Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont


When I went to write an introduction to this post, I actually wrote last week’s DIY/DIT manifesto. Turns out I had a lot to say on the subject. So today I’ll just tell you that today’s Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate post comes from the excellent Tamera of Verhext. Verhext is one of those blogs I stumbled onto through my comment section, and after I found it I felt so, so glad that Tamera was getting married, because it gave me the chance to find her blog. I met her in person at the very first APW meetup, and people, this woman is wise. So this is her whirlwind of thoughts, one month before her wedding in October (Wedding! In October! I can hardly wait to hear about it, sqeeeeee!). And now, the girl herself (that’s her fixin’ up the bride in the picture below….)

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

True Confessions: Sometimes I read wedding blogs and get a happy-nervous-excited feeling in my belly, like it’s Christmas Eve or my birthday and I’m 8 years old. But the majority of the time, the feeling in my stomach is that of “This is terrible, weddings are the worst thing ever, if I just don’t think about the 32947294278 things that have to happen, they will magically get done, right?” and as the date creeps closer and closer (39 days as I write this) turns to something more resembling full blown panic.

When I have those moments, I try to slow down and remember that in a way, I am already a wedding graduate. What? How is that possible?

About a year ago, Meg was sent a link to my blog (by whom!? I’m curious.) featuring a wedding. She looked at it, thought “No way! That bride is 15!*” and moved on. A year passes, we meet in person, she’s reading my blog and sees this child bride, the lovely Myra. Myra is actually 29, not 15, and has a baby now.  Her wedding was truly a huge learning experience for me.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

Myra is my sister-in-law’s sister, and feeling overwhelmed, tasked her entire extended family with her wedding. See, there’s no such thing as DIY in Vermont. Before the legions of Vermonters reading A Practical Wedding go running for that comment button, I’ll explain. It’s just what you do. “DIY” should actually be renamed “being a Vermonter.” Not only is self-sufficiency a huge part of the culture, if you can’t do it, you’ll know exactly who can. Need a wedding dress? Ask your grandma/cousin/neighbor/friend. Need something built? Uncle Ted can get that. Need wine? Well, we just made some.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

I am not a wedding planner, a wedding dress maker, or anything of the ilk. What I am is bossy, opinionated, and determined. In the week before the wedding, my mother and I made Myra’s wedding dress, and finished the bridesmaids dresses she’d already started. Myra decided to not have professional hair and makeup. We did a hair and makeup test, she loved it, so I handled it. I made the bridal bouquet and her sister and I put together all the flowers. My brother made cupcakes, an aunt made the cake. The food was potluck. The groom built a bower, and all the benches for the ceremony. Her sister was the wedding photographer. Everyone pitched in on so much more and made everything come together seamlessly, this was her family’s gift to the couple. We enjoyed doing things at the wedding, having jobs, rushing and putting everything in its place, setting up the tiny cabin on the land as a wee honeymoon cottage. It was chaotic and wild and amazing day, and truly great to see AND be a part of.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

The one amazing thing? Myra stayed calm the whole time. She knew that we’d make everything beautiful, she completely trusted and accepted without being overbearing or controlling. She didn’t really tell us what she wanted in a dress, or flowers, or hair – she just trusted. And afterward, she LOVED it, told us it was exactly what she’d envisioned. It wasn’t a formal, fancy, elaborate affair, and maybe some people would think it was too homespun. But for this couple, who live in a house the groom built with his own hands, it was perfect.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

I think, before this wedding, I’d been to 2 others. I am not a wedding person. I am not a marriage person. But I let myself get caught up in it all, and guess what? It did the trick. I went to the wedding in a dead-end relationship, came home, met the person of my dreams, and was suddenly engaged 4 months later.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

So here I am, with 39 days to go. I feel like I have no idea how I’m going to finish everything. I haven’t started my dress. I don’t know what food we’ll serve. I have no idea what the ceremony will be like, or where the flowers will come from. I am a total control freak, and there are moments where the not-knowing makes me feel absolutely insane. I’m a little disappointed, like in the post from Miranda, that more of my close friends aren’t more involved or excited. But I call my brother, and he tells me the location site will be gorgeous, and it’s going to be fine,  my friend Kate comes over to help with the invites, or Holly stops by to brainstorm on how to design my dress; and I remember to trust myself, trust my family, and to trust my community. Because we’ve done this before. And we’ll do it again. And it will be beautiful.

