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Elka and Peter’s Green Farm Wedding


While having a low cost, ecologically friendly wedding on our family farm is not an option for most of us, Elka and Peters deeply sane, green, and family centric wedding philosophy can absolutly inspire each of us. Reach out to your family, your community, your friends, use what you have around you. Celebrate who you are and what you have. Let your love be what reaches up to the rafters, wrap your wedding in love. With that, I’ll let Elka take it away:
Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingOur wedding was held on my family’s land in northern Wisconsin. It is someplace I have planted trees on as a child and ridden horse across. We plan on someday building a green home on it. The reception was held at an historical fishing lodge about two miles away from our land.
Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingThe wedding was creative in many ways. I had so many people helping! My little sister Grace helped me make the fabric “Midwest prayer flags” that were hung all over the ceremony and reception site.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingMy aunt-in-law, sister-in-law, and bridesmaid’s husband helped me finish stuffing the little birds we also hung. My father and husband cut down the chuppah poles from our land and constructed it, using fabric I’d sewn for the canopy. My dad also made much of the wine for the reception. My mom and I thrifted over 100 blue and white plates to use as mismatched table settings for the reception dinner. A friend designed our wedding invitations. Farmer friends provided our organic bison and pork, a friend catered and provided the organic food for our reception . . . A writer friend was the officiant, and recited a poem in Arabic. Another friend played “La Vie en Rose” on her accordian, and another friend (who won an NEA grant for her amazing poetry) wrote us a wedding poem, which she read, that used only the letters of my name and my husband’s name. We also had a honey ceremony, using honey from my dad’s beehives. Our photographer set up a camera on a timer and guests took a ton of candid photos, which turned out great. We also provided some activities for our guests, including swimming outings and a farm animal visit for kids.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingIn terms of thrift, we knew there were certain things we didn’t care about, and certain things we definitely did. We borrowed chairs from the local high school for the ceremony, and guests also sat on haybales (grown from my dad’s hay fields) covered with cotton rugs. We spent a lot of money on a really good hot club jazz band, because that was important to us. It was also important for us to have organic and local food, but it was surprisingly inexpensive! We were lucky because my fabulous mother-in-law covered the cost of the reception lodge, which really helped us out.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingOur flowers were cheap, local, and beautiful, raised by a lady who lived very close to our reception site on her flower farm. Having our wedding in Wisconsin, as opposed to the San Francisco Bay Area, where we live, really helped save money. I also had a second-hand dress (from the 1920s, beaded silk charmeuse, flapper style) which I adored, and which cost a lot less than most dresses, but was of incredible quality, even though it was 80 years old. We also helped to save our guests money by providing them with free or cheap places to stay.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingOur guests said that our wedding made them feel as if they’d gone back in time, which was really wonderful. Overall, we spent less on our wedding than the average wedding by far, and our wedding was also “green” in many ways.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingWe really felt as if the wedding was sane because it was not just about us. I think that helps you to keep your sanity. It was about a “joining of the tribes” as my mother-in-law put it.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingWe were including our family and friends in every step! From my mom’s cousin, who helped to mow our ceremony site (while drinking a can of Leinenkugels, nice!) to my aunt-in-law sewing 40 of the 100 birds we hung from satin ribbon around the reception site,Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical Wedding we were blessed with the presence and helping hands of our friends and family.Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingWe also kept things in the family: Our caterer was an old college friend, our photographer our tenant, the meat was raised by neighbors, our flowers were provided by my grandma’s Scrabble friend, our horse and carriage service was provided by my parents’ old high school friend, the wine was made by my dad and having everything so intertwined just made everything that much more special. Elka and Peters Green Farm Wedding | A Practical WeddingThat much more special, and just right. Thanks Elka. I don’t have a farm, or a dad who makes wine, but I have a happy spirit, and friends and family who love me. Your wedding gives me the impetus to reach out, to give, to receive. May this first day of sharing be a story that you tell your grandkids as you rock them to sleep. Happy, Happy, Elka and Peter. Happy.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14757441474371776203 {The Perfect Palette}

    we love your blog, and we’ve added you to our blog roll!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12977525202055990615 MaryKate

    What a beautiful wedding! I’d like to hear some more about how they incorporated the honey into it..what a sweet idea :) And her dress is spectacular!

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

    Wow. I looked through these carefully, and in every single photo, every single person looks happy and relaxed. What a gorgeous day!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13077342485544422525 Becky

    Absolutely beautiful and so inspiring! My fiance and I don’t have a family farm, but we are getting married at a local farm and then having our reception at their farm restaurant. A lot of farms are really happy to rent out their space for a day, with the restrictions that if it is a working farm you have to limit decor and keep your guests safe, etc. It’s particularly appropriate for us since I study environmental impacts of agriculture! Who needs flower arches and crap like that when you’ve got a great red barn? So fun!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07173746904946406303 peasantwench

    This made me tear up. So wonderful!

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    I love this, it is so beautiful in a simple and quiet way. Congratulations to Elka and Peter!

    In particular, I am a big fun of light and airy huppahs like this one, and I am so glad to see another bride being escorted down the aisle by the accordion! I thought I was the only one…

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

    Mmm. We’re having a light and airy chuppah. No accordian though. That I know of. yet.

    You can never be sure with these things.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12051581432652556410 Marina

    I am fascinated by the mention of sewn birds… would it be possible to get more information and/or pictures of those?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    Oh, how lovely.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04454278674225963467 AnnC

    Lovely.
    It would have been nice to be married on my in laws “farm” (they have sheep and land but no big barn so it would have been a tent) but the weather is really too bad there… (can be cold even in summer, and rainy !)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06670039848062717842 Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions

    Oh, I just love this wedding. And everyone is radiating happiness!

  • http://www.stuffiwouldbazooka.com melanie

    wowzers! i think my fiance and i are just about to book a local farm (in nyc) for our wedding, and the ease and joy of this wedding are exactly what i hope for. lovely.

  • http://www.alpacafarmgirl.com Alpaca Farmgirl

    How sweet! Love the black and white picture of the little girl in the field!

  • Allison

    As a Wisconsin girl I appreciate how you embraced the laid back atmosphere of Northern WI into your wedding. It’s beautiful!