Nov. 10 2022 08:00 AM

Our wedding day was filled with little moments and details that honored our dairy farming roots.

We’ve been reflecting on and replaying memories from our wedding this past weekend, and one theme from the best day of our lives (so far, anyway) was dairy, of course. Our wedding morning started out with my now husband, Sam, feeding our cattle and scraping manure like any normal day. Meanwhile, I arrived at the salon to get my hair and makeup done for the nuptials.

As I sat in the salon chair at 5:30 a.m. getting my hair done, I received a video message from some of the 4-H kids I help coach for dairy quiz bowl. This was the first of many moments I fought back happy tears on our big day. While I was in Iowa preparing for my wedding day, these youth were in Kentucky getting ready to compete in the national Dairy Quiz Bowl competition. A thoughtful message from them was a great start to a progressively perfect day.

Later that morning, we arrived with our wedding party and families at our reception venue — a newly renovated barn just miles down the road from my parents’ house, as well as where my new in-laws live — in time to have lunch, get dressed, and dive into pictures before our afternoon church ceremony. The red barn and rusted grain bins surrounded by freshly harvested fields were the ideal backdrop for a wedding joining two farming families. Plus, it gave us a great way to showcase the two barn quilts we made for our parents as our wedding day gifts to them.

As our wedding day went on, I had so many moments where I was just appreciative of everyone being able to be there and present in the moment. While a cold, rainy day wasn’t ideal, it allowed more of our farming family, friends, and neighbors to attend the celebration. And, when the clock reminded us it was time for evening chores, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing we had a few trusted past employees holding down the fort and getting the milking and feeding done so my family could keep mingling with loved ones as the sun set.

When our dinner was wrapping up and we prepared for a night of dancing, our photographer asked if we wanted to do a toast with milk to commemorate the occasion and our ties to dairy. I still think nothing could be more fitting than toasting to our future with milk, nature’s most perfect food.

Molly Schmitt

The author dairy farms with her parents and brother near Hawkeye, Iowa. The family milks approximately 300 head of grade Holstein cows at Windsor Valley Dairy LLC — split half and half between a double-eight parallel milking parlor and four robotic milking units. In the spring of 2020, Molly decided to take a leap and fully embrace her love for the industry by returning full time to her family’s dairy.