By Julie Carter
Summer seems to be the season for a good number of cowboy weddings, and not simply because it is what they show in the bridal magazines as the thing to do.
What it’s really about is that time of year between spring brandings, fall shipping, hunting season and the possibilities of making the nuptials happen around or during a scheduled run of rodeos.
Planning for the groom involves those schedules and where to buy the beer. The bride, on the other hand, will spend considerable more time attempting to make the event somewhat civilized and memorably beautiful, all of which depends on the budget.
While shopping for reception linens at Big Lots, one prospective blushing bride found a fantastic world-beater bargain in paper towels. She had already decided that the reception menu would include barbecue ribs, beans and potato salad, so paper towels would be a priority. As luck would have it, the ones on sale just happened to be decorated with orange and turquoise designs, which inspired her to select those colors for her wedding theme.
The plan was coming together. She found the perfect dress. It fit, was in her price range and was bright orange. Nobody was going to miss seeing her at this fiesta.
The bridesmaids’ dresses arrived in a stunning shade of turquoise. There was a slight hitch as one of the bridesmaids ordered hers in a size smaller than actually required. The bridesmaid’s Plan A involved a diet before the wedding. The bride’s Plan B was to line up a cousin who was the right size.
They were going to be married outside on the hill overlooking the ranch. The setting would be beautiful. Concerned about her dress, the bride borrowed the long carpet used for the sidewalk at the local post office to walk down the aisle.
Helpful neighbors had designated who was to carry the shotgun, who was to usher the guests away from the keg to the designated hay-bale seating, who was to keep the dogs quiet during the ceremony and who was to dig the pit for the barbecue.
For quite some time the bride had been waiting for a ring to appear. On their next trip to a real town she borrowed her cowboy’s credit card and headed to the nearest wholesale jewelers. There she bought a ring that fit perfectly and looked almost authentic.
Her cowboy was not as totally committed to this project as she would have liked, and in an effort to get him involved, she decided they should each write their own vows.
Her vows were very lovely prose, mentioning hearts, flowers, lifelong commitment, a steady partner and love eternal. When his were finally, reluctantly, presented for inspection, she was somewhat taken aback. The only thing he planned on saying was, “I do. Let’s party.”
Nothing brings out the heart and soul of cowboy in a more visual manner than a good two-step or waltz. They simply can’t help themselves. Almost every cowboy has an inherited Western beat pumping in their veins. It surfaces with the first few bars of the Tennessee Waltz and off across the dance floor they’ll go in three-quarter time.
The neckties are gone, the collars loosened and the hats tipped back to reveal smiling relief. Easy laughter abounds as the fun is cut loose as only a cowboy can demonstrate. Those stiff starched boys of only hours before become comedians in cowboy boots.
Then it happens. The music blaring over the speakers is “The Chicken Dance.” It is at this point any dignity anyone might have had up to this point promptly leaves the room. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s something to write home about.
Julie can be reached for comment at [email protected]
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]