ON SATURDAY, November 27, at 3 p.m., my 91-year-old father walked me up the aisle of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, Delaware. As the organist played, we followed my sister and oldest friend up to the altar, past mostly empty pews, with only the first two on either side filled with family and friends.

There I joined with my partner and the rector in a short but deeply powerful marriage ceremony that included a riveting homily about how we are meant to love.

Outside in the three-hundred-year-old graveyard surrounding the church, generations and generations of my relatives and ancestors, including my grandmother and great grandmother, grandfather and great grandfather, my father’s brothers – and my mother – paid witness to the ceremony.

During the ceremony, we sang, we prayed, our family members read (and, upon the rector’s encouragement, loudly proclaimed their support of our vows!), and my soon-to-be-husband and I held on to each other’s hands with an unbreakable grip. We spent more time looking directly into each other’s eyes than we probably ever have.

As we left the church, bracing ourselves for the blustery cold November chill, we linked arms again, happy to be facing the future together, whatever may come our way.

When I wrote a few weeks ago about feeling stressed, I wasn’t entirely forthcoming with you. My apologies. Planning a wedding (even a very small one) in just a few short months and doing my job at the same time proved to be challenging, to say the least. Also, in all honesty, despite my tendency to bloviate about personal matters (!) I have felt protective of the privacy of my family in this case, and also unwilling to carry on about an event from which we necessarily had to exclude so many people in our lives.

I’m happy to share our good news now, but I also am content to leave much of the weekend as a little jewel box, where memories live as sparkly treasures, to be opened and cherished from time to time.

For now, we have chosen not to share photos on social media, and I am happy with that decision. But because I won’t be able to help promote the fabulous people who we worked with to pull this off in a short amount of time, I wanted to thank them here. Almost all of them have been double-booked all year due to Covid wedding backup, and many of them squeezed us into their schedules, even though they are running on fumes at this point.

We are so grateful to our amazing cake baker, Jeanne Scott of Mill Stream Farm Bake Studio; our talented floral designer, Jamie Taylor of J. Starr’s Flower Barn; our wonderful photographer, Maria DeForrest; and all of the folks at the Hopkins Heartland Honey Bee, especially Ingrid Hopkins, where we had our reception (in the middle of a corn field – of course!).

A very special shout-out to a certain young lady (she knows who she is) and her mother, who helped make everything better. And to my talented friends on the Vineyard who provided goodies for us to take with us, including cookies from @sweetannabellescookies, sea salt from @mvseasalt, and chocolates from @saltrockchoc.

And so much gratitude to my husband’s family (and now my second family) and my cousins for traveling on a busy weekend, because you were what it was all about. And to my big sis, who has always been there for me no matter what, and to my Dad, who put up with bossy me with his usual composure. All of these folks handled the inevitable glitches that come with any gathering like this – there will be laughs and sighs and head-nodding when we open up that memory box – with grace and unwavering support.

They all made me feel like a princess for a day (or more accurately, for a weekend). I got to wear a fabulous pink dress, have fancy hair and makeup, and carry the most beautiful flowers. But none of that compares to the life I have every day with the man who walked out of the church with me.

Simple Gifts*

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we will not be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

*Simple Gifts is an old Shaker dance tune which my father suggested we include in our service. It is traditionally a fairly upbeat song, and can be played on the organ with an upbeat tempo. If you want to listen to a more haunting version of it, this Alison Krauss-Yo Yo Ma version is beautiful.

P.S. Please note the photos on this page are family snapshots (thank you family!), not from our photographer, Maria DeForrest, who’s beautiful work we will see in a few weeks.


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36 thoughts on “Hitched”

  1. Congratulations, Susie, I’m so happy for you.
    You write the most wonderful blogs, I am always inspired by something you have written. So many things speak to me!
    I hope you and your husband have a long and happy life together.
    xo Barbara

  2. Just thrilled for you both Susie. Best wishes and every happiness. Most of all, the joy of the moment each day together.

