Theresa & Clark

A few months ago, when I did the APW reader survey, I found out that Team Practical brides run, unsurprisingly, older than the average bride. Which I love. What I don’t love is that this age diversity has not, so far, been recognized in Wedding Graduate posts. Which, frankly, sucks. In big wedding media, brides are either A) 22 or B) fabulously wealthy (what’s up with that, by the way? If, as women, we’re not 22 we need to be millionaires, or married to them?) On APW, we have, thank god, done better than that… but not as much better as I’d like. So I’m falling over myself thrilled to introduce Theresa (who was 37 when they married) and Clark (who was 41). While still spring chickens, they bring a sense of wisdom and experience to their wedding day that is So Damn Refreshing to see. Wheeeee! Couples who are like the readers! Hooray! But that’s not all. Theresa and Clark, well. Add Mills College and henna and interfaith and kidlets and love and joy…. and you’ve got something close to how magical their wedding was. And with that, I bring you Theresa:


It’s been a little over six months since we got married and current, stressful life happenings have really brought me to reflect upon the day a lot.  Our day. was. amazing.  This simple little word pretty much sums it up.  It sounds so cliche and didn’t think I would use that word to describe it.  It’s not like I didn’t think we could have an amazing day, I just didn’t realize or have any clue on how amazing it would feel, right down to my bones.

I’m not the girly girl type or the woman who has thought about her wedding day since she was a little girl.  When I got married, I was a month shy of turning 37 and my husband turned 41 the week before we got married.  We had lived very fulfilling lives prior to meeting each other, full of travel, wonderful family and good friends. Honestly, I really never thought I’d get married and I was fine with that. I didn’t want to feel like a princess, I dislike princesses. I wanted a simple dress I felt comfortable wearing, not something I would not recognize myself in.  I wanted purple shoes and no veil. My husband and I are really emotional, deep feeling, laid back, fun people and we wanted our day to reflect US…not the bridal mag “us”, or other people’s opinion of “us”, just. us.

We are both aesthetic lovin’ and nature lovin’ folks, so focused on a venue that was peaceful and had a good vibe.  Our other aesthetic details came together as well, and yes, I obsessed over some things, but our goal was to have a chill, positive energy, kick back scene….oh yea, with kick ass food.

We definitely weren’t the big, fancy wedding party types either.  We loved each other deeply and wanted to share our experience with our closest friends and immediate family.  This is where the hard part came, sorting out “family and friends”…the guest list was hard and I know along the way we might not have made our parents the happiest. Well. Let me rephrase that. Maybe I didn’t make my parents the happiest…but, it was important to us to have our dearest folks there, not the family friend I haven’t seen in 20 years.

I should say, I’m an only child, so felt like I was letting down my parents a bit when I reiterated to them we wanted a small wedding…they were supportive and got over it and were wonderful throughout.  Also, We wanted our friends to bring their kids, cause they are our “nieces and nephews” and couldn’t imagine our day without them.

A dear friend put together a kids area, with activities galore…oh yes, this is important… friends!  I couldn’t have gotten through the planning process without my good friends…I learned to delegate, delegate, delegate, which was hard for this control freak.  My friends were so awesome through it all.

Our ceremony stands out to me as a very special and meaningful part of our day. It was so overwhelming, in a good way, to have all of our special peeps together for us!  Our ceremony was something we thought a lot about.  I am multi-cultural, raised Catholic and my husband is Jewish, so we wanted to incorporate important aspects of my culture(s) and his…this wasn’t always easy to sort out, but we did it.

We had Indian wedding garlands, which my mom and I made, I did henna on my hands, my husband stepped on the glass and we also had Yichud.  We wrote our own vows, had our parents/step-parents bless our rings and had the emotional, deep feeling, intimate ceremony, we desired.  We cried, our guests cried and everyone told us it was a beautiful ceremony. It was. simply. amazing.

Surprisingly, I did learn a lot about myself and my partner.  Who knew wedding planning could do that?! We decided we wanted to do pre-marital counseling and this was a great decision for us.

It really brought our focus back on our marriage and not just the wedding day details….we learned more about each other, (even though we had already been together for four years), ourselves and this process brought us closer together.

I wish during the planning I wouldn’t have stressed about family situations, or money or other small details, because in the end none of that mattered…everyone got along, we were able to pay cash for everything and some details did not always work out the way I had planned, but really, at that point, I didn’t care…I was marrying my wonderful, amazing partner and the sky could have fallen that day and I wouldn’t have noticed.  I was on a high, we were on a high and we simply enjoyed every moment of our day and definitely didn’t want it to end.  It. was. simply. amazing!

