Family members were busy assembling the barn-siding back drop and sharing memories the night before the wedding of Zachary Higley and Amy Lynn Schmiedebusch. Shown are Barb (Higley) Kline, Larry Higley, Jim Higley, and Lori Higley
Family members were busy assembling the barn-siding back drop and sharing memories the night before the wedding of Zachary Higley and Amy Lynn Schmiedebusch. Shown are Barb (Higley) Kline, Larry Higley, Jim Higley, and Lori Higley. (photo submitted)

PUTNAM COUNTY — A barn siding back drop at a wedding reception was just part of “family tradition” for members of the Higley family.

“My grandpa always used to find stuff and then use it for other purposes,” Zachary Higley, Leipsic, said proudly. “I was just carrying on this family tradition when I decided to use the barn siding from their rural Leipsic homeplace as a backdrop at my wedding.”

When Zachary married Amy Lynn Schmiedebusch, Ottawa, on June 15, they had a very special setting at their wedding reception. The couple and other members of the wedding party sat in front of decorated barn siding wall. The wall was upright thanks to a platform built by Zac and his neighbor Dave Long. The eight foot by 20-foot display featured barn siding from the home where his father Jim Higley had grown up.

“My dad and I salvaged the large pieces,” Zac explained. “Then we had to cut them to the right size to make the wall.” Zac took the siding to his neighbor Dave’s barn where they cut five pieces that could be bolted together into the long wall. The two men also worked together to make the frame for the structure.

Zac said the idea for the wall just came to him. “Amy and I were looking for a backdrop a few years ago when we got engaged for something to have, but everything we saw was expensive or didn’t match our tastes.” He said then the idea for the barn siding just came to him.

Amy said she loved the idea and was very pleased with the final product. The night before the wedding, Zac was assisted in assembling the wall by his father along with aunts and uncles when he brought the pieces to the Kalida K of C. “My dad and his brothers and sister were sharing a lot of memories about the barn as they assembled it,” Zac admitted. “The stories were fun to hear.” He said his dad was very particular about the wall and kept measuring to make everything was even.

The wall featured two windows Zac had added. “I got those at Hobby Lobby,” he admitted. A sign with Mr. and Mrs. was placed in the middle. Streaming white lights finished the wall.

Zac said the wall behind him reminded him of his beloved grandparents Laurence and Rulah Higley, both deceased. “With the wall there I felt like they were there smiling on us,” Zac said. “It was a nice feeling.”

“It was perfect,” Amy said. “It made a beautiful backdrop for many of the pictures.”

Zac said he now has the barn siding pieces and platform in storage. “I’m not sure, but I wonder if someone else might be interested in using it as a backdrop for a wedding or anniversary to make a farm setting,” he said. “So, I’m leaving it intact.”