  3. Barbara, I’m so glad the blog brings you a little joy! Thank you for your kind wishes. I am truly blessed. All good things to you!

  4. Thank you Shelly! You just never know in this life — it’s been an interesting journey since 1984 (!) but I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I am truly blessed to be with the partner who is just right for me. Happy holidays to you and thanks for being in touch.

  5. Thank you Susan. Yes, wonderful indeed — I’m glad I’m able to share happy news!

  6. Congratulations Susie! Such an exciting time for you both! Wishing you a wonderful life together, good health and much happiness always. 🥰 Gail

  7. Oh my gosh!!!! I thought there was something in the air lol! Congratulations and the very best to you and your new hubby. To have your dad walk you down the aisle is incredibly special and truly made me smile. I didn’t have that opportunity. I’m sure you will cherish that moment forever. I guess Framer was not there. All the very best and to the finding your kindred spirit.

  8. Thank you for sharing, dear Susie. I was with the two of you last weekend and look forward to greater descriptions from the Johnstons as well as full face pictures of you both. All the best for your future together which sounds so right.

  9. Congratulations Susie!
    I love your blog and photos and all your recipes and cooking advice. You share so much of yourself in your writing- and make your readers feel like your friends. I hope you and your new husband will have a long and happy life together. Best wishes.

  10. Such glorious news, Susie! Sending you every good wish for your life together.

    “Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
    If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
    But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
    Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?”

    Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4, verses 9-11

  11. Susie,

    What a delightful message. Thank you for sharing your special day. From the family photos, it looked to be a beautiful day. I wish you many happy years.

    Thanks for sharing the Alison Krauss-Yo-Yo Mau video. The photos and music were awe inspiring.

    Best wishes and much health and happiness.
    Karen W.

  12. Karen, yes I love that version of Simple Gifts — so beautiful. Thank you for all your good wishes. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  13. Love that from Ecclesiastes Suzanne! And thank you for your good wishes. we are very blessed! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  14. Grace, thank you for writing and for all your good wishes! It is nice to share happy news — I think everyone needs it these days. So much of life is an uphill struggle so I think it is worth pausing to really appreciate the good parts! All best to you and hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  15. Sheila thank you! Photos are coming your way – I thought about it this morning while working on the blog but then the day got away! Sending you lots of warm holiday wishes, too.

  16. Thank you Gail, you are very kind. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season (knitting, I know!) and planning for a great garden next year! All best to you.

  17. Hi Helen! So grateful to still have my Dad. I have two super men in my life now! (Plus Farmer…who stayed home with his cousins Shortie and Lucy during the wedding. He got some extra treats from the dinners, though.) thank you for your kind wishes and all my best to you!

  18. How wonderful, Susie! Congratulations! Sounds like it was a beautiful celebration- the visual snippets suggest so. Blessings for you both.

  19. Congratulations to you and your happy future. I do love reading your blog. I may not always comment (ever?), but they are so inspiring and so “real”.

  20. Of course you comment Kathy! Ha. And thank you for your kind wishes. Happy holidays to you!

  21. Stephanie, thank you so much! And happy holidays to you — perhaps I will see you around someday soon!

  22. Congratulations to you both!!! Your dress looks absolutely gorgeous! Looking forward to the pictures. I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world with us.
    May you both enjoy many blessings in the years to come.

  23. I haven’t read every blog of late (but I will catch up eventually- they’re all saved because I love to hear what you have to say), but I am so glad I read this one! Many congratulations to you. May you both live a long life of love and adventure and peacefulness together.

  24. Katherine, wonderful to hear from you — I always think of delicious cake when I think of you! Thanks for being in touch and thank you — hope all is well with you!

  25. Congratulations to both of you! I had goose bumps reading about your special day. Sounds perfect in every way for you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful celebration.

  26. Donna, I’m so sorry, it looks like I never replied to you. Thank you for your kind thoughts and Happy New Year to you!

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