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On Snippet & Ink: Loving Without Envy


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

On Snippet & Ink: Loving Without Envy | A Practical Wedding

Have I mentioned to you guys that I share an office with Kathryn of Snippet & Ink? Well, I do. And yesterday I walked into the office and she said, “Meg, the wedding I’m posting tomorrow has you written all over it.” And she could not have been more right. When I flipped out over this picture she pointed out that it was basically the same picture taken of me at our wedding. Maybe the bride and I are soul sisters, a little.

On Snippet & Ink: Loving Without Envy | A Practical Wedding

The wedding between two London theatre people…. and get this, it took place in an abandoned mansion on North Wales with no electricity, that hadn’t been lived in for 60 years. Because that’s the kind of parties this couple throws. And Kathryn said, wisely (I’m paraphrasing), “The trouble is, we see a wedding like this and we think that we need to throw a wedding in an abandoned mansion. And we don’t. That’s not us. But it is them. So we just need to appreciate what it is.” Which is so exactly it.

On Snippet & Ink: Loving Without Envy | A Practical Wedding

That, and the 30-foot wedding cake was a fireworks bonfire. I’m just saying.

So anyway, go see it all, right this second. You’re welcome.

Photographs: Nick Tucker, layouts by Snippet & Ink

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Mallory

    I think I need that fireworks cake – not for my wedding, just generally…for bad days or parties.

  • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

    … and just to add to the general awesomeness, the groom’s name is felix.

  • http://silver-sandalled.blogspot.com Margaret

    1) That wedding is gorgeous.

    2) “The trouble is, we see a wedding like this and we think that we need to throw a wedding in an abandoned mansion. And we don’t. That’s not us. But it is them. So we just need to appreciate what it is.”

    I think I need to get that tattooed on me somewhere. Except just put a _____ instead of “wedding.” I feel like that happens more often than I like to admit: I see someone doing/making/wearing/buying something awesome online and I immediately feel like *I* should be doing fill-in-the-blank-awesome-thing, even if it’s not “me” at all. When what I should really be doing is just appreciating all the awesome people out there, no need to envy or compete.

  • http://www.kindofamess.com Alyssa

    Dude. Those people are amazing.

    But I bet you it’s exhausting being that amazing…

    • meg

      No. It’s just normal. It would be exhausting if you tried to be them, but being yourself always makes you feel well rested!

      • http://www.ohdeerio.com smallwonder

        Writing you an undergrad post about this right now.

        • meg

          Ooooo…. yay!

    • Hannah NJ

      I know them (worked with Felix in London several years ago). They are amazing – but they are also just lovely, REAL people (though how exhausted they are I could not tell you) – and one thing I did really like about this S&I post was that the real-ness came through. Also, good to remember – if your passion is to make insane, amazing experiences for other people – then it might not be exhausting for you – but some other things will be. Meg’s comment below nails it (as usual).

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com Jo

    That’s crazy awesome!! We’re having a wedding bonfire, and I *know* there’s going to be some sparklers thrown in that bad boy since it’s the weekend after Independence Day.

    Thank you SO MUCH for this, Meg. That’s what I cling to about our wedding, but it’s so easy to see everyone else’s aesthetic and be kind of jealous of it because it’s so rad. But it’s now mine and that would be dishonest. Thanks for the reminder and permission, nay, *mission*, to be true to ourselves.

  • elemjay

    You share an office with Snippet and Ink???? That’s so cool! I bet it looks beautiful!

    • meg

      Maybe one day. We haven’t decorated it yet…

  • clampers

    Oh wow I need more pictures of that dress.

  • http://quiltonthetracks.posterous.com Margaret M.

    Llongyfarchiadau, Felix and Kate!

  • http://arduousblog.blogspot.com ruchi

    I wonder what it is about weddings that brings out so much of our insecurity and need to “keep up with the Joneses” as it were. It’s odd because on the one hand, we often expend so much energy trying to make our wedding unique and us and different when we’re participating in a deeply traditional and universal ritual. On the other hand, this drive to make our wedding stand out also makes us insecure about our differentiated choices, and we want to copy someone else’s wedding. We want to simultaneously conform and not conform; it’s enough to make ones head explode.

    I’m usually pretty good about staying grounded, but I have to admit that yesterday’s unbelievably gorgeous wedding threw me for a loop. It wasn’t so much that I wanted Tamera’s wedding as I wanted to be as chic as Tamera, as resourceful and crafty as Tamera, as tasteful as Tamera. I wanted to be that person who could make a wedding dress in three weeks, no matter the scars nor the snafus.

    But I’m not Tamera nor am I Kate. My wedding will not be like theirs except in all the ways in which it will be like theirs: filled with abundant joy, love, and community. And really, that’s more important to me than kickass invitations or bonfire cakes. :)

    • meg

      But here is the thing, you’re comparing your insides to Tamera’s outsides. She’d be the first to tell you (and she did tell you in the text yesterday) that her wedding stressed her out, she didn’t think she was that chic, that she felt super broke the whole time she planned it, that she NEVER thinks she’s that chic. That wedding was just her being her. Your job is to just be you. And to not compare insides to outsides (that’s always a killer.)

      And she made those invites because she was felt flat broke. For the record. They were amazing, but they were not her dream invites, really.

