wedding lunacy

Oooohhhhhh, niblets, I need guidance. This wedding stuff is over my head. According to some wedding checklist, I am 100% behind and totally fail at being a bride-to-be! Oops!

Should I be reading blogs? Should I not? I need a girly girly helper planner to come sit and drink tea and help me pick out fonts and borders and paper and say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to things. Though mind you, the Professor is brilliant at this, and so far has come up with huge ideas for invites and save-the-dates, which we weren’t going to do but I started to get “when is it, again?” questions.

woodsPart of me wants to take some steroids, pick a theme and go super crazy matchy matchy everything, but the reality is I don’t have the time, energy, or budget. I need to hand write some save the dates, send them out,  put together cute invites and a simple website and call it a day. My wedding site is not going to super match everything else. I don’t have the energy to build out a matching site plus design fancy invites plus make my dress plus finish building the cabin plus build a deck/dancefloor plus yadda yadda. I’m a DIY girl but dang, I do not know where some people get the energy.

ribbonI looked up letterpress pricing for invites, and OMG YOU GUYS FOR REAL. WHO CAN AFFORD $10,000 full invite suites?  WTF. IT IS PAPER. Beautiful paper, but PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN BIAFRA. I’ve seen fancy full suites of custom letterpress on wedding blogs (you know, letterpressed MAPS even) – these weddings must cost more than houses. What. The. Heck. Whoa. I know blog weddings are pretty and all, but I cannot believe the sheer time and expense it would take to do something like this. I’d just never thought about it before.

sealingwaxIf anything this wedding planning is another reality check around class strata & the blogosphere. I had NO IDEA how much each piece of a wedding cost, and now looking at “real weddings” is like adding up the items in a shopping cart before you get to checkout. Clearly, I need a better career, or some sort of trust fund, to be able to have a wedding like these. & I find that sites like “broke brides” and “offbeat brides” just don’t have anything that I find pretty, or useful! So, I’m on my own. Which is ok! Momentary lapse of sanity brought on by looking where I knew I shouldn’t look!

sequinsMy huge huge huge main concern is providing places for people to stay. I know it’s far for people to come and they can’t afford flights & rental cars & hotels, so I’m trying to find a solution that will work, like renting a nearby yurt (they haven’t responded) or a house…nothing is panning out, and I’m panicking! I need some way to chill out, to gain perspective, and some hand holding and tea-sharing, for sure!

So, reality check-list.

___make and send some save the dates

___hie thee to a gym, honeychild.

___start gathering invite makings

___make final invitation list

___finish the cabin & figure out landscaping / ground things, build a pavilion

___where will people stay?

___make a dress.

___find a suit.

___um, rings?

___decide what the ceremony will be like.

___think of it as a big tea party, i’m good at those.

___everything else.



  1. I think you’re onto something with the tea party. Like you said: you’re good at those. So go with it. You have the magic power to make things fancy with buttons and lace and just your presence, so don’t worry so much about the tiny details. I know it’ll be amazing!

    1. Yeah! I mean, I don’t even have details on this list: flowers, food, place settings, decor, photography, etc. That I have no worry about. It’s the housing and the space, mostly. Oh, and clothes.

  2. Hey, my friend Artnoose does amazing letterpress work and she sure doesn’t charge that much! Check her out: and tell her Katie sent you.

    (She’s a punk/anarchist/superDIY bay area expat now living in Pittsburgh. Very cool.)

  3. so funny! I was just about to recommend Artnoose as well! now that’s destiny, I think…and I was going to say that I’m sure a lot of the fancy letterpress and design and other stuff you see is either traded for or given as gifts. plus everything “wedding” is marked up so much more than normal…

    please don’t be shy to ask your friends or at least hint for some help – I often forget that giving my time and work in the leadup, or at the event, might be more helpful than just buying something off the registry. I sure wish I could come by and help you tick things off the list, I love that kind of stuff. If you need help sourcing anything from NYC, the flower district, etc., or with anything else (drink recipes? cake toppers?) just let me know…seriously…

    I also think you are very ambitious to plan to make all those things you listed yourself! maybe you could have a cabin/deck buildout week in the summer and enlist a small army to come help? I personally know a double handful of pro carpenters and builders who would jump at the chance to come camp in the woods and pitch in, just to get away from the city.

