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Madeline’s Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog-Chic Wedding


by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

So I wrote Friday’s post in a fit of being unable to keep it inside any longer. Because the secret is, throwing a wedding, even a stylish wedding, is easy. (Wedding planning is not, because it involves facing up to tradition, emotion, faith, aesthetics, family, money, and EXPECTATIONS, just to name a few.) But actually throwing a wedding? S-I-M-P-L-E. But there is so much cash involved (even in the blogging world) in making you think it’s hard and involves, you know, signs hand painted onto old plywood and letterpress and monogrammed chocolate and fancy lights and hand-knit whatevers…because if weddings are hard, it keeps you hooked on figuring them out. So. It was time for the real scoop. And, because Team Practical never ceases to amaze me, I came home to this email from Madeline, and oh-my-god she and her husband actually threw the wedding I described, exactly. I love you guys.
Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingHi Meg,

I’ve wanted to send you our wedding for AGES. But every time I start to write, I tell myself that nobody wants to hear about our ridiculously boring wedding planning.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingBut that’s the thing that I love about APW. Just when I feel like maybe I don’t belong in the wedding blog community because my wedding didn’t include enough details and pretty things (not a type A), you go and post about lazy, yet blogworthy weddings. Because, here’s the thing. We’re uber lazy. And I already have too much on my plate spending fifty hours a week at work and an extra fifteen hours a week commuting.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingSo the whole thinking, planning, carefully executing model was not our style, and as a result, our wedding more or less fell into our laps. Not that we didn’t have a general overview of how we wanted it to be. We were very specific in our assertion that it would be on the beach. (None of that overlooking the beach bullshit. I’m talking sand-in-my-train-why-did-I-buy-heels-for-this-thing beach wedding.)Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingWe also wanted it to be stylish, but casual enough that people felt comfortable wearing everything from suits with pocket squares to jeans and t-shirts. And we wanted great pictures. Stare at them for hours, not just because I like to ogle myself looking really pretty, but because they’re sooooo goddamn gorgeous pictures. But details? Oh, hell no. Details sound like a lot of work…Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingSo once we had our general overview, everything else just came together. We looked at one venue (a restaurant on the beach that’s been family-owned for thirty years) and booked it that day. They asked for zero security deposit and held our day for almost two years.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingThe leader of our band is a family friend we’ve known for years and he covers everything from classic rock to Amy Winehouse. And our home base/afterparty location was a beach home lent to us for the weekend by a family friend whose seventy-five-year-old father wanted nothing more than to hang out with seven pretty bridemaids while we got ready. And it was as easy as that. We put our wants out there, people offered their services and we didn’t worry if what we were getting was the “best option.” If it worked, we booked it. The only things we went out of our way on were the ceremony, the food, and the photographers, and all of our choices garnered rave reviews.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingI wish I could say more about our wedding and what made it special, but I find myself lacking the words to describe the bigness, the happiness, and the energy of it. It’s like trying to describe how chocolate tastes. Some things are bigger than words. So I figured I’d send you some photos of our lazy, cheapish wedding and let them do the talking.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingMadelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingMadelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingMadelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingP.S. Our lazy wedding didn’t include any sort of roping off of the beach, so we ended up with random spectators at our ceremony. It was unbelievably cool to have people we’ve never met invested in our little ceremony. The next morning we went for a walk down the beach and a woman stopped us on the street to ask if we were the couple who got married the day before. She was there and she LOVED our wedding! We felt like celebrities.Madelines Lazy (and possibly cheap) Blog Chic Wedding | A Practical WeddingPhotos by Monica and Judson of Eve Event Photography

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11097163969864312650 K

    oh man. love. it. good for you! lazy + fun = perfect.

  • Jen

    Madeline, thank you so much for sharing your wedding. It's beautiful. It's good to know someone else out there just went with the flow and things just fell into place. After two years of me thinking and planning and reading wedding blogs, we're finally starting to actually plan our wedding (we've had a very long engagement) and I feel like everything so far has come together too easily. I've also noticed that after all that staring at details details details… I just don't care about them. You're right, they do sound like work. I've decided to avoid as many details as I can and instead get myself a pretty venue, good food and photography and invite my family and friends. Done.

    Meg, thank you for being wonderful and always saying what I need to hear. Yours is the blog I return to over and over again and tell all my friends and family about. You're helping me stay sane, which is hard to do right now, so thank you.

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

    Looks like so much fun. And your ladies look great, love all that color!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03209113339750185034 nina@mount pleasant wedding

    Looks like a great day! Thanks for posting this. We, too, only looked at one venue–and had actually pretty much already decided from the internet without even seeing it! After that, everything just seems to happen. I'm kind of a Type A but I have too much other stuff going on in my life to spend the next 8 months stressing out about one day. Thanks for the reminder! As my dad says "you have a life to live!"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12465660658541486360 Rachel

    this is exactly how i feel. At first I was excited about the details, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought about all of the ways I'd rather be spending my time. I never dreamt about my wedding as a younger girl, so whatever it turns out like will be beautiful and memorable and happy.

