When I got married, we tried to do everything on a shoestring. We didn’t want to spend a lot on that one day but instead wanted to invest those dollars into the rest of our life. We bought flowers at the local farmer’s market and made up our own bouquets thanks to the skills of family and friends. We bought food from an ethnic food vendor about three hours away and trucked it back to Lancaster County to serve the next day (never mind we forgot about finding someone to actually heat it the next day but that’s another story for another time!)
Three things mattered the most to us:
- Having our family and friends at the wedding.
- Capturing those moments with family and friends on film (yes, it was still on film in 2003!)
- Getting married on a hand knotted rug that we could then pass down and hear our kids say “yeah, my parents got married on this rug.”
For months before the wedding, we looked for a rug that suited both of us. Both of us being staffers at the Bunyaad Rug Room made it easy. As we’d each be flipping through the rug piles and showing customers rugs, we’d be taking notes on rugs that we liked.
Well, “easy” might be a bit romanticized now that it’s nearly 13 years later and the angst of trying to make this decision with my dear partner of opposite personality and style is a bit of a distant memory.
I’m pretty eclectic with a great love for purple and funky color combinations. My grandparents’ friends used to call and if I’d answer the phone, they’d ask “Are you the grandchild with the peppy purple room?” I’d kindly tell them that yes, I was… when I was five… but that I had since moved to a deeper eggplant in my bedroom and a heathered deep lilac in my kitchen. My dream car continues to be a lime green Prius. I like the funky and the roughly-hewn, the rugs with the super long fringes that annoy vacuum cleaners and delight cats and dogs. The first rug I ever bought was a deep blue purple backgrounded Baluchi tribal with golden medallions and hot pink and lime green cars knotted into it. Basically, if Natalie Merchant’s twirling days from the 10,000 Maniacs could be translated into a rug, that would be my style.
My husband, on the other hand, has an incredible respect and admiration for detail and precision with just a little bit of quiet funk. He is the type of guy that never lets a beard/moustache growing project get the slightest bit untrimmed, perfects the blue shirt look and shines his daily wear shoes. He has great admiration for the over 800 knots per square inch Persians and he swoons at the intricately knotted, 100% wool warp and weft Beljiks with their deep, intense reds that command a room like formidable, friendly force. He has an incredible eye for color and room design where as I experiment until I get it right and I have marks on almost every hardwood floor showing my thoughts on what room layout might work.
We walked up the aisle to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” You get the picture?
So, how in the world would we find a rug that spoke to both of us, that represented both of us and in turn represented us as a couple?
We had a few options… like the 20/20 4 ½ x7 Persian with a gorgeous, radiating center medallion in some very bold, eclectic colors…. Or the 5×8 Beljik with its intense reds, blues and blacks with little hints of hot hot orange and Kelly forest green (yes, that is a color). And although we actually both saw these rugs as viable options, nothing really sang to us and as we’re always telling customers “It’s going to be with you for the next 150-200 years, so you’d better like it.”
And then one day, we found it. Actually, correction. We didn’t find it. My brother-in-law picked it from the stacks and he was dead on! It was a 20/20 silk and wool kazak tribal with detail, funky colors and awesome fringes.
It was perfect! Intricate and funky, detailed and nomadic, classic and tribal. Perfect. Perfectly me. Perfectly him. Perfectly us.
So, under our feet it went. We said I do.
And then, many many years later, we became a family of three. We headed for family photos. “Bring some things that say your family,” they encouraged. We brought our rug.
The rug now on the second floor of our house. It’s used. It’s abused. It’s enjoyed. It’s capturing our life, our spills, our play with Thomas the Tank Engine, Lego and Cootie.
This is our story, now captured in a rug. What’s yours?
We’d love to hear how your rug has become a part of your family’s life story. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org