When Philip and I began planning our wedding, we needed a backdrop for our ceremony. We talked about an archway as a possibility for a country backdrop. However, I was drawn to the idea of a hitching post. One of the local venues has one on their farm and I always loved the idea of getting hitched at the hitching post. Philip liked my idea but it was important to him we build it from materials that we harvested off the property.
Gathering the Cedar Logs
Philip had cut down several cedar trees along the trails when doing trail maintenance earlier in the year. He sent me into the woods to retrieve the logs. I used the 4 wheeler and trailer to haul them out of the woods. Since the trails are on the mountain, I had a couple of challenges. Several times I lost the logs when the dips in the trail compromised my ratchet straps. However, I successfully hauled in all three logs needed for the project.
We took the logs home (to the Florida house) and together we peeled the three logs that we had harvested. Philip allowed the wood to dry for a few weeks before notching the logs to prepare them for construction.
Creating the Floral Lanterns
In the meantime, I prepared the floral decorations for the hitching post. We had purchased a pair of lanterns for the barn but had not yet mounted them. I thought they would make the perfect decorations for the hitching post. Our Valentine’s Day wedding meant that temperatures would likely be below freezing. Since live plants were impractical, we decided that silks were the way to go.
I painstakingly choose silk flowers to decorate the lanterns. I was looking for a woodsy look with some sort of evergreen, some flowers with red (my favorite color), and touches of pink. I’m not very experienced with floral design. I also struggle with projects because of my inability to visualize the results. After several hours in the craft store, I was finally satisfied that I had chosen flowers I could work with.
Since the lanterns were purchased for another purpose, I wanted to be able to remove the flowers when the wedding is over. I asked Philip to make collars for the lanterns that I could attach the flowers to. He thought that hardware cloth would make the best base for the flowers and he put them together for me, attaching them to the lanterns with zip ties. The hardware cloth was perfect! It made it much easier for me to assemble my bouquets.
Personalizing the Hitching Post
After the wood had dried for a time, Philip sanded and shaped the logs to prepare the pieces of the hitching post. He carved our initials into the posts and painted the letters to make them stand out. Philip treated the logs to seal them and the logs were notched. He carefully prepared all the components at home. Ensuring they were ready to be assembled when we arrived in Kentucky.
Installing the Hitching Post
Since we knew it would be cold then it was time to install the hitching post, we had predrilled the holes in the field with the auger. We did have to re-drill one of the holes as Philip had modified his design. Thankfully the auger made that job a lot easier.
The day before the ceremony Philip and I set the stage for our ceremony. We assembled the hitching post behind the building site of our future home. I found a log stump with mushrooms growing on it that I thought added a whimsy look to our communion table. Philip set the hardware that would hold the lanterns.
Final Touches to Prepare the Hitching Post
On the morning of the ceremony, I did the final decorative touches on the hitching post and prepared our communion elements. I tucked them safely in one of the lanterns, in case the critters wanted to investigate what we were up to.
The hitching post is located behind the building site of our future home. It was a cold February day (about 24 degrees). An ice storm had coated the area with a glittery coating of ice, that made the winter landscape sparkle. The waterfall garden was naturally decorated with icicles that created a gorgeous setting for our wedding photos. I wanted snow for our wedding and it did come in that night, however, the icy venue was so beautiful! I’m thankful that God had a plan even better than my own.
Time to Get Hitched
Philip and I married on February 14, 2021 at the Hitching Post on Kowalski Mountain.
Our wedding was an intimate ceremony, with just our photographer and our witnesses. Our family was unable to attend due to the dangerous winter travel that blanketed the area. Even the officiant performed the ceremony through facetime because of the impending winter storm that was due that evening. I created a video presentation of our wedding photos to share with our family at the wedding reception we hosted when we returned to Florida. I’m including it here for your enjoyment. I’ve updated it to include the reception as well.
Many thanks to Amanda N. Lambert from ANL Photography our professional photographer.
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About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.