    I'm also planning my wedding from about 1500 miles away, so not being able to see anything helps me just sit back, relax, and trust that it'll turn out okay. How would I transport all of those delicate details anyway?!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06871451102521214705 Rachel

    Skee Ball?!?!?
    HELL. Yes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06985820953743653787 Ms. Bunny

    Madeline, your wedding looks brilliant. I applaud you for doing just exactly what worked for you. It looks like a blast, and personally I'd rather have a blast than have tons of little details.

    I might also have my ceremony in a public space. Having random people watch it doesn't bother me at all. The more the merrier right?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06395803606683052002 Giovanna

    bride and groom playing skee ball! sweet!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03367631935043016430 Mrs T

    Super cute wedding. Love all the photos!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12295262934122471371 Lacey Bean

    OMG I am in love with your wedding pictures!! And the fact that your bridesmaids didnt wear matching dresses. My bridal party gets to pick their own purple dresses, and I had certain people FLIPPING OUT at this idea, that the colors wouldnt exactly match! Who cares! Let them all be comfortable. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18182268757502634911 sera

    hallelf***inglujia. what a beautiful wedding!!!! love the dresses, love the skee ball, love the random spectators. thank you thank you thank you.

    somehow I've been panicked to share my wedding until these last couple of weeks. thank you thank you thank you for this post.

  • http://www.onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    I’ve remembered this wedding since it was first posted and I always come back to it when I need to feel reassured about my own wedding. Sometimes I worry that I’m being too lazy with the planning, which isn’t like me at all, but I just don’t want to feel overwhelmed. I’m scared that if I get too intense into the planning that I’ll forget what’s really important. This wedding is a good reminder that any planning-style, yields an awesome wedding if the couple really follows who they are.

  • Moz

    I love this wedding – was the bowling at your venue? Totally awesome pictures.

    And I love the idea of having gatecrashers at your ceremony.

    Congrats on the marriage!!

  • http://www.unrelatedsidenote.com Cindy

    I had bouncers. Two girls who opened the doors for me and closed them behind me, not letting anyone else in until the bridal march had finished playing and everyone’s eyes were facing forward. They also held the doors for me as I walked back out, and I got to give them a high five.

    It was awesome.

  • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

    I love your wedding! Thanks for sending it in. Now I feel like I should get cracking on my own graduate post for my lazy, love filled, inexpensive wedding.

  • Katie

    I’ve been struggling with decorations for my ceremony and reception. Thing is, I really don’t care about baskets of flowers and garland strung up. I don’t want to spend the money on it and I certainly don’t want to spend the time DIYing it. My venue has lots of natural beauty, which is one of the reasons we chose it, so I can rely on that, just like Madeline. Reading this post just now made me realize that I DON’T HAVE TO DECORATE. If I only want tablecloths and string lights, I can do that and it’ll be just fine. A wedding isn’t a wedding because of fancy decorations. Phew.

    • Eleanor

      Katie, you sound just like me. We have a beautiful venue – stunning classic architecture – and I’m the same when it comes to decorating. All this talk of huge centrepieces, sparkly table confetti, mirror disks and so on just isn’t me! Thank you for reminding me that it’s not compulsory to decorate the sh*t out of your wedding! As long as we have good people, good food and great music, the rest will fall into place :)

  • http://speaking-faith.org ashlee

    AH! Palace Playland! I grew up there in the summers!!!! It would be so fantastic to be able to do photos and play skee ball there with my hubby on my wedding day! (or maybe even just for our engagement pics!) I’ve spent thousands of hours playing on those very skee ball machines with my Papa and other family members! Being able to do that on my wedding day is actually making me tear up right now! Thank you so much for those fantastic pictures and these ideas! :)

  • Connie

    Wow! Lazy, cool & just plain kid-crazy laugh-your-ear-end-off fun!!!! Thanks a ton for sharing (even if it was a couple yrs ago)! …Now to find a restaurant like this here in Colorado…

  • Julie, Chip and Stinky Pup

    Maddie, you put words to something that I couldn’t describe but was nagging me. I’m presently planning my own “real” wedding (after going to Vegas for the legal ceremony) and I keep thinking “Why is this hard? This shouldn’t be hard. MOM! Stop making this hard.” It’s simple: Place. Food. Clothes. Vows. Let people know the when and where. They can figure out the how. And no one, not a single soul, has ever in the history of human kind actually given a flying f*ck if there are mason jars and chalkboards at a wedding.