Hosting a wedding! | Two Decades of Kids and Counting | Sally Torbey | Palo Alto Online |

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By Sally Torbey

Hosting a wedding!

Uploaded: Aug 20, 2018

When dear friends asked if they could be married in our yard, of course I said yes! The couple had met at a brunch we hosted, and I was honored and delighted that our home held fond memories for them.

Our yard has hosted everything from informal PTA coffees to a presidential candidate’s “meet and greet”. The couple wanted a small gathering with a simple ceremony and a brunch reception. They would take care of the ceremony and catering. We would provide the venue. Piece of (wedding) cake, I thought! My husband agreed because he mistakenly thought it meant we’d finally give away the backyard trampoline.

Much to my surprise, however, anticipating hosting a wedding had a transformative effect on my brain, or maybe just improved my eye sight. Suddenly our home had many more flaws than I had ever noticed in the 15 years we have resided here.

I saw bare spots on the lawn, layers of dust on the wrought iron fence, dead tree limbs, streaked windows, stained patio furniture cushions, peeling paint on the doorsills, and ubiquitous cobwebs. And that was just the yard! And this was after the couple had repeatedly assured us that our home and garden were absolutely perfect and begged us not to go to any trouble for their wedding!

So I binged on home improvement projects, arranging for, or doing the necessary weeding, planting, scrubbing, fertilizing, power washing, window washing, mulching, reupholstering, and leaf blowing necessary to bring the property in compliance with my vision of a wedding venue.

Then, the evening before the wedding, I noticed a wilted impatiens plant along the front walkway and the exposed pipes of the central vacuum system, both within site of the chairs assembled for the ceremony. In a state of intense agitation I called my daughter outside to view these monstrosities. My daughter calmly glanced around the yard, looked pointedly at me and said, “Mom, you are officially insane.”

Even after that verdict, I dashed to the plant nursery to replace the flowers and purchase two shrubs to conceal the pipes.

And, yes, it was all so worth it. It was an unimaginable privilege to be part of a loving community witnessing a couple beginning their wedded life together. I relished every moment of sharing their joy and will be forever grateful that they blessed our home with their special day! And, the yard has never looked better!