Have I mentioned lately that I live in quite a rural area? I mean, our city is almost 40,000 people. Our Mall is going to the dogs, and will probably be gone in the next several years. We have Columbia (100,000), Kansas City and St. Louis. The rest of our little state is pretty much rural.
Saturday, I went to a local winery with a good friend. They have my favorite wine of the moment …”Captains Red”, which of course is a sweet red wine. I’ve decided that I don’t care much for whites. Even sweet ones. I much prefer the sweet reds. Anyway…….this particular winery and brewery is FOR SALE!! Now how totally fun would it be to run a winery? Think of all the fun events you could host!! And the bistro-is type FOOD you could serve!!!
We ordered a salmon spread and a quesadilla….and both, frankly, were nasty. I mean, edible, but edible as Mc Donalds is edible……..the Salmon Spread seemed to be canned salmon mixed with some mayo and capers to put on crostini. It wasn’t what I wanted to eat. The quesadilla was, well….a quesadilla. Cheesey……it was supposed to be a mushroom quesadilla, but there weren’t many mushrooms to be found in the kind of gritty cheese. **Sigh** at least the wine was awesome.
We decided, impulsively, to head to ANOTHER winery a few miles away, in a tiny town called Hartsburg. Hartsburg is known all throughout Mid Missouri for it’s annual PUMPKIN FESTIVAL, and the fact that the Katy Trail runs right through it. It’s a river bottom town, with acres of pumpkin and squash fields. They have a tiny little winery in the center of town. We got there, ordered ANOTHER bottle of wine, and went outside to see what happens in little Hartsburg on an early Saturday evening.
Guess what? A LOT!! There was to be live music at the winery, and a WEDDING across the street! They’ve got a tiny city park and a gazebo that was all decorated with Christmas lights for a WEDDING!! A caboose sits next to the gazebo…and apparently, it can be rented for $55.00 per night---attached to the caboose is a little house thingy—and apparently, there is a shower and bathroom in that abode, that the caboose dwellers can use.
We got to the winery around 5:15, and the wedding didn’t start til 6:30 (we were told), but by 5:45, we saw food that was catered being carried into the caboose. We spent our evening imagining what was about to happen. We watched as guests began to arrive and mill around. The musician arrived, and we could see lots of young men attired in cargo shorts, flip flops and a white dress shirt (untucked) The first couple of boys we saw, we thought may have been just a fluke. Young men in the wedding that hadn’t changed yet, or something. The walked over to the winery and purchased a bottle of wine, and went on into the caboose. They didn’t LOOK old enough to buy wine, but then again….I’m 43, an everyone seems to resemble a young whipper-snapper these days.
We began to see a photographer, guests, and a young girl in an off-white dress running around hugging more of the cargo shorted, flip flop wearing, untucked dress shirt sporting fellows. My friend and I were taking bets on who was getting married. I voted for a very young couple. She voted on an older couple…..maybe a 2nd marriage?
The musician came to the winery, and set up. Much to my chagrin, he had at least 2 if not 3 speakers. I don’t like loud music that keeps me from talking. I don’t mind music in the background, but if it impedes my ability to chat…I get really annoyed. Again, my friend was betting on his acoustic guitar not being loud, but I worried nonetheless.
As it turned out…..his first number was a James Taylor song. He had quite a pleasant voice. It was all very background-ish and soft. I was THRILLED. Unfortunately, after nearly 45 minutes of the James Taylor wanna be putting his own unique, one trick pony spin on EVERY SONG HE SANG got really old, really fast.
Anyway, we were watching the cargo, flip flop clad crew and realized that near 7pm (must not have been a 6:30 wedding), that some of the boys had red CARNATIONS on their shirts. Still no ties….no pants…..no dress shoes…….
At one point, one of the young men decided to unbutton his shirt to show some girl in a brown tube top dress his abs, and lo and behold….his tattoo leading down to…..well…….um……..DOWN. Okay? Just down.
We saw another white shirted boy hugging EVERYONE in sight. Not just a quick air hug….but long, deep HUGS. We were FACINATED! The guests wore everything from cowboy hats and jeans, to cute summer dresses……..it wasn’t a large crowd, but they all seemed to come and buy wine!!!
We began to focus on the house right next door to the winery (yes…….the house is tucked between a restaurant and a winery……but there are many houses on this street, so with their 100 or so residents, I guess you put a business where there are people.
There was a lot of people coming in and out. Especially a couple sitting on the porch to smoke and their dachshund. We spent WAY too much time trying to figure out all the particulars. We were as excited as the young cargo short crew appeared to be!!!
As the event began to take shape, we realized that the deep hugger was the GROOM!!!! He, too, had on cargo shorts, flip flops, a white shirt and carnation. We watched a grandma be escorted up the gazebo steps by two of the boys, and before anyone could even begin to hear the wedding music (thankfully, wanna be James Taylor took an appropriate break), we saw a NEW GIRL….in a red dress walk from the house next to the winery…..across the street. She was escorted by one of the cargo short crew. So, we now realize that the other similarly dressed boys must be GROOMSMEN…….!!!!!!
Suddenly I heard a gasp! It was ME!! The bride was emerging from the HOUSE NEXT DOOR!! By now we could hear faint strains of a guitar…….she was escorted by two more of the cargo crew…….She was in a white princess type dress, and a TIARA!!!!! She was brunette and lovely.
These two young escorts stood behind her…so were they bridesmen? There was only one bridesmaid, and the assemblage of cargo shorted boys far outweighed the girl in numbers, so we assume that some must be bridesmen.
The ceremony took all of about 10 minutes. The officiant wore a red St. Louis Cardinals hat during the ceremony. I could not see much of his other attire, but my imagination told me denim was involved.
We got commentary from the gal working at the winery, and apparently the newly wedded couple were step brother and sister? I think she said the parents of the youngsters had gotten married a few years before, so although they were not truly related, it seemed like a relatively odd thing for the kids to marry too!!
To me, it seemed like a quaint, perfect evening wedding. Not much fuss---casually dressed young men representing their friends/family. A catered event without the cocktails and fanciful waiters……just a buffet line through the caboose. It appeared to be small, and intimate. It was apparent that a platinum budget wasn’t used, but it was also apparent that the group involved were closeknit and comfortable.
Champagne and chocolate fountains are nice…..but really? Other than one evening and a memory, who really cares? I think people should take a more cargo short and flip flop attitude……enjoy the MOMENT with people you love, and in a setting that works. It doesn’t matter if you have Christmas lights adorning a wood gazebo, instead of crystal chandeliers. What is important is whom you are marrying, and how happy you are.
Who knew we’d be headed to a wedding on Saturday? It was TOTALLY fun and refreshing. Welcome to rural Missouri, where groomsmen in shorts, and ministers in hats make for a FUN wedding.
Toodles for now!!