No, that maid of honor, currently fussing over and straightening out the train of the bride’s gown, is Taylor—Scott and Andrea Swift’s older kid, Austin’s big sister, who grew up barely a five-minute drive away and used to go for ice cream at the Friendly’s down the street. “She really wanted me to be a horseback rider, and I did it competitively until I worked up the nerve at age twelve to tell her I didn’t really love it like she loved it.“I just wanted to make music and do theater,” she says.To be clear: I’m not saying the people in this church aren’t aware that Scott and Andrea’s kid turned into, you know, —it’s hilarious to watch the flower girls try to keep it together, and the nuns seem pretty jazzed, too—but that’s not the story today. And the only evidence that the maid of honor is you-know-who is the paparazzi who have gathered at the bottom of the hill, hoping to snag a photo with their long lenses. A treasured footnote to the Taylor Swift backstory is that she spent much of her childhood being raised at, of all places, a Christmas-tree nursery called Pine Ridge Farm. “So I’ve been a big disappointment.”“I’ve gotten over the bitterness, finally,” Andrea says sarcastically.(“Her not being creative is one of the last things I’d ever worry about,” the musician and producer Jack Antonoff tells me later.)“I’m always going to be writing songs,” Swift says.
“I would really like to take a little time to learn things,” Swift says.On the ride back, Andrea and Taylor sound almost overcome by what has just happened—by the sweet and polite and utterly un–freaked out mood of the whole experience. And then she turns her head quickly away from the window: paparazzi. “This is the first time in ten years that I haven’t known. I decided I was going to live my life a little bit without the pressure on myself to create something.”Do not freak: Swift is not abandoning making music.YES: I SHOULD NOTE that when we arrived at the farm, we were informed by a couple of Swift’s security people that there were at least a trio of uninvited photographers who had followed us to the location to catch some hot, sexy farm-visit action. I just decided that after the past year, with all of the unbelievable things that happened . Those who know her know this is chemically impossible.When you come back, you snap into that strange nostalgia.”And the church!There are nuns here at Sacred Heart Chapel who taught Swift in kindergarten. It’s the morning of the wedding, and I am riding in an SUV with Swift and her mother, Andrea.Taylor notices a man stepping into his car in the driveway. The man immediately gives what can only be described as a Holy crap–it’s–Taylor Swift look. He invites us to have a look around, and we all pile out.“This must really bring back some memories,” Dave says.“Yeah, this is crazy,” Taylor says.