Nature’s Big Surprise

This article originally appeared at The Gathering Guide. Hey Mom, I’m a real Blogger now!

Heather and Robin - Photo by Karen Pike

While scientists tell us that Nature abhors a vacuum, what they’re less likely to reveal is that Nature loves Love.  I perform a large number of outdoor weddings, and even in a place as climatically dynamic as Vermont, the weather almost always cooperates in support of a wedding ceremony.  Hot days cool off a bit.  Bad weather restrains itself while vows are being vowed.  Even chilly mid-winter weddings seem to bite with a softer set of teeth.

Nowhere, though, is this more evident than in the supportive response of the animal kingdom.  While I’ve seen rambunctious pet dogs quiet down as couples walk down the aisle, and highly picturesque flocks of geese soar overhead just as a couple says, “I do,” my favorite instances of “nonhuman participation” have come when animals insert themselves directly into the ceremony.

Michael and Robert had come all the way from Michigan to get married at Comstock House, a little B&B in rural Plainfield, Vermont.  They’d already constructed a moving ceremony in which they scattered flowers and planted seeds, honoring their love, their ancestors, and the beauty of their surroundings.

But then Robert was in the middle of saying his vows to Michael, and talking about how kind and gentle and giving Michael is, when a giant, iridescent green dragonfly circled around them and landed on Michael’s arm.  They both smiled at it briefly, then continued on with the ceremony.

Apparently not content with the amount of Attention Paid, the dragonfly took off, circled them again, and then landed right on the tip of Michael’s nose.  Michael took a long, cross-eyed look at this gorgeous insect, and said to Robert, “It’s busy eating a fly.  I don’t want to bother it.  You can just keep going.”  Thereby proving Robert’s point about his sweet and generous personality.

Just a couple weeks later, I joined Heather and Robin for their ceremony at Fielder Farm in Huntington, Vermont.  Of all the stunningly beautiful places I’ve performed ceremonies, Fielder Farm, with its long, sloping hills and foot-of-the-mountain views of Camel’s Hump, has got to take the proverbial cake.

Heather and Robin had decided to climb to the top of a long meadow, and have their ceremony on a gorgeous little plateau overlooking the valley.  As it happened, that meadow was more than just a spot with a nice view; it was the stomping ground of a small herd of Jersey cows.  With caramel-colored coats, giant eyes, and big batty eyelashes, Jerseys are sort of the porn stars of the Bovine World–not to mention being highly attentive wedding guests!

As we laid out the handmade quilt where the gals would stand for the ceremony, the entire herd strolled over and gathered around the brides in a perfect semi-circle, getting as close as they could without being rude or disruptive–or evacuating anything unpleasant.  Jerseys, apparently, have a well-developed sense of decorum.

They stuck around for the full ceremony, joined Robin and Heather for the bulk of their photo shoot, and then, just as things were wrapping up, took their cue and nonchalantly strolled away.  They couldn’t have been better guests if they’d been hired!

The Vermont Tourism Bureau doesn’t guarantee the appearance of such dramatically accommodating creatures, but if you’re getting married in the Green Mountain State, it’s worth preparing to be pleasantly surprised!


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