughters also. God has blessed you. It must be amazing to see your children grow into men and see them begin new lives. You and your husband must be so proud of them.

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Cathi Belcher

Cathi Belcher,
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.

“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”

Column content copyright © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.

Mountain Bounty

“Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir