We got married in front of a crowd of less than 40 people in a gorgeous state park in CT. We had no rehearsal, our friend served as officiant, and our only “vendor” was our photographer, who worked in exchange for experience. In this post, I’ll focus on the details; I’ll save general comments for my next post, as I think they deserve their own space.
My dad was in charge of getting the fire going for s’mores, warmth, and light (all essential, even if the day ended up being gorgeous). We have some awesome pictures of him prepping the fire before the ceremony.
I don’t have pictures to show of the ceremony itself, because I don’t feel comfortable posting identifiable pictures of people without their explicit permission. You’ll just have to believe me when I say it was beautiful. We got everyone to gather around in a spot overlooking the nearby river and woods, and they sort of formed an aisle. I asked my dad to walk me down the aisle as it formed, and since we skipped the music, P (our officiant /bridesmaid / kickass friend extraordinaire) started humming the bridal march, which made me laugh. A was my maid of honor, and James had his brother serve as best man. They both read a selection from Madeline L’Engle’s An Irrational Season (a popular choice, I suppose), and my dad read a poem called the Wedding Night, by Bob Hicok, which is beautiful if you’re looking for a reading for your own wedding. We read our vows, which we wrote from scratch, and I surprised myself with a few tears. Then, as usual, there were the rings and a kiss.
We sent everyone off to devour a cheese and bread plate James put together that featured locally made cheeses and a few we had first tasted on our travels while we had a few pictures taken. My grandmother brought us some wild Alaskan smoked salmon all the way from the Pike Place market in Seattle, and we ate this on crackers and Sullivan Street bread James and his family had picked up during their trip from New York.
For the wedding lunch, we had a local Italian market make grilled vegetables and roast chicken, and made the rest of the food ourselves or had people bring potluck contributions. I made three salads (with lots of help from family and P): a green salad with oven-roasted tomatoes and tzatziki sauce, a fall pasta salad with squash, chestnuts, and a maple dijon vineagrette, and a lemon-mint potato salad with capers. Everything was served at room temperature, which was the key to self catering. Rachael made a roasted vegetable and bulgur salad (maybe something like this one?) which everyone raved about. My dad brought a really nice selection of red wines, a friend had sent us a box of Cava which we toasted with, and we served sparkling cider, beer, and lemonade in addition. We followed the lunch with wedding pie, a ginger cake, blueberry boy bait, an apple tart, and tiramisu, much of which our guests contributed. I swear, I have never eaten so much delicious food in one day!
After that, we played bocce and frisbee, and there were speeches and toasts and s’mores with homemade marshmallows. P even surprised us with a song she and my dad wrote for us and passed out lyrics to, so everyone could sing! And to top it all off, there was even a wedding hike down to the river, after most of the friends had left and it was just family and out of town guests left to finish the wine and enjoy the last few hours of the day. Glad I skipped the heels in favor of my tevas.
Decorations were pretty simple. We chose dried eucalyptus and lavender flowers, some cloth squares, and crayons and paper people could have fun with and use as contributions to our guest book.
Basically, we tried to make things as easy as possible. No last minute flower arrangements, no vendors, nothing that might get crushed easily on the way to the park. And no uberfancy outfits. Here’s mine (along with our wedding ride — a zipcar, which we used to transport all the decorations to the site):
Not the best photo ever, but the good ones had other people in it, so this’ll do. I wore an $80 tea-length sundress in ivory from Unique Vintage, which I bought solely because I already had a dress that shape and knew it would fit (I HATE trying on dresses). With a cropped sweater from Nordstrom, a homemade silver cotton/silk sash, and a homemade silk flower fascinator, I actually felt pretty and comfortable, and really didn’t really care whether or not I got my dress dirty. It’s not like it had to be dry cleaned or anything. James wore his good pants (he only has one pair — he’s a shorts man, usually) and a short sleeve black shirt, which I get to see him in whenever something fancy comes up that requires him to dress up. And most of our guests wore nice casual clothes, so they could join in on the fun. Parties are better with a little dirt, right?
So, you’ve heard all the details. I think I want to save my general thoughts about the wedding for the next post — the best parts, really. I think that deserves its own space.