Big day approaches for couple

A wooden archway frames a view of Mount Hood as a backdrop for the Sept. 15 nuptials of Kylie Reed and Josh Duling, who is shown at left in photo right, directing the work crew.

The Dalles Chronicle began an occasional series for the wedding of Kylie Reed and Josh Duling in February and three articles have been written about their planning for the big day at their farm in Maupin today, Sept. 15.

This story is going to be a little different because it is written by grandma, so it has a special touch. They don’t know that I am doing it, so we’ll see how it goes…

A wedding is no simple task; holding it outdoors brings extra challenges. They have to hope that Mother Nature will be kind while they clean and prepare the farm, fields and road to accommodate guests.

The countdown is on now and farm equipment is being relocated and the potholes in the long driveway filled. Barn doors have been replaced and fixed and the dump pile is growing. There hasn’t been enough time for painting between harvest and Josh fighting wildfires in the area, so they are going with the weathered look, which we have told them adds ambience to the idea of a rustic farm setting

How are they feeling this last busy week? Josh told me that he knows exactly how stressed Kylie is. She had a scare with the dress when they got it back from the seamstress and her sister noticed it didn’t fit right. Luckily, a friend was able to fix it at the last moment.

There is still so much to do, decorations must be put up, lights need to be hung, signs to the property placed, the rehearsal dinner and last-minute touch ups and the list goes on.

Kylie elected to purchase the flowers in bulk, and have her friends, family, maid of honor, bridesmaids and auntie Kim put the bouquets, table decorations and boutonnieres together. As Kylie called to confirm the pickup of the flowers she found out that they are no longer available. Say what? How can this be? I thought we had it all worked out. With seven days to go Plans B, C and D were put into play. The stress O’ meter is rising and heading toward the red danger zone.

I called my daughter, Kylie’s mother Heather, to see how the flower shopping was going. Plan B didn’t work out and it is going to take more time to see if Plan C will work out.

I mention a different path to take and she tells me to check it out, but I was told not to call Kylie because she was too stressed.

Later I heard that Plan C will work but Josh and Kylie would have to give the florist their first-born child to pay the bill. Now we just need to pray that Plan D will work out…

How are the moms doing? As we were standing at the Dufur football game, I overheard Heather tell a friend that she has only cried twice about the wedding and of course they were “happy tears.”

She also said that she and Josh’s mom, Tonya Duling, took over a couple of projects to lighten the load because the stress was getting to the kids.

Weeding in the yard, to help with a little of the property preparation, I get assistance from Tonya (so she doesn’t have to help set up the straw bale benches). We have a very nice conversation, I learn a little bit more about my new grandson, his first word was “Tractor”, not “Mama,” not “Dada,”, not “Cookie” or “Dog.”

“He was born to be a farmer” said Tonya. “He is living his dream and happy being on the farm.”

I told her that Kylie would fit in fine because she has been a farm girl at heart all her life.

My granddaughter pretended to be a horse for the first five years of her life, always on all fours, with a tail in her pants, neighing and talking in “horse.” It often made us wonder if she would be able to walk upright. Ha ha (she won’t like me telling you that).

I asked Tonya about her stress level. She explains that she had a few moments about the meal for the reception because a couple of the caterers didn’t work out, but her prayers were answered, and it will be even better now.

The rehearsal dinner is at the Duling family home. Tonya joked about having a ping pong table brought in for fun but Josh nixed the idea because there isn’t enough room.

Then Tonya tells me that she felt like she needed to talk to Josh about a small blow up at his future bride. So, she sends him a small text to mention that Kylie is just as stressed as he is.

Kylie took the incident in stride. We have been making sure the young couple gets fed protein regularly so they don’t turn into bride and groom “zillas.”

After the weeding was done, Tonya and I went to check out the straw bales that have been set up for the ceremony (don’t worry guests, they will be covered with cloth). Tonya and Heather joked about how they will get the best seats in the house.

Well-deserved I say, they have both raised two beautiful, intelligent, kind and outgoing young adults.

The setting will be amazing. An arch has been crafted by the groom with help from his dad, two brothers, Kylie’s step-dad, Deric, and her brother Isaac, along with the two supervisors, Heather and Kylie.

The wooden arch will frame the bride and groom as they take their vows. And all the guests will have a beautiful view of Mount Hood.

At the end of the day, we are relaxing. The family is joking with Josh’s two brothers, Nathan, the best man, and Joel. They challenge Nathan and Kylie’s sister, Sydney, her maid of honor, about who will have the best speech at the reception. The gauntlet has been thrown, the challenge accepted.

It is simply amazing how many friends of these two families have stepped up to help with the wedding. Kylie and Josh are level headed about the expenses and doing as much as they can by themselves.

They are planning on a honeymoon but, at a later date, to Hawaii and they are saving up so they can enjoy the trip and see everything they want.

I am excited for Josh and Kylie, for the future they will share together. All the hard work will be worth it on Saturday when they say their vows and begin their happily ever after.

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