My husband wrote this last Saturday after they’d left for their honeymoon:
“The bridge at Bowl & Pitcher has become a well-traveled part of the fabric our family history with countless trail runs beginning here. Today, before walking Bethany Meek across this bridge to present her to her groom we stopped so we could snap this pic together. When she came back across the bridge it was as Bethany Goris, escorted by our new son-in-law, Levi Goris! A whole new adventure with new trails to be discovered, traveled, conquered, and enjoyed has just begun, and I couldn’t be more proud and happy for Beth and Levi.”
It was a beautiful day, and we celebrated with joy and love. I love that Jon’s words reflect the joy of the day, the connection to our family’s story, and the anticipation of the adventure that lies before them. (By the way, I adore that man. He knows my heart.)
I’ll share a few wedding photos for fun, but I also want to share with you some things I learned about traditions while planning and throwing a wedding in the midst of a world in chaos. I think there’s probably a few themes that I’ll be coming back to as we navigate new seasons of life, both during a pandemic, and with a new son-in-law. (photo creds to Jon, me, and Lori Wordell Photography)
Here are three things I learned:
It doesn’t have to be elaborate to be meaningful.
Beth and Levi’s ceremony was simple and sweet. We celebrated with immediate families, and a select few close friends. Lovers of the great outdoors, Beth and Levi wanted a secluded spot, where their love of trees and mountain paths could join in the celebration. She didn’t walk down a traditional aisle, but there were rituals to be observed. There was no veil for me to adjust, instead I helped her with her hair. She wore my grandmother’s sapphire earrings. I remember my grandma wearing them so often. They were her favorite, and now my girl has worn them as she joins the sisterhood of brides before her, that sacred journey and rite of passage.
There is a deep desire for tradition in the midst of chaos.
There are things that we missed because of planning this wedding during a crisis. For example, we didn’t get to go to bridal shops to search for the perfect dress. I found myself longing for certain traditions to be observed, even though many weren’t practical or possible. And though we didn’t get to celebrate all the “normal” wedding traditions, we found and connected with the ones we were able to celebrate. A spring of lavender from our front flower garden to complete her bouquet; family friends who were able to jump in and take photos; a small dessert reception in our backyard. In many ways, it felt like a callback to weddings of yesteryear, without all the pomp and circumstance.
Each generation will put their own stamp on certain traditions, while still maintaining others.
This is something I’m learning to be ok with. I can, in my quest to curate family traditions, be a little inflexible at times. I’m learning to be ok with it when traditions are expanded upon, or changed slightly. For example, Beth and Levi opted not to have a cake at their super tiny backyard reception. Neither of them is a big fan of cake, so we had an array of other desserts and fruit instead. Granted, they will probably have a cake at their formal reception later this year, but for me, it felt wrong to not have cake. I’m learning that it is natural and right and even honoring for future generations to put their own twist on an old tradition. They are taking something that they consider to be of value, and making it their own.
As I’ve curated routines and traditions with my family over the years, I’ve done it with the idea that someday my children will take them and run with them, making my traditions theirs, but not in a “have to” kind of way. Now our family looks different. Our new family will have to make adjustments in the coming months and years as Beth and Levi begin to curate their own traditions for their new portion of our family. Beth and Levi will take part of her and parts of him, and they will create something wholly new. They will even find traditions along the way that belong solely to them. And they, in turn, will pass their legacy on to others. The bridge at Bowl & Pitcher will always be part of their story.