Christa & Chris


Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

So, as long time readers of this site know, I go out of my way to make sure I don’t just show case a bunch of hyper DIY weddings, that make those of us that are a little, achem, unskilled/lazy in the DIY department feel inferior. But. I have been getting a wave of wedding graduate posts that fall into the, “D*mn girl!” category. As in, “D*mn girl, you did all THAT? Whoa.” And Christa and Chris’s wedding is firmly in that camp. I mean, he’s a chef and they self catered in a serious way. And that alone is pretty bad *ss. But what I love about this wedding is not how much they did themselves, but how right they got it. Christa says, “We pretty much did everything ourselves, so we were familiar with flowers, food, décor, etc.  It also seemed as though so many of the wedding decorations had become part of our lives, which somehow made it more comfortable. So many of our wedding details – and I assure you, I am a detail girl – weren’t just details.  They meant something to us and will give us more memories than just those from our wedding day.” And that, I think is the last word on the details versis minuta debate. And with that, I give you the girl herself:

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

I would love to sit here and tell you that planning my wedding from 2,714 miles away didn’t drive me crazy.  But I can’t, because it did.  Because we didn’t just plan our wedding.  We also catered our wedding, and hosted our wedding.  Did I mention this happened from 2,714 miles away??  Yes, planning drove me crazy.  No, I didn’t enjoy it.  Yes, I wanted to cancel everything and elope.  But we didn’t, and I’m glad we didn’t.  And although it was very hard at times to push through the planning process, I did, in fact, survive!  And I’m confident in saying that you will, too.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Chris and I had a small wedding on a lake-front cottage in New York State – a cottage that has been in Chris’s family for many generations.  And although Chris had spent his whole life taking yearly trips to this cottage and was familiar with the property and the surrounding areas, I had only been there once.  This was a problem for me because I am a visual person – I need to see things to know exactly what I’m getting.  I had to rely on Chris’s memory of what was there – where the trees were, how much room is there on the beach, things like that.  And let’s face it; Chris doesn’t have the best memory.  But just not being able to see the cottage during the planning wasn’t the only thing making me want to cry and pull all my hair out.  In the year leading up to the wedding, the whole cottage was being torn down and rebuilt.  Why we were crazy enough to plan a wedding during this time, I’m not sure I’ll ever know.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

But it was so worth it.  It meant so much to Chris to just return to this beautiful property that he’d spent so many sunny days at in years past, yet alone get married there.  Plus it was a really good feeling “breaking in” the new cottage with some really great new memories.  So, how did I know this was the right decision if it was so stressful during planning?  I don’t really know.  It just felt right.  We couldn’t really see ourselves getting married anywhere else. We knew we wanted an intimate, honest wedding and we knew we’d get it if we had it at the cottage.  So we had to let fate take over, and just trust that the cottage would be finished by May 22.  And what did we find when we showed up at the cottage front door four days before the wedding?  That it was breathtaking and absolutely gorgeous.  And I do mean that it literally took my breath away.  And you know what?  No one had to know that the basement was unfinished.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

So, let’s talk about food.  Yes, we catered our own wedding for about 50 people.  I know this sounds crazy to many people.  But my husband is a Sous Chef at a five diamond restaurant, so he knew what he was getting into.  He’s fed many more than 50 people in one night before.  We hired a couple friends who also knew what they were doing, and they executed everything the day-of so Chris didn’t have to spend all day in the kitchen.  You can’t keep a chef out of the kitchen; it’s just not going to happen.  A little crazy, yes, but it’s who we are.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Okay, I can’t lie – I used to be that girl.  You know the one.  Sneaking peaks into bridal magazines since I was nine, secretly trying on jewelry on my ring finger when I was alone, and secretly planning every little detail for my wedding since the age of about ten (Editors note: Me too. Clearly. Or I don’t think I’d enjoy writing this site HALF as much).  But at some point over our two year engagement, that changed.  And thank GOD!  Because our little “hand-made” ceremony was far better (for us) than any other ceremony we’ve seen in a movie, or read about in a magazine, could have been.  We started by being honest with ourselves and before we knew it, everything was just falling into place.  If it felt right, we went with it, and if it didn’t, we weren’t afraid to say “no.”

