The Gingham and Twine Wedding

If you had been living in a cave for the past five years and used only lifestyle web sites to re-integrate yourself into society, you might be convinced the Amish had recently staged a massive cultural revolution. Patchwork quilts, homemade preserves, and chickens pecking around the yard are all an essential part of this ubiquitous aesthetic. The weird thing is, when I walk around my funky, old neighborhood, I never see or hear any live chickens, but on the internet — symbol of the modern age — they’re everywhere! You, former cavedweller, would think every urbanite now had her own flock of Rhode Island Reds, not to mention the talent for spinning alpaca wool and the patience for harvesting maple tree sap. AND the energy to get it all done while breastfeeding three year-old triplets.

This surprisingly long moment of homemade, handspun, do-it-yourselfiness has, unsurprisingly, carried over to weddings, for better or worse. While it’s great that many couples have taken a stand against the high-cost throwdown in favor of a backyard hoedown, this same attitude fosters unrealistic goals among those of us who dig the gingham-and-grosgrain look but are lazy and not terribly self-sufficient.

Take, for example, me. I like to cook, and am pretty good at it, and my house sort of has that eclectic, Etsy-ish look, if by accident (think Southern Belle Grandma meets Dumpster Diver). You hear all about “personalizing” everything at your wedding, and so I got it into my head, with added inspiration from my copy of Martha Stewart Weddings, that I could be my own caterer, baker, florist, party favor maker, tabletop designer, and disc jockey. I had visions of picnic tables in my backyard covered in mismatched floral fabrics and colorful bowls of heirloom tomato salad; mason jars containing black-eyed susans, hydrangeas, and other “local, seasonal” flowers that my neighbors would happily donate; and my Special Someone with his 1938 Martin guitar and our friends and family gathering ’round for a Hank Williams sing-along the end of the night. I did not have visions of the clean-up, cost, or panic that would inevitably be involved. I only knew I wanted flowers in my hair and a dress just short enough that I could walk around my yard barefoot without it getting dirty.

When my parents and I sat down to talk weddings, they immediately dismissed most of my ideas – namely, the whole wedding-at-home thing. “But I’ll do all the work!” I insisted (it was never considered that Special Someone might be able to arrange the cupcake tower). “No, WE’LL do all the work!” they insisted. I knew they were right.

Which brings us to where we are today, planning a July wedding at a country club for 250 of our closest friends. I was resistant for awhile, but now I’m relieved. For one thing, we can invite as many people as we want without worrying about someone clogging the toilet or, worse, the stench of Jiffy John overpowering the lilac bouquets. We don’t have to do much of anything besides show up and fork over a small fortune (and by we, I mean my Ma and Pa – thanks, y’all!). Even the cake is included, and allegedly very good. But as God is my witness, I will make the damn party favors myself!


6 Comments on “The Gingham and Twine Wedding”

  1. Anonymous vintage country hipster says:

    According to the Hank Williams song Wedding Bells, you should have a blossom from an orange tree in your hair…

  2. Sheena says:

    I had this exact wedding, except it wasn’t a country club so much as a place that looks like a country club and exists solely for weddings. It was fun because all I had to do was show up. So I say: good choice!

  3. skepticbride says:

    AVCH: I feel like I know you somehow…

    Sheena: Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Ellie says:

    In the Wedding Blog Industry, we call this, “throwing money at the problem”. I’m a big fan of it. In retrospect, I often wish we had gone with one of the three all-in-one places that we looked at that would have done everything for us. It would have been SO NICE to not worry about the caterers and the setup and what caterer to use. Mark’s sister is doing that and I’m a little jealous. I kind of want the time we spent looking for a caterer back.

    Also, we brought all our centerpieces and our own photobooth and a bunch of other DIY stuff and it was a transportation/setup/cleanup stressfest. I do not recommend that stuff, and it’s pretty easy to make your wedding feel personal without going totally DIY crazy – just pick things you like. If you like your wedding, it will feel like you.

  5. skepticbride says:

    Ellie, thanks for the encouragement! I am definitely an enthusiastic convert to this throwing-money-at-the-problem school of wedding planning. I’m so lazy I don’t even plan my wedding – I just write about it.

  6. […] its credit, Anthropologie marketed the gingham-and-twine aesthetic long before magazines, web sites, and other retailers caught on. In my rather reductionist cultural […]

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