Pictures: The fabulous Gabriel Harber Photography, of Oakland, who Theresa cannot stop raving about (APW sponsor, but not a sponsored post), Venue: The lovely Mills College, where I believe about half of Team Practical is an alum.

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  • Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    It’s so great to see a wedding where the bride and groom are in my age range. I’m going to be 39 when I get married in August, and my fiance is 35 – he’d been married previously, and I’ve never been married before. Like Theresa, I’m not a ‘girlie-girl’ who had her wedding planned out when she was six. I did have a notebook with ideas and thoughts based on my experiences at friends’ weddings, but most of the notes were out of date by the time we got engaged. And I can’t tell you how many times I said these same words to myself before I met my FH:

    “Honestly, I really never thought I’d get married and I was fine with that.”

    Our wedding is going to be a celebration for both sides of our families, and definitely one for us. For his side of the family who saw him in a toxic first marriage and are now seeing him happily moving forward with someone. For my side of the family who probably never expected me to get married and are seeing me happily moving forward with someone. And for us, celebrating the love we share, the relationship we have, and the commitment we’ve made to each other.

    That sounds pretty hoaky in some ways, and sappy-sentimental, but it’s the truth. Our day won’t be a huge event – we’re hoping for about 100 guests – and the venue is so not traditional! It’s a ‘fun farm’ with an outdoor ceremony site, a great rustic lodge/reception hall, and a ‘rubber rodeo’ complete with mechanical bull, bouncy castle and jousting!

    Theresa and Clark, congratulations!! Thanks so much for sharing your day! And thank you, Meg, for showing a bride and groom who aren’t in their early 20s and spending a year’s salary on their day. :)

  • Meg, at 35 (to FH’s 39), THANK YOU for this blog, at this time. I am visiting home, and it has been stressful to weed through “friends and family” for my current reality…because my birth family is huge, I have a large range of different kind of relationships with them, and being away disrupts habit…so hearing from Theresa that they planned a wedding based on “not the bridal mag ‘us’, or other people’s opinion of ‘us’,” was freeing and affirming and such a deceptively, simply elegant summation of what can be (and is for me) a process of examining relationships- his, mine, and ours…just BRAVO, Meg! Vacations suit you :)

  • karen

    Congratulations Theresa and Clark!

    My incredibly shallow first reaction was that I love your flowers, but I also love how you brought all the different elements that were meaningful to you together in your ceremony. I’m also taking heart from your insistence that ‘dearest folks’ was your criteria for guests, and that this included children. (We’re currently trying to walk that road at the moment – I may steal your activities area delegation concept!)

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope your life together continues to be amazing.

    • C

      Karen, I totally agree…I didn’t register that the age of the bride and groom but the absolute gorgeous flowers and the joy :)

  • Wow- love her hair, love her dress, love the blending of culture/religion in the ceremony. And I definitely agree, we are learning so much from each other in this planning process. I’m so glad we’re doing it together.

    A lot of the things we want to see in our wedding, I see in Theresa and Clark’s wedding. I guess what I’m most curious about is how they chose which religious/cultural traditions they wanted to observe that day. We’re writing our ceremony and it’s something we’re having a little difficulty with.

    • Theresa

      Hi Angie, We did leave out some aspects which represented our cultures/religion, but picked those which were the most meaningful to us individually and then together. My husband definitely wanted to step on the glass and have Yichud and I really wanted to showcase the Asian Indian side of my family with the henna and Indian garlands, but didn’t incorporate my hispanic heritage since it wasn’t as important to me. I think once you start planning the ceremony you’ll know what feels right to both of you…I’m sure it will be amazing!! Best, T

      • Thank you, Theresa! :)

  • Sarah Beth

    “I didn’t want to feel like a princess, I dislike princesses. I wanted a simple dress I felt comfortable wearing, not something I would not recognize myself in.”

    Amen. If this is the biggest, “best day of our lives” (according to the wedding industry) then why are they so insistent that we should be someone else for the day?

    “not the bridal mag ‘us'”

    This reminds me of an article in the latest issue of BRIDES, called “A Totally 20-something Wedding” (followed by 30-something, and 40-something). It basically tells you what sort of wedding you should have, based on how old you are. Apparently, if you’re in your 20s, you must have a huge wedding with 24 attendants, in which you must invite everyone and their dog. But if you’re in your 40s, you can only invite immediate family and have an intimate wedding. WTF?

