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Robin & Ronnen


Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

So on Monday I told you that both of this week’s wedding graduates would be Bay Area APW Book Club ladies, because I wanted to celebrate the community part of this site… the real life community part. Well, Today’s post is from Robin, who took me out to lunch on Saturday, and then wandered and chatted with me for hours. We didn’t even talk about APW much, we just talked about our marriages, and our dreams, and where we were in our careers, and then we bought vintage shoes. Which is basically what APW is, but in real life. So I’m really grateful for that, and grateful to know that’s starting to happen in DC and Boston and all over the place… not just here. And as part of building that community, later today Robin is going to give her (beautiful) dress away. So with that, here is Robin, saying a lot of really wise things and sharing her beautiful, sunny, San Francisco wedding.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

We moved to the Bay Area from Philadelphia nearly three years ago, mere days after our engagement.  We took a year or so to settle in here before starting to plan our wedding.  When we started planning, we thought we wanted a wine country wedding.  It seemed quintessentially California, and a true destination for our guests, the majority of whom were flying in from the east coast.  We thought—easy.  A no fuss wine country wedding– a small-ish guest list, a seasonal menu, extraordinary food and wine—done, right? Ha.  Every weekend we got in the car, and drove to wine county to visit potential venues.   We saw wineries, hotels, private estates, and outdoor gardens.  In the end, with a contract in hand, the idea of renting a tent, and a floor, and bathrooms, and transportation, and a catering tent…. it was too much.  We walked away.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

In reality, I’m kind of a controlling person.  I like things done a certain way, and have pretty clear ideas about the right way for most things.  But for the wedding, I managed to conjure up this other self, and to transcend my need to manage EVERYTHING.  I just kept telling anyone who asked if I was nervous, or worried, that no matter what else happened, the bar would be open, and we would be MARRIED.  The rest was a bonus, and ultimately, didn’t matter. After briefly toying with a City Hall wedding, we went in search of a restaurant, or other space, that could accommodate a small, food-focused reception. We found a small hotel with a great outdoor space with views of the Bay, and with an amazing restaurant to host the reception.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

Saying I managed to transcend my usually controlling self, does not mean that nothing mattered to me.  Of course it did.  I wanted our ceremony to be so well timed that it would start right after the Ferry Building’s clock tower bell chimed, so that the ceremony would end before the next chime.  But in retrospect, I can’t even tell you if this happened or not.  I had lists, and spreadsheets.  I had DIY projects, like knitting our chuppah.  But I didn’t finish the chuppah, or cross everything off of my lists,  and it seriously had no impact on how we experienced our day.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

Making wedding choices is a lot like buying expensive items for your house. When we were shopping for a big TV (which we did for MONTHS), my husband would drag me into Best Buy and show me two or three TVs and ask me which one I liked better.  I very rarely could even tell the difference between them.  What I told him, was that ultimately, only one was coming home with us.  If we bought the second best, or even the fifth best, it wouldn’t seem second best, because we wouldn’t have the other one in our living room to make the comparison.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

This is true of your wedding, too.   On your day—all of the things you didn’t choose (for financial, or any other reasons), that you worry you’ll feel badly about…they won’t be there for comparison.  And what you DID choose, will be wonderful.  And no one, including you, will be thinking, this wedding is nice, but it would have been so much better if she had upgraded these chairs.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

Saying that, things will, indeed, go wrong. Jewish tradition holds that a wedding band should be unbroken.  It’s beginning and end indistinguishable.  My wedding band actually has diamonds, but I wanted to honor this tradition with another ring for our ceremony.  During our engagement, I helped relocate my grandmother, and among her jewelry, found a gold band, unbroken, with the date of her 13th wedding anniversary, in 1959, engraved inside.   I asked, and the ring was mine (Mamala, it’s yours, take it).  This was the ring I wanted for our ceremony.  A few hours before the ceremony, I couldn’t find the ring.  I was looking, my mother, my sister, and even my six-year-old niece were tearing apart the hotel room.  I wasn’t worried it was lost- I had just seen it the day before. But it had clearly become misplaced among the wedding things, and switching hotel rooms.  We all looked around, in, and under everything for a while.  Until I said, ok we’re done with this project.  Stop looking.  Move on. And I got married without it.  I ended up finding the ring that night, after the wedding, and have worn it every day since.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