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

How did I feel on my wedding day?  Happy.  Joyous.  Excited!  Loved.  Beautiful.  But perhaps most surprisingly?  Relaxed.  Even the day after the wedding, I remember being surprised how calm I was all day.  I thought maybe it was because we had all week to set things in their place, or because Chris and I spent the morning of the wedding together.  But now I realize that I was calm and relaxed because I wasn’t doing anything that didn’t feel like me.  We didn’t have some stuffy wedding that we would feel uncomfortable at.  We pretty much did everything ourselves, so we didn’t have any surprises waiting for us at the ceremony – we were familiar with flowers, food, décor, etc.  It also seemed as though so many of the wedding decorations had become part of our lives, which somehow made it more comfortable.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Because we had two years to plan, we also had two years to fold the 1,000 cranes we knew we wanted, so scattering them all over the place at the wedding wasn’t just because they might look cool.  It also gave us an opportunity to share stories of folding them – some in long car rides from New York to Seattle, some at my parent’s kitchen table, some that our cat (who left this world a year before the wedding) would bat all around the floor after we folded them. So many of our wedding details – and I assure you, I am a detail girl – weren’t just details.  They meant something to us and will give us more memories than just those from our wedding day.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

At first, it was really hard for me to let go of the things I thought I wanted.  But thankfully, I had a man by my side willing to help me push through all the meaningless details and get to the good stuff.  And he did a really great job.  He knew when to give me space and time with things when he knew I needed it, and when I knew it was time to move on, he helped me get excited about the things that really mattered.  Like our dear friend who agreed to marry us, and another friend who was creating a wedding certificate for everyone who attended our wedding to sign.  These things meant more to me, and will always mean more to me, than any table linen, or bridesmaid dress, or any typical wedding detail EVER could.  And I’m so glad Chris helped me open my eyes, because a wedding, for us, isn’t just the day you say “I do” (or whatever you say in your vows) – it’s the whole experience leading up to it.  And if I was too focused on all of these little things, then I would have missed it.  And that would have been bad news.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Some of my favorite memories are from the week leading up to the wedding.  We stayed at the cottage all week, and had family and friends over for dinner a few times, and to help us prep the place for a wedding.  Living apart from family isn’t easy for us, so any time we get to spend with our families is special.  Having dinner with old and new friends, spending time with my sister and her beautiful children – just relaxing and being ourselves, excited and anxious for the big weekend coming up – feeling all the love and support from everyone around us, and everyone just being so happy and just plain excited for us – for me, that was it.  That was the whole point of everything.  That made the planning that I hated so much worth it completely.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Like I said, I didn’t really enjoy the planning process.  But I’m glad we went through it.  And even more so, I’m glad it’s over.  I can see how some women could be sad when their wedding is over – so much time and energy put into planning – what do you do when you don’t have a wedding to plan after all of that time spent?  And honestly, in the beginning of our “wedding journey,” I thought maybe that would be me.  But… it wasn’t.  I’m so relieved it’s over and I can get back to a normal life.  I think we both took a big sigh at some point shortly after the ceremony, and just thought, “THANK GOD IT’S OVER!”  Because now we can move on!  We got bigger-and-badder things planned, and now we don’t have any wedding plans holding us back from going after ‘em.   Hooray!!

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

My advice to you (and I know you’ve heard it before, but it always bears repeating), is this:  Be in it.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Be aware of what is going on around you.  Not just on your wedding day, but every day you get to spend with someone you love.  Because life is short.  And in the end, no one cares if your hair fell out of the cute little bun your sister put in your hair on your wedding day.  Because you know what?  Mine did.  And it didn’t matter.  Because the time I got to spend, just me and my sister, getting ready for my wedding, was so special to me, and it means far more to me than any pretty hairdo a professional hair stylist could have ever created on top of my head (that would have lasted all night).

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

And in the end, no one cares (or will even notice) if the flowers in your bouquet are starting to wilt. Because mine did.   And it didn’t matter.  I built my bouquet the night before the wedding.  I was in LOVE with it, and I was proud of it.  Like I said, I’m a detail kind of girl, I like pretty things.  Yes, I thought my bouquet was absolutely gorgeous.  But I was also aware that in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter.  It was a tiny speck of existence on a beautiful day.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

And in the end, you can’t follow every rule.  People have different views and beliefs in life.  People will always have a different take on things.  But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate true, honest love.  Both of our families have a more “traditional” view on faith and marriage.  But, like I said before, having an honest wedding was important to us.  We knew our wedding would be different than a wedding our families may be used to.  But we kept it honest, and we kept it as close to us as we could. I wrote our ceremony (with some help from the wonderful world wide web), and in it, we had an “open talk” time.  This served as an opportunity for anyone to speak during the ceremony, and share loving words with us, and wishes for us.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