    Anyway – pace yourself, and I hope it can be a process with enough breathing room that you can savor it all instead of feeling rushed.

  4. Delegate where you can and give as many tasks as possible to your pals. I know I’m far but I’ll help with making a project plan! I’ll be there the night before to help, and will share a cabin rental with other out of towners. Just remember your tea party plan, with the wedding as a crumpet.

  5. Take a deep breath, you don’t have to have everything a traditional wedding has. Do what you can afford and in the end know that family and friends are only there to celebrate your love/union and really don’t care about A., B. & C (insert freak out…fancy invites, putting them up at hotel, etc).

    My wedding was small…10 family memebers. No invites. My dress was a sundress and a DIY wreath for my hair with daisies and ribbon. I only had a bouquet because a family member bought white roses and daisies and surprised me. My dear man and I look back and laugh because we both think the pictures are sub par and he hates the hair cut he got at the last minute. It was still special and even the mistakes are loved.

    I like the tea party idea. I think it’s a lovely idea that fits in well with your colors, mood and dress even. Tea lights can be bought by the hundreds for cheap, fairy lights are cheap and even better can be borrowed, I know I have at least 3 strands easily accessible and I’m sure your friends do too. Folding chairs are easily rented and fabric can cover even the strangest surroundings and make it look pretty. Dusk and candle light sets a mood without needing much help.

    Hope my advice helps…even a little.

    1. Yes, like I said, the decor isn’t an issue. We have picnic tables and there’s no electricity so we don’t need fairy lights. Flowers, etc, none of that worries me.

      But I DO want my loved ones to be able to come, or we may as well elope! So finding the right place to stay for them is important.

      1. Since accomadations seem to be the main concern and it sounds like it’s pretty rural do you know if you have a number of people willing to camp? Is that a possiblity? Would that be a consideration? I know the last wedding I went to was in small town GA and most of my family ended up offering up bedrooms to the point that the small houses seemed like there were people sleeping in every room. No one seemed to mind and I think the ones that did mind found their own hotel(there were 2 in town…a 20 min drive). As long as the weather was willing I wouldn’t mind camping for a friend’s wedding, I think it sounds like fun.

        1. The original idea was to camp, but October in Vermont is iffy, and the actual “camp” we were thinking of will be closed for winter. Camping on my land is an option, but with no facilities or showers, a recipe for a very very grumpy wedding.

          1. Ack! Shooting down all my ideas (which I’m sure you’ve already thought of!). Sounds like it might be time to get friends involved in scouring the internets for places to try and rent. One person can only do so much, there’s always one friend that thinks outside of the box enough to solve the problem.

            I got a thing for October weddings! Married 10-29-2000 and I think it’s a magical time of year, of course in Florida it means we were still in summer garb and it was hot! 😉

            1. I know, lucky lucky! I am HOPING it will be warm, but you never know. It could snow! Then what!

              I do have a good friend tracking down rentals, I think I need someone in Vermont to help, but everyone is busy!