Wedding Undergraduate/Graduate: Verhext & Vermont | A Practical Wedding

*True.

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  • caitlin

    Wow– if you can even say that part at the end to yourself (and the APW readers), you got this. It’ll be magical!

  • tupelohoney

    The dress is stunning and I adore the second picture!

  • http://sparklefishmarriespistolfish.blogspot.com Mandy

    Amen. I’m less than two weeks from our wedding. I haven’t finished my dress yet. We’re going to run over to Sam’s and buy some food the day before, plus order some Chik-Fil-A nugget trays. We haven’t met our minister yet. And you know what? It’s gonna be fine, and it’s gonna be beautiful, and at the end of the day, we’re going to be married even if it isn’t fine or beautiful.

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    Oooh yippie! I just started reading Verhext blog yesterday, and was blown away and wanted more! So thanks for the wisdom, and the awesomeness. I have a huge huge craving for a straw bale house, and have ever since I was six. Love this whole post, love your awesome blog (those invites…ahhhh!), and your wedding will be wonderful. Plus you’re all kinds of badass…I hope I have stylish opinionated friends to help with my wedding!

    • ddayporter

      I just went back and checked out the post on the invites – you weren’t kidding! WHAT. I can’t even.. I’m just.. speechless.

  • saveroomforpi

    I’ve bookmarked your blog for reading at lunchtime, must start with the strawbale house post (although I do love that treehouse at the end of the post, as well).

    I look forward to your wedding graduate post.

  • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

    Oh my gosh. This was all beautiful & now I’m completely obsessed with that house he built with his own hands! Unbelievable. And how is that girl 29?!

    Can’t wait to see your graduate post & hear how it all came together – which I’m sure it will, fabulously! :)

  • http://i-doux.blogspot.com Hannah

    EXACTLY! My family and friends and fiance and I built our wedding from nothingness too and it felt like a really really magical gift from everyone to me and to us. I felt wrapped in the gorgeousness made by our friends and family. It was luminous.

    • meg

      WHEN IS YOUR GRAD POST cominnnnngggggggggg? Whine.

      • Erin

        Holy schnikey, just checked your blog and have to second Meg’s whine.

      • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

        OH WOW. I just obsessively read your recent blog posts & I’m having serious wedding envy. And I’ve been married almost a year and a half. When does this wedding envy thing go away?! Dang it.

        Grad post, please? :)

    • meg

      Oh right, I have a draft of ideas, huh? Better get on that.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      Your wedding is GORGEOUS. Can’t wait to see the grad post.

  • Vmed

    Brava!

  • Class of 1980

    Amazing dress and photos. Why does this remind me of the wedding in “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott?

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

    Just curious – what other states have DIT-style “Vermonters” in ‘em? Are big, shiny, fancy weddings more of a major city thing as opposed to a state-by-state thing?

    Growing up in the NYC/ Long Island area all I’ve ever been exposed to were $30-40k weddings, big banquet halls, and limos. (Then there’s the outrageous gift-giving policy: your cash gift should be at LEAST $120 per person, otherwise you’re being cheap. So don’t even think about bringing a fancy wrapped blender to the wedding because that’s what you should have brought to the bridal shower.)

    My recent DIT BBQ wedding was the first that any of my friends had ever seen. And everyone raved about how much they enjoyed the “novelty” of it.

    Thanks for sharing, Tamera. Vermont’s wedding culture is beautiful. (And I’m still wiping up my drool from when I clicked over to see the house that the groom built. Swooooooon.)

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

      what you just described is what i’m used to in philly, too. lots of money spending- on the wedding and on the gifts.

