When James and I first started thinking about where we wanted to get married, I knew exactly the place where I wanted it to happen. I imagined our wedding in the rear pasture of my grandfather’s farm. It’d be August, the dahlias would be huge, the tomato vines would be starting to get heavy with ripening fruit. We’d fill our bellies with all of summer’s best foods and sweat through the dog days, dancing the night away under a New England summer sky. There was, however, something of a hitch. I don’t have a grandfather with a farm.
I didn’t spend all of my summers chasing butterflies in his back pasture. I always knew I had a rich fantasy life, I just didn’t know how much it would impede on this particular decision. I couldn’t bear to even think about wedding venues. We knew we were going to get married in my hometown but I wanted to get married in a place that really meant something to me. I couldn’t think of a spot that fit that description and could also play host to a big ole mess of a party. I’d entertained the thought of getting married in my parents’ back yard–the place where I actually did chase butterflies–but the house is up close to a main road and the noise from the summertime traffic would drown out even the most ardently spoken vows. I thought about a wedding on the town beach where I’ve collected whole bottles worth of sea glass, but town ordinances say no weddings during the summer months and I had my heart set on those August tomatoes. I promise you, I had practically given up, frustrated and grumpy about my noisy back yard and stuffy town beach, when I realized there was a place, just up the road from my parents’ house that might be just fine. It wasn’t my grandfather’s farm, but it was someone’s. No surprise, I’ve always had something of a love affair with these particular neighbors’ house. Where mine sits on the road, theirs is tucked down a rambling driveway and sheltered by massive trees. You see fields of vegetables and cutting flowers before you ever see the house. If you walk along the road that passes alongside of it, chickens will cross in front of you. In springtime, we eat their multi-colored eggs. Kelly and Kingsley Goddard farm the land that Kingsley’s great uncle bought in 1909. Purchased originally as a summertime getaway from New York City, it was Kingsley that turned the place into a real working farm. It’s Kelly and Kingsley that have agreed to let us to get married there in August. I’m fairly certain there will be tomatoes.
These are photographs of their family, not mine, but I don’t think I could love them any more than I do. They’re from all the familiar places. Which is really what I was hoping for all along.
All images courtesy of Kelly and Kingsley Goddard. Read more about them their incredible farm, here.