We lost my grandmother in March.  And when I put her ring on every morning, I think about her intentions around giving it to me, and about the love she and my grandfather shared.  And I think of it as the ring with which I was married, even though it wasn’t there for the actual ceremony.  And I’m grateful that THIS is my memory, rather than one of getting hysterical about a misplaced piece of jewelry.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

Work on being an expert in your marriage, not your wedding. Choose experts (that you trust), and let them do their thing.  We really embraced this philosophy.  I’m not a florist, a chef, an invitation designer, a pastry chef.  I told all of these people to do what they do best. I sent them a photo of the room where we were having our reception, and let them go from there. We had a dinner reception in a restaurant that has a seasonally focused menu.  We didn’t have a tasting, and we didn’t pick our menu. We told the chef that we don’t like fennel, and that’s about it. The food was fresh, seasonal, and AMAZING.  I didn’t do a cake testing either, and let the pastry chef tell me what was seasonal (Meyer lemon. Yum.) and ordered it over email.  It was SO delicious, and our anniversary cake has already been ordered.  This isn’t going to work for everyone, especially people who have all kinds of really good ideas, and visions for all of the creative aspects of a wedding that they feel strongly about implementing.  But for us- the details just weren’t what we wanted to spend energy on.  That said—I spent a lot of energy picking vendors that I could trust to have this much control.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

What surprised me, and what I learned, was that.  Nearly everything (blog-worthy weddings, the kn*t’s monumental checklist) and everyone conspires against this—and it takes a real mindfulness to decide how you want to experience both the process of planning your wedding, and your actual wedding day.  I don’t think our wedding was particularly unusual—but I still faced innumerable “but you HAVE to have bridesmaids, dance at your wedding, choose wedding colors etc.  You’re reading APW, so you already know that you don’t.  But what you might not know, is that knowing it, and plowing through the experience of the WIC and your next-door neighbor telling you otherwise, can either wear you down, or lift you up.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

I also think that the indie wedding community can put almost as much pressure on brides to be relaxed, as the WIC pressures us to be hysterical, and perfectionists.  APW is not a part of that, and for this, I am grateful.  You can be relaxed, and still freak out, and cry, and tell your mother that she’s not supportive, and your fiancé that (s)he’s not helping (probably because you’re not asking for help), and spend three weeks trying to find the right shade of nail polish, and still be a practical bride.   For me—it meant being authentic.  True to myself, while aspiring to be the best version of myself during a potentially challenging and emotionally fraught process. Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding And I’m pretty pleased with myself for how it all panned out.  Especially the marriage part, which is the entire point, no?

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

PS Here’s one more picture, for you, that I’ve saved since this week last year.  I was checking the forecast for the wedding- and look at it, for 10/24–Sunny and DELIGHTFUL!  I had never, and still haven’t, seen that word in a forecast.  Seeing this still makes me happy.  It was, in fact, a gorgeous day.  We were really lucky.

Robin & Ronnen | A Practical Wedding

Happy Anniversary you guys, from all of us!!!!!!!!

Photos By: Larissa Cleveland

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  • A-L

    “On your day—all of the things you didn’t choose (for financial, or any other reasons), that you worry you’ll feel badly about…they won’t be there for comparison. And what you DID choose, will be wonderful.”

    This was my favorite part, and the thing I try to focus on as I plan our wedding. We are so much more more focused on the details than our guests will ever be, but our guests are just there for the experience and not to judge us. Plus, most of them will not be reading wedding blogs and magazines to compare our weddings with the “model” ones.

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

      I’d like to second that it didn’t matter. Did I enjoy the local seasonal wildflowers? Yes. But would i (or anyone else) noticed if they didn’t make it? Probably not. Certainly no one, even me, missed the things I had never gotten to doing. What’s remembered is the love, and laughter, and the joy & support from the people we love.

  • ElfPuddle

    “Sunny and DELIGHTFUL”

    You can’t ask for better than that. It seems that was you on your wedding day as well.
    Congrats!

