Scenes from a marriage







Let me preface this post by saying that I was never one of those girls that spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about marriage and planning a wedding. In fact, when we first got engaged, the idea was to get married in the local courthouse and have a tiny ceremony/honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands. My opinion on marriage it's that it's something more of a legal formality than a rite of passage. I guess the title of my post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek; if you've seen the Ingmar Bergman classic, you'll understand why. 

The reason we had a wedding reception/ceremony at all was due to familial expectations and the fact that it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with friends living out of state (and country) that we would never otherwise see. I wanted to keep the wedding small and easy and planned it almost grudgingly, considering the state of affairs - not that we were in dire financial straits but the events over the last couple of months have taught me more than ever about the benefits of keeping a healthy savings account.

We decided that a huge chunk of our expenses would be spent on good food, good alcohol and a lovely venue (the wedding was at a lavender farm). Otherwise, everything would be done on the cheap - I did my own makeup, solicited help from a handful of friends and found a decent photographer off Craigslist. We also did most of our own venue setup and decorations along with making our own wedding paraphernalia. My dress, which was heavily discounted at J.Crew, cost about $200 including alterations (cheaper than a pair of A.P.C. shoes, oh dear!). The two items I did splurge on were (a) a bagpiper and (b) an inordinately expensive pair of shoes. The justifications being (a) the bagpiper represented a sliver of being in Scotland and (b) the shoes are completely reusable!  

Looking back, I think it was a little silly of me to have conveyed such animosity towards having a wedding ceremony at all. In the process of freaking out and being stressed, I forgot how important my friends and family are to me. I still think it would have been wiser to have used the money spent on a downpayment for a house - but when all is said and done, at least I have some pretty pictures to look back on and a spiffy pair of shoes to clomp around in at the next dinner party I'll be attending.

22 comments :

  1. Congratulations! It all looks beautiful.

    I've never been a fan of the wedding either, but it's a nice way to demonstrate your committment to each other (and have a little party with your loved ones). I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. You look lovely and those shoes are stunning!
    I so hear you about weddings - I have never been someone who fantasised about her 'dream wedding' but I guess each to his own. Your wedding looks happy and elegant and what a great idea to spend so much time outdoors against such a beautiful backdrop.

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  3. oh wow, congratulations! your wedding looks absolutely perfect - lavender is also my flower of choice, what an AMAZING idea to have the wedding at a lavender farm! I love your shoes and dress too, so beautiful :) wishing you a lifetime of happiness with your new husband!

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  4. p.s. I hope you still get to go to Scotland :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm working towards that trip to Scotland -- maybe when we renew our vows :-)

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  5. Congratulations! I feel the same way towards weddings as you do, and I also think that I'd much rather spend a good amount of money on a wonderful honeymoon than on the wedding itself. I'm happy to hear that you had a lovely wedding day - the venue looks really pretty, and so do you :)

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  6. Congratulations. The setup looks beautiful, and you look lovely. I don't think elaborate weddings are necessary and definitely not my cup of tea, either, but it is nice to have all the people who are dear to you together.

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  7. Amanda, this is one of the most beautiful blog posts I've ever read. You look incredibly beautiful and elegant, so does the wedding. I would totally do the same – spend on the food, alcohol, and venue and buy a simple and "inexpensive" dress (that I could totally re-use) and do my own makeup etc. And this post just exemplifies how weddings can be done without spending megabucks. I've never been a wedding person but now that I'm getting older I kind of can't wait till my own wedding so that I can gather friends and family and have a reason to throw a kickass dinner and party.

    Congratulations! And I wish you all the best. Hope you'll be blogging more often :)

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  8. So beautiful, and you were so resourceful! I'm glad you seemed to have enjoyed your wedding - so many couples seem so stressed out on the day itself.

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  9. beautiful pictures! love the idea of getting married at a lavender farm--seriously beautiful venue and i imagine, beautiful scents! i was not big on weddings myself until i got married 3 years ago--so glad i had a wedding with friends and family. in fact, that's the last time i got to see most of my friends from college. no regrets. wishing you a lifetime of happiness and learning from one another!