      • http://arduousblog.blogspot.com ruchi

        Oh, of course. Rationally, I know this. Rationally, I think we all know this. We all know that everyone is flawed, that no one feels that chic, that we all have insecurities. But emotionally, it can be hard not to look at someone else and think, “Wow, I wish I were as cool as you.”

        I guess I think the wedding envy comes from not so much wanting a bonfire cake but wishing you yourself were awesome enough that you could have such a wedding and have that be an authentic expression of you. So you decide to get yourself such a cake thinking, maybe if I have that cake, I will BECOME that awesome person for whom this is authentic. And then you get it, and you don’t feel any different and it’s disappointing.

        But our awesomeness does not derive from our cakes but from ourselves. And we just need to trust in that. But, it’s sometimes easier said than done.

  • http://arduousblog.blogspot.com ruchi

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have one more point to make, and then I’ll shut up. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell what is and what is not an authentic representation of you.

    I’ll give you an example.

    In Indian tradition (India’s a land of many traditions, so I’m speaking loosely here) the groom arrives at the wedding on a horse and people sing and dance around him. It is super awesome, super fun, and super over the top.

    And so my fiance and I wrestled back and forth as to whether to do it. Because … we’re not crazy over the top people. I’m an eco-blogger, we want a Practical wedding! How can we get a horse and be true to ourselves?

    Except … I’m also Indian. And the horse is just a lot of FUN. And as my fiance noted, it’s so rare for grooms to get a moment that is “all about them.” And at the end of the day, we just… wanted to do it.

    Is it an authentic representation of us? Honestly, I don’t know. I’d say it’s an authentic representation of some parts of me and not of other parts. But, it’s what we really want, so I guess I think it’s authentic enough.

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      I think that identity is often more fluid than we make it out to be. Humans are complex, and I think it is natural that there are a lot of surprising things that can be authentic for a person or couple, even if that thing seems to be almost a “which one of these is not like the other” trait or desire. I think these surprising-yet-truly-authentic desires, characteristics, and habits are the very things that make people so fascinating and complex. :)

    • Kristen

      You can be generally practical and splurge on some things that you just WANT. If you can swing it, do it. If you’re still stressing about it, spend some time watching *shudder* Four Weddings. (Which some of those weddings are cool but in general, that show gives me anxiety hives, “I can’t believe she didn’t have better XXX”) You’ll see how insane it can get and how relatively practical you are while still being you and still wanting some impractical things.

    • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

      This is not quite the same thing, but maybe it will help.

      My husband and I paid for most of our wedding ourselves (my mom pitched in on a couple of things where she could; his parents essentially gave us our wedding present early (cash) which we used toward the wedding itself). Every line item on our budget was up for debate as to whether or not it was a necessary expense.

      For the ceremony, I really wanted bagpipes. I researched pipers in the area, and I was quoted $300. Now, this was certainly a reasonable amount of money for me to pay someone to travel to my wedding and share his craft with me, but on the other hand, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend $300 for something that would be for a half hour. I debated as to whether or not we should just set up an iPod with bagpipe music.

      And then, it hit me. I had reasons for wanting bagpipes. I’m Irish (American), my grandfather (whom I was very close with and who died a little over 5 years before my wedding, and never got to meet my husband) adored bagpipes. It meant a lot to me to include something that I felt reflected him in our ceremony.

      In other words, it was about more than a line item on our wedding budget.

      So. I hired the bagpiper and instead x-ed out our flower budget. And I am SO glad that I did. :)

    • http://theatreprojects.blogspot.com Jessamarie

      I am having this problem too sometimes. When I am brainstorming and trying to think of how to make my wedding “uniquely us” I find that I start pigeon holing and stereotyping myself. “I am this kind of person,” “I am not this kind of person,” “how can we (in the end probably superficially) incorporate this hobby of ours into the wedding.”

      I need to remember that just because I have never done something before and probably won’t do it again after, doesn’t mean I can’t do it on my wedding day. If we are both excited about it, if we want to do it, then we do it. When we add up all of those things that make us excited about our wedding day I am sure they will somehow add up to a day that is chic, awesome and unforgettable.

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

    Oh, this is a post every Bride-to-be & new Mrs. needs to read! Including me, very much so. I adored our wedding, loved every last detail because it was ours. It was only 1.5 months ago & we’ve only seen 30 photos from the professional photograher & lots of photos from our family & friends. I still look at the wedding blogs & as I look at the amazing photography, I find myself wondering did we get a super-cute cake shot or a sweet gazing-into-each-other’s-eyes photo & on & on I go. Need to stop. NOW. I don’t need those photos, all I need are the perfectly imperfect photos that are ours. I hope I can remember & truly believe this!!!

    • meg

      When is your wedding grad post arriving??

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

        I would be honored to write a wedding grad post! I’ve been trying to write about it, I really have but I’m a perfectionist & nothing has seemed right. Coming soon-ish :-)

        • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

          haha Kate, I’ve been the same.
          I have written and re-written my wedding grad post about 15 times because I am still trying to come to terms with the comparisons with other weddings! I dont want to sound like a whiny-ass-cry-baby with “I wish we had done everything differently” becuase I DONT wish that. Most of the time.

          But then, my wonderful hubby has to keep reminding me of this. I’m starting to take it on board now, so I think I’m nearly ready to write this thing… Well, nearly as ready as I was two weeks after the wedding when the doubts hadnt started kicking in too badly yet!

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    This is fantastic advice, and no matter how many times people may hear it, I don’t think you can hear it enough. Thanks, Meg.