    It’s ironic that most women featured in bridal magazines (whether real brides or models in a photo shoot) are obviously very young. On TheKnot message boards, it seemed like anything you said was judged on your age. If you let them know how old you were, and you weren’t at least 25, everything you said was suspect to you being too young to get married, and obviously stupid. If you didn’t tell your age, but you happen ask a question they deemed stupid, they would jump on you. “You must be a high schooler who got knocked up and wants a Barbie-themed wedding. You are obviously not old enough to get married.” It was horrific. Being only 22 myself, I was not welcome.

    • Jennifer

      “This reminds me of an article in the latest issue of BRIDES, called “A Totally 20-something Wedding” (followed by 30-something, and 40-something). It basically tells you what sort of wedding you should have, based on how old you are. Apparently, if you’re in your 20s, you must have a huge wedding with 24 attendants, in which you must invite everyone and their dog. But if you’re in your 40s, you can only invite immediate family and have an intimate wedding. WTF?”

      Ha, that’s exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of in writing my post (at the same time you were writing). I almost bought that issue at the train station the other day, but put it back because I feared it would make me stabby. Sounds like I was right! The funny thing is, at least for us, all those extra years mean a much *bigger* guest list, because there are so many more people who’ve been an important part of our lives. The difference is in types of guests, not numbers, as we have far fewer parents’ friends & associates than, say, my sister had at her first wedding, and far more people who have been part of us becoming who we are.

    • Rachel

      WOW! Reading your post makes me REALLY glad I stopped reading wedding magazines a month after I got engaged (it quickly occurred to me that their ideas were A- out of my price range and B- kind of repetitive, actually).

      I’m also somewhat young (24), but my fiance is 34. One of the things that people can’t imagine is how life ages and matures people differently. I was uncomfortable with the age gap between my friends and his friends for a long time, but, now that we’re three days from the wedding, I know ALL our friends are going to be partying like rockstars no matter how old they are, and I am really pumped to see that!

  • Jennifer

    What a fun-looking wedding! And hooray for seeing “older” couples! We will be very-nearly-38 and 40 on our wedding day, and while on the one hand I don’t feel old at all, on the other hand it is sometimes unnerving whenever I realize that a lot of the wedding media is aimed at people who are technically young enough to be my children, and the assumption seems to be that 20-somethings feel the need to have a big celebration (either to be princesses or because they’re too young & weak to stand up to their parents) while older couples quietly and appropriately slip away to the courthouse. Which is insulting to both groups, and so one of the things I love about APW and the Wedding Graduates is that even if the weddings aren’t quite as diverse as Meg wants, I still feel less pigeonholed here.

    (I still struggle with the notion of “appropriate” as far as the age thing goes; much like the post a few months back about second marriages, I feel like there is a lot of “oh no, you can’t do that [wear a long dress, wear a veil, have multiple attendants, have a dance party], that would be inappropriate for a bride your age.” I know I could say “screw appropriate, do what you want” but I do actually believe in the concept of things being appropriate or inappropriate for different circumstances, and ironically, it wouldn’t be very true to my nature to just do what I want without considering what is appropriate. And with so few visible examples, it’s even trickier to figure that out.)

    • I’ve been thinking about this comment for a couple hours, and I think what I want to say is that appropriate (in my opinion) is the same no matter what age you are. In my opinion, things that are not appropriate are things that are generally tacky, whether you are 24 or 54. At the risk of offending readers, I won’t list specific examples, but you know what I mean (throwing money in people’s faces, blatantly expecting expensive gifts, forcing people to spend way out of their means to attend your wedding where the only hotel room are $500 a night). Things that ARE appropriate stay the same too– it is appropriate to feel beautiful on your wedding day and wear something that reflects who you are, it is appropriate to surround yourself with loved ones, whether that number is big or small, and it is appropriate to have one hell of a great time, whether you love to dance or love to play lawn games. Those things never go out of style, and the aforementioned loved ones will appreciate that when they are at your wedding.

  • ddayporter

    great to see more age groups represented in the graduate pool. Theresa, you and Clark and your dearest folks look so happy and beautiful! I agree with Karen, I love that you wanted to included your friends’ children. My friends don’t have kids yet, but I Really wanted my cousins to bring their little kids, unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. we loved our wedding, but kids do add that extra element of innocent glee. anyway congrats!!

