The day of the big party for Daughts and her Hubs’ first wedding anniversary dawned, pretty much the same way it had a year ago.

A light drizzle first thing followed by welcome cloud cover and cooler temperatures.

The massive reception planned for this coming October, which was to include family and friends, had been causing undue stress for our newly weds so we’d called them over for a coffee and a chat earlier in the year.

“How do you envision your reception?” we asked.

“Whatever you want,” they answered.

“We want to do what you want….” we countered.

and they looked at each other and then back to us and said,

“We want a party with just our friends.”

“When?” we asked.

“In August…” they said looking at each other, “The Saturday before our anniversary.”

“What about out of town family and friends of parents?”

“We can still do that in October only perhaps the outlaws can host it…”

“Why don’t you check with them and let us know?” we suggested a little worried about how that conversation might go.

“We feel so much better,” they sighed together and drifted off into the sunset hand in hand.

The outlaws also breathed a sigh of relief and embraced the idea wholeheartedly.

The big reception at Footlights in October was off!

A friends-ception at Footlights in August was on!

Daughts and Sam got busy making their list.

They came up with a modest 40 guests.

They walked around the barn expressing concerns about the lack of room.  I had to agree, it did look like a massive man-cave, large and functional with power tools, and cabinets, compressors and mowers, trailers and work-out equipment spread carelessly over every spare foot of floor space.

“We’ll clean it up!” I said optimistically.  They were skeptical,

“Our parties always turn out well,” I reminded Daughts, “have you forgotten we’re McNenys?”

They decided on pot-luck and bring your own bottle,

“To keep the costs down,” they said.

Hubs and I had been nursing other ideas,

“If they want people to venture into the countryside they will have to make it more attractive than bring your own fare...” I said to Hubs.  He nodded in agreement.

“Why don’t you invite them for dinner and dancing?” we suggested. “We’ll provide the food and wine…and beer.”

“Yes…but…” they objected “…Oh, all right!” they said without much of a fight, “thanks!” they added and turned to go, “could you make it a keg?” Daughts threw back over her shoulder.

“Just let us know what you would like to eat,” I said shaking my head.

“Fajitas,” they chimed without hesitation and laughed.

Hubs looked at me, “Caterers!”

I nodded my head,

“Good idea…”

We decorated the patios,


setting up tables for forty guests,


with burlap runners, childhood pictures,

and wild flowers from the lane for center-pieces.


“We’ll serve the food and you can eat here at the house to get the ball rolling,”


“then you can head to the barn and party…


“we’ll give you an hour after dinner before coming up with the cake and champagne.”

“Cool beans, ” they said.

“And then we’ll leave you to it!”

We bought wine, beer and ice and set the drinks on the front porch to encourage guests to linger and spill into the living room graciously instead of making a bee-line for the kitchen.


We iced the keg in the barn and admired some of Daughts’ rustic vignettes,


and placed bales of hay outside inviting the wind to tangle in the muslin.


We ladies took advantage of a few free minutes before the guests arrived to pose for a photo,


Perripoppins, Daughts & Viv

and snapped a shot of the happy couple with the sun and stars in their eyes…


We locked up the cats who wanted to help in most ingenious ways by checking the doze-o-meter of a burlap runner, testing the shred-ability of a plastic tablecloth and the stability of colored glasses on our credenza.


The weather continued to co-operate so we were able to open both our double French windows to allow a cool breeze to party through the house.


The caterers from Denison arrived…

and the food was served with no trouble.

There was plenty!


The only cooking I did was to make an Italian Wedding Cake which looked gorgeous surrounded by hugs and topped with Sam’s hand-carved love birds.


Daughts choreographed and performed a romantic dance to the Ed Sheeran song she’d walked down the aisle to a year ago,

and afterwards they toasted each other and cut the cake.


As I left the barn for the evening I couldn’t resist a picture of some cookies one of the guests had made,


and a lingering snapshot of some of the cars parked along the verge.


I let the cats out to roam the now empty house.

Magic stepped forth towards the gathering dusk his cat’s eyes blazing,


reclaiming his territory.

A fairytale experience for all of us who were a part of their celebration.

Happy Anniversary Daughts and Sam,

May you be tender with each other’s dreams…


Viv and LRay.

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