Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
The Suprise Wedding
In celebration of our anniversary yesterday, I thought I would tell you about our awesome wedding. Now don’t just roll your eyes and click to a different screen. This was NOT your normal wedding. Becoming an “official” ranch wife was really quite fun. The Big Guy and I were both part of very unsuccessful relationships the first time around, although both lucky in that those relationships blessed us with children. Hence the his and mine that I refer to often in my posts. I never would have guessed that I would fall in love with this man. Nor, would I have ever guessed that I would have another child. I was done. Done with men, definitely done having more kids, and just ready to face the world on my own as a single mother.
I have known the big guy for most of my life. We were both raised in the same community. We didn’t actually go to school together as he is MUCH older (small joke) and instead went to high school with my older brothers and sisters. I would add more about this but it would just highlight our hillbilly tendencies and I probably don’t need to go there and over-share. Interest piqued? But I digress– back to the wedding. We “lived in sin” for several years before taking the time to actually tie the knot. (Sorry moms). We finally got engaged around Christmas time, which made our girls so excited. The big girls were excited that they were really going to be sisters, and the Wild Child was excited that “me and Bossy, and mom and dad are getting married.” For those who know us, you already know who Bossy is. For those that don’t know us, Bossy is the Wild Child’s stuffed cow that she got when she was a week old. We start ’em young around here loving cows!
The big girls wanted a HUGE wedding, a HUGE party, etc. Teenage girls and socializing go together like salt and pepper, PB&J, rain and green grass, sugar and cream… they go hand-in-hand. We didn’t want a big wedding. We were good with a party, but not a big wedding. The girls argued that just our family would mean a big wedding so we might as well go ahead and really throw a huge one. We objected. They argued that wouldn’t our friends be upset that we didn’t have a big wedding for them to attend? We countered that our friends would be tickled absolutely pink if they didn’t have to sit through a wedding. The sparring continued. We won– in a way.
The Big Guy’s birthday is at the end of spring, the end of calving, the end of snow (usually), and always a great time to just chill and have a few cold ones. We decided that I would throw him a surprise birthday party and instead turn it into a surprise wedding. We didn’t want anyone to feel obligated to attend our wedding. We didn’t want people to feel like they needed to give us gifts as their presence and prayers for a happy future were the best presents we could get. We figured that anyone that was important to us, and was able to get there and without prior commitments, would show up at the birthday party. It was so fun.
The girls thought we were having a surprise party. They spread the word. I spread the word. My family spread the word. My friends spread the word. Everyone was invited to the Big Guy’s SURPRISE birthday party. It was extremely entertaining to watch people try to talk around it when the Big Guy was around. People are just naturally VERY BAD at keeping a secret. I can’t begin to count the times people would say “I can’t wait until the 28th!” And the Big Guy would say “Really? What’s happening then?” Then we would get to watch people stumble and fumble and completely totally, and be honest, horribly lie about what was happening. They would then call later and apologize for almost ruining the surprise. We would just laugh and laugh. The planning continued.
We decided that we would baptize the Wild Child previous to the wedding, tell everyone at the baptism’s end that they were there also for a wedding, and then walk across to the bar where everyone was waiting to “SURPRISE” the Big Guy to let them in on the true surprise. First we had to go shopping. We had to figure out a way to get the older girls (the maids of honor) to buy something to wear. We finally told them that we didn’t know when the wedding would be, but that we would probably just go to the courthouse to do it and that they wouldn’t have another chance to get a dress. The debates began again, only now they wanted color choices (I told them bright colors), style choices (I told them whatever they would wear again), should they match (told them to wear what they liked and no didn’t need to match). It was one thing after another. I bought something to wear to the baptism. Black. Oh my goodness. I couldn’t possibly wear black to anything– not a baptism and definitely not a wedding. It wasn’t a dress. GOD forbid! Now this definitely couldn’t be for a wedding!! Did I mention that teenage girls are style princesses and up on all things wedding related?
We made it through the shopping. Crazy enough, the girls bought matching dresses, but just with different colored accessories. I ended up having to enlist the assistance of one of my sisters. I was getting in over my head. I needed to figure out a way to get the girls to wear these dresses to the baptism, and I needed help to decorate at least an altar and a couple of tables– nothing fancy, just quick and easy. My sister took care of the girls. She convinced them that she was surprising us with a trip to Hawaii for all of us to go down there and get married. Hawaii?? They bought it, and we laughed. Poor girls. They were going to be so sad to know we weren’t going to Hawaii. The decorating ended up being real quick as there was a baby shower first so by the time they got done using the hall and we got all the visitors kicked out, we had about an hour to decorate before racing home where we had an hour to get ready for the wedding. It was a little rushed. And fun. Thankfully my sister had brought her sister-in-law (and one of my good friends) along and the three of us just flew through things. It was simple, easy, and completely us. Another item checked off.
We raced home to get ready. The older girls had a little meltdown to my sister about me wearing my future wedding outfit to the baptism. They convinced her that she needed to come upstairs and talk me into wearing something else. I couldn’t wear it to the baptism and then wear it again later for the wedding. That was just wrong. Remember– they ARE fashion mavens. My sister told them she tried to convince me, but to no avail. Didn’t they know how stubborn I was? They did. We laughed.
Off we went to the Wild Child’s baptism–them in their wedding dresses thinking it was okay to wear them as they were going to Hawaii soon and would need something else to wear anyway, and me in my wedding outfit (black) getting scorned at for my fashion faux pas. Everything fell in place perfectly. The Wild Child’s godfather was one of the men my Big Guy wanted for his best man, and of course the other friend that he wanted wasn’t going to miss either the Wild Child’s baptism or the Big Guy’s surprise birthday party so they were both available.
The baptism was beautiful. We then announced to everyone there that they were actually there for a wedding, too. The looks were priceless. We just asked our guests to have a little patience as we had to run to the bar where everyone was waiting to yell surprise and let them in on the real plans. The girls were not happy when they realized they weren’t going to Hawaii. Can you see it on their faces? They still don’t think it is funny. Especially when the jokers ask them how their trip to Hawaii was.
We walked over to the bar to spring our own surprise on our birthday party guests. Our friends yelled “SURPRISE” to the big guy when he walked through the door. He just laughed and said “Well, really the surprise is on you. You aren’t here for a birthday party; you are actually here for a wedding!” We then invited then to either come to the wedding or just wait for us and we would be back to dance the night away and visit. Again– the looks were priceless. Great memories.
It was an awesome night. We were surrounded by friends and family. There were some missing that had prior commitments and didn’t make it. We laughed at the calls we received afterwards with people telling us they KNEW that something else must be up, and dang it why didn’t they make it. We replied the same way to all– “Yeah Right!” but everyone was right where they needed to be– whether they made it to the wedding or not. Oh yeah– and the second best part of our wedding?!?! It rained over an inch that night! We were sure that was GOD’s blessing on our marriage. What ranch wife wouldn’t think that?