  • http://missfancypantsthebride.blogspot.com/ miss fancy pants (the bride)

    Such wise words! Being on the other side allows me to realize that literally everything Robin said is true. No one will be thinking of the stuff you didn’t pick. Honestly, I thought I would be thinking about it at our wedding. I figured I would stand in our reception area and think about the things that went wrong (damn my pessimistic tendencies) but I didn’t. And coming from someone who is highly critical of her own work, that’s saying a lot.
    I also love what Robin said about being an expert in your marriage, not at the wedding. That could not be more true. The wedding lasts one day while marriage is designed to last much longer. Finally, she’s right about APW. We’re allowed to freak out and cry here and not feel stupid. Because, let’s face it, 98% of us do just that before and even after our weddings. We’re human. And I love that APW recognizes that it’s okay to act like it. Great post!

  • Meaghan

    “knowing it, and plowing through the experience of the WIC and your next-door neighbor telling you otherwise, can either wear you down, or lift you up.”

    This is so true of anything in life where you decide to go against what you’re “supposed” to do. Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is trying to grind you down for not taking the expected path, but if you can manage to shake that off, you can often remember that there was an important reason for your choice in the first place, and that can be hugely uplifting.

    I’ve never seen delightful in a forecast either, but that’s awesome!

    • Shawna

      I completely agree.

      I had two examples of this during my own wedding planning:
      1) We did not register for gifts. And people were shocked. Some people seemed downright mad about it. Others were just confused. A very few liked it. We have both lived alone for several years post college and do not need new matching towels, a new toaster, or really much of anything from B*d, B*th, Bey****. So, instead, we created a list of things we DO need (like gift cards to the grocery store or to the pet store, like a quilt for our new (and bigger) bed, money for the honeymoon, CSA membership, etc). We posted it on the blog we used to give directions to the venue, important info like that. I took a fair amount of flack from co-workers and just random people about not registering. This surprised me (silly me, I thought it would be no big deal to tell people I already have a toaster and supply them with an idea of what I do need). But, I was determined about this, so I fought for it, and explained it many times, and in the end, people mostly followed directions, got us giftcards, money, interesting pottery from their own local areas, etc. So, it worked out. But it was not always easy “plowing through”. I was very glad I did though.

      2) This second example is where I had fallen prey to the WIC myself. I was convinced I needed white shoes to wear with my dress. I went shopping many times and finally thought, “I hate white shoes, and I would never buy these to wear otherwise, so why am I going to buy them now?” After that, I switched to looking for colored wedges. Again, I looked and looked. One day, while complaining to my fiance (now husband), about how I HATE shoe shopping and how I never wear these and I only wear chaco sandals, he said, “then wear your chacos”. And I had this “Ah Ha” moment where I realized that I could wear whatever shoes I wanted and that these outdoor sandals are what I like to wear and what I feel comfortable in (and we got married in a field for crying out loud). So, shoe shopping was over. WIC was out of my head. Chaco sandals were done. It was glorious.

      • Jess

        @ Shawna: Thanks for your insight about your choice not to register. I also love your story about the sandals – rock on! We’re kind of at a weird impasse about the registry beast… we could really use a new blender, some new knives and maybe a set of sheets, but that’s about it. Seems crazy to create a registry for like, 3 items. Plus, I don’t buy things from big department stores… but I know that it’s the most convenient option with people coming from all over.
        We could also use financial help in making our ‘honeymoon’ plans (a trip to turkey and greece we’ve been wanting to take forever) a reality. In many ways, I don’t want to ask for gifts at all, because we’re having a wedding out of the city and just showing up is all I could hope for from our guests. If they do want to bring something, what I really want to say is: we love home-made, or locally made items…. but could I possibly say that without implying that if they buy something at home depot they are bad consumers and will be snubbed? Tricky stuff.

        • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

          we left a little comment on our website about how “no gifts are required” or “expected” or something. (like you, i felt weird asking for gifts when all we were offering at the reception was dessert) some took us up on the offer and arrived without a gift, others who were close to us or would’ve felt funny otherwise brought lovely cash envelopes. (yay!) so it panned out. we got the toaster we needed but didn’t feel like we were obligating anyone to bring a gift.

