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We traveled to Austin for our niece’s wedding. The forecast predicted a major rain storm, and in true love’s promise, the sun burned hot with no cloud cover by late afternoon. Held outdoors at the Antebellum Oaks Venue, the ceremony was a unique mix of tradition and today’s reality. While waiting on the wedding party to make their way down the center aisle, the announcement was made that there would be a photo op. Mobile devices were encouraged, and then we were asked to put them away. The crowd chuckled as the groom snapped a selfie before the vows.

Bride and groom selfie pre-nuptuals. #brightballlove

Bride and groom selfie, pre-nuptials. #brightballlove

Among the VIP guests was the groom’s 83 year old grandmother from Delaware and my father-in-law, just two-weeks shy of 86. We made the nine hour drive from the Texas Panhandle to Austin despite our concerns of the long road trip because Pawpaw was adamant. He was not going to miss his only granddaughter’s wedding.
The bride was absolutely stunning in an Enzoani couture gown, and the groom was obviously smitten. Included in the ceremony was the bride’s four-year-old son. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as this new family vowed to love each other.

Antebellum Oaks Venue

Photo credit:

Guests enjoyed drinks served with chips and queso beneath a canopy of huge trees and a gazillion twinkling lights. An ice cold beer had never tasted better. We found our way into the air-conditioned pavilion for dinner where heaping platters of smoked meats took center stage on our table. Texas bar-b-que! It was all so perfect.

wedding centerpiece
After eating his supper, Pawpaw was ready to leave.
My husband reminded him that his oldest son would be giving a speech, and then there’d be a father-daughter dance. He agreed to wait for a few minutes more.

Toasts were given from the best man and both matrons of honor, we watched a fantastic slide show made by the groom, ate a slice of wedding cake, and then the bride-groom had their first dance. Finally an endearing, heartfelt speech from my brother-in-law and a dance with his daughter, the bride. I really hated to miss the conga line that I knew would be coming much later, but Pawpaw had had enough. He was done with waiting, and it was almost his bedtime.

When we got back to our B&B, he recalled his own wedding in 1951.

The best man had been a student at Texas A&M in College Station, so my father-in-law drove from Austin where he was attending UT. They met the bride, Jeri, and her mom and dad at a local café in Bryan, Texas. From the diner’s phone, they dialed up the JP of Brazos County and were told to come on by his place. He’d be home by dark.

Promptly at dusk, the wedding party found the address and gathered in the front parlor. The Judges’ wife played “some old song on a half-assed out of tune piano”, and within a few minutes, the I do’s were said. Following a prayer to bless the newlyweds, Jeri and Keith stepped into their life which spanned three kids, six grand-kids, five great-grandchildren and 55 years together. The entire ceremony had taken less than ten minutes.

Pawpaw told us, “The only thing we waited on was the judge to get back from squirrel hunting.”



Ten minutes or a weekend long celebration–

once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, LOVE gives us a fairy tale.

Natalie is the author of the Rescue Animal Series of picture books. Click the link and read it now Amazon Kindle.