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Beth & Matt’s Brooklyn Musicians Wedding

Last week, I got this fantastic, soul delighting email from Beth: Last weekend (May 9th) Matt and I tied the knot! It was literally the best day of my life. Every second was filled with so much love, real honest love, between Matt and I- but also all our friends and family that were there. The day started at 10am and ended at 2am! This week we’ve been flooded with calls and emails from people telling us it was the best wedding they had ever been to! What made it so great wasn’t: the linens, (Kmart) invitations (printer at home) flowers (diy the day before) but all the other stuff: friends singing Bach chorales, the poems read, the 11 impromptu speeches, the vows we wrote, our first dance (the robot dance!!!). We did everything the way WE wanted to do it. And that’s what ended up making it so amazing.

So, of course I asked her to share more of her wedding. It is amazing, and includes some of my favorite things (Prospect Park, Magnolia cupcakes) so here we go….Our wedding took place at the Historic Boathouse in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. After seven years of being together, sometimes our brains kind of converge into one, so all our general wedding ideas were exactly the same: Must be in Brooklyn, our city we love; Must be in Prospect Park, our favorite place; and it must be intimate, with our closest family and friends.This made wedding planning easy. Right away we agreed that we wanted to consider each guest part of our wedding party. Everyone that was there to witness our wedding would also be a participant in some way. This led to the most incredible sense of community on our wedding weekend! All forty people were working together to create an authentic experience. By Matt and I letting go of virtually everything the last week, each person in our “wedding party” took ownership of a project and ran with it! The amount of love, generosity and creativity our ‘wedding party’ created is indescribable. It definitely wasn’t a practical amount of community, but an overabundant amount of sacred, poetic, joyful, wild and awe-inspiring sense of community and love! (but Meg, I know that’s what you mean by practical!)What made our wedding creative: Matt and I are both jazz musicians working in NYC, so we had to have great music! Our friend Greg is an amazing guitarist, and played our aisle music. We had four of our talented friends sing Bach chorales during the ceremony, in between readings. My dad was our officiant, so my ma walked me down the aisle. Matt’s mom made a beautiful mandala for guests to sign instead of a traditional guest book. We wrote our own vows, and read them for the first time to each other during the ceremony. Instead of a traditional reception, we all headed over to a local, organic restaurant for brunch. Then at night we partied in Chelsea at our friend’s loft, where it turned into a big cry fest with ten impromptu speeches, and a first dance- robot style. We also had Magnolia cupcakes delivered, in lieu of a cake.What made our wedding thrifty: We figured out really quickly that a traditional New York wedding was not going to be in our budget. (Did I mention that we’re musicians?!) Figuring that out was actually quite liberating! Then we could do whatever we wanted, whether it was “wedding-like” or not! When we first looked into doing the ceremony at the boathouse, we realized it wasn’t in our budget. Then we found some itsy bitsy tiny print: If you had a morning outdoor ceremony there, there was only a “nominal fee”. Wahoo! Done. Next, figuring out the dress: I went to The Bridal Garden in Manhattan. After trying on three dresses, walked out with a dress with a $2500 price tag for $500, and all profits benefit inner city NYC schools. Double wahoo! Then came the efforts of our amazing wedding party: Dyanne, our wonderful friend, offered to do all the photos. My brother-in-law (a French wine distributor in NY) offered to supply all the alcohol. Another friend offered up her loft for the after party. Other friends offered us a month house-exchange for our honeymoon- they live in Provence! It was starting to all come together! There were many times it would have been easy to splurge, and sometimes we did, but it was mostly on important stuff- like picking wedding rings that were ecologically and morally sound.What made it sane: Big things kept the little things in perspective. For my entire adult life I have lived with debilitating pain caused by degenerative spinal problems. After six solid weeks of agonizing pain, three days before the wedding, I was in a medical office getting epidural steroid injections into my spine so I could hopefully walk down the aisle. I didn’t have a lot of time to care about the program font in those moments! But I also didn’t panic. As cheesy as it sounds, Matt made me sane. My friends and family made me sane. The incredible and extraordinary love I felt from all my favorite people, all wanting the best for me made me sane! (I’ll never forget when my girlfriends pinky swore they would all wear orthopedic shoes to the wedding “in solidarity” if I had to.) And my determination that, no matter what, I was going to savor every single moment of our wedding—-and I did…

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