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

          We used myregisty.com to register. You can add stuff from any website, so we was able to put in for homemade stuff from etsy, or local artisans as well as places like amazon.

          • Jess

            Thanks for the tips ladies… both super helpful!

    • Ann

      How does plowing through the experience lifting you up thing work? As I’ve been dealing with anything like this, I just feel forced to remember that in many ways my value system and chosen culture is dramatically different from those of my family, and that makes me sad, not uplifted, even though I am comfortable and secure in my decisions.

      • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

        for me, it made me super appreciative of my choice in spouse. welling-up-just-thinking-about-it appreciative.

        because everything around me said, “no you’re wrong” and he was by my side whispering, “let’s do it anyway… it’ll be awesome…”

    • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com KA

      This is totally what resonated with me today too. Over the weekend we made some major decisions regarding location, time of year, etc. that I *thought* were taking our wedding to a place that (to me) was almost too traditional. That is, until I was faced with exactly how little (no bridal party, no favors, no cake, no colors=shocking) you have to veer from the expected to get an earful about it! For the most part, my people aren’t be giving me crap because they care about those things, only because they think there isn’t another way (shout out to any other Long Island wedding survivors). So hopefully, in addition to the learning experience I’m in the midst of, my as-yet-unmarried friends will also be getting an education in creating an authentic, mindful, and practical wedding. Wow, typing that makes me see our little event on a whole other level, and I’m excited.

      (And “sunny and delightful” — I’ve seen that, it’s hilarious, I’m so excited that it was on your wedding!)

      • Erin

        Long Island survivor here: It’s possible. And your wedding will rock — because it’s YOURS. Good luck planning!

  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Robin is adorable. Thank you for reinforcing the fact that what is important and what matters happens and stays with you… the rest of the stuff doesn’t matter so much. When I was planning our wedding I heard that stuff all the time “details don’t matter. things will get done.” But you never really believe it until you see it happening. And when you do it’s refreshing and then you’re all “Ohhhh!!! THIS is what they’re talking about.” Robin’s post is just that.

    So glad you found your grandmother’s ring. It sounds like a like a lovely way to remember her and your wedding day. Love that you saved the screenshot of the weather report. Sunny and delightful!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    Beautiful. And I would keep that forecast picture forever!

  • http://abouttobe.wordpress.com Mary

    The picture of you guys looking at the sunset just takes my breath away. Beautiful post, Robin.

    I LOVE the “sunny and delightful” thing. I’d put that puppy on a flash drive and keep it forever! That actually reminds me of when we got engaged, right in the middle of a gorgeous sunset. That night I went online to see if I could find pictures of it. I found three, plus some random person’s tweet about how beautiful it was. I saved screenshots of all of them. :D

    Happy anniversary to you guys!

  • http://! Jennifer

    Love, love, love. (And not just because you got married on my birthday!)

    Of all the many wise and lovely things, the one that jumped out at me most was one of the more practical paragraphs, because it was our approach, too, for the most part: “Choose experts (that you trust), and let them do their thing. We really embraced this philosophy. I’m not a florist, a chef, an invitation designer, a pastry chef. I told all of these people to do what they do best.” I was a little afraid at first that by handing the reins over to people who do a lot of events and weddings, things would end up too “cookie cutter” or that I’d miss out on the community feel so many brides who take the DIT route talk about, but on the day of the wedding, neither of those felt like the case at all — and oh boy, am I glad I didn’t have all the details of things that didn’t matter all that much to me rattling around in my head, so I could focus on the things that did.

    • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

      DITTO! Love that part of the post.

    • meg

      Most of us that do DIT do it because we have to, not because it’s awesome. I would have killed to have a florist, but we couldn’t afford it. Were our flowers lovely? Yes. Was it stressful? F*ck yes. So, I’d really hold your horses before you envy us TOO much. Yes. Good things come out of DIT, but its goodness coming from necessity.

      • Melissa

        I’d rather have a DIT reception in part because my family is Italian, and preparing food for others is our most everyday way of expressing love. DIT is also about being a little more individual than all the catered weddings I have attended.

