As the pendulum swings back from over-the-top, clutter-ific weddings (perhaps due to our oh-so-stable economy) I’m overjoyed everytime I see a return to thoughtful paired down affairs. So many brides got used to the idea of opulent ballroom weddings with laser shows and tuna tartare that the industry started churning out cookie cutter events; just insert new color (and couple, I suppose).
Not all of us are marrying Donald Trump though, so while we were aiming for something we saw in a magazine two years ago, ala Preston Bailey, we end up losing our personality as the charges pile up. Venues put everything into packages, collect our deposits and let us choose between roses or peonies and chicken, steak or fish. The reception has a three hour limit (timeline plotted to the exact minute) and after your obligatory dances and throwing of lingerie (WHY?), you have a chance to say hi to a few folks, eat some cake and shake your booty to Usher. Before you blink, the DJ (who is paid by the hour) is sending you away while the waitstaff hurriedly cleans up for tomorrow’s wedding. This is what you’ve spent THOUSANDS of dollars on? This is what you’ve dreamt of? I shudder to think. (I blame this of course on venues and packages rather than you creative brides!)
Now, I’m not knocking any wedding in particular…they are each special in their own right. However, it is thrilling to see brides move toward a simple and personal approach that I believe really gets at the heart of why we put so much effort into this whole wedding thing to begin with. We’re inviting our closest friends and family to join us in celebration. It is an intimate gathering to honor the most intimate of commitments. So although I do love a glamorous black tie wedding (as many of us would) I also love a return to simple, beautiful affairs that are neither rushed nor lacking in personality.
In honor of my love for these simple weddings (and so I can show you what I mean), I’m going to spend the week featuring weddings and ideas that are as beautiful as they are simple. We’re kicking it off with Meredith and Scott’s wedding shot by Jessamyn Harris. The couple chose to host the wedding at a private residence in Pengrove, California. Unexpected rain was no problem, as word spread to guests to bring wellies, scarves and umbrellas. A portable brick pizza oven was brought in for the day, and the pizza makers churned out endless varieties of pizza, which was hot, fresh and passed around for hours, says Jessamyn. Can you imagine anything more lovely than feasting on pizza and spirits for the entire day?
Now on to what you really care about: the images. Bear with me…they were all just too lovely…I had to include them all!
Lastly, Meredith emailed over some insight into the planning they did for the big day. Here’s what she had to say:
Scott and I and many of our friends worked hard to make a wedding that felt right for us. We were married at our friends’ house, out in their beautiful garden. We figured that we would be safe in May in a drought year, that there was no way it would rain. But the two days before our wedding, the morning of the wedding, and the day after brought record rain fall and we had no rain plan.
We borrowed tents from our friends and Scott and two of his friends devised a solution, and used visqueen and battens and rain proofed the two arbors that had our main tables and our bar area.
The flowers were all picked by me and my sister from my garden on the morning of the wedding and we arranged them in old milk glass vases. We used roses, mint, some sweet peas, poppies and calla lilies, and even some artichokes.
Our cake was a gift from a dear friend of Scott’s who is the cook at the Tea Room Cafe in Petaluma. We had day of coordination help from the brilliant event planner, Jess Flood. She helped set up the bar and the tables and made the most amazing crudites and appetizer buffet set up (that I think Jessamyn didn’t get a photo of). We had to move all of the appetizers inside because of the rain. Our appetizers were mostly potluck and they were extraordinarily delicious. Our main course was the brick oven pizza by Kashaya Adams, who has a mobile wood fired brick oven, and she kept the mouthwatering and creative pizzas coming for hours!
I could go on about it for a while! We were so happy with the way it turned out, it was fun and casual and although the weather was not ideal, our guests had a great time and we did too!