Rebecca And Thom’s Fall New England Wedding

I’m really thrilled to give you the story of Rebecca and Thom’s wedding. Rebecca was one of my very first readers almost a year ago, and having kept track of her story for all these months, it’s so personally heartening to me to get to share her wedding day – complete with a shared family dress. So without further ado, Rebecca, Thom, and the matching…
Thom and Rebecca Bedford, Massachusetts — October 2008

Thom and I married on a crisp fall day in the Boston suburbs, at a 150-year-old classic New England church. It was the wedding I’d dreamed about since I was a little girl — with the family and friends who have loved and supported me throughout my life and in the church that did the same. Our reception was held across the street, in the ballroom of the Old Town Hall, a similarly historic and charming building.
Our ceremony.
There are few occasions where our loved ones gather en masse to mark the time in our life. As one of my college professors said, it is usually when people “hatch, match, and dispatch.” Matching is the only time that we’re cognizant of the celebration in our honor, so Thom and I decided to have an “open mic” ceremony, and asked those gathered to sanctify the ceremony with their thoughts and insight into love, marriage, and families. Although it was a little stressful because we did not know if anyone would feel comfortable enough speak, many did and it created a uniquely joyful experience!

Our centerpieces.
Through some unexpected circumstances, I also DIY-ed our “Harvest Bowl” centerpieces. I was determined to cut down on waste and got it in my head that cut flowers were too wasteful for our shindig, so I eventually decided that a fall-themed fruit and vegetable bowl was the only centerpiece that would make me happy. We used cranberries as a base and added clementines, yellow and orange jalepenos, gourds and mini pumpkins. They were spectacularly easy, inexpensive, beautiful, and vibrant. Guests took each one home and enjoyed them for weeks, if not months, later!Thrifty
Our elves.
Although we were conflicted about asking friends to do something during the wedding because it might take away from their enjoyment of the day, Thom and I couldn’t resist harnessing our friends’ talents when it became clear that they were happy to help and would make a priceless contribution. In each situation, they gave us something that money literally could not buy and the sentiment that — like our individual personalities — our marriage would not be what it is without the love and support of our friends and family.
A baker friend of ours, who is constantly ready for a new challenge, baked and decorated a small, two-tiered, heart-shaped spicy chocolate cake on top of a tower of cupcakes in three different flavors. One of the bridesmaids tracked down a version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” for the piano, which she sang beautifully at the ceremony, accompanied by another bridesmaid on the piano.
Our Dress.
I wore my sister’s dress, although when I called it “her” dress, my sister corrected me — “you mean our dress.” It did not fit my body shape in the way I wanted, so a seamstress and I devised a close-fitting jacket and it had a great effect on changing the waistline, or at least deflecting attention off of my hips! The dress truly reflected my personal values. It symbolizes my friends and family supporting the next chapter of my life, where I will perpetuate and create my own family’s traditions — beginning with the heirloom my sister and I created.Sane
Initiating Conversations.

The first thing that kept me sane is that I had those important conversations with people I love. Everyone has their own perceptions about who you should marry, how you should marry, and when you should marry. Those emotions are theirs alone — they have nothing to do with the bride herself — and yet they can make a bride miserable. Have those conversations! They may be difficult, but they are necessary — if not, you may be repeating the same dysfunctional pattern long after the wedding is over!

Oh yes, and I learned how to let go. When the florist didn’t understand my floral vision a week before the wedding, I settled my expectations low so I would not be disappointed on the day of the wedding. When I discovered — at the rehearsal — that the organist a family member insisted on hiring is less familiar with the organ than anyone thought, I chuckled; it was sort of endearing. I knew, too, that I am the only person who can ruin my wedding — by letting the small stuff get to me — and as long as Thom and I were married at the end of the day, it was going to be the best day of my life (so far!). I am happy to report that it was!

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  • I love the cupcake tower and the simple centerpieces. It looks like a great celebration!

  • Beautifully put– Rebecca is so insightful!

  • (and inspiring.)

  • Meg

    Ellie- they are throwing them. Aww.

  • LR

    “that I am the only person who can ruin my wedding”

    Tears came to my eyes when I read that. It is so true.

    Thank you Rebecca!

  • I knew, too, that I am the only person who can ruin my wedding — by letting the small stuff get to me

    Where do you find all these women who are so very wise, Meg? I reckon I could trawl your blog for quotes and publish a book of bridal wisdom!

  • Meg

    They find me Cate, they find me. Yourself included :)

  • What a lovely wedding. And I can't even explain how much I love her attitude. Yay for Rebecca & Thom!

  • Ella

    Beautiful wedding…and even more beautiful, the bride seems to have a great perspective on life! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if Rebecca could tell us a little more about the ceremony, and whether she told her friends and family beforehand about the open mic or invited them up then and there.

  • I love it! They definitely kept focused on what was important. I have to keep reminding myself too…whatever happens, I’m getting married!
    Where are the bridesmaids dresses from? We are having groomsgirls…and they need a dress!

  • Anonymous

    What a wonderful attitude and lovely fall wedding!

    I think a couple places have that style bridesmaid dress, but I know from my dress-searching experience that David’s definitely does.

  • Oh! Sweet! Lovely!

  • Thank you!!
    The dresses are from David’s Bridal.
    As for the ceremony, we told the wedding party and close family of the plans in advance. Most people came prepared, but some spoke in the spur of the moment, with a poem or thought that struck them as others were speaking. The only people we knew would speak were our fathers: my father began the open mic and Thom’s father concluded it.

  • Ellie

    1) Where are her bridesmaids dresses from? Those are adorable and good for most body types!
    2) Are people throwing leaves on them in the first picture or is that just nature?
    What a great wedding!

  • “I am the only person who can ruin my wedding — by letting the small stuff get to me”

    So wise. :) I love the centerpieces.

  • “I knew, too, that I am the only person who can ruin my wedding.”

    This is, by far, the most inspiring and most wonderful quote on weddings I’ve heard to-date. Thank you! :)

  • I am one of Becca’s bridesmaids, and it really was a perfect autumn wedding. I loved wearing fall colors (I even wore red lipstick for the first time, because I thought it would look nice with the truffle-colored dresses we wore). I am so glad it was a great day for you, Becca!