  • Allison

    Good for you for owning your place in life and approaching marriage with such wisdom and grace. You looked beautiful (as I’m sure you still do) and I’m so glad you wrote this post! I remember looking at this wedding for the first time on your photographers site and just loving how simple and beautiful and full of love your wedding seemed like!
    I love that you talk about having a full life on your own before getting married and while I’m young (23) and marrying in just two short months I feel like I’m not missing out on anything and neither is my partner.
    I feel like the universal truth I’ve found in the year or so that I’ve been reading APW is that age is JUST a number. Our age is not what defines us but how we treat ourselves, treat others and approach marriage/weddings.
    We are not rich by any means and have a small budget (5,000 for 120 people) and while the bridal magazines had me “wedding-washed” about how much money to spend on whatever the trend of the moment was I stopped to realize that this ONE DAY was about love and not money because I could really use the money to re-model my bathroom and save for culinary school, or babies or hell…a goat!

  • Marisa-Andrea

    Cheers to you both and congratulations :-)

  • Oh, yay! A wedding with a couple our ages. I will be 38 and Tony will be 41 when we marry next year. It is so refreshing to see a wedding featuring people our ages, and children, too. I also love seeing how you incorporated different aspects of the many cultures in your families.

    Thank you, Meg. Please keep these types of Wedding Graduate posts coming!

  • So I’ve been lurking for awhile — this site is keeping me sane as I start planning our wedding next May…. everything you wrote about your wedding is beautiful, but I must know — where is your gorgeous dress from?

    • Theresa

      Hi Cara! I bought my dress online at JCrew….this dress was not very expensive. Thanks for your kind words! All the best!

      • Kinzie Kangaroo

        WHOA. I just clicked through to revisit this post because of Meg’s most recent sponsor post and…. I just bought my wedding dress and it is the short Cecelia dress! I totally forgot about the dress you wore, Theresa, but I did definitely bookmark it to look back at for dress inspiration. And then I found the dress again on my own. Must mean it’s definitely a really awesome dress.

        I just hope I rock the dress as well as you did!

    • Don’t forget to check eBay, too! I got my J. Crew dress (the “Sophia”, I think Theresa’s is the “Cecelia”), new with tags, for $65 because someone had found one she loved more and so actioned it starting well below its actual price. And she included a matching veil (I haven’t decided if I’ll wear it or not, but it’s nice to have the option)!

  • YES to kids at the wedding. I was with a group of women the other day, and mentioned that I had 20 kids at my (120 person) wedding, and they thought I was joking. I couldn’t even imagine not having my cousin’s babies running around, and the only people who broke anything were adults (including me!)

    I loved this post. I got married last year, and my husband was 36 (I was 28) and I can’t tell you how many times I had people say “Oh so it’s an older wedding.” What does that even mean? My 90 year old grandmother was the last person on the dance floor at the end of the night- if she’s not acting like she’s old yet, then I certainly don’t plan to anytime soon.

    Also, Theresa is ridiculously gorgeous. Of course, I’m a total sucker for a huge, white-toothed smile :)

  • Audrey

    Only child / purple shoes / no veil solidarity! =) I wonder if Theresa got some of the same flack I did for not wanting a veil – everyone kept being so surprised by it.

    I love seeing all the warm happy feelings in the wedding pictures from the wedding graduates. I like to think that my wedding was filled with that too – love and family and friends and smiles.

  • Rebekah

    I loved this post, and you’re right; brides span the age range. It’s nice to get some older representation out there for the sake of this being real life.
    However, I have been reading APW for a few months now, and I feel like you tend to go on the defensive perhaps a bit too quickly, Meg. See, I’m 22, and while I’m not fabulously wealthy, it kind of makes me feel like you don’t want me reading and enjoying the blog because I fit an Industry “standard.”
    Now, I’m going to keep reading APW because it has a point of view and topics that other sides don’t, but I do hope that you can begin to embrace the variety that shows up in weddings, from ages to locations to budgets, and maybe focus on the love behind it all. I know your purpose is a Practical wedding, and millionaire weddings aren’t terribly practical, but like you have said, this blog has evolved a little beyond your original intention.
    Sorry to put a damper on a string of lovely, uplifting comments. This was a beautiful celebration that was perfect for the couple involved. All my love to them!

    • meg

      I feel like you would be judging me very ungenerously if you felt that way. Clearly I work very hard to showcase lots of kinds of couples, and we’ve had many younger wedding grads. So heck yes, I’m going to highlight a underrepresented demographic. That does nothing to slight very represented demographics.

    • Wow. I don’t think this fairly represents Meg or her blog at all. I think if you do a search, you will find many blog posts in which Meg refuses to discuss budget numbers because everyone’s idea of what “practical” means to them is personal. Just because you are young and have money to fit an “industry standard” does not mean that you will not fit in here. But as a general rule, this group does tend to frown on judgey-judgersons.

