The ceremony was held on a haywagon decorated with hay bales and sunflowers and the groom, groomsmen, and ushers wore their western clothes and black straw cowboy hats and entered the arena in an old wagon drawn by two lovely mules. [I can't help it, I adore mules. I think I took more photos of them than the bridal party.] The bride, and her attendants were in more traditional wedding apparel except that they wore white flipflops, instead of high heel slippers for walking in the arena dirt and up the metal steps to the bed of the wagon. Guests had been instructed to come in casual apparel, with denim and western style clothing, comfortable for a hot sunny day outside, the choice of most.
Dee, Mother of the Groom being ushered into the grandstand.
Dusty is the son of Joe's stepdaughter, Dee, whose mother passed away when she was in high school and she and her youonger sisters, Heather and Laura, were left with Joe, until their father, who lived in LA, and didn't want to raise them himself, gave custody of the girls to another family to get out from under child support payments. At this time, Dee was old enough to make the decision of where she wanted to live and she chose to stay with Joe and me, after we had married. She told us that any man could be a father but it took someone special to be a dad. We love Dee, her husband Dennis, Dusty and daughter, Tyler, very much. We consider
ourselves blessed to have our blended family of my son and 3 daughters; Joe's 3 sons and daughter; and Dee.
It seems like just the other day that Dee brought 3 year old Dusty to visit us and we rode the miniature train that toured the top of the Royal Gorge. "Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset. Swiftly fly the days."
The reception with a barbeque style dinner and country dance were held next door in the fair Events Center which was decorated with cowboy decor and more sunflowers. The biggest hit of the evening was a chocolate fountain with strawberries and marshmallows; the many children in attendance had a great time at that table.
It was such a joy to see Heather again after all these years. This was the first time we got to meet her family; she and her husband have 3 cute sons and an adorable daughter and are currently living in Norway. His work as a manager with Pratt & Whitney has taken them all over the US and the world, including several years in Singapore. She says she is amazed that a little girl from Deer Trail could be living such a life.