As the co-founder of a company that is involved in the wedding invitation business, people often ask me what my own wedding was like. They're always surprised to learn that I eloped; what's more, I didn't even send out wedding invitations!
I share this potentially incriminating piece of information, as well as the visual evidence (no pictures of gorgeous letterpress wedding invitations!) because it underscores a fundamental belief I hold about weddings: at its core, a wedding is a deeply personal experience, and there is no right way to celebrate it.
Weddings present an inherent tension for the bride and groom, who are faced with the daunting task of deciding how to orchestrate the affair. On the one hand, they are an incredibly intimate, deeply personal exchange of vows (elope!). On the other, they are a celebration of the joining of families, friends and community (fabulous party!). Everyone has to find their own place on the spectrum; I've personally begun to believe that the English may have it all figured out (as usual!) with their tradition of a small, intimate ceremony followed by a larger reception (with fabulous hats!). That said, the most important thing is to do what is right for you.
Julian and I tied the knot at the lovely Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, a magical spot on the California coast that had also been the site of the first weekend trip we ever took together. Because he from England and I grew up all over the world, our friends and family are far-flung and organizing a traditional wedding felt logistically daunting. So, we settled for a small ceremony with just our immediate family and a few close friends, including photographer Belynda Webb. In lieu of a traditional wedding gown, I wore a Marc Jacobs cocktail dress and a short netted veil. We stayed at the romantic Post Ranch Inn and the entire family made a weekend of it, taking in the serenity of the Big Sur coast. The experience was truly magical.
Whether big or small, simple or decadent, the experience is what it's all about!
Photographs courtesy of Belynda Webb.