Emma & Mike’s At Home Wedding

Novelist Emma Straub gets married in her parents Brooklyn townhouse

*Emma, Author & Mike, Graphic Designer*

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I always imagined that I’d want an enormous wedding, with hundreds of people and fanfare befitting a queen. When it came down to it, however, and it was time to plan my actual wedding, with my actual boyfriend and my actual family, I was surprised to discover that what I wanted was much more intimate. We ended up with about thirty people in my parents’ dining room. I wore my mother’s dress and a piece of tulle the size of a pumpkin on my head. It was packed and warm and perfect. Everyone (including the rabbi) laughed throughout.

What we did right: keep it small. The smaller the better. We had a larger party the next day, but in retrospect, I would have picked a handful of people and moved them to the ceremony list, and then cancelled the second event. After the wedding, all I wanted to do was hang out with my husband and our families.

Have talented friends. We had one friend, Catherine Thompson, draw our portrait. Another friend sang at the ceremony. The printer cut our letterpressing bill in half because Mike does a lot of work with him. In my experience, everyone loves weddings, and will go out of their way to help you. Help is good.

What we did somewhat right: Tell people what to do. This is not the time to be a shrinking violet. I think this is something we could have done more of, actually– we were so solid on what we wanted that we didn’t end up delegating much responsibility on the actual day. Make lists. Give them to your mothers and friends.

Schedule things well. I spent much of my wedding day getting my hair done. Make sure you’re not missing the fun.

What we did wrong: Nothing. Here’s the thing. I was at my parents’ house, surrounded by people I love. We hired a great photographer, and my best friend was shooting video all day. Afterwards, we all had lobster rolls. What could be better? No matter what isn’t exactly right, it’s still your wedding. You’re going to be goofy with laughter all day long. Just enjoy it.

All photos by Cappy Hotchkiss

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