New England Nuptials

Trip Start Aug 30, 2012
Trip End Oct 19, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, September 2, 2012

Leaving Boston with the crew, we head off toward Sturbridge, Massachusetts where the reception will be held tomorrow at the historic Publick House. Most of the wedding guests (from the Aussie side at least) are staying here so it’s nice to have a big contingent of revelers around.

The Publick House is gorgeous and I’m dying to explore it but after a rough morning I’m a fair shade of green so I opt for a lie in before the rehearsal and dinner tonight. 

The rehearsal is at the wedding venue - the church in Sarah’s family’s hometown - about a half hour out of Sturbridge in Woodstock, Connecticut. The church reminds me a little of my favourite one ever which is Christ Church over in Philly - huge ceilings, simple white walls and full of light.

Yes Milly, I know you’re wondering… in true American tradition the bouquet Sarah’s carrying is made out of the ribbons from her bridal shower gifts.

It’s then off to the Swenson home for dinner . The house is straight out of a magazine and one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. Lots of outdoor space and beautiful big red barns in the paddocks around it. Sarah takes us on a quick tour - part of the house is from the 1800s and part from the 1700s - so part of the house is older than any building in Australia!

There are lots of cool quirky features. The roofs of some of these houses when you look at their construction look a little like ships turned upside down, so they think that the area was settled by ship builders. There’s a scotch room (yes a room to keep scotch in)… and when the fireplace here was being restored they noticed that there was more room in the back than there should be. Like enough room to keep a bunch of people hidden. The house is a little far north to have been part of the underground railroad really, but perhaps in the early years? The floorboards are also original and you can tell from how wide they are how well-off the original owners were (the wider the floorboards the richer the family cos they could afford bigger pieces of wood).

Dinner is amazing - Sarah’s grandfather makes mountains of chicken on the fire pit from a recipe he has written on a very old letter which is stuffed in his pocket, a secret for many years. Some moving speeches follow from the fathers of the happy couple before the rest of the guests arrive for a cocktail party where I spend most of the evening in fits of giggles from Ash and Erin’s hilarious ‘medical mishap’ stories from work.

Sunday, the wedding day, begins with THE MOST AMAZING THING I EVER EATED. Lobster mac n cheese. Not at all stingy on the lobster and covered in toasty buttery breadcrumbs. Bliss! The weird thing about the bread baskets here is that to accompany your meal they bring you a bread roll, some cornbread… and a sticky cinnamon nut bun?!?! I’m gonna talk about food a lot. Just so you know.

Getting changed for the wedding I realise I’ve managed to get some weird stains (Sounds dirty. Isn’t.) on my dress that I can’t get out, but they seem to be in fairly inconspicuous places so I can hide them a little. Still. Fail number one.

I catch a ride over to the church and sit in the quiet room with the family and the groomsmen waiting for guests to arrive while Andrew plays the piano to relax before the bride arrives. I’ve been included in events all weekend like one of the family and I can’t thank the Swensons and the Walkers enough for looking after me so much!!

The ceremony is very moving but I do have a little giggle at bandit being gesticulated at by the pastor to SLOW DOWN as she speeds down the aisle. I don’t often cry at weddings but I did lose it a little at this one. I won’t plaster the happy couple’s story all over the internet but it’s very very beautiful.

Second fail of the day from me comes when we try to head back to the reception and I set the GPS wrong, taking us on an accidental 20 minute detour (sightseeing in country Connecticut, anyone?) but we eventually make it back to Massachusetts and the Publick House for drinks and nibbles in the old barn.

The reception then follows in Paige hall, where I’m seated mostly with peeps I’ve met over the last couple of days. New faces are Courtney and Josh who believe it or not live just outside of Harrisburg.  Josh offers for them to show me around when I get over there later in my trip. He’s a beer distributor for most of the clubs in the area so a very handy man to know, I say!! Another new face is Sarah’s cousin Tim, who’s plonked himself down next to me in his Navy whites.

Worst table buddy ever! Not really. But I do give him a fair amount of ribbing about the fact that he’ll sit down, furiously make conversation for awhile then apologise profusely and run off to talk to yet another family member he hasn’t seen in 5 years. I pretend to be massively offended, of course.

Everyone’s having a blast. The food is amazing (wedding food for over 120 guests and it’s incredible! Stellar job!) and Aussies and Americans alike are carving up the dance floor “milking the roof” after the bachelorette videos did the rounds the other day. Kate and I have a “let me be your arms” dance off with Jess, Kate’s dad gets in a few photo bombs (so THAT’S where she gets it from!!) and I have to mention baby Isla, who despite all the shenanigans going on around her, is fast asleep against her mom’s chest while her mom rocks gently on the dance floor. Isla stole the show this weekend, I think!

After the festivities, a large proportion of the wedding then head downstairs to take over the hotel bar. They tried to tell us it was last call in half an hour but we kept them open many many hours after that. The Americans make us yell “Aussie Aussie Aussie!! Oi Oi Oi!!” sporadically all night long and there’s much singing. A lot of people are still wearing props from the photo booth, including the lovely bride who’s kicking it around in a pirate hat. The happy couple stay out drinking with us until the bartenders have eventually had enough and kick us all out into the early morning.

I realise for the second time this trip that my Aussie humour gets massively taken the wrong way in the States, as Tim catches me outside and apologises again for being worst table buddy of ALL TIME, promising to be better at brunch tomorrow. I feel bad for ribbing him so much. I promise I’m funnier in Australia!

Back in my room in the wee hours of the morning I remember my dad’s old adage that “women only get married to have someone to open jars and help with zippers”. It’s 3am and I can’t reach my own zipper. Fail number three. I’m stuck in my dress.

At least I’m sleepin’ pretty…

Your B. xx
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S on

Love your dress Eri!

sparkeflies on

Thanks darling girl! And thanks for making me feel like I'm not talking to myself! ;)
I had to send it home cos I can't be bothered to get it dry cleaned here and I have too much stuff in my case already. Regretting it a little... :(

Priscilla on

Sounds like an amazing wedding and perfect location. I have also found that the Americans do not get my humour either. Even some Aussies haha

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