One of the first things Melissa and Jay told me prior to their big day is that they did not want a typical wedding. They made sure I knew it would not be by the book. No cake cutting, no toasts. The ceremony was reserved for family, a small, intimate gathering. Car-loads of friends arrived just in time for cocktails, dinner and dancing.
Chukkar Farm is a family-owned farm and polo club in the midst of miles of lush green rolling Georgia hills. On the way to the wedding site, I passed 19th Century family graveyards, and welcoming little benches tucked quietly under sprawling oak trees. When I arrived at Chukkar, I was greeted by friendly horses coming right up to the fence, and the two farm dogs not far behind. The place is loaded with antique horse trinkets and polo memorabilia. The bar stools are made of old saddles, and the walls are covered with paintings of polo matches of yore.
It was, as is to be expected in Georgia in June, a muggy, thick summer day. But Melissa, the gracious and happy bride, didn’t seem to notice. Before she went in to put on her dress, she walked quickly around the grounds, making sure flowers, food and drinks found their perfect place.
Once she was dressed, and Jay had arrived, the two walked together around the property, sweetly reassuring each other that the day was all about fun and love, and gently leading a horse, their sidekick for portraits, out of the barn and down the hill to the bridge.
And the day was all about fun. From top to bottom. It was loving and genuine and so very tasty, and fun.