We only officially asked one person to prepare something (my sister) and pretty much just hoped and prayed every night that someone else would come forward and say something.  And someone did.  Several people, actually.  And it was truly amazing.  And some of these more “traditional” people who spoke, are the ones whose words I most often think back on.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

So, I have a hope for you.  I hope that you don’t spend so much time worrying about how others may react to your wedding, because honestly the only opinions that matter are yours and your partners.  I spent nights, days, weeks, and months agonizing over some of these traditions that our family may be used to seeing at a wedding, and we weren’t including in ours.  We didn’t want to upset anyone by not meeting their expectations of what a wedding should be.  But eventually I had to no choice but to give up, and do what was right for me and my husband.  And people appreciated that.  We could feel their warmth in their wishes for us.  Their feelings and hopes for us were honest.  If we weren’t honest with ourselves from the beginning, none of this would have been possible.  And I could have saved a lot of time and energy for myself if I hadn’t worried about it so much.  So, don’t worry your pretty little face so much.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Although it seemed like almost everyone who attended our wedding came from different points in their lives, they were all there for one thing:  Love. And that’s what we were there for, too.

Christa & Chris | A Practical Wedding

Godspeed to you and yours!

Photos by Denyse Clark of D’Marie Photography, and her assistant Kathy

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  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Wow. Just wow.

    Nicely done Chrita and Chris!

  • mire

    I like the “honest wedding” part a lot. You’re both beautiful!!!

  • Isabelle

    I love it!!! We’re breaking quite a few “rules” ourselves and diy-ing most stuff for the wedding. You’re story is inspirational!

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    I’m dying to know what lake in Upstate NY, as I am from NY myself – grew up within spitting distance of one lake (well, more than one lake, I should say, but one “well known” lake!), went to college on another lake, and am getting married on yet another lake.

    • Christa

      Canandaigua. :)

      • Rachel

        I grew up camping on the St. Lawrence River and it’s just my favorite place in the world. Dan stopped me from trying to get married up there because many people wouldn’t be able to make the drive from NJ and PA, but your wedding leaves me with a little tiny twinge of jealousy and regret.

        Beautiful beautiful wedding and really wonderful words!

      • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

        Oh, AWESOME. My FH and I are getting married at a vineyard on Seneca Lake. Beautiful choice! (Bonus that there was a house for you to use right there, too!)

  • http://redheadreports.blogspot.com Ali @ Redhead Reports

    This is truly a lovely post. I am glad you shared so much about how you hated wedding planning. It is tearing me apart after only a month – so I am glad to hear that I’m not the only one. I just hope my wedding turns out as wonderfully as yours!

    • Amy

      I found that the first month or two was the hardest–but it gets easier. Hang it there!

  • http://faithintruth.wordpress.com faith

    “Okay, I can’t lie – I used to be that girl. You know the one. Sneaking peaks into bridal magazines since I was nine, secretly trying on jewelry on my ring finger when I was alone, and secretly planning every little detail for my wedding since the age of about ten ”

    Yup, me too! I was even that girl through college! Something changed when I met my man, and that girl is no longer me, and that wedding is no longer “us”.

    Loved seeing your pictures and everything you shared! Congratulations!

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com liz

    i love that she wore her effing glasses.

    and i was totally “that girl,” too. i actually had drawn a picture of the very wedding dress i ended up buying. when i was like, 8. we didn’t find the drawing and connect the dots til months after the wedding.

    • FM

      Also love the glasses!

      • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com Meg

        Seconding that! It’s reassuring for me to see a bride rocking the black plastic frames, since that’s what I’ll be wearing on my wedding day, too.

        • Morgan

          Totally agree! I had such an drawn out fight with my mother about wearing glasses. In the end, I switched out my black frames for a new pair of bright pink ones and it was awesome, but I still adore the big black glasses look. In life, and in weddings.

          • Anna S.

            Yes to glasses! And yes to Upstate NY! This reminds me so much of my wedding and the choices we made (although we were WAY less DIY than you two). Really, really beautiful.

            Am now sitting on wedding graduate post temporarily til some less-similar weddings have run!

    • http://lilapuppy.blogspot.com Meghan

      Liz, I love this.

    • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

      I love the glasses too. I’m planning on wearing my dark burgundy frames to our wedding. It’s great to see other women sporting similar frames.

  • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

    What a beautiful, beautiful wedding (and couple – so in love! …obviously). This made me all warm and fuzzy this morning. Thanks!

    Especially loved this part: “But now I realize that I was calm and relaxed because I wasn’t doing anything that didn’t feel like me.” I felt the same way on my day & it makes complete sense – be true to yourself and there is no reason to feel crazy or stressed! :) xoxo!

  • http://www.katiejaneparker.com Katie Jane Parker

    Your cranes – how you folding them over two years and had these sweet specific memories surrounding them – really touched me. What a beautiful detail.

    An honest wedding… I love that. And I want to remember that.

    • http://www.katiejaneparker.com Katie Jane Parker

      you folding = you folded. I haven’t had coffee yet.

  • http://missfancypantsthebride.blogspot.com/ miss fancy pants

    My favorite Wedding Graduate yet, by far. My husband and I had a wedding experience that mirrors Christa and Chris’. I’m a detail person and we were both worried about the cultural expectations of weddings. But in the end, we too had to let go of those expectations in order to plan a wedding that truly reflected us as individuals and as a couple. And looking back, all the stress and work was worth it because even those people who had expressed adverse feelings toward nontraditional aspects like a female best man or sneakers instead of dress shoes for the groom were able to enjoy themselves when our day rolled around. More importantly though, he and I had a blast. An absolute blast. And part of that is due to the fact that we were afraid to ditch things that would have made us uncomfortable at our own wedding. Unfortunately, we took way too long to realize all these things and I wish I’d had a post like this two years ago when were in the beginning of planning to screw my head on straight. Any future brides and grooms who read this are truly blessed and should remember Christa’s eloquent words. They provide more inspiration and help than she may know.

  • Katy

    Love, love, love this wedding and Christa’s beautiful post. Really proof that the honest love is so much more meaningful and inspiring than any of the (gorgeous) details. Christa, your hair and bouquet were absolutely beautiful, wilting or not. I wish you both so much happiness!

  • http://memyselfandbride.blogspot.com/ Jen

    *sigh* another refreshing view from the APW team! Thank you for sharing your good vibes! I’m one month out and definitely in need of these reminders that it will all turn out just fine, so stop worrying so much! got it, self?

  • andthebeautyis

    This is the best DIY wedding post. If you’re a chef, & you only have 50 people, of course you want to cook! Not that I’m saying it isn’t work, but it makes perfect sense. If you have 2 years, you have time to make 1000 cranes. It’s not pressure-y DIY – it’s an extension of who they are. And for all Christa’s detail craftiness, the details in these pictures take a back seat to the feeling in people’s smiles and relaxed shoulders. So rather than pressuring, this inspires me to focus on what details are an extension of who *we* are.

    • Jessica

      I honestly didn’t notice any of the “stuff” in any of the photos and just saw the smiles, looks, and body language between bride and groom.

  • Emi

    Beautiful wedding, beautiful post! Kind of makes me want to marry a chef, too.

  • Lethe

    Hi Christa! Your wedding looks like it was beautiful and was really an expression of who you two are. I have a perhaps detail-oriented DIY question: how did you store and transport 1000 paper cranes to your wedding?? No, seriously! I’ve always loved that idea, but I wonder how one does it without damaging the little guys…

    • Christa

      Hi Lethe :)
      Thank you for the nice comments! :)
      Some of the cranes were folded at my parents house in NY when I was home visiting, so they stayed there. Otherwise I would ship some home periodically in the mail, and I would store then in vases so they wouldn’t get crushed in the boxes. We had two sizes of cranes. In the picture of the centerpiece you can see the larger ones. We scattered all the larger ones everywhere we could think of at the wedding, and the smaller ones we displayed in pretty vases and jars. (The vases were cheap, so if they broke in the mail, I wouldn’t be heartbroken!)
      I hope that answers your questions!

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    “People have different views and beliefs in life. People will always have a different take on things. But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate true, honest love.”

    Mmm, I needed to hear this today. Thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding with us, Christa! (Also, I would never have known that your hair fell out of its bun if you hadn’t told us. It looks fantastic!)

  • Jackie

    Speaking of tradition, I’m having a hard time right now deciding whether or not to buy a wedding band. My FH had my engagement ring custom made and as a result, none of the wedding bands I looked at fit with it. I even tried the cathedral cut, but there is still a huge and rather awful looking gap.

    Did anyone else choose not to get a wedding band? I’m worried that I’ll regret it later, but then the practical side of my says why does it matter.

    • Sarah

      Jackie … I had a similar problem. My ring wasn’t custom, but the jeweler doesn’t offer a matching band. ::wonders why::

      You can go the route I did and have the band made custom. Most jewelers I’ve found will do this for you … and depending on what you want, do it fairly cheaply. Mine cost less than many pre-designed band we looked at.

      You can also go the no-band route. I can understand your fear of regrets, but think about it this way … if you decide at a later date that you really have to have one, you can always add one then!

      • Erika

        I just want to second this. I couldn’t find the right wedding ring before I got married, so I decided to keep wearing my engagement ring as my wedding ring. But somewhere along the way I wanted something that was more like a band. It’s nearly two years later, and I just bought a vintage wedding ring. It doesn’t work with my original ring on the same hand, so I’m switching my first ring to my right hand. Bottom line is, you can definitely get a wedding band at a later point. I’m glad I waited instead of pressuring myself to buy a ring before I got married. My boss has been married 40 years and she has a bunch of “wedding” rings–some were anniversary presents–and she just wears whichever one she’s in the mood for. So I’m all for that kind of freedom.

    • Erin

      I had the same problem, not a custom ring, but couldn’t find a wedding band to fit with my engagement ring. Instead of getting a custom spacer, which would have made my finger look about 1.5 inches long, I wear my engagement ring on my right-hand ring finger, and wear my wedding band on my left hand. I just spread the bling :)

    • dev

      I don’t have a wedding band. My engagement ring was my husband’s grandmother’s ring, and non-traditional. I didn’t like the idea of a band fit for ring, because I didn’t think it would look right. Anyway, I don’t miss having a wedding band. Even though it’s the same ring I was wearing for two years before we married, it took on a whole new significance on our wedding day. It feels like a wedding ring, and that’s all that matters to me.

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

      I also moved my engagement ring to my right hand on my wedding day. For me the wedding band was important. Partly because of the symbolism, partly because I like to play with the solid band & twist it around my finger while I’m thinking, and partly because my husband travels for work and it’s nice to think that we have the bands connecting us, as a visual reminder of the love that connects us.

      • Erica

        What a wonderful, joyous wedding this seems like!

        For Jackie with the wedding band dilemma: I had a similar issue, and ended up finding a very flat band the tucks under the diamond in my engagement ring and flush with the rest of the ring. While we could have had a matching band made I actually thought it looked better not to! I would encourage you to try to find something that will complement rather than exactly match the ring you have if you’d like to wear both. It took me a few months to find something that worked well but I’m really glad I did.

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com liz

      i pick and choose which i want to wear.

      josh spent an embarrassingly large fortune on the engagement ring, so there was no affording the matching band. we bought a little slender band some place else for way cheap. sometimes i wear the engagement band on a different finger. sometimes (days when im teaching, especially) i don’t wear it at all.

    • meg

      My two cents? The wedding band is the one thing from the wedding I care most about. The rest of it could go, and I’d only need me, him, and something to use as a wedding band. So there is that :)

      I don’t wear my engagement ring any more. After the wedding I planned to move it to my right hand (I didn’t like how mine looked together), and then a day later I realized I didn’t really care about anything but the wedding band, so that’s all I’ve worn since.

      So that’s me. But look into custom rings. They can be really affordable. Email Bario-Neal and get a quote, maybe? (achem, sponsors, but I have some of their work and loooovvvveeee it, and many readers have had them make affordable custom rings and been super happy with them).

      • Jackie

        Thanks for all of the wonderful advice! The more I think about it, the more I think I want a wedding band. Even if it doesn’t look quite right, I want to be able to look at my wedding band and remember when he slipped it on my finger at the ceremony. I’ll definitely look into getting something custom made, or I might just follow the suggestion that many of you made and move my engagement ring to my right hand. I definitely just want a simple band though (no diamonds on it or anything) so hopefully it won’t cost too much to make something to fit well.

  • april

    So lovely and true! What a sweet grad post to see this morning.

  • Kashia

    Christa, what a beautiful wedding (and a gorgeous dress!). Your observations about the different traditions and expectations that others may have around weddings, and being brave enough to have an honest wedding, even if it doesn’t fit the expected traditions are inspiring. We are currently trying to figure out how to do that in my own wedding planning right now. So far it had caused drama, confusion or complete disinterest with various members of my family as I attempt to find what is honest for myself and the boy. Thank you for your wise words. They give me hope.

  • brittney

    Love your honest wedding. I’m really interested in how you structured your ceremony. I like the “open talk” time. We are in the process of writing our ceremony and I like to include a time in the ceremony for people to speak if they’d like to. Can you tell me how you included that? Thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding with us.