      Read here:
      And here:
      And here:
      And here:

      Erm, I think you get my point.

    • Nina

      I am also a bride that fits some of the “industry standards” but I certainly have never felt unwelcome here. In fact, the overarching theme I take away from reading APW is its inclusiveness and ability to always bring me back to the big picture – the love, the family, the marriage. And the effort to highlight people who do not fit the industry standard is a reflection of that inclusiveness, not an attempt to thereby exclude someone else. Practically every other wedding resource already highlights the very young and very slim bride with a huge budget, so the effort to showcase other types of weddings and brides is just ensuring truer representation. The “industry standard” brides certainly do belong and I don’t think anything has been said to the contrary, they just aren’t the whole picture.

    • KD

      That’s interesting that you’d feel like you’re unwelcomed because of your age. I think this site gives a pretty inclusive vibe on all fronts, but makes a point to recognize things that aren’t normally aknowledged in mass-wedding-media.

      I, for example, have a much larger budget than most readers here based on the survey. Simple, budget-friendly weddings are praised here. I do not take it personally because I’m spending an amount that is comfortable for my boyfriend and I (and necessary to feed our large families in an expensive city). We’re making the right (yet still financially responsible) decision for ourselves. If someone makes a comment about a “magazine bride”they are not referring to you personally because you are 22 or even an age specific comment (lord knows, I know 35 year old who want to be a princess for a day!). They are probably commenting on the type bride who is likely to buy into all the wedding industry hype (ie. I will disgrace my family if I don’t have a designer label gown!) that is not typically a reader of this site!

      I feel like the whole point of this site is being cognisant of the decisions you’re making and then owning your choices – be it getting married at 19, 28 or 51, having a large or small wedding, or having a blow out bash or a budget conscious wedding. It’s yours… own it!

      **Just remember – that here, at APW, you’re always among friends. Friends don’t always have to wear the same type of clothes and agree on anything (sometimes we challenge each other, even) – but we always support each other!

    • Jessica

      I get what you’re saying, because sometimes I feel the same way. I *LOVE* A Practical Wedding (I recommend it to EVERYONE who asks how wedding planning is going), but it can also feel like I don’t belong here either. Even putting age aside, I’d never be a wedding graduate because our wedding will be traditional. There’s no way around it. We won’t be married on a cliff overlooking the sea, it will be a church. Nor will we have our oldest and dearest friend marry us, it will be a priest (a close family friend, the “family priest” if you will, but a priest none the less). We won’t have ice sculptures at the reception, but we also won’t have homemade pies and locally grown food (actually, that might be a lie- the restaurant might be a local food proponent, but I have no idea). My dress isn’t going to be designer, but neither will it be homemade or vintage.

      All that being said, this is a great space, and I am so glad I found it when I did. I especially love the marriage and wife discussions because it reminds me that after this is all over, my FH will still be there, and we are now a team. I don’t think Meg and the other ladies here are trying to exclude you, or make you feel like less of a bride because you fit an industry standard or two, but they have a specific point of view, and this is their space to express it.

      • Nina

        “Even putting age aside, I’d never be a wedding graduate because our wedding will be traditional.”

        Quite recently Meg made a point of featuring a more traditional church wedding:

        We all have our own values that we thoughtfully want to incorporate into our weddings and whether that is expressed by having organic local food, or homemade pies made by our aunts, or having your family priest marry you is completely individual. Not everyone at APW makes the same choices – what brings us together is the thoughtfulness behind the choices we do make.

      • meg

        Wait, what? “Even putting age aside, I’d never be a wedding graduate because our wedding will be traditional.”

        I’m actually sort of offended. You realize that your ascribing your personal judgments and insecurities to me, right? I have a whole section of the site that is weddings in churches. I had a religious wedding. As for not a vintage dress? Why is vintage better? Why is that the alternative to designer? We haven’t even *had* very many vintage dresses on the site. I ended up wearing one, sure, but that was just dumb luck.

        In short, I get weary of being accused of only liking weddings that are one way or the other. It almost always says more about the person commenting than it does about me. Usually people say it in the content of, “Well, I’m having a wedding like XXX and since you haven’t had a wedding graduate recently with a wedding like XXX, I’m not going to write a wedding graduate post.” Well, you know why I haven’t had a wedding like that? Because I haven’t had them submitted. You have to be the change, not sit around hoping someone else will make the change happen for you.

