Halfway through wedding season I received a text from my friend Ashley, asking me if I had any décor ideas for the surprise 40th anniversary party she was throwing for her parents. Now, when friends ask me for anything during wedding season (other than what time they can come and help me) I often times cringe because I just don’t have much extra time. But this request was very different. I quickly texted back and offered to handle all of the décor for this party as my gift to her parents.
Ashley’s parents, Lynne and Gerald Baron, are the owners of Carriage Hill Farm where my design studio is located. 10 years ago I had the opportunity to work with this family on Ashley’s wedding, and since then they have had such a huge impact and influence on my life and business. It was an honor to give back to them, and make their celebration beautiful.
The celebration was held at Carriage Hill Farm. It was the middle of August, and we expected a beautiful sunny day. But the day came, and the dark clouds and threats of rain felt more like Autumn. I wanted to move the party inside to be safe, but Ashley wanted to stick with our original plan and have it outside. She was hopeful the rain would hold out.
It didn’t. The rain started and it was more than a sprinkle. I ran outside to start the process of moving the party inside, but the family insisted on keeping the dinner as planned. They weren’t bothered by the rain and they were optimistic that it would quickly pass. Despite the clouds and the falling rain, they were filled with so much joy.
I walked away that day with an unexpected lesson in marriage, as I realized I had just seen first hand why Lynne and Gerald had made it through 40 years.
In marriage, things don’t often go as planned. Not every day is bright and sunny. The rain comes- even when you think it is going to be a beautiful day. You get a little wet, and things don’t look as perfect and beautiful. But… that doesn’t mean you pack things up and call it quits. You stay strong and weather the storm with optimism, having faith that it will pass.
And you wait for the storm to pass…because it does. And when it does there is beautiful celebrating that happens.
I have many reasons to be grateful to Lynne and Gerald- one of which is for being a great example to Jamie and I of what a healthy marriage looks like. I hope Jamie and I weather the storms of life and come out the other side with the same optimism, joy and love that the both of them have.
Happy 40th anniversary!
You can see more images from this family celebration (and get some great recipes) on Ashley’s award winning blog, Not Without Salt
All of these images were taken by Ashley’s talented husband Gabe Rodriguez of Gabrielle Boone Photography
Stationery was designed by Brittany of Spruce Stationery and Design
Design, flowers, tables, props, soft seating are from our company, Sinclair and Moore