        The fact that I cannot have a DIT-wedding food plan, because of the complicated nature of my family wanting to help but being unable to collaborate, saddens me a little bit. Surely there will be readers who balk at this and say that the ability to afford a caterer would preclude any sympathy on my part. And that’s a valid response, too. But if DIY/DIT is who you really are, and you can’t manage to pull off a DIY/DIT effort for whatever reason, that can be frustrating and disappointing. Just wanted to say that.

      • robin

        Yes. I want to be really clear, that I had very generous support from my family, which made it possible for us to hire wonderful people to deal with things. I think I what I was missing was more the sense of a bridal brigade (my ladies, with one exception, are all on the east coast), more than the actual tasks of doing stuff.

      • Jennifer

        Oh, don’t get me wrong, Meg — there was very little DIT envy for me. (Maybe some envy of people who had a DIT brigade available — we just did without anything we couldn’t/wouldn’t hire but weren’t up for, so we’re very fortunate we had the resources to hire for most things.) But I did remember the sisterly bonding helping my sister get their backyard ready for their wedding (simultaneously a fond and a terrible memory, because it was a real PITA), and what a lovely, intimate celebration it felt like, right there at their home. So I was a little sorry I’d miss out on the former, and feared we wouldn’t have the latter since I was basically handing large chunks of our wedding over to strangers. (But I also knew the hassle I was missing out on, for sure.) I was just very happily relieved to realize that hiring vendors who had no personal connection would not result in a generic, impersonal wedding, and that letting the pros do their thing with minimal direction and guidance was waaaaay less stressful than trying to come up with all the details myself and then micromanage the vendors and have to worry about them implementing everything the day of.

      • Englyn

        I was going to Exactly your comment, Meg, but what I actually wanted to say was: Thanks.

  • http://bluesuedeidos.com Beth

    I love so many things about your post, Robin. I love the TV comparison, I love ‘Work on being an expert in your marriage, not your wedding,’ I love that you saved that forecast shot. I also think you’re right about the indie bridal movement sometimes creating as much pressure as the WIC. Be authentic!! Yes!!

    • Jessica

      big 2nd to the indie/hipster wedding movement sentiment.

  • Alyssa

    “And I’m pretty pleased with myself for how it all panned out. Especially the marriage part, which is the entire point, no?”

    Yes. And you’re awesome, amazing and wise. THE. END.

  • Jen M

    “…no matter what else happened, the bar would be open, and we would be MARRIED” Amen to that, sister!

  • Meriel

    Best. Post. Ever.

  • sara

    that is one of the best flower girl photos ever!

    • http://! Jennifer

      I’d meant to comment on that, too. That is one flower girl who clearly loves her job!

  • Jessica

    yes. This is me.

    I am also a Type-A/planner/controller but have suddenly decided not to care about the exact details and let the professionals be professionals. Flowers are “white” and bridesmaid dresses are “black” and I don’t care too much about the cake but just no fondant please. I started off planning absolutely against a “banquet hall” type venue, however, the idea of coordinating vendors for tents, tables, linens, place settings, flowers, photography, food, clothing, etc. etc. etc. just makes me want to cry because I know I couldn’t control it all but they are all things I do want to have. So! We’re on the hunt for a country club/estate in Virginia that does it all in a package. Yesthankyouverymuch.

    It’s a little scary but overwhelmingly refreshing to relinquish that control and just let things happen. Mmm.

  • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

    Wonderful post! I am also who typically wants to manage everything, and for some reason with our wedding I was also able to put that aside!

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

    “And no one, including you, will be thinking, this wedding is nice, but it would have been so much better if she had upgraded these chairs.”

    I love this line. You are so right that no one will be thinking about the options you didn’t choose.

    • Barbara

      I just had to write in to say “Exactly”!!! I spent so much time worrying about chairs for our outdoor ceremony and in the end decided to use the grey plastic ones that came with the venue, and not spend hundreds of dollars renting white wooden ones. And in the end, I don’t think a single guest put a single thought into the type of chair they were asked to sit on. Great post Robin!

  • http://commuterchan.blogspot.com/ Chan

    This is one of my favorite graduate posts ever. I love how Robin says you can cry and get a little nuts while still being Practical.

    Gorgeous pictures – it looks like your wedding WAS delightful! Congratulations.