        As a quick reminder: I’m a huge fan of finding a way to personally claim traditions: we said traditional vows, we were married by a RABBI for goodness sakes – *our* rabbi of a congregation we belong to, we had a relatively traditional religious wedding, I wore a white dress, we had a seated meal and dancing, we had 120 guests, we had a somewhat average (for the US, though not at all for our area) budget. In short, while I didn’t have a lot patience for the wedding industry, I am not a fan of breaking traditions just to break traditions. I’m a fan of doing things that are personally meaningful, and doing them thoughtfully.

        And when it comes to wedding industry standards? Look. I’m a size 4, conventionally pretty white girl. And you know what? I’m FINE with that. What I’m not fine with is that pretty much ALL we see in wedding media is size 4, conventionally pretty white girls. That’s not ok, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to change that… even though I love the size 4 ladies, since I am one, myself.

        So. Please don’t ascribe your fears and worries about your wedding to me or to APW. If you’re doing that, you’re totally missing the point of the site.

        • Jessica

          wow. I definitely did not realize you would get so offended by my comment. I got the feeling the original commenter was kind of getting “jumped on” and I threw my two cents in so she wouldn’t feel alone and see not everyone has to be either industry standard or indie bride. I didn’t realize I would offend you so much.

          Like I said, I absolutely love APW, and I recommend it to everyone. I think it’s a great website, and I love the message you’re trying to get across (or what I think you’re trying to get across… I always get the “the marriage is the most important part” message from this site- love the marriage and wife discussions).

          Again, I did not mean to offend you, just show solidarity to the original poster.

          • Jessica, I’m another semi-traditional bride, and I have every intention of submitting my wedding as a Wedding Graduate. Because it’s not just about what’s quirky (Your age is non-traditional! Your budget is tiny! Your engagement was two weeks long!), it’s about the experience of having a wedding (whatever style it may be) and getting married.

            So please, do submit your wedding to be a wedding graduate– stake your claim as a traditional bride, share your story of your engagement and wedding, and we’ll be here to cheer you on.

  • april

    Theresa: “I wanted purple shoes”… :::SWOON:::
    Me too! So: where-oh-where is a photo of your divinely purple kicks??? Cuz my inner purple freak (and also, someone who went to great lengths in search of plummy shoes), would love to see yours!!! ;) Such a beautiful wedding with a lovely couple…thank you for sharing your day.

    I was also 37 when my mister and I wed, and the mister was 40. Perhaps ’tis just me, but whilst planing, it seemed as though so much of what existed in “wedding world” was intended for people much younger than us… so it’s great to see couples in the same age range that had a seriously amazing wedding too!

    Theresa – you and your hubby just radiate love and happiness in these photos. Best wishes to you both!

    • I also want to see the purple shoes! I’m wearing purple shoes as well. :)

      • Theresa

        Irisira! yay for purple shoes!!!

    • Theresa

      Thanks April! I swoon over purple, too! My kicks were purple satin flats…guess you can’t really see them..but, they were fun. Thanks for the lovely words! All the best….

      • april

        YAY! I’m imagining darling satin flats in a plummy hue and I *know* they’re fabulous… :-)

    • Eat Broccoli

      I have also started my hunt for the perfect purple shoes!! I used to have a pair of purple sneakers…and they just made me sooooo happy, I can’t imagine a better color on my feet the day i get married

  • I love the idea of the fun shoes under the traditional dress. Congratulations guys!!!


  • KD

    The photo of them dancing makes my eyes get all damp…. not fair.

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this wedding. I love seeing any wedding that really showcases what’s important (aka – the point of the wedding day)

  • What a beautiful wedding, and I’m thrilled to see a different age group represented in a WG post. My parents were in their late 30s when they got married, and even now in my late 20s I haven’t been to a ton of weddings. A sign of where I’m from, I guess (Berkeley, CA) – I know many of my college friends from other parts of the country report that all their hometown friends were married with children by the age of 20. Interesting cultural difference, that.

    We thought of Mills before eventually booking the Brazilian Room, and it looks really lovely. My mom taught French there for most of my childhood and I have such fond memories of tramping around the grounds.

    • meg

      Not that I’m at all biased, but the Brazilian Room is the best ;)

  • kate Harrison

    Love the jig shot!!

  • Ash

    “I didn’t want to feel like a princess, I dislike princesses”

    A girl after my own heart!!!! LOVE This!!!!
    Very Best wishes to Theresa and Clark. I even love the sound of your names together : D

  • Theresa

    Wow! My heart is warm with all of the wonderful comments…thanks APW gals!!! You guys are the best! I’ve been a silent admirer, dare I say, lurker?, of this site before we got married and after and love how Meg showcases all kinds of weddings. Every wedding is unique and beautiful, because every relationship is….it’s about the vibe and love. Best wishes to all of you who are on the journey to your wedding day and may all of you wedding graduates out there enjoy the journey beyond!

