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Fall is a gorgeous time of year, no doubt about it, and October is a fantastic month to commune with nature doing activities such as biking, hayrides, sitting around a campfire, hiking, camping and snapping photos of all those wonderful fall colors. This past weekend I enjoyed an entirely different type of event in the great outdoors: an October wedding.

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My beautiful niece and her new husband exchanged their vows on a spread of land they hope to build on in a few years that they’ve christened Up South. Situated along a gravel road in Madison County (yes, that Madison County – of covered bridge fame), guests pulled into what appeared to be a hayfield where large, round bales of hay displayed hand-lettered signs that assured family and friends they had, indeed, come to the right place.

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The hayfield parking lot gave way to an open clearing where ‘pews’ of hay bales had been set up for the guests. The ‘altar’ was a wooden archway with a grove of mature trees serving as the backdrop. In lieu of a unity candle, the couple branded their initials and the wedding date onto a tree trunk. The groomsmen wore simple brown suits and the bridesmaids wore gauzy shifts, denim jackets and cowboy boots. Everything about the ceremony and wedding party smacked of simplicity and as a result was elegant and lovely to behold.

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Even guest attire was casual as everyone was instructed to wear jeans (if they so wished) especially given that it was an outdoor affair and temperatures (and that wind!) were a little on the brisk side. Several people carried blankets and quilts from their cars and that added to the cozy factor.

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Brad and Becky had an amazing wedding and I think they definitely got it right. Not only did they (hugely!) save on the costs associated with elaborate flowers and programs but their wedding hit all the right notes in that the emphasis was on the love they share and the future they look forward to together – just as it should be.

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