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Instead of a Traditional Rental, We Helped Restore Our Historic Venue

It's truly a community affair when loved ones help you mulch

Sara, grad student & Max, server

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE:  A walkable wedding weekend in the mountains, under the full flower moon.

SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem

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FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING

Either the toasts or singing along to LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” with all our friends at the end of the reception.

OTHER COOL STUFF WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

We rented out an inn and jazz club in Sara’s small hometown to serve as home base. The ceremony and reception were held across the street in a beautiful historic building restored for the event (a major shout out to the generous, creative owners of the Castle Inn). Sara’s parents’ opened their house for the rehearsal dinner, getting ready photos, and a small post-wedding brunch. Philadelphia is our home of over ten years, and we struggled with the idea of having the wedding somewhere else, but getting married in Delaware Water Gap was one of the best decisions we could have made. It meant some work for us, though! Not every couple gets in wedding-ready shape by hauling truckloads of trash out of their venue.

This was a community affair. Loved ones mulched, baked cookies for the cookie table, put together cocktail hour food, assembled and photographed our paper moon photo booth, made girl gang shirts, arranged flowers, hammered, painted, and cleaned. Neighbors wished us well and directed our lost friends as they walked through the streets of the town (more than once, someone reported back to us that a car full of people had passed them on the road yelling, “Give our best to the bride and groom!”). A good friend served as our officiant and led our guests through community vows. The father of the bride sat in with the band; cousins and coworkers later followed suit. At the after party, back at the inn, family members, old friends, and new friends joined together to serenade us with “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

Because our people are so important, and because we did as much as we could ourselves, we were picky with the vendors we hired. We knew our cocktail hour musician personally, and while she was growing up, Sara’s father was a member of the wedding band we hired. Some of the vendors we didn’t know felt like family when it was all over, like our photographer Katch Silva. It was clear that Katch was perfect for us when she encouraged us not to give up on our idea of sneaking away for a small hike mid-reception.

Stuff went wrong. Our pizza food truck arrived late, our week-of and day-of timelines did not go to plan, and Max woke up sick the morning of the wedding. Luckily, our friends and family have positive attitudes, good senses of humor, and excellent timing. When Sara said, “Distract me!” to a friend helping her set up a few days before the wedding, the friend said, “Okay. I’m pregnant. I’m not twelve weeks yet, so don’t tell anyone.” It was one of the best things that could have happened.

Related: Make those denim shirts for yourselves using this tutorial.

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