At the end of the night, I felt like I had attended a family reunion with a little celebration of love thrown in. Mark and Anna hosted around 50 family and friends at Whippoorwill Manor Farm in the depths of Virginia's backcountry. It was a foggy, pleasant day, with the remains of fall holding onto the trees. The two are "both naturalists by education and training (Anna loves woodpeckers, and I’m an insect guy)," so having the wedding at this spot easily fit with their combined love for the great outdoors.
Once the guests were all ushered outside, Mark and Anna looked at each other and said, "well, should we start?" Someone cued the music, and all the guests casually gathered around Mark and Anna as they walked to the ceremony spot with Anna's sister officiating, with the most ideal backdrop you could ask for - a little red barn, rolling hills, fog reaching the tops of golden trees. Readings of Wendell Berry and a meaningful exchange of vows followed, with the cheers of friends as they made it official.
Directly after the ceremony came dinner, which was lovingly made by the guests. Soup was prepared and frozen ahead of time by the bride and groom; sausages were grilled outside by a friend; homemade pies brought for dessert.
And for their first dance, Mark and Anna played a game called Johann Sebastian Joust, which you'll just have to Google :)
The night ended with guests enjoying a swig of whiskey from the deer hoof, dancing in the backyard, and s'mores by a fire. Thank you, Mark and Anna, for hosting such a fantastic November wedding.