by Lisa Ann Krutzik
As I drove into the yard, down the country dirt path that led to the airplane hanger, I felt I was entering a world that existed all on its own. Trees covered the dirt path which was only cut by tire marks as it led to an opening that flooded my eyes with interesting silhouettes to gaze at. A pond flanked the woods on one side and a vintage plane sat near the beginning of the open slit of land that was cleared to be a take off and landing strip—as if it wanted to take flight right then and there! A 1925 Model T Ford was parked under the overhang of the hanger—as if time had stood still. Only the hanger was modern with a cement platform and steel siding.
My mind jolted back to reality as I noticed all the people moving throughout the space. Hurriedly placing tables, chairs, centerpieces, and setting up a tiki bar to entertain the 150 guests that would enter this little piece of heaven the next day.
I was about to meet Kyle & Michelle for the first time. This young couple met six years ago at a county fair because Kyle’s sister asked him to help with her dairy exhibit. Kyle & Michelle were seniors in high school at the time and they haven’t separated since. On Christmas of 2010 Kyle asked Michelle to marry him and the planning of their traditional Catholic wedding with a Vintage & Caribbean twist was on its way!
They greeted me with smiles and I could tell they were being pulled a number of different directions with questions by various people of where things should be placed. But still, they broke away for a couple of quick photos with their two dogs and their two cats that just happened to be along for the ride to her parents’ home. They still had a lot to do with marking the path in and out, placing table cloths, and getting home to change for the dress rehearsal that night. Michelle had always dreamed of having her horse be part of her wedding day and so when she asked her father if they could have the reception in the airplane hanger right behind the horse barn he wasn’t surprised. And with her being his only daughter he was more than happy to say yes. Thus the work began in creating a party for 150 guests at their home.
Both of Michelle’s parents went into full planning mode. The winter would be spent organizing the projects that would need to be completed by the August 20th date. Flowers would be planted, the hanger would need to be cleared out and then power washed from the top to bottom on the inside and most of the outside. There would caterers to hire, friends to ask to do bartending, a plan of action as to where to park the cars so that the runway wouldn’t get destroyed. Port-a-potties to be delivered, outdoor lighting with enough extension cords to reach would have to be set up. Tables, chairs, and various other things would need to be rented and placed in position. Centerpieces designed and placed to hold down table cloths because an entire side of the building would be wide open to the elements. Prepping the Model T Ford to drive the newlyweds back to the family farm was also on the agenda for her father.
Now, all that work had come to fruition. The cleaning finished, the designs set…all was ready for the memorable day.
The weather man was forecasting rain for Saturday…but no one really believed it. It was clear, sunny, and simply beautiful the day before the wedding.
When I awoke on Saturday morning, I immediately noticed that the beautiful clear blue sky was not only gone, it had been replaced by a menacing dark gray hue that sent shivers up my back. I was holding out hope the storm would hit and quickly move over to Lake Superior. It was not to be so.I entered the little hair salon that Michelle once worked at to find our bride on her knees working on the makeup of one of her bridesmaids. She looked so excited and seemed as if she hadn’t even noticed the color of the sky outside. Even after we heard the first thunder boom she continued to joyfully work on makeup as the girls shared stories with me about Kyle & Michelle’s first meeting and what each of the girls did for a living. By the time I walked out of the salon I had to cover my equipment as I ran to the car.
I drove up to the church, unpacked my equipment, and was surprised to see Michelle’s father arrive in the Model T. He was wearing bright yellow rain gear over his suit and tried to keep the fast descending rain out of the windowless car with plastic…it didn’t work since the wind was blowing as hard as the rain was falling. He came in, took off his rain suit, and smiled because it was the only thing one could do in this situation.
When Michelle arrived, she was radiant and ready to marry the man who held her heart in his hands. The ceremony was personalized with family members standing up, serving as ushers, and participating in the ceremony itself by doing the readings. There were a number of times during the ceremony that the Deacon managed to personalize what he was saying to the point of creating all out laughter. This was a fun couple starting a new and fun journey in life together.
The rain subsided a bit after the ceremony and by the time Michelle & Kyle were ready to leave they made the decision to get into the Model T even if they might get wet. They got wet.
Upon arriving at her parents’ house, Michelle went in to dry off, change her hair and add a vintage fascinator. Within moments of arriving at the hanger, the sun came out and guests were able to enjoy both the indoor hanger space and the open area of the landing strip.
The DJ started playing right away to entertain the guests; the tiki bar was abuzz with brightly colored drinks and the guests were busy socializing with each other as Michelle’s uncle walked her beautiful white and gray speckled horse from the horse barn to the pond. We were able to capture some beautiful images with a bright blue sky of the couple, the horse, the Model T, and the vintage plane before having a grand entrance to the reception.
The buffet was good and plentiful. The cake was cut and the first dance started on time. The evening was warm and comfortable. All of the guests were enjoying themselves.
I closed the back of my SUV, preparing to leave this little escape from reality. I looked back toward the hanger which was now pumping the beat of the music through its walls for the animals in the woods to enjoy, and simply had to smile because Kyle & Michelle had the dream wedding they had planned on having.
My shoes squeaked on the dew covered grass, I opened my car door, and slid into my seat. The moon glowed bright—illuminating the runway and the path markers that showed the way back to the highway. I couldn’t help but roll down the window, taking a deep breath of the fresh country air. I looked up at the bright stars in the sky and knew this couple had been blessed with knowing what peace truly feels like…even when the day starts with rain.