    • meg

      I think, having lived in both coasts/various sized metropolises, what you’re describing is more common on the East Coast (where people have Sweet 16s too, what IS that?) than on the west Coast (though they clearly happen on the West Coast). It’s also more common in cities than not, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s more of an upper middle class phenomenon. No one where I grew up could have *ever* afforded such a thing, for better or worse. But I lived in a town where if you made $40K a year you were RICH. So, obviously, you didn’t see a lot of $40K weddings. I went to punch on the church lawn weddings and backyard weddings growing up in California.

      I’m obviously sort of universalizing. There are plenty of people in cities that don’t have big weddings, and plenty of loaded people in suburbs who do, but, you were asking about trends.

      • http://www.kaylachism.com Kayla

        Growing up in Mississippi, sometimes I look at other weddings and think that I’m not being a cool DIYer. It doesn’t even register with me that we’re doing almost EVERYTHING ourselves, from the invites to the veil to the cake, reception flowers and most of the food. It doesn’t seem fancy enough to have an acronym, it’s just a normal wedding. Actually, most people think my wedding is “unique” and a little strange because we sent out invitations instead of just inviting all friends and family in the engagement announcement of the local newspaper.

        I don’t think it was until the rise of the WIC and the mass availability of wedding magazines and wedding tv shows that many people in the small towns of the South started hiring “vendors” and having weddings at places besides the church your whole family goes to or your backyard. I had never gone to a wedding that was more than a cake and punch reception until I was in high school.

        • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

          this is too funny. because i had a cake and punch reception at a church hall, and people were ASTONISHED at how unusual i was. haha.it really is geographical, isn’t it.

    • Erin

      One of my friends had a classy, low-budget affair in Philly this summer, and my LI wedding was majorly influenced by my Northern Illinois upbringing, so I think what you can pull off where depends a lot on your background — which can also set up your guests’ expectations. One of my co-workers works as a florist for some of these East End LI weddings, though, and boy am I getting an education. Flowers: stunning; budget: ulcer-inducing.

      • elyse

        a few weeks before our CT wedding, i was at a party and met a girl who was a few weeks from her east coast wedding and we were both commiserating on the outrageous cost of flowers. turns out, i was shocked by the $2000 we were spending (including our chuppah – we’re just not the type to make that ourselves), and she was spending $20,000. yeah, that sort of killed our conversation!

    • ka

      Kim, I totally have to go devour your blog to find some solidarity: I recently mentioned my desire to have a brick oven pizza truck cater our potential LI wedding to an also engaged friend’s mom. My friend piped up her enthusiastic agreement–her mom’s response to her: “If you did that, you would have people taking money out of their envelopes.” !?!?!?! And this from a woman I usually like! It was my first slap in the face from the WIC, but I’m staying strong!

      And thank you for sharing this Tamera (you’ve found a new reader in me as well)! There’s no doubt in mind that your wedding will be just as magical as Myra’s. And if afterward you want to go into the dress-designing/making business (and uh, the photography one too), I will proudly be your first client. I’m stone cold serious, I promise. I’m obsessed with that dress.

      • http://www.verhext.com verhext

        I’m thinking about it! I do need a career change! I did one other wedding dress after this, & we’ll see how mine comes out. I want to move home and sew things with my mama all day.

        • ka

          If you want to do it – do it! I went over to look at your original post, and you had people clamoring to employ your skills–and no doubt the ladies here would now join in. Best of luck, whatever you decide!

    • FM

      I just wanted to say for the sake of any engaged folks on here who might be planning this type of wedding that the $30-40K is in the lower range of the cost scale for the type of wedding that you are describing in the NYC area (if you’re talking about all in, including wedding clothes and all your vendors and such, not just the venue and caterer, and especially if you have 150+ guests). I’m only chiming in to say that because it was really important and yet hard in the beginning for us to pin down how much we should expect to be spending for what we were putting together, as it seems people (on blogs or those various chat group places) often leave out a lot of wedding costs when they ballpark how much things cost. It’s always better to prepare yourself and whoever else is contributing funds for the actual cost of the things you/they are expecting to do for the wedding.