  • http://www.icookwithwine.com Melinda

    Is that the Hotel Vitale? I LOVE that place.

    Your wedding looks gorgeous and I’m so happy you were able to reach that authentic sweet spot. It totally shouldn’t be, but why are weddings one of the times where we are most at risk of not being ourselves? I mean, holy crap, this is the start of a new chapter of your life we’re talking about!

    Anyway, thank you for the wisdom and the beautiful pictures. That forecast = classic.

    • robin

      Yes! We can’t say enough nice things about our experience there.

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

    “being true to yourself”- you said that so well! we feel pressured to be stressed, pressured not to be stressed. holy crap, it’s exhausting to navigate. you put it so eloquently that we can just be the people we are. loved it!

  • Amy Jo

    BEST POST EVER!!

  • Paige

    I really, really related to your post!

    First, with the whole venue thing. I searched for about 4 months (also in California), gave up… thought about a destination wedding or moving it to Oregon…when all of a sudden I discovered the perfect venue back in California. It wasn’t what I imagined 4 months earlier, but it will be perfect and I feel so lucky:)

    I also appreciate your comment on the vendors. I like doing some crafty things (made my save the dates), but am also choosing vendors to do their thing as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have a wedding community because my parents and fiance are the only people I am close to in California so far (my parents have been here 3 years and we officially moved here 6 weeks ago!). Sometimes I feel guilty or as if I’m a sell out using some vendors. However, I’m really excited to work with the people I have chosen and spent a lot of time and thought selecting. It’s good to know it is OK to hire people to help if you don’t have family/friends and resources near by:)
    (Wait, wait APW. I never think of ‘you’ as judgemental, it’s just good to hear it from a bride…)

    Good luck in your marriage! It looks like you are off to a great start. Maybe APW should have a 3 year mark where all the wedding graduates write an update about their marriage – if they choose to:)

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

    Robin, you’re my favorite. (And no matter what you think, it takes a LOT of bravery to pick up and move across the country with your fiance and then share about that experience with a total stranger [me] as honestly as you did. I’m so glad the other APW ladies get to partake in your wisdom and generosity through this post!)

    • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

      oh yes. robin is a wise, wise lady. :)

      • robin

        Thanks, ladies. I remain grateful to you both, and continuing to share our parallel journeys. xo (Caitlin, I owe you an email!)

        • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

          nah, we’re on the two-month-per-reply schedule ;) hope life is treating you nicely!

  • Jess

    Wow, that forecast is freaking fantastic. What a colorful weather-person the bay area must have!
    Thanks for this heart-lifting post Robin. The sunset picture knocked my socks off. Oh, and the picture of your grandmother! Your story of the ring will certainly stay with me.

    And this:
    “In the end, with a contract in hand, the idea of renting a tent, and a floor, and bathrooms, and transportation, and a catering tent…. it was too much. We walked away.”

    We had the same moment of realization that throwing the outdoor wedding we had originally wanted was going to mean blowing the bank, and was going to feel a lot more like my experience working as a film production co-ordinator than I would ever want to feel on my wedding day. Yes, I do know how to get porta-potties to a site. But the idea of bringing in a checkered vinyl dance floor, for some reason, was enough to make me reconsider the whole enterprise. At this point, it looks like we’ve found a happy medium… an outdoor ceremony and afternoon games on a farm, then dinner and dancing at a local restaurant. Hoorah for happy mediums!

    • Jess

      I should add: Congratulations on a beautiful start to what looks to be a very happy marriage (that photo by the trolly car…). Thanks for taking the time to share!

  • http://theesthete.tumblr.com/ The Esthete

    Robin, your “Wedding Graduate” is the first thing I’ve read since returning from my honeymoon and it couldn’t be more perfect. My experience planning sounds very similar to yours…right up to walking away from a wine country wedding and being overwhelmed by details. In the end I circled back around to some of the logistical nightmares like tent rental and found they were suddenly a piece of cake! Like a relationship when its right it’s right, and nothing that is right should really be that hard. You’ve articulated so many things I’ve feeling now, on the other side, and I thank you for that. Everyone else in the comments have always made me feel like I’m part of a community but now I feel this even more so. Congratulations to Robin and thank you, as always, to everyone else for such a amazing community.