    • Christa

      Hi Brittney!
      I first got the idea from the blog, A backyard wedding. I no longer have the direct link, so I’m sorry I can’t send it to you. They based it around a quaker-style wedding, where basically everyone in the community marries a couple. I know she had a post on her blog that explained it a lot better than I can.
      We also made sure people were aware about it before the wedding, so they could prepare something if they wanted to do so. We sent out a notice with our save the dates explaining how the ceremony would be. I think that in the end, that helped, but there was also a lot of confusing about it. you should probably be prepared to answer people’s questions about it.
      Hope this helps :)

  • Kate Plain

    Christa, your wedding photos blew me away and this post told the whole story. I love it, and again, I am so happy for you!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    <3 the positivity, the family, the huge amounts of bravery and courage and perseverance that this took! I can come up with awesome plans, it's the follow-thru that gets me, and doing wedding planning THREE THOUSAND miles away, for TWO YEARS, and a whole lot of faith…lady, you rock!

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Beautiful! My hair fell out by the end of the day too and I just went with it.

    I think my favorite quote is:
    “It also seemed as though so many of the wedding decorations had become part of our lives, which somehow made it more comfortable.”

    I love the parts of our wedding that we’ve been able to take into our lives now. The decorations from the wedding that are now sitting on a a shelf in our living room or on my desk in my office.

    It’s wonderful to take your life to your wedding, but then also take your wedding into your life.

  • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

    “At first, it was really hard for me to let go of the things I thought I wanted. But thankfully, I had a man by my side willing to help me push through all the meaningless details and get to the good stuff. And he did a really great job. He knew when to give me space and time with things when he knew I needed it, and when I knew it was time to move on, he helped me get excited about the things that really mattered.”

    I love that wedding planning gives us a peak into the best and worst of our partner, ourselves, and the incredible life we’re signing up for.

    Beautiful wedding, AMAZING cottage, and touching story. Thanks for the wedding grad wisdom, Christa. Congrats! :)

  • Tara

    “I hope that you don’t spend so much time worrying about how others may react to your wedding, because honestly the only opinions that matter are yours and your partners. I spent nights, days, weeks, and months agonizing over some of these traditions that our family may be used to seeing at a wedding, and we weren’t including in ours. We didn’t want to upset anyone by not meeting their expectations of what a wedding should be. But eventually I had to no choice but to give up, and do what was right for me and my husband.”

    – That part really spoke to me. It looks like you had a beautiful wedding that the two of you will remember with pleasure for the rest of your lives. Congratulations!

  • Alis

    Can I just say how refreshing it is to see a bride wearing glasses? I’m a glasses girl, and I don’t even have back up or special occasion contacts, like some people I know do. You look fab in your goregous gown and frames. :)

    Also, ditto on everyone who has comented on the awesomeness of honest weddings.

    Oh hey, just saw others with the lens love! Yay!

  • http://gradlearnlife.wordpress.com Jessica

    We’re doing the food at our wedding, and while we aren’t attempting anything close to this level of cuisine, you give me hope that it can be done. Your wedding is absolutely beautiful and really feels like it came from your hearts.

  • http://www.verhext.com verhext

    yes yes yes!! it’s so beautiful! & i’m also planning a cottage wedding from 3000 miles away and felt like i was losing my mind today so YAY for seeing it done, beautifully. Congrats!

  • Helena

    Thank you. Your post has made me feel so much better. I’m due to get married on Sat and you’ve just given me hope to carry on and love the day. We are planning a low key wedding at a water mill in England and also catering ourselves for about about 50 people. Your day looked amazing and full of happiness(and from one who know obviously a lot of planning) Best of luck to both of you for your lives ahead

  • K

    I love love love that Christa wore her glasses! I wear glasses 100% of the time and had an internal struggle with the idea of wearing them on my wedding day… Until I realized that I wear them every other time, so what difference would it make wearing them on my wedding day, too? It’s a special day, but yet not any different than any other day (if that makes sense…).

  • Jessica

    “I hope that you don’t spend so much time worrying about how others may react to your wedding, because honestly the only opinions that matter are yours and your partners.”

    As our guest list slowly grows and I’ve been stressed out worrying about what people will say/think/etc… I really needed to hear that. Thank you.

  • Marcy

    Thanks for sharing. What an honest account of your event. This is one of the first blogs that I’m reading. I’m thinking THANK GOODNESS for blogs like this (I’m not very blog savvy). I’m starting the wedding process and already my body is tense and the stress is building. I know it doesn’t have to be stressful, I know there is so much to learn, and I know this is such an incredible opportunity. Thanks for helping me see the light.