      Also, I wanted to speak up and say that I had that type of wedding, in case anyone else on here did too or is going to and feels lonely about it on APW.

      • meg

        I’ve said before and I’ll say again, we spent what I would consider to be a lot on our wedding. We live in a big city, so we didn’t have a lot of choices.

        I try to stay totally away from number discussions, because, uh, we’re all sane an mature enough to discuss sex and kids, but if money comes up, ohhhh boy…. Basically, I think money is hard to compare and ALL people want to compare. What we spent had a lot to do with what we make, what we have in savings, our parents financial situations, where we live, our family expectations, our friends expectations, and what resources we have available to us, just to name a few. To give a number without giving all the rest of that info (and you’d never give all the rest of that info online, hello!) makes the number almost meaningless.

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

          Yes, I suppose adding the “30k-40k” detail in my comment was asking to get caught up in the numbers game, which wasn’t my intention.

          FM, I did not intend to pass judgment on people based on budget. (I’ve had a blast at all of the high end weddings I’ve been to – they were all I knew for quite some time, and everyone I’ve ever loved has hosted that kind of reception.) Nor do I claim to be the expert on Long Island wedding budgets. My comment was more of an observation of regional wedding subcultures.

          I literally had never heard of a DIY/ DIT wedding before APW came along. That’s one reason why I love this site – it gives us options that some of us never knew we had! It expands our definition of normal, acceptable, meaningful, and beautiful. :)

          • FM

            KIM NYC – Oh I totally didn’t feel judged, no worries (I’m happy with my wedding choices). Just wanted to say something in case it’s helpful to some engaged readers, since you mentioned numbers. Because when I was planning the numbers you threw out were numbers I heard a lot, and that created expectations for me that didn’t turn out to be true, and I wished I’d known sooner.

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

            Ahh…I see. Cool. :)

            I pulled those numbers off of some wedding website where you plug in your zip code and it gives you an average of what couples spend. Not that those sites are all that helpful, anyway. In initial stages of wedding planning it’s interesting to get a ballpark figure, but after that I think they just bring down morale.

        • sarah

          I know what you mean… the topic of money comes up and everybody starts feeling bad about themselves for one reason or another… but, I wish there was a way for us to become good enough listeners to have discussions about money without freaking out because I know that for me, money was the biggest stressor when planning our wedding. I think that one of the reasons I was so stressed was that I felt completely in the dark. The only people who talked about money and weddings online were people who were spending SO MUCH MONEY and people who were devoted to spending nothing at all. I feel like the majority of us, folks who aren’t millionaires, but do plan to spend more dough on our wedding than we’ve spent on almost anything before (whether that amount is 5k or 50k) were left to figure it all out for ourselves.

          Reading the discussions in APW comment threads has really helped me to step out of my own shoes and see lots of different things from other people’s perspectives and I wonder if we’re not incapable of doing the same thing when it comes to money (although I know how hard that would be). I know it would have helped me.

      • Paige

        It’s alright RM,
        I’m a SoCal bride and even though I spend weeks finding the perfect vendors for the price and DIYing many aspects of the wedding…. its um…… SoCal. So I can relate to the frustration. I’m not throwing an extravagant wedding! It would actually be considered quite simple to many… but there’s the SoCal ‘wedding tax’ hehe.
        But I love all the sane advice Meg! And I love that you had a Cali wedding too so I know you were probably in the same boat. And seriously agree about not talking about $. Because when people talk about all the things they did for their wedding for a certain amount of money I get a panic attack ‘why can’t i do it for that cheap?’ im a failure…

        • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

          truth.

          the place we’d originally picked would have totalled near $100,000 for a simple and nice wedding. we could’ve reached 6 digits, no sweat- without ice sculptures or limos.

    • Erika

      “novelty” (snort)

    • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

      I grew up in Lake George, and it’s all expected there, too, just not at quite the same price scale, and the food/bar is usually abysmal for the price you pay. Ugh.

