The “making do” tradition in the mountains is literally rooted in making do with what you have. This is the tradition of homemade quilts and flour-sack dresses. It’s the tradition of eating what’s in season and canning surplus for the winter. It’s also the tradition of simple living and self-sufficiency. In many ways it’s the tradition of not wanting what you don’t have.
So why the history lesson on a wedding blog?
Well, with so many blogs and magazines available, it’s easy to get railroaded in thinking that you *have* to have this or you *have* to have that for your wedding. Your budget starts blowing the eff up. You consider going into debt (you know, just a little bit.) You end up asking parents and relatives for money. Maybe mom can buy that Vera Wang gown, and Aunt Elizabeth can spring for those peonies. They, in turn, start to form stronger opinions about how your wedding should look and be. They are, after all, footing part of the bill; shouldn’t they have a say in what they’re paying for? All of the sudden your wedding is no longer your own. Your vision is no longer what counts. There are too many cooks in the kitchen and it’s stressing you the eff out during what should be a lovely and happy time in your life.
Want my best hindsight advice for wedding planning? Use what you have.
Now I’m not suggesting you just cobble some second-grade, crappy-craft DIY wedding together with whatever is laying around the house. This is a significant time in your life, and it does warrant special touches (if you want them.) But it doesn’t mean you should ruin you mental health or hobble yourself with debt for your “very, special, special day.” It’s not an either-or thing; it’s a be realistic thing. It’s also a be-happy-and-grateful-for-what-you-have thing.
So go ahead get your wedding inspiration on. Pin the crap out of gorgeous wedding blog pictures. Tear out over-the-top wedding pictures from magazines. But instead of seeing something cool (and perhaps unaffordable) and thinking you HAVE to have it, look at wedding inspiration for ideas about using what is already around you.
- Family recipes for Italian cookie favors.
- Brown paper bags from the grocery store (to wrap cookies in).
- Grandma’s cake pans to bake our four tier wedding cake.
- Baking skills.
- Scrap wood in the basement for making wedding signs.
- Downed trees for cutting the cake and centerpiece rounds.
- A brother who was a chef (and who helped with day-of coordination).
- I worked at a University where I could hire students cheaply.
- Friends who lent me wedding jewelry.
- A venue with a free tent, tables and chairs.
- Two amazing thrift stores, which we haunted for months looking for cheap vases.
- Hundreds of irises and lupins blooming at our house that time of year, which we used for centerpieces.
- Hindsight Groom is an artist and musician (He created the song lists for our iPod DJ, sewed the bunting, assembled the fabric and ribbon wrapped mason jars, and decorated the wedding cake).
- Local river rocks that held down the menu cards.
- The porcelain gravy boats came from Hindsight mom-in-law.
- Lots of friends to help.
There’s a caveat here: My make-do wedding and your make-do wedding will be different. You have different resources than I had.
Maybe you have family silver and knick-knacks for your centerpieces. Perhaps you’re near a flower market and can hand-tie your own bouquets. Maybe your grandma is a canner and has dozens of mason jars you could use as vases, or maybe she wants to make jam favors for your guests. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a graphic designer friend who will design amazing invitations. Each make-do wedding will be totally different and depend on your resources. But it’s that difference that also makes your wedding totally unique and meaningful
From The Hindsight Bride, a Mountain Wedding blog