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

    Ah, love so much of Robin’s wise post. About choosing experts & letting them do their thing. About being happy with what you have chosen since there is nothing to compare it to. About surviving the “you must have” conversations may lift you up or bring you down. In my case, I caved to the “you must choose bridesmaid dresses” conversation & I still hate that I did. Alas, life goes on.

    I’m so happy you had the delightful day you deserved!

  • http://allisonandres.com Allison

    I am just adding a big fat LOVE to this whole post.

    Also, your pictures made me cry.

  • marcy auerbach

    I loved your post. Total inspiration. I must keep reading this blog.
    We had very similar thoughts and now we’re at the point of looking for alternative venues. Would you be able to tell me your restaurant?
    Thanks!
    Marcy

    • robin

      Hi, Marcy. Our reception was in the restaurant at Hotel Vitale, Americano. We had about 45 people total and took up the back half of the restaurant. lmk if you want more details and we can chat!

  • http://www.10000dollarwedding.wordpress.com Lizzie

    Your wedding was beautiful! I’m so sorry that you lost your grandmother, but I’m glad you get to have her ring to remind you of her. “sunny and delightful” how charming of a forecast is that?! I love that you mentioned choosing professionals and letting them to their work…I’m a major control freak and it’s hard to pick and let go, but I definitely agree, that would make the planning process go much smoother! Thanks for this…you ballsy bride, you.

  • http://linseykitchens.wordpress.com Linsey

    Ah, I don’t know how, don’t know where…but thank god I found this website. And Robin, you remind me, as I delve into flowers and caterers and photographers (could there BE more decisions?) that it’s about us. And them. Not about tulle or colors or paper flowers. How could I have lost sight of that? It’s not about what my best friend thinks is best. Oh, it felt good to write that! Thank you Robin, and other grads, and Meg, for helping me again find my feet, my voice, my sense of self. I’ve written words I saw on here down on a piece of butcher paper: JOYFUL and VIBRANT. If my decisions don’t produce those two emotions, hasta luego! Oh, and Robin–giving away your dress? Your grandma would be so proud. Thanks for modeling just what it means to be nice!

  • Entangled

    I love your whole philosophy, and the idea that it’s okay to hire people who know how to do things you don’t know how or can’t do yourself without massive stress. The story about your grandmother’s ring really points out what IS important.

    Also, I think you might be my doppleganger. My fiance also moved (pre-engagement) to the Bay Area from the northeast about two years ago and are having a wedding out here (it was just too much stress to plan it from afar). And, um, my name is also Robin.

  • Bari

    This is my first visit to the APW site, the link sent to me by today’s post author, Robin. Lucky for me, she is my sister. Reading her post today I am reminded of a day 1 year ago so filled with love and joy that it was exactly the “delightful” the weather promised. As a wedding graduate of 13 years, I am amazed at this community of women so filled with support for each other. I was a very different bride than my sister. Totally traditional. Matching everything. Color schemes. First dances choreographed for months. It was my special day and I planned for months (well, my mother planned for months) and our wedding was fabulous. Robin’s vision was completely different and it took me a while to reconcile that for myself. Robin , however,succeeded where I never could have. She designed a day not what other people expected of her, but what she knew would be important to her. Her own vision. I have never been to a wedding so intimate- where you truly felt that you talked to everyone there, caught up with relatives and friends and made some new ones. Yes, the flowers were gorgeous and the food delicious (I don’t even remember the chairs) ;but what I remember is more intangible than any of these details. I remember Robin’s anticipation of seeing Ronnen for the first time. Ronnen’s voice as they said their vows. My own tears watching my sister get married. That’s what it was actually about. So Robin is, as usual, full of wisdom. Lose the details. You have already carefully chosen the only one that matters.

  • Alexandra

    Beautiful! We had thought of forest/mountains, or wine country, but finally found a restaurant in SF that takes care of the table & chairs, linens, plates, choosing a caterer…and our out of town guests won’t have to travel so far from the airport! So. I’m very happy about it, and so grateful that my family can help us throw a [smallish] wedding that doesn’t require too much work. ;p

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