  • Emily

    “DIY” should actually be renamed “being a Vermonter.”<—This is so, so, SO true!

    Being a proud Vermonter-by-marriage (my husband grew up in a tiny town in the middle of the state), I can definitely corroborate this statement! My in-laws are awesome house-building, basket-weaving, hand-knitting, furniture-making folks who totally GOT it and BROUGHT it for our DIT-heavy wedding last year. So cool to hear about others having a similar experience! As the bumper stickers say, I L<3vermont. :o)

    • Hannah

      I second that. You can take a Vermonter out of Vermont, but you can never take Vermont out of the Vermonter… thank goodness we had such a core contingent of Vermonters in person and in spirit at our recent Oregon wedding. They made our cake toppers (multiple, for multiple cakes), hand lettered and painted our marriage certificate, picked flowers, made bouquets, threw 120 pottery cups for wine glasses, swept floors, decorated, made food, cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more, did hair and makeup, walked the dog and more.

      I think anywhere you have a strong sense of community — that same sense of community that leads to barn raising, quilting bees, potluck socials at the local church, baking cookies for new neighbors, stopping by to check on elderly friends, etc. — you’ll find a community that rallies for weddings, knows how to do what needs to be done and enjoy themselves doing it.

  • ElfPuddle

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE over all those pics.

    BTW, I”m stealing the “happily ever after sign”.

  • ddayporter

    …he built a BOWER? I’ve lived in houses less awesome. but after clicking through to that straw bale house, I am not as surprised. just.. holy crap.

    if you and your mom made that gorgeous dress in a WEEK, I’m sure having a month to make your own is plenty of time. I cannot Wait to see your grad post.

  • Sarah

    Wow, lady. Just wow. What amazing people you’re surrounded with. =) And you, yourself are insanely talented … that dress is gorgeous!

    Your last lines, however, have to be some of my favorites out of the ever increasing list of wisdom we pull off this site. You’ve got this, lady … go enjoy it!

  • http://www.thesassykathy.com the sassy kathy

    yay!

    1. people often think i am 16 (i have even gotten 12. no joke). i am 25. sometimes when i say i am getting married they look REALLY concerned. like i’m being sold into slavery or something. its very sad.

    2. i am also getting married in october. in like. TWENTY FIVE DAYS. OMG.

    a;laksdjg

    3. i love her dress! can’t believe you made it. so impressed by people with those kinds of skills…

    • TUPELO HONEY

      I’m also getting married in 25 days!!

    • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

      me too, me too!

      • http://www.verhext.com verhext

        Technically I’m at 27 days now, I think? !!!!!!! Congrats all around!!

        • http://www.thesassykathy.com the sassy kathy

          eh, maybe i’m 27 days too? i think my counting skills have diminished with the onslaught of other more pressing to do’s…

          we’re 10.10.10. that’s all i know :)

          • http://www.thesassykathy.com the sassy kathy

            congrats to EVERYONE :)

  • Rachel H

    I am also getting married in October and I don’t even want to think about how many days I still have because the invitations aren’t out and I haven’t chosen a cake or food or anything.

    I am insistent on the fact that I will wake up the day of the wedding and everything will be done.

    Thank god there are other people who are also behind!

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com/ Koru Kate

    That honeymoon cottage is adorable! I would love to escape there after my wedding, or possibly forever.

    Everything that must will come together in the end. The things that don’t happen probably aren’t necessary. Best wishes for your wedding day!!!

  • http://newlydomesticated.blogspot.com Newly Domesticated

    I love this post because it gives me faith in my peoples. We hit the under-a-month mark last week and it was like a switch flipped in everybody; all the people that I thought weren’t excited about our wedding are suddenly counting down the days, asking how they can help and just generally getting pumped. I think it’s hard during the planning because you feel so alone, like no one cares about the damn thing, but I’m officially getting excited.

    I’m confident your Vermonters will execute your vision perfectly, and let’s cross our fingers my Virginians can handle it, too.