  • Eliza

    Firstly – love this! Love it love it love it. It’s so wonderful to see people sticking to their guns – simple, elegant, beautiful dress that is “you”, incorporating all the different cultural and religious bits that are important to you, learning about yourselves as a couple throughout the process… As we’re starting to do these things it’s awesome to see someone coming out the other end having actually done it, and with so much joy!

    Secondly, what Meg said:
    “You have to be the change, not sit around hoping someone else will make the change happen for you.”
    This is just … absolutely the point, to me. I’m finding it really hard as we start planning to find anywhere that will do things differently to the “BRIDE” way. All my ideas about a lawn bowls reception and giant vats of punch and a totally chilled out, relaxed garden party, are getting killed because I can’t find anywhere that will let me do them. (*sob*) But I’m not giving up! And whatever my experience winds up being, even if we have to hire a fancy place and make them take down all the tablecloths and serve simpler food than they usually would, I’ll STILL consider myself a wedding graduate! Because I will have gone through the process of figuring this stuff out, and I will have done it here, in this community. Whatever the final decisions wind up being about the wedding, however it looks, whether it’s traditional or indie or whatever, is not really the point. Trying to be the change – the change being, do things that reflect you as a couple, not give in to the cookie cutter “insert bride here” feeling – is the point.

    • meg

      First of all, any one who makes it to the other SIDE is a wedding graduate. Second, I think you must pinky swear to come back and write for us, because you’re clearly in-it, and learning something big.

      I think cookie-cutter is a good word, or as good as any, at least. I felt really uncomfortable when people called our wedding non-traditional, because in many ways it was very traditional… we just skipped up all the made-up-by-the-industry-in-the-last-10-years ‘traditions.’ But my father in law called it “not a paint by numbers wedding,” and said that “it really woke everyone up to what was going on.” And that was a lovely thing to say.

      So I think, for me, what matters? It’s the making it your own. And you can make it your own in a church, with traditional vows, and a reception in the church social hall… or at a hotel ballroom…. or on a cliff somewhere with just the two of you… or at city hall… or WHEREVER. Because it’s not a contest to be cool or indie. It’s a learning process. It’s about learning who you are, and about your baby family, and standing up for what you need. It’s just that often, when we learn who we are and what we need, we stand out a little, we sparkle. Not because we were trying to stand out or sparkle, but because we were ourselves, and that’s the most beautiful thing of all.

      • Tina

        Exactly is not enough. I LOVE this reply, Meg. I come here every day to read stuff like this, and I want to paste this and read it over and over. This says so much about my life right now, which does not actually include planning a wedding. I’ve always been independent and strong-headed, but at the same time, I could also be very concerned with what others thought. My parents genes having it out I suppose. This was especially true in my early 20’s. Now, toward the end of them, I’m learning to be myself. I’m loving my relationship with my partner for what it is, and could care less what other people think. It’s a fantastic feeling. I hope everyone can *own* this feeling of doing what works best for themselves and taking ownership of those choices.

        I get a little flack from the boy sometimes for reading a “wedding blog,” but it really has played a part in truly taking a look at my own thoughts and beliefs and learning to question and challenge them when necessary. As a long-time reader since almost the beginning, I feel like we are growing wiser together. :) APW is much more than a wedding blog. I’ll give you some former east bay love by saying, I hella heart you, Meg.

  • Sharon

    Beautiful, beautiful wedding. Congratulations, Theresa and Clark! Thank you so much for sharing your wedding and wisdom with us. :)

  • Theresa, thanks for sharing your story and photos! And can I just say how freakin’ great those happy shots of you guys are (love Clark going “score!” in front of the officiant – priceless!). Also, I would like to second (or fifth or sixth) the request for purple shoes! I’ve been wavering myself between purple and red… :)

    Meg, this is my first time commenting, but I really just want to thank you for putting this site together. It’s been really heartening to read as I’ve been going through the ups and downs (and stress!) of planning my own wedding. The brides and brides-to-be’s featured comprise just such an awesome array of people who’ve made it through this process (at least partly) with joy and happiness that it really helps me to avoid falling into the pitfalls of wedding despair and instead, focus on how incredibly happy I am to be marrying the person of my dreams – the whole wedding shindig will work out no matter what. Both your comments and those of the other brides have reinforced our decisions to make the wedding really, truly “us” – including forgoing some of the WIC pressure (no, we are not going to hire a limo/classic car/what-have-you for our grand entrance or a coach for all of our guests – we take BART every day and will be encouraging the use of public transit on our special day as well) and keeping some of the “traditional” aspects of weddings that we think are fun (bouquet and garter toss – yes please! choreographed first dance, oh hell yeah). Anyway, I love your assertions that a wedding should neither be a slave to the Knot’s of the world or an indie/cool contest (this one actually hits home even more as what feels like all of my friends are getting married at the same time and it takes a lot of strength to resist the urge to turn it into an originality/DIY/creativity battle). So sorry for the long gush, but really, thank you!