  6. Ahh, girl. You just reminded me of why I never want to plan a wedding ever again. The amount of stress is insane – even for teeny tiny weddings. From my experience, it was interesting to look at different wedding sites while I was in the beginning stages of planning. I mainly did it because I didn’t know anything about weddings and sort of found them fascinating. After a while, though, I noticed that the “offbeat” sites weren’t any different from the traditional ones. They were all full of brides that seemed hyper focused on the little stuff. I’m in no way insinuating that thinking about elaborate wedding invites, fancy dresses, color schemes, and beautiful decor is a terrible thing. I’ll admit, I wanted pretty little mismatched thrift store plates and fairy lights and flowers and a home-made photo booth, and for the venue to be transformed into a whimsical forest. Umm, our budget was like $5000 and none of that shit was going to happen. I had to let it go. Instead, I focused on what was possible. We put all of our energy in the ceremony and throwing a fantastic party for our friends. Instead of getting bummed out about our financial limitations, I spent most of my time working on our wedding zine and updating my blog for my mother’s enjoyment (she couldn’t make it). This stuff was really fun to me and much more important than the plates or colors. I also found myself rolling my eyes anytime people asked me about color schemes. People are obsessed with color schemes, man. OBSESSED. You just have to tune that shit out.
    Like you, we had a lot of people flying in and accommodations were a big issue. Our friends and families do not have a lot of money and I felt guilty that so many of them were flying in. Instead of wedding gifts, we asked richer guests to help poorer guests out with airfare and hotel costs. They did. We also had people staying with us, with friends, with each other, etc. There’s also hotels that are good with working out deals for wedding parties and what not. We did that as well.
    Most of our budget was spent on the food. We made the invites, my dress was an art project, Graham bought his suit from a vintage store, our wedding cake was pretty DIY, and our wedding party wore whatever they wanted to. None of these aesthetic choices ruined the wedding or the pictures. Nobody even remembers that stuff. People just want to eat, drink, and dance. People also want to help. I don’t know about you but I’m weird about asking people for help. Once I finally did, it shocked me how enthusiastic everybody was. Our wedding would not have happened if it were not for our friends and family. They crossed more things off our to-do list than we did. In the end, it was a collaborative project and I loved it so much more than if it were dreamy and perfect-looking.
    I don’t know if any of this is helping you. Just remember that it’s not a contest, it shouldn’t cost more than college, you have to let some stuff go, and the internet is no place to be if you want to feel grounded.
    PS – It’s going to be amazing.

    1. “the internet is no place to be if you want to feel grounded.” needs to be TATTOOED ON MY FOREHEAD for all eternity. thanks, mama.

      this is all super super helpful.

  7. Your style and ability to cobble together greatness from nothing are so clear and will prevail. Seriously, it is so easy to unnecessarily over-function for your guests and want things to be perfect. If you are putting together a DIY wedding, there is no harm in providing some land (neighbours?) for a cozy camping experience for guests. Maybe someone near your wedding site can take on that whole responsibility?
    If it is any consolation, I had 6 months from engagement to wedding. Giving people tasks (people probably want to help! Maybe someone can make wine or homebrew?), focusing upon a meaningful ceremony above all, staying far away from blogging/magazine consumerist insanity and being realistic about what is necessary (with some dreamy items thrown in) kept things sane for me.

    -An admirer in Halifax

    1. Thank you! I think that IS the trick — the perfect blend of realistic & dreamy!

      Lots of people will help, I’m sure – my friend who bakes is making the cake, my mom & aunt are doing all the food (my aunt was a professional caterer for years and years) & my brother DOES make wine – though it’s still in “testing” stages, oh dear.

      Luckily, I really don’t want my wedding to look like a traditional ($$$) wedding!

  8. Look at how much you’ve figured out already!
    I’m sure you have your mind full of many beautiful things. Thinking back on my vision of stargazer and sumatra lilies glinting in the flickering light of beeswax candles, my loved ones in a cirle and everything headily scented and aglow…Then, the reality of my nephew blowing out all of the candles and someone turning up the lights! Despite all of the little humps and minor crises, it always ends up memorable and a learning experience for the next party and has no bearing or effect on your love, the real reason for this occasion.

    1. Yes. I totally need to remember that no matter how perfect it is, my nephews will probably face plant into the cake and try to set everything on fire with the candles. The bigger one (he’ll be 6) also likes to show everyone how strong he is by LIFTING INSANE THINGS.

      1. OH MY GOD, he’s going to be six already?! oh the bebbies, they grow.

        your day is going to be so beautiful and memorable no matter the $$ spent (or, more specifically, not!). whatever your friends (including me, if there is anything that you can think of where i might be helpful no matter my involvement or non) and loved ones can do to contribute and relieve some of the duty and stress do not be afraid to delegate! everyone here is offering up so much amazing advice and experience, there’s nothing really i can say, but that i adore the idea of a giant tea party. yes yes yes! how perfect would that be? i think as long as i’ve known you fancy teas and tea parties have been this wonderful reoccurring event. you must do what comes natural, liebchen. do eet.

