A Spring Wedding Warning

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My mailbox tells me it is spring. Each day, beautifully decorated envelopes arrive, inviting our family to celebrate the joyous union of a neighbor’s son or daughter with the love of his or her life.

Wedding dress

I can’t help but smile and get excited for the sweet little girls who have chosen spring and summer calendar dates to marry those cute farm boys. But I also wonder … have they really thought this through?

It is true that the months between April and July have great weather for Tennessee weddings, but it also means prime weather for farming, too. Almost 10 years ago, my sweet farmer boy and I carefully selected June 6 as our wedding date. Our reasoning was quite simple. June 6 was a Saturday and after college graduation. At that point in my life, those facts were all that mattered.

Looking back, I realize I should have consulted the Farmers’ Almanac in addition to – or better yet, in place of – Brides magazine when making our wedding plans.

June, as I found out, is a great month for a wedding, but it is also a very busy time of the year for farming – prime hay cutting season in Tennessee. Acres and acres of spring grasses are in need of cutting, raking and baling in order to feed the animals through the winter.

But these important farm tasks aren’t just limited to June. March, April and May find farmers plowing, planting and pulling calves. The first garden crops have been planted and are in need of weeding, cultivating and harvesting. More crops need to be planted, and before long, summer kitchens are full of produce that needs to be canned or frozen for winter meals. Then come the vegetable sales and farmers’ markets – all in full swing during the late summer months.

These great wedding dates are also full of cattle needing to be vaccinated, de-wormed, and prepared for the next breeding season.

Plain and simple, spring and summer are busy – with plenty of farm work for everyone.

Sure, that cute farm boy will take a break from all his work to hear the sweet bride say “I do” and have the task of “wedding” checked off the list for the rest of his life.

But time will reveal to the new farmwife the miscalculation of planning a spring or summer wedding. Year after year, her anniversary will be remembered and celebrated not with a luxurious trip to some exotic land, but perhaps a good, long day of working cattle. A sturdy pair of boots or seeds for the garden may be purchased instead of the “anniversary diamond” she had in mind.

Maybe, the wedded couple will argue over how many years they have actually been married while tossing square bales onto a hay wagon late in the afternoon, trying to beat a rainstorm. The really lucky girls might even remember their fifth anniversary by a fence they helped their beloved build years before.

Yes indeed, these spring and summer weddings make me smile and RSVP a note

to the bride-to-be something like this: “My husband and I would be delighted to attend your wedding, unless of course we are running late getting back from the farmers’ market and still have chores to do. If the pigs get out, we may only make it to the reception. I hope you will understand. My dear, I am thrilled about your upcoming marriage.

You could not ask for a better mate than a farmer or a better way of life than on a farm. Just don’t expect to celebrate your anniversary with an overnight trip away from the farm until wintertime. Unless of course, there are hogs to butcher, chicks to brood, fences to mend, ewes to lamb in, or (gasp) you are marrying a dairyman!”

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