  • http://le-petit-oiseau.blogspot.com/ nath

    ah Tamera, you are such an endlessly magical, inspiring and gifted beautiful girl. i am so excited to see your wedding! i just love the idea of you and your loved ones pulling together to make your day so splendid, which i know it will be. enjoy this run-up, you’re making something beautiful, enjoy that crazy feeling in the pit of your tummy!

  • http://thethirtysomethingbride.com The Thirty-Something Bride

    It’s tough not to love the Verhext. I’ve just started to get over my invite-envy with her crazy-ass, fab invites.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      Ha! Well, I was blearily reading your last post in bed this morning on the iPhone (what?) and was thinking “ALL HER POSTS KILL IT.” So good.

      • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

        Hahaha! Group hug because I’m amazed at both of you ladies and you’re crazy fantastic stuffs. One of these days I might try to get creative enough to come up with my own ideas. In the meantime, I think I will continue to ooh and ahh over your blogs.

      • http://thethirtysomethingbride@gmail.com The Thirty-Something Bride

        Aw shucks, y’all. You’re gettin’ me all misty.

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

    Tamera, you inspire me like few others in the blogging world do. From your mentality about reusing old things for both practical and ethical reason, to the way you approach wedding planning, to your incredible creativity and skills (and egad do you have creativity and skills), you are amazing. I was in such a slump about wedding planning until I saw your invites. Knowing you did that on little money…damn, I am still blown away by your ingenuity and imagination. I am so inspired that it makes me think somehow I can pull this off if you can pull it off. I can’t wait to hear about your wedding, because it’s probably going to be the most inspirational event ever! Boy oh boy you better come back as a wedding graduate here because I will really want to read your insights.

    Thank you for your undergraduate post about your attitudes toward community and creation. I have no doubt in my mind that your wedding will be beautiful and full of amazing supportive family and friends.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      Thank you!! No pressure, right?

      I have to say that YOU are so inspiring because you totally went against your comfort zone and took a HUGE life risk – I need some of that magic!!

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

        It’s so funny, because that’s just what I do. I take risks (in the face of all evidence pointing that I should have turned back long ago). But I’m just forging on the only way I know how.

        I don’t know how to not take risks just the same way you don’t know how to live/plan a wedding/create a home/etc. any way else than just doing it with your community and being resourceful the way you always have been.

  • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com Meg

    I’m feeling a bit better about how “behind” I was on my own wedding planning. When you read bridal blogs, it always seems like everyone had some checklist that they were following religiously, and I’d fallen off the train somewhere. I’m glad I wasn’t as alone as I thought.

    There were some details that did get lost in the pre-wedding chaos (we never finished our pennant banner, our streamers wilted in the humidity, some dishes for our self-catered dinner never made it to the table, we forgot a floral arrangement upstairs, the church didn’t get decorated, etc.), but I assure you all that all the important stuff? It’ll get done. Best wishes to all you brides-to-be.

  • http://hyperboleandacupoftea.blogspot.com/ Sarah Beth

    That dress! @-@
    I’m also in love with the house, and the can-do community spirit. Simply beautiful.

    Can I just say that this is what I miss in my whole wedding planning experience so far? The help of friends and family? It’s as if everyone just decided that, since I wasn’t following the script, I was on my own. No one was going to lift a finger. They’ll come to the wedding (maybe) and smile and hug and stuff their faces, but I shouldn’t even dream that they are going to help. Because the reception is for them. Right? Right?! Who helps throw their own party? And my mom keeps beating on the “hire a wedding planner” drum because, “You can’t plan a wedding by yourself!” (And by default, I guess, that means no one is going to help unless they’re paid?!)

    Sorry to be such a rain cloud. It’s beautiful when communities come together for a wedding. In fact, I think that’s what’s really missing in today’s paradigm. In a lot of cases, weddings used to be celebrations thrown FOR the bride and groom, not BY them. And I don’t mean in a selfish sense, either, but so much pressure is put on almost-marrieds to have the biggest and the best and to spend every last dime, or else you’re cheap, stingy, and faux pas laden. Instead, I think it should be about generosity. And “made with love” (or even just given) is better than “bought with $$$”.

