On a not-too-cold, overcast January day, we were married. With only our nearest and dearest family and friends present, George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, and Duke Ellington sang + played all day long. We foraged, found, or borrowed everything, and we had eight pounds of coffee at the ready. There were tears—my word, so many tears—and a smooch to seal the deal. Our send off was a full group circle singalong to 'Rocky Raccoon'—a longtime dream of mine. With these things and with so much more we were wed. While I simply cannot describe the day in full, I do intend to write on the facets that made it so rich. Our inclination was correct: simplicity and joy marry quite well with sustainability and seasonality. Excuse the pun.
Save for the disposable cameras lying about, there was nothing disposable about our wedding. We spent many hours ensuring nothing—except people—traveled far to join us for our celebration. Our ethics as a couple are deeply centered around seasonality. It is our ardent belief that choice in life should be dictated by nature. Only in recent years have we even had the option of deviating from Mother Nature's seasonal offerings. The myriad of expectation that wedding websites, Instagram, and American culture place on the engaged couple are unbelievable. As for Mark and I, we are surrounded by family who believe in the ethic of small, of simple, of paring down to the necessities. Our top priorities were to remain local, to source seasonally, and to spend money on a new product if and only if it was made by an artisan we got to know personally. (To that point, I cannot wait to share in a future post about our shoes and our rings.)
A branch that Mark had found out in the woods hung with prominence. Hops that I'd gathered off the table at a conference lined the table and accented my flower crown. Mark and I made french presses using locally-roasted coffee and served our loved ones as they held their mugs out. Pieces of honeycomb from our hive lined the windowsill. My mama and I picked out each plate and bowl from Goodwill, and have since donated all of them back.
There were a smattering of cloth napkins in my great-grandma's market basket, which sat atop a wooden chair built by my great-grandpa, her husband. My new mama-in-law baked our wedding cake: her famous coconut cake, unassuming and perfect in form. All greenery and flowers were 100% in season—most everything was picked up from a nearby flower grower, and some of it was foraged. With the help of my mama-in-law and her sister, we made gorgeous, fragrant, textural bouquets. Below, I've listed everything we used to do so, just in case you get the hankering to build your own wedding / party / bouquet.
WEDDING BOUQUET: HOW-TO
In lieu of listing formal steps, my recommendation is to check out a few books on floral design from the library, try to use color and texture to accentuate your centerpiece, and play around! Take it slow and do not give up. Make floral wire your friend. Everything we used came from Karen Geiser's farm in Kidron, Ohio, unless it has an * next to it, in which case it was purchased at Local Roots in Wooster, Ohio. Working with Karen was a dream. She let my mom and I tromp around her farm in muck boots, picking out anything we wanted to use for our January wedding. She is creative, and open, and authentic. If you're an Ohio bride... I cannot recommend her enough. Email me if you're interested in working with Karen or would like to learn more about my experience.
floral wire - in multiple sizes
garden snips or scissors
burlap or floral ribbon
GREENS + FLOWERS
curly willow branches