Emily and Matt’s lovely DIY wedding is especially fun because Emily read Snippet & Ink all throughout her engagement – I love that! It’s also wonderful because of Emily’s thoughtful advice about her wedding – I love the part where she talks about how having all your people around you on your wedding day lifts you up, because it is so, so true…
Says Emily, Everything was very DIY – I made the invitations, programs, place cards…all of the paper products. The flowers were done by my grandmother and me. My mom made the ribbon wands for the ceremony (we weren’t allowed to throw anything like rice, so we came up with the wands instead) and the mossy light up jars that were used for the ceremony and reception. My dad did all the calligraphy. The table decor/favors were pine saplings to take home and plant. It was a completely magical day. We had unseasonably warm weather – my mom says this was a gift from my grandparents, who were married on the same day in 1944. One of our favorite surprises was the albino squirrel that visited our ceremony site just a couple minutes after our ceremony ended. We consider him an auspicious visitor.
I’m one of those girls that has been thinking about weddings for almost my whole life, and I was secretly afraid that when the real thing happened, it would feel small in comparison. I needn’t have worried, because when it really happened, it was more than just the sum of aisle runners and place cards. There was a happiness I hadn’t planned on. When you have 130 or so people together, in one room, all laughing and dancing and wishing good things for you and the person you’ve picked, it does something. All those people lift you up, like puffs of air into a balloon.
The Picnic House was the perfect combination of what each of us wanted for the day. I wanted to be in nature, he wanted to be in the city, and neither of us wanted a place that was too wedding-y. Once we chose the location, the theme emerged naturally: trees. We didn’t want the wedding to be too formal. We wanted it to be relaxed, fun and intimate. The long, banquet style tables really helped us achieve that. I can’t tell you how many people told me how much they loved the long tables. I thought it would be one of those things that only I would notice.
I leave you with a couple more tidbits of sage advice from the bride:
Try not to get caught up in how you’re supposed to feel about certain aspects of the planning process. For instance, I didn’t like dress shopping, and I felt really sad because I was “supposed” to be thrilled. Feelings about getting married and weddings are complicated – let them be. Make peace and move on. Also, you’ll be surprised about what parts of the process wind up being wonderful and meaningful. A favorite part for my husband and me was when we went to the NYC flower market at six in the morning. It was still dark outside, except for the flower shops, which were bursting with gorgeous colors.
One of the biggest sources of stress can be the guest list. Combine that with a tight budget, and it can cause a lot of strife. Most wedding sources will tell you that the quickest way to reduce the cost of the your wedding is to cut the guest list. That is absolutely true. However, when we started cutting our list, the wedding quickly became a party that didn’t sound that fun. We kept most of our original list, and made cuts elsewhere. And, if you’re on the fence about inviting a certain person, unless you have a strong reason not to, just invite them. I regret not inviting a number of people, but there is no one I regret inviting.
Also, a little silly, but remember to stand up straight during the ceremony. I was slouching in a lot of the photos!
Photography: Kella MacPhee
Venue: Picnic House in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Groom’s Suit: Hickey Freeman
Stationery: DIY with supplies purchased at Paper Presentation
Flowers: by the bride’s grandmother, with flowers purchased in New York’s flower district
Congratulations Matt and Emily!