  • Fliss

    I just want to second/fourth/eighteenth going over to see the invites. I truly have never seen anything like them and was in awe from the moment I saw them. If they are anything to go by, the wedding itself is going to blow my
    mind with its love infused creativity…

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

    the wedding planning on verhext is the kind that makes me squirm in my seat with envy.

    • Alyssa

      SERIOUSLY.

      I don’t know that I’m jealous that I’m not fabulous and from Vermont, or beause I’m not related to Tamera.

      • http://www.verhext.com verhext

        Ha! There’s a million examples of wedding fabulousness all over! I don’t think it’s exclusive, I just wanted to highlight a place where community is important, and how while I plan from 3000 miles away, I keep that community in my heart!!

        • Alyssa

          Nah uh, I saw those invites of yours; you’re something special, Miss Lady! :-) Must be like magical snow and maple sryup…

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

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. All of it. Another commenter said earlier that this wedding reminds her of “Little Women” and I totally agree – Alcott has a line in there about love being the best beautifier, and I think that love (familial love, friend love, community love, romantic love [holy cow, that bower!]) is what comes through in both Tamera’s write up and the pictures.

    • Class of 1980

      Excerpts from Little Women:

      Meg looked very like a rose herself, for all that was best and sweetest in heart and soul seemed to bloom into her face that day, making it fair and tender, with a charm more beautiful than beauty. Neither silk, lace, nor orange flowers would she have. I don’t want a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love, and to them I wish to look and be my familiar self.

      So she made her wedding gown herself, sewing into it the tender hopes and innocent romances of a girlish heart. her sisters braided up her pretty hair, and the only ornaments she wore were the lilies of the valley, which `her John’ liked best of all the flowers that grew.

      …………………………

      There were to be no ceremonious performances, everything was to be as natural and homelike as possible, so when Aunt March arrived, she was scandalized to see the bride come running to welcome and lead her in, to find the bridegroom fastening up a garland that had fallen down, and to catch a glimpse of the paternal minister marching upstairs with a grave countenance and a wine bottle under each arm.

      Upon my word, here’s a state of things! cried the old lady, taking the seat of honor prepared for her, and settling the folds of her lavender moire with a great rustle. You oughtn’t to be seen till the last minute, child.

      I’m not a show, Aunty, and no one is coming to stare at me, to criticize my dress, or count the cost of my luncheon. I’m too happy to care what anyone says or thinks, and I’m going to have my little wedding just as I like it. John, dear, here’s your hammer. And away went Meg to help `that man’ in his highly improper employment.

      Mr. Brooke didn’t even say, Thank you, but as he stooped for the unromantic tool, he kissed his little bride behind the folding door, with a look that made Aunt March whisk out her pocket handkerchief with a sudden dew in her sharp old eyes.

      • Class of 1980

        And this gem:

        That is the prettiest wedding I’ve been to for an age, Ned, and I don’t see why, for there wasn’t a bit of style about it, observed Mrs. Moffat to her husband, as they drove away.

  • http://www.julianafinch.com juliana

    We’ve got the same wedding date!
    So glad to hear your perspective and to check out your blog, especially since we’re on the same countdown now. (10/10/10 is soooo soon!)

  • http://www.shinyprettybits.com kc

    Tamera, I’ve been following your journey for awhile now and I just know it’s going to be magical and unique and filled with love and craftiness. Your kind of craftiness makes me twinge with jealously a bit, I won’t lie, but only in the best ways. If it helps any, we didn’t know what food we were serving till a week out; went shopping for the stuff with 3 days to go and it all worked out (people even raved about it. Yay!).

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com Miranda

    We’re, ahem, four days out. Four and a half, technically. And this is exactly what I needed to read today. And then I saw my name in it! And felt more famous.

    But really, this gave me chills, wonderful chills, and made me feel grounded again. We DO have all the parts we need, and lots of the parts we don’t need, and it will all come together, and it will be wonderful. Thank you for writing this – it really made my evening. Well, second to writing my vows, which are finally done. Thank you.

