Flowers, Food, Community


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Flowers, Food, Community | A Practical WeddingSo, as our wedding starts creeping closer, I’ve started collecting inspiration pictures (again) for what I want our tables to look like, and how I want us to do our flowers. The closer I get to this party, the more I realize that I want things simple, simple, simple. Once upon a time I thought that I would make table runners (ha!), and get together a flea market collection of vases (double ha!), and pick just the right linens (whatever that means). But the closer we get, and the more I hang out with you guys, the more I realize that what I really want is simple, joyful, and us. And that’s ok. With that in mind, here are some of the pictures I’ve collected lately.
Flowers, Food, Community | A Practical WeddingWhat kind of linens do we want? White. How do we want the napkins folded? Simply.* What kind of tables do we want? Long, so everyone can chat more easily.
Flowers, Food, Community | A Practical WeddingAnd we already know we want mixed, bold in season flowers… not simple flowers, just because we’re doing them ourselves. Nope: fun, mixed, wild, complicated flowers. Just like us.
Flowers, Food, Community | A Practical WeddingBut more then anything, I’ve realized that I care a whole lot less about the flowers, or the linens, or the table numbers, then I care about the food and the conversation, and the sense of joy and community around the table. We’ve spent most of our budget on simple organic locally grown food. It’s more expensive, for sure, but we were lucky enough to have the option of choosing it, and we thought that carefully prepared, local food was a more solid reflection of our values then any other single thing we could spend on. Because to us food equals love, community, and shared joy, and that is a heck of a lot more important to me then some fancy table cloths.

But just the same, all these flowers are super pretty, right?

*I swear to god, there is actually a clause in our catering contract that says “Meg does not want ruched linens. Anywhere.” (True. But hilarious that our caterer actually wrote it into the contract.)

Photos: First two photos by Kate Webber with flowers by Saipua, third photo by Jose Villa, fourth photo from the amazing eating design studio Taste Matters via {frolic!}

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00174894872050076618 Marie-Ève

    It all sounds lovely and it’s exactly the one important thing to focus on, I believe (the guests making it fun and memorable as opposed to the decor -I do not think the two are mutually exclusive, though-).
    And you’re right about to option to choose organic: I’m pretty sure I could not choose that option at all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04281621170102704781 very married

    haha – i have something in my contract with the photographer to the effect of “photographer will not wear white to the wedding.”

    i don’t wanna sound controlling but I went to a wedding once where the photographer actually wore a white dress to the wedding…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    Ha ha ha, awesome that the caterer wrote that down!

    I love the photo of the long table in the candlelight–everyone gets to actually talk, and laugh! I’ve been to too many round-table weddings with giant flowers and loud loud loud music. You only get to talk to your date and one other person. I like your idea much, much better!

  • http://lavenderbakery.wordpress.com/ lavenderbakery

    I agree totally – even with over a hundred people, I want it to feel like a huge family Friday night dinner, with people passing the food and chatting across the long tables. Lovely pictures!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10441798371617926431 kaitlin

    Awesomeness.
    I was talking to one of my married friends on Sunday about this, and the conversation went as such.

    Me: We have the cake, and the venue…
    Him: All you need is a judge then and you’re set!
    Me: Yes, well…and invitations. We need invitations.
    Him: You could just, you know, invite people, orally or something.

    I’m all for long tables. My mother, not so much. I’m all for no seating plans. My mother, also not so much. I’m glad this is my wedding!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyou for saying that about caring about the conversation more than flowers and linens. I copied the quote to send to my mom because I have been searching for those words for months!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10044595180736126664 Melissa

    :) I can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Your flower inspiration pictures are very pretty too!

  • Anonymous

    I never comment on blogs – though I adore yours (I actually found my wedding site through practicalwedding), but I just had to give you a thumbs up – cheers.

    Thanks for saying it – I only fight with myself on this one, my mom could care less about flowers – everyone needs a good reminder sometimes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371172824707301749 Cate Subrosa

    I love that last picture. It’s a slightly extended version of what all of our family gatherings are like anyway with my massive family :)

    Love your plan for the flowers, but mostly the bit about the napkins.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13484691703233805436 Sara E. Cotner

    I once went to a wedding that had beautiful centerpieces and yet they were so tall I couldn’t see the person sitting across from me (much less talk to him comfortably). Luckily, our table wasn’t quite full so I was able to move my seat and see everyone, but as more people came to the table, the problem happened again. Argh!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15899239356088557995 Amanda

    Long tables=yay. Organic food=yay. No ruched linens=Hee.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02363757619601724418 Brandy

    I’ve always wanted long tables. Big round or square tables always make me feel like I’m shouting.
    That last photo is just a dream! Simple and lovely and ahhh.

  • http://practicallymarried.wordpress.com Leika

    Thank you for posting this reminder that the world as we know it will not end if we don’t have fancy linens! These pics are great, and I’m especially in love with the last photo. Whatever style you pick for your wedding, I think this is how everyone’s wedding should feel!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09731426268019406064 Ten Thousand Only

    good food + great convo equals love. period.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10211797571405802312 Rachel

    Definitely. I actually set the table for a family dinner this weekend by gathering up a random assortment of glass jars (my mom washes out and saves every single food jar she buys) with some candles in them and I thought “this would make a sweet wedding table if you could get someone to run around lighting candles right before”. Flowers and candles are lovely but conversation is the key.

  • http://www.pinkgaloshes.com Anne @ Pink Galoshes

    Love the flower photos. And I agree, there is nothing more lovely than a long table. Such a great touch at a wedding.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    Right. On.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08446875699927053176 Katie

    Love the feel and mood you’re creating!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12633056996927758780 Amanda

    Yay for no ruches linens. Or damask. You rock Meg.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12633056996927758780 Amanda

    *ruched* *ruched*

    You know what I mean.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Or damask. I hear ya, sister, I hear ya.