The wedding industry is kind of bananas. As someone who had never been engaged, never had much interest in anything wedding related and honestly never even planned a party bigger than 15 people, once I started planning my own wedding, I was almost immediately turned off (and kind of disgusted) from the whole process. I put off planning my wedding as long as I could, because every time I opened my computer to research something wedding related, that foul taste and dull headache came back that made me dread having to deal with planning a wedding. The absurdly high venue prices, the extravagance of the wedding dress "experience", the incredibly high expectations that things should be "absolutely everything the bride has ever hoped and dreamed"... I'm sorry - but gag. I'm just not that into myself, and I definitely wasn't that into our wedding. I just kept going back to the simple reminder of why we're doing this at all: The hardest part was done - we had each other, and we wanted to get married. Someone wanted to marry me, and I wanted to marry him. That alone feels impossible on so many levels - but here we are, and we're choosing to have a wedding. Our wedding.
So we had a discussion about what we really wanted from this whole process and stripped it down to the basics: 1) A small, intimate gathering of people, not a production, 2) Lots of time to sit and talk with EVERYONE who came to celebrate with us and be present with each and every person, 3) A comfortable venue for a small gathering, 4) No timeline or strict schedule for the day, 5) To keep it within a reasonably small budget, 6) Attention to sustainbility of our purchases and keep it as local as possible, and 7). At the end of the day - we'll be married and who cares if stuff doesn't happen perfectly.
Finding resources for a small wedding is kind of hard to do. We had a list of 25 people to invite, and even with such a small guest list, we still got stuck on finding a venue that was (I'm not even joking) less that $2,000. Without a reasonable venue option, the rest of the planning kept hitting roadblocks. We ruminated and ruminated about this (which brought us pretty darn close to going to city hall), until one day in October of 2015, my sweet Aunt and Uncle offered up their (currently in construction) magical mountain house that they'd been in the process of building for the past 12 years. There was still a considerable amount of work to be done, but as soon as they made that offer, Greg and I just melted into the idea of having our wedding there, and practically fell to our knees in gratitude. We set a date for October 8th of the following year, and the rest was, more or less, pretty easy. We also decided to have a "wedding after party" at our house the following weekend, to invite ALL of our friends and family to celebrate afterwards...more to come on that party soon!
The one thing that really made our wedding special was that almost every single person that came played a role during the day which really brought to life the realization that our community is such a support in our partnership. My dear friend Leah married us. My best friend's husband Jake Hull played our ceremony music. My incredibly talented friend Renee did our photography. My friend Peter took some video. Greg constructed benches and tables for the guests. His mom made all of the linen vests for the groomsmen and all of the muslin tablecloths. His sister and brother-in-law took charge of serving and prepping the food. Everyone in our small wedding party made the mood so lighthearted, joyful and fun. My dad drew the most beautiful guest book tree...the list goes on. Everyone came together, and it felt just right.
All this being said - we of course had moments of tension and disagreements about what we wanted to happen, but such is the case when we're planning something together - and we wanted it to be a together process. We had to keep in mind - it's just a wedding. We had a vision, yes, but flexibility was essential to that vision. For the entire week preceding our wedding (and for most of the wedding day), a hurricane was coming up the coast absolutely drenching the whole property in sopping wet mud. So, visions of the ceremony being in the woods by the river were dashed and indoors it was (and it resulted in some pretty freakin' gorgeous photos). There was construction equipment throughout the house and on the porches, and even a wonky crane towering over the front door. Industrial rustic is kind of our feel - and it was welcomed. More importantly, this is a place we'll be visiting for the rest of our lives, and we'll always be reminded that in that living room in front of the hearth - that's where we were married. And that house was christened with a lot of joy, and a lot of love.
Photography by Renee Byrd : Wedding Dress by Reformation : Flowers & Arrangements by Perennial Culture : Handmade Guestbook, Curiosity Pouches & Stationary by St. Signora : Herbal Cordial Favors by Ginger Tonic Botanicals (yeahhhh!)
Location : Lexington, Virginia
October 8, 2016