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  10. @Belinda Thank you! We were actually "committed" at a courthouse months ago, but this was really just a good excuse to party :-)

    @Ammu Thanks! I wasn't really sure how to even begin planning a wedding and kinda threw everything together haphazardly, luckily it worked out!

    @Maja H Oh, I definitely wish I could have used that money on a honeymoon - there's so many places I still want to visit and unfortunately it would have to be put on hold for quite a long bit.

    @Quinn Thank you! This was actually on Vashon Island - not sure if you've been there but it was definitely very beautiful even with the Northwest threat of rain.

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  11. @Fleurette Thank you so much, that's very kind of you to say so. I can envision your minimalist wedding in that Vanessa Bruno dress ;-)

    @lin Thanks, Lin! I was actually pretty stressed out but after a certain point, I decided to just have a glass of wine and went off to look pretty.

    @Jade Thank you! It was the first place we visited and I was too lazy to decide on another place - it being a lavender farm was an afterthought I guess.

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  12. Congratulations, Amanda! Your wedding is inspirational. It's so refreshing to hear (and see pics) of people's experiences planning a practical, beautiful, and personalized wedding.

    Also, those shoes are totally hot. Good call, lady!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! How's your wedding plans coming along?

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  13. Congratulations! Based on your photos I can still see that it was an intimate and magical event. Your shoes are adorable! Are they Miu Miu (I assume they're your 'something blue')?

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    1. Thanks, Lindsay. Yes, they are Miu Miu and I hadn't really thought about the whole something borrowed, something blue etc. thing. I bought the shoes because they were extremely comfortable and I felt I wouldn't trip in them (I'm a horrible klutz).

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  14. congrats Amanda! you look gorgeous and i'm all for going against the Wedding Industry that lays out ridiculous 'standards' for how much people should spend and stress... your wedding shoes look so fun and special - i hope you're going to wear them as part of your regular wardrobe too :)

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  15. Amanda, I had exactly the same opinion regarding weddings. I never dreamed of having a wedding party and even when I got engaged I still seriously considered the option of getting married at the Town Hall.
    But, well, it turned out that we ended up having a wedding party with about 100 friends and it was one of the happiest (and certainly the most intense) days of my life. I will never forget how happy our families were.

    Our party was very simple (we literally rent out almost for nothing a little square in a village not far from Rome where my parents in law have a house) and served pasta dishes. My hair was done by a hairdresser who's a family friend (it was his wedding gift), the makeup by me and my friends, I wore a pair of shoes from 2003 (really!) and the only thing I spent money on (besides the food and whole catering) was on my dress. Anyway, it was an amazing day and actually I wish I could invite all my friends for a party like that every year :)

    From the pictures, it seems that your wedding was absolutely beautiful. And those blue shoes are to die for.

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  16. I am like you in that I feel the same way about wedding ceremonies. I am recently engaged and my partner is the opposite - much more traditional. I don't even know where to start - did you scope out any blogs on how to plan your ceremony? Having never been one to fantasize about weddings, I am super clueless.

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    1. Hi Jocy, I actually just did some quick Google searches for "wedding tablesetting" and "wedding guestbooks" and that was about it! I just stole some random ideas here and there and went with the flow - the wedding turned out to be more of a garden party that I would put up in my backyard. Can you compromise on a more traditional wedding program/attire with a casual venue? That would actually work out slick! One word of advice: you may just want to get a venue that has an in-house planner, that would save you tons of time/effort. Congratulations on your engagement!

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  17. Oh, and congratulations! It looks like a lovely ceremony.

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  18. I had to read your post twice because it sounded so similar to my wedding more than a decade ago. My dress cost $150 from a local Kiwi designer. I couldn't be arsed to spend so much money on weddings (would've preferred our pastor presiding it at the courthouse and a fab dinner soon after). But, it was all down to familial obligation. However, in hindsight, it made my parents so happy so it was money well spent.

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