Whimsical Vegan Garden Wedding
by:Darien Parish with Stephanie Ales
If ever there was a list of things that were defined as "darling" we're certain this here wedding would top it. The high school sweethearts sourced as much as they could locally or via small businesses, served up an entirely vegan menu, and if you can believe it, they did it all on a tight budget. Every last detail of his mostly hand-crafted wedding was inspired by the brides love of nature, right down to the bamboo place settings. We could review each and every one of our favorites for you (like those succulent bouquets, the handwritten stones in lieu of a guest book and the handmade branch centerpieces!), but we'll just leave it up to you to pour over it all again and again (also, see below for the bride's overview of all her favorite details). One bit that absolutely needs mentioning, though, is the bride's jewelry piece made by Sarah Van Houten of Bellingham. Delicately laid across the bride's shoulders, with it's intricate branch-like draping and natural cut stones, it's positively ethereal.
From the bride:
"The inspiration for our wedding was my love of nature. I have often said that "nature is my church". I couldn't imagine having such an important and spiritually meaningful ceremony and celebration indoors. There was talk of "what if it rains?" because there was no indoor option at our venue. But I always said in that case we would either just go on with it in the rain, or we would wait for a sunny day. We lucked out though! It was beautiful.
More specifically a part of the nature theme was a tree theme. Trees have been a recurring and meaningful symbol in my life, and naturally, when Logan and I were thinking about the rituals we wanted to include in our ceremony, the idea of planting a tree together in the garden seemed perfect. The centerpieces were trees (handmade by my mom and I!), we included tree slices on the dessert table and many other elements were made of natural wood, including my earrings, which were hand-carved.
I tried to include as many handmade/artist pieces as possible. Whenever I could I went through local artists, but I also found a lot of talented people through Etsy.
And the food! It was all vegan, and we got so many compliments on it.
There were a ton of DIY details. Some of my favorites were the programs - which I made from a template online, then cut, folded, hole punched and tied ribbon to 100! I cut and glued dried lavendar to each invitation and hand lettered each envelope. For our guestbook, everyone wrote on rocks, which we now use in a rock garden that we can look at every day. It was a long process of cleaning off all the rocks when they came covered in dirt, but worth it (you can buy them cleaned from a craft store, but they are much cheaper from the hardware store - just takes a bit of work). I also did all of the chalkboard signs. A little detail I really liked was the little locket on my bouquet with a piece of lace from my mom's wedding dress. Oh and our coloring books! I designed every page from cover to back. I even tried to make the front cover look like us.
Some of my favorite memories of the day were Logan having a hard time holding back tears all throughout our ceremony and reading our handwritten vows to each other, feeling closer than I ever have to Logan in that moment.
I think if I could go back and do it again I would try to budget for a wedding planner/coordinator, or at least a designer. I spent so much time and stress doing it all myself, and I think with someone's help I would have not only saved all that time and stress but possibly even some or all of the money it would have taken to hire them.
Also, I didn't realize how far in advance all of your vendors need to be booked. Several of them, like my makeup artist and officiant, involved me emailing and calling everyone from Bellingham to Olympia and finding that everyone was booked. Obviously, I finally found someone, and they ended up being the absolute perfect fit, but it definitely was stressful and time consuming!
Finally, the reception went by way too fast. We had a few minutes to go around to tables and say hello, but not enough time to get to everyone. If I could go back I would have made the reception 2 hours longer."
Ceremony & Reception
Tablecloth, Napkin, and Glassware Rentals:
Pie & Mini Pies
Hair & Makeup
Custom Hand-Stamped Pie Server
Hand Carved Wooden Gauge Earrings
Custom Handmade Lovebirds Pie Topper
His & Hers Wooden Vow Books
Wooden mini-pie (or cupcake) stand
Handmade Flower Girl baskets and Ring Bearer nest