    Now I must run along and read your blog.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      I loved your post! Your wedding is going to be gorgeous. (4 days!! holy cow!!)

  • FK

    Shut UP you made that gorgeous dress. LOVE IT!!!

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tillica/ Myra Hudson

    This was my wedding up above. And it really WAS fabulous, thanks to so many people, including Tamera! Fun to see it here on this site. Some of the things I really remember about it were not what I would have expected. I thought I would share for fun.

    The actual worries: I remember my poor husband didn’t even get to take a shower because he was helping cook the pig up until the ceremony, (he still smelled great). My brothers-in-law worked like crazy getting the electricity to work, one of them risked electrocution playing with the panel box. I was frantically trying to get my fifth grade class to settle down and remember the harmonies to the songs they were going to be singing, remembering my vows, wondering who was coming and who was late, fearing that my belly was sticking out (I was three months pregnant).

    The joys: Before the wedding I took my two-year old nephew for a walk up the road from my grandmother’s house while my sister had her hair done. I was actually BABYSITTING on my wedding day, but we had such a dreamy walk looking at grazing cows. The bridesmaid dress fabric was designed by a friend of my husband, at Harmony Art, a friend and my violin teacher played music as we walked into the orchard, my wonderful step-son said sweet things about us in his speech during the ceremony, we were married by my husbands little sister, my fifth-grade students sang like angels, I picked the most delicious wild strawberries while we were getting our pictures taken, so many of our friends were there, my four grandparents were there, we had a band we loved, we both got to EAT and DANCE at our wedding, I threw my bouquet and it was DESTROYED by little girls wanting it SOO BADLY (how sweet is that!), people brought delicious and unique food (their favorite dishes), we only ordered ONE keg so people didn’t get obnoxious and smashed, and we DID have energy for romance in that little cottage even though the bed was a twin and it sagged in the middle, and then we skipped off to a perfect honeymoon in the Canary Islands.

    • http://www.verhext.com verhext

      Seriously, I was SO impressed with how calm you were, even with the electricity and the last minuteness of the dress & everything! So good!

  • http://www.cuteanddelicious.com miss alix

    i am so in love with this wedding. her dress is stunning. everything about this post makes me swoon. in fact, i think i may have had a life epiphany. love love love

  • Cthomas

    We were VERY lucky. We spent a total of $7k-$3k from each side of the family and $1k out of pocket. I had never wanted a big wedding so we kept it small at 42 people. I found a cute A-line strapless flower dress at Banana Republic for $50, hair done for $50, did my own makeup because seems that local makeup artists couldn’t flatter Asian eyes(!), rings totaled $500, suit was $300. We bought roses wholesale for $300 and made 18 vases filled with a dozen roses to give each female guest. We got married in a parks and recreation rose garden for $50, took the Boston family to a great seafood restaurant with wicked awesome clam chowder. Full meal with all drinks inclusive came out to $1300. I have a lot of photography student friends so I paid $300 for that (this is the one thing I would have changed and spent more money on). We lucked out in that my hubby’s side of the family rented a beach house that was perfect for hosting a cocktail party so we had homemade cupcakes, a dessert table, and lots of alcohol from Trader Joe’s there. Everybody was from out of town so it was greet to jut reconnect and hang instead of doing the reception thing. Our honeymoon cost ~$4k and we lucked out there. Our tickets were $2k, and a family friend stationed near London had a 2-story house on the river. He just happened to be back in the States at that time so we had the place to ourselves! We got to use his company car for a week so we saved a lot on hotel and car rental. We still spent money on this due to traveling up and down the country but not nearly as much as we would have if we didn’t have our friend’s help. I live in Santa Barbara, CA so a modest wedding costs $20k. I just can’t fathom spending that much money for one day. We knew what was important to us and we refused to back down when others tried to alter that.

  • Alexandra

    Ahhh, so beautiful! Congratulations to all involved!

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