        1. I am feeling calmer. I think I just needed some ladyfriends to shake me. That boy I’m marrying pointed out today that the magazines are created to MAKE you panic, so you spend more money. But we don’t have it, so we can’t spend it! Anyway, Emily calmed me slightly with this email too; “Seriously, you know we could pull a wedding out of our ass with two days notice if we had to.”

          Mmm, ass wedding.

          1. yes, those magazines are faff and evil mostly. you have such a strong sense of what is you, you don’t need strange extraneous outside consumerist-driven nonsense-y stuffers telling you what your day should be. they are tiny panic machines.

            also, yes! cameras! i have a little diana for pretty square format film pictures too. i will bring that alsos!

  9. I commend you! Wedding planning can induce mega-freakouts but there are ways to approach it without too much fretting. The idea of a big tea party is an excellent one.

    As for resources, I would go with (the kvetch section) for some seriously DIY, not wedding-industry focused support & suggestions. I based a lot of our day on snippets I picked up from there.

    My husband & I picked out a few priorities and really focused on them. Invites (you can see what I did with mine here:, our attire & awesome food. We mostly let everything else sort itself out. Most of the other stuff we simply went with bare bones default. I bet you know lots of crafty, creative people who all have their own areas of expertise. I suggest opening it up & asking if any of your friends have special talents that they would be willing to contribute as their wedding gift. We had friends: officiate the wedding (ordained online!), dj & music selections, drop things on location & my mother scouted the location & decided anything that we didn’t care about (& had fun doing so!). Rely on your friends and family. Know that everyone has an opinion about how wedding stuff should be done and if it’s something that you’re not particularly vested in, let it go!

    It’s just a big old party anyway. :)

    P.S. If you want design help, I would be happy to lay out your invitations & help you source supplies for home printing. Just email me:

    1. AHHHH I JUST GOT TEARY READING YOUR FLICKR invite image conversation and Hil’s dad story and oMGGGGG if i’m getting teary looking at invites I better just scrap it all and invest in waterproof mascara.

      1. yeah, so like a fool i thought “oh cute wedding story/tears?” and went to go read it. made me teary too. love the invites though!!

  10. I hear you, girl! This is exactly how I felt when I was planning my wedding. Even though my dad gave us a rather generous gift to use towards the wedding, we wanted to save as much as we could (to go towards a future house downpayment). Plus, I simply couldn’t stomach the idea of spending thousands and thousands on one day! But maybe that was just me. 😉 lol. I have to admit, we didn’t go totally matchy-matchy, all out “perfect” (even though our wedding later got featured on the Martha Stewart blog, it wasn’t a Martha Stewart wedding by any means. lol!), so I still managed to salvage some of my sanity. haha!

    I like the idea of thinking of it as a big tea party–that’s the spirit!

  11. oh gosh, we just got a save the date to a destination wedding for one of b’s relatives in the virgin islands at some insane gross resort. i guess we will have to go but it isn’t really my idea of how i want to spend my sweet, sweet winter vacation not to mention our very limited funds.

    on the other hand, some friends of ours just got married in florida at a botanic gardens (we cldn’t go, sadly) and they didn’t even send out invitations at all, just did the std and website. lots of things about blog weddings you don’t even need. i still like looking at them tho because sometimes you do see good stuff, like someone making a tin can look really pretty in a table setting.

    october on the east coast will be lovely! maybe some guests cld stay at a distance and cld rent a large van or something for transportation to/from? i’m sure it will work out & i can’t wait to see the wonderful pictures :)

    1. My brother has a 15 person van! I don’t know if I can trek people around, though.

      The Virgin Islands thing is crazy – I guess if all your friends and relatives are well off? We decided on VT originally because of my grandma, but now that she’s gone we’re just keeping it. It’s hardest for my brother and parents to get places, anyway.

