The Window

This post is a bit of a throw back but still really important. When Sara and I were planning to get married I wanted to build something for the altar. Since we were getting married outside I felt like we needed an arbor or a backdrop that would make the day just a little more special. It was going to need to be big and tall. I’m 6’2 so it needed to be at least 6’6 if not taller. I saw a post for using architectural salvage for wedding backdrops and it got me thinking. I had always wanted to be married in church ruins but those are non existent in our area so I wanted something architectural to incorporate into the wedding.

This was cool. I could have probably built it. However I had another idea.
This was perfect. It’s rustic and natural but still elegant. The question was, where do you get a church window that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars.

You know sometimes life throws you a surprise and it turns out all I had to do was go next door. There is a barn that neighbors my parents land and one day I saw a big sign saying salvage sale and pulled in. Little did I know I would find gothic church windows in the hayloft….

The problem was price and condition. The gentleman wanted $750 for the window and would not negotiate. It was dry rotted, pieces were missing, and all the glass was shattered. I asked my mom what it would take for stained glass to go in. We really didn’t have the time to do it or the skills to make it amazing. Thus we passed on it, yet my mind was still toying with the idea.

Months later on a casual day out with Sara and Aunt Suzy antiquing, I noticed something poking out from behind an antique bar. It was a fully restored stained glass church window. It was spectacular and in our wedding colors (purple and fall colors). Sara saw it and we were sold. I went to the front and asked about it. The gentleman had got it from a recently passed stained glass restorer, who had got from a local town Richmond, Illinois. His wife actually wanted to put in their bathroom. When he found out our plans he sold it to me at cost as a wedding present and so he didn’t have to take it home. There are some people out there that are truly amazing!

My first glimpse of the beauty.

Getting it home was a challenge. My dad hooked up a trailer and we wrapped it up and brought it home.

The next step was coming up with a base for the window to sit on. I began to think about what it would be after the wedding. A headboard? An art piece? Then it occurred to me….a Buffet. All the dinning room sets I have did not contain a Buffet. That meant I need to make the base deep enough to be able to put bowls or even a crockpot on it. It would need to be made out of wood and I will admit that I am no carpenter. Thus I had to take it to Paul. Paul has worked for my family for years and I grew up with his daughters. We are sort of like family really. Paul is amazing at building and carpentry. He has helped me with many projects over the years and this base was his wedding present to us. Together we engineered the crap out the window to make sure it would not tip over during the ceremony.

Paul (left) and my Dad at my wedding.
The trial run… Paul used salvage tongue and grove boards on the front and did a gorgeous top.
The set up…
The ceremony!

When the wedding was done we moved the window and base to the Crow’s Nest and it sat there for a few months. Then one evening my dad came over with some help from my father in law we managed to screw it into the wall and get it set up the way we wanted. It is now the focal point of the dinning room.

The window lite up at night.

One thought on “The Window

  1. Wonderful. A beautiful treasure you and Sara will have for eternity. Love the story.


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