  • Liz

    This is such a beautiful wedding, Theresa and Clark! Everything about this post, photos, etc. just exudes pure joy- I love it! And that dress- awesome! I’m so glad you had a beautiful day, and thank you for sharing an over-35 wedding- so damn refreshing, even to a 25-year-old! (Nothing AT ALL against younger weddings- it’s just nice to see one that is out of the “normal” age range supported by the WIC).

  • Theresa

    Hi All! Really, thanks again for all of the beautifu comments…truly wonderful!

  • Amy

    Jessica, I’m another semi-traditional bride, and I have every intention of submitting my wedding as a Wedding Graduate. Because it’s not just about what’s quirky (Your age is non-traditional! Your budget is tiny! Your engagement was two weeks long!), it’s about the experience of having a wedding (whatever style it may be) and getting married.

    So please, do submit your wedding to be a wedding graduate– stake your claim as a traditional bride, share your story of your engagement and wedding, and we’ll be here to cheer you on.

  • First, what a gorgeous wedding!!!
    I am not in Theresa & Clark’s “older” demographic (although at 33, sometimes I feel close) but I love seeing weddings outside of my demographic. That is why I come here. Because Meg, you do such an amazing job of highlighting the celebration of love that is what a wedding should be about.
    I love that the first thing I noticed when looking at these pictures was how beautiful were Theresa and Clark’s smiles!

    Secondly, um, I love that you got married at Mills! And also, I’m part of that half of team practical that went to Mills, but I had no idea that there were so many of us… really?

    • meg

      I didn’t know you went to Mills!!!! Yes. Lots and lots of you.

  • Mary

    Your pictures and story portray an elegant, fun, warm wedding. Theresa, you and your ‘simple’ dress are STUNNING! Your family and friends look like they are having the time of their lives. You got married!!! You and Clark look so happy….so right.

    I needed to see this….now… thanks for sharing. And congratulations.

    • Theresa

      Thanks so much Mary…your kind words warmed my heart!

  • What a lovely wedding! I especially love the inclusion of children and special activities for them. I’d love to know more about what you did for them. I’ve been thinking about including a personalized activity kit in a tote for each kid (coloring book, etc) for the ceremony, but I’d love to have some more ideas for things for them to do at the reception. Congratulations on a lovely wedding and best wishes to you and your husband!!

    • Theresa

      Hi Caitlin, A friend of mine was in charge of the activity corner…she made each kid a little activity bag with stickers, a magnet of us and other fun stuff. She put out markers, paper, stickers and other crafts. Also, she put out small cars cause some of the boys weren’t that interested in the crafts….all the kids had a blast!! Good luck and thanks for the kind words. Best, T

  • Catching up on my reading here. Big shout out to Sera for telling me to get my ass over here.

    First reaction, yay Mills! I’m also a Mills Alumna and miss almost everything about it.

    Second reaction, yay Meg AND her readers. What a lively conversation! Meg you may have the most meaningful discussions on the web. And you’re commitment to being in the melee is admirable. While I am a big fan of having the courage to have difficult discussions, I also have to say that I don’t thing Meg can be easily pigeonholed the way some of us readers try to in these discussions. I guess what I am saying is that, yes, have difficult discussions. Disagree with each other. Try to make sense of being a modern/traditional/older/younger/feminist/liberal/conservative/Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/hippe/goth/gay/straight man/woman/tranny planning a wedding. God knows we all need it!

    But let’s be easy on ourselves too for chrissake! If you want to be traditional go for it, if not, don’t. I think I’ve read a post on APW where Meg said that very same thing. Let me say that again. Be gentle on yourselves and each other ladies. (And for you “guys” out there, as a Mills Alumna, I mean “Ladies” in a gender-neutral sense ;-) )

  • If my husband does a fist pump at our wedding, I might be the happiest woman alive. You two look so happy and beautiful. Congratulations!

  • Alexandra

    Hooray, congrats! My sweetie & I will be 37 & 34 when we get married next year. We still live like we’re in our late 20s, though. :P