  12. is there just nowhere close by that would have charming inexpensive cottages/motel type things? that is what we’ve stayed in when we’ve gone to weddings before, or just the homes of friends who live in the area.

    the family isn’t really well off, just the immediate one. we used to go have thanksgiving with them when we were in ri – they live in one of those creepy yucky connecticut towns that is close enough for the patriarch to commute to nyc for work. those was always awkward dinner conversations.

  13. Woof–nothing gave me worse wedding agita last summer than looking at the internet. Once we had our venue and delicious FOOD worked out, which to me was the most critical thing, I hardly cared about anything else–so I’m guessing once your guest accommodations are resolved it will be all better and the details will go by in a blur.

    What about renting a camp/nature center type thing nearby and having everyone stay in cabins? Vermont has to be packed full of those.

  14. Hey Tamera, just checking in to echo the above sentiments: you have great ability to spin webs of glamour over any setting; your immediate family can make an event happen on a dime (both speedwise and cheap!); and fuck the details, cuz even if you do spend the energy to plan them out, most likely they will not work the way you plan.

    How many guests? There are houses people can stay at, bc October will probs be not fab for sleeping in tents. (Though, it could work in good 3 season tents…with chilly wash tubs and smoky scents…)

    Also, maybe there are spaces to arrange, like upstairs from the Upper Valley Food Coop in WRJ (not sure if you could do this, just an idea), or perhaps somebody’s gonna be away and would be good with many housesitters over a weekend? Just the network of Em and J’s buddies could provide many a couch or spare room. Plus the studio could be a weekend dormitory; what about the elementary school? Are there public buildings in SoRo or Tunbridge that could be slept in by many people? If there’s a big space, E and J have mad cots and an acceptable sleepoverness could happen.

    Motel/hotel: There’s one at the drive-in theater in Fairlee…maybe not as picturesque as you’re hoping, but there’s a freakin drive-in back there. That’s memorable enough.

    Just brainstormin…hope it helps. It’ll happen, it’s not a competition for fairy-like beauty, stick with your gut. Hope you’re well besides this stress!

    Just brainstormin, hope it helps!

    1. hmmm. j & em havent mentioned the studio, though, plus, where would people pee? i dunno. i was hoping the lady from new acadia would write me back, but she hasnt. the soro house is a possibility. the main issue is bathrooms. BATHROOMS! or i’d just have everyone camp, cold or no. I’m hoping it’s pretty like the last Oct I was there. if not, who knows. i want to build some kind of covered pavilion anyway. we should get married AT the drive in. madness.

      just want to get it settled, i’m not stressing on details. anyway, i LIKE things to be certain ways, i’m crazy like that. who knows. like, why bother having a wedding if you dont make it pretty?

  15. that was super unhelpful, sorry! what I meant to say is that don’t fret! only do what you WANT to do. i’ve been reading wedding blogs lately just for fun and they stress me out just looking at them. you have incredible and a unique style that will no doubt make your wedding so spectacular and without effort! I can’t wait to see the results!

    1. Yessss. I know things will come together, for sure. I think I am mostly stressed with the idea of getting everyone to one spot cozily and safely – people are coming from all over the country!!

      Your wedding was so so so gorgeous!!

  16. Could I just make one suggestion. By all means get stressed beforehand but make up your mind now that whatever goes wrong on the day, you’ve done all you can to prepare, so just enjoy yourself. Because it’s all a big waste of YOUR time and YOUR money if YOU THE BRIDE don’t enjoy your wedding day.

    The bus brought my guests and my daughter’s babysitter to the wrong castle, the hotel stored the cupcake tower in a hot room so it all collapsed, my husband’s one and only job was to put the flowers on the alter but I walked up the aisle to find the flowers from a wedding 3 weeks before also still sitting there, an in-law great uncle stripped down to his hat, the iron the hotel lent me leaked a spot of dirty water on my dress. But all that was fine (and I’m a major perfectionist stress bunny) because I’d made up my mind beforehand not to get upset if things didn’t go to plan on the day. Good luck :)

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