Brandon & Krystal | Chautauqua, New York
Planning, Design and Coordination:
Lisa Light, Ltd.
Written by Lisa Light
Brandon Waite and Krystal Widrig’s country wedding had all of the warmth, camaraderie, and excitement of an old-fashioned community barn raising. Many people’s time, skills, farm equipment, and hearts were brought together, and lent to the occasion. As a result, a big, remarkable, blue-ribbon, once-in-a-lifetime celebration took place under clear skies and gift-from-God weather in the small rural community of Ashville, near Chautauqua, New York.
The wedding took place on Laura and Randy Otander’s Half-Way Farm on Saturday, June 24th, 2006. On Thursday, twelve of the couple’s friends showed up at the farm to help gather saplings and branches from the Otander’s more than 60 acres of forest. Six wagon loads of branches were then suspended from the ceilings and walls of the huge red metal barn, thousands of twinkle lights were intertwined through the branches; and hundreds of red paper lanterns were hung from them. The barn was transformed.
Tables arrived from the local firehouse; galvanized gleaming pails, urns and lanterns were filled with daisies, hydrangeas, blue thistles, apples and grape...flooding the room with rich reds, blues and greens.
At four o’clock Saturday afternoon, as guests arrived on the beautiful knoll, and the bridesmaids processed to Jackson Rohm singing Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us,” a beautiful antique horse-drawn carriage could be seen coming around the hill. Krystal’s father, Jim, was on the front bench with Krystal seated beside him, a shotgun on his lap. “Brandon Waite!” he bellowed, bringing the carriage to a stop, and bringing smiles to the faces of all assembled.
The ceremony was beautiful, and afterwards the newly married Brandon and Krystal, and their wedding party climbed onto the hay wagon to go for photos and the reception. The barn was magical in its beauty; the mood festive and bright. Music was provided by local celebrity Jackson Rohm. Guests not eating or dancing could take carriage rides in the antique carriage, or get their pictures taken, in a lucky horseshoe frame photo booth.
All of the elements of this wedding - from the tree boughs to the bunches of grapes, the red paper lanterns, the hay wagon, the remarkably stunning summer-day view - were down-home and country. And like the beat of collaborations - a barn raising or a community quilt - all of the elements came together with joy and caring. But the result - the event itself - was rare indeed. And as guests left Saturday night to the glow of tiki torches in the cool night air, they felt blessed for having been surrounded by so much beauty and warm fellowship.