Katie & Clinton's Photo-tastic Family Fun Farm Wedding

April 29 |

The Offbeat Bride: Katie, Photographer & Teacher (aka. KatieMalone on the Offbeat Bride Tribe.)

Her Offbeat Partner: Clinton, Glass Blower

Location & date of wedding: A farm in Berkshire County, MA. — August 23, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was perfectly us in every detail. We knew we wanted a fun country wedding that reflected us as much as it could, as well as entertain the various age groups and personalities of our guests.

Kids & adults playing with bubbles.
Kids & adults playing with bubbles.
As a teacher, children are very important to our lives, so we couldn't exclude them from the fun! We made sure we had plenty of toys for outside, including badminton, hula hoops, bubbles & frisbees. We had an arts & crafts table with paperdolls we made featuring us, watercolor paint sets, stickers & markers. As a photographer, I HAD to have the photo booth. It was a splurge, but well worth it. We used it for the guest book as well — guests decorated pages with supplies from the arts & crafts table along with strips from the photo booth. And as huge jazz fans, we had a fantastic jazz band play for everyone to boogie down to. It was great to see the guests moving around the farm with so much to do, no one sat down!

We wanted to make the favors uniquely us. Clinton is a glass blower & made 150 blue glass roses that we placed at each place setting. I wanted a photo favor of us from me, so we got stickers printed up featuring us, because everyone wants stickers of us!

I wore my mother's wedding gown from 1976, although we did alter it some. I wore yellow flats for shoes. Clinton wore a Zoot Suit & sneakers (fancy sneakers). After dinner, we changed into more casual wear for dancing all night. My casual wedding dress was from KT Jean Design.

Our good friends did our flowers, with daisies as the main theme. And another friend married us. He is a Buddhist Priest & performed a beautiful ceremony that was perfect for us. I had both of my parents walk me up the hill to my future husband.

Instead of throwing my bouquet, I threw a rubber chicken & one of my bridesmaids caught it. She got a coupon for 20 free hot wings. It was just funny to see people's reaction. Afterwards, we had a dozen or so rubber chickens to throw around the farm, but alot of them ended up on the dance floor and in the photo booth.

Polaroid table numbers!!!
Polaroid table numbers!!!
Photos were very important to have at our wedding too. We had disposable cameras on the tables & I had guests & a bridesmaid who are all professional photographers. We made flickr upload cards & got over 500 guest photos within a week from guests. Up at our "alter" I took a quick shot of everyone watching us getting married. I ended up shooting a lot of shots myself too, because I wanted to. I wanted to take photos through my eyes & my style. Our hired photographer was excellent & we took photos down the road at a beautiful park before the wedding even started. It was great to do that before the wedding to get them out the the way & spend some quieter time with each other.

My mother made all of the tablecloth over lays & my mother in law set up a lounge area up in the loft with pillows and slipcovers & photos of us growing up & together. They were nice handmade touches that they worked so hard on & they looked great!

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Our biggest challenge: Oh man! Our wedding was a near disaster, believe it or not.

The people who ran the farm were horrendous! From screaming at us for setting up the wedding (we set up everything, because the crew wasn't there until an hour before the wedding), to screaming in the barn at each other during our vows to making obscene gestures in our photo booth. The food was all wrong, cold & missing & they ran out. Our cupcakes were flowerless, the list goes on & on….

What we did to deal with this: Nothing! Our wedding was so beautiful & magical, and there was sooooo much positive love and energy brought in from our guests & family, it wiped all of the negativity out & we were able to ignore them & the problems & have the best day of our lives. I remember blocking out all of the bullshit & thinking, "Damn it, this is our day. Nothing is going to put me down".

Love will Conquer All.

My favorite moment: As traditional as this may seem, it was our first dance. We danced to "Sweet Thing" by Van Morrison. A quarter through of the way through the song, my Dad cut in! This wasn't planned as the next song I was so pose to dance with him, not this one!

So he cut in & Clinton danced with his mom & sister & my mom & brother danced together. Then, partners were switched again & I had no one to dance with! I stood there in the middle of the dance floor for 15 seconds or so with no one. Then one of my bridesmaids jumped in & I danced with her. The next song was planned to be the family song, but since we just did that, it was just me & Clinton this time dancing to "The Wind" by Cat Stevens. It was beautiful & dreamlike.

My advice for other offbeat brides: I thought our wedding would be perfect! We were soooo organized & well planned. Everything was in order & should have been perfect. But it was faaaar from perfect, yet it was the best day of our lives.

You cannot plan the day, as much & as carefully as you plan. Unexpected things may happen. Bad things may happen. Good things that were not planned will happen. As long as you have love & support from your family & guests, it will be "perfect."

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

  1. Katie,
    I looked into getting married at this place; decided against it thankfully! How creepy is that old man giving the bird in the photo booth!!! That being said, I loved reading that you were above it and didn't let it ruin your day! Your wedding looked lovely!

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  2. First, I have to say that the picture on the stairs there is absolutely breathtaking!

    Second, kudos to you for having such a fantastic attitude! This was very encouraging to read about. And your wedding looks beautiful. Congratulations!

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  3. Your wedding is so sweet! I love the polaroid table numbers, they look great. The little details like the bubbles and the rubber chicken are so fun… sounds like it was a really great time.

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  4. What a beautiful wedding! i love how they include children, the bubbles and after all how the couple looks really happy and bright!!

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  5. This is one of my favorite wedding posts ever. These people sound awesome! So true about just rolling with the punches when things go wrong. And I would totally have mowed down some bridesmaids to get the rubber chicken just for the wings.

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  6. oh i'm TOTALLY stealing the rubber chicken idea! i have a collection of them at the office – they're coming with me to the reception!

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  7. I'm so horrified reading more about the staff at your location (followed the links to the comments in the newspaper). But I'm pleased to know that you were able to rise above it and just have a fun party.

    If it helps, just think that you two have learned some amazing ways to cope together with whatever life throws at you and come away rising above it all.

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  8. I remember reading about the venue troubles in a post in OBT. that sucks so much, but Katie had the right attitude. this looked like such a sweet wedding! congrats :)

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  9. yeah. i remember reading about that. i'm glad it didn't ruin your day.

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  10. Hi Katie!

    Thank goodness your family and friends are a) awesome, and b) the people that will be around in your life (aka not those jerkboats). And great job on finding your peace and enjoying your wedding!

    the spirit of everyone who loves you is palpable in the photos. gorgeous!

    i tried to read the beagle article, but it got taken down. Do you mind telling me the name of the place? I live in WMass, and i would be sick if i knew someone who ended up giving those dickwads any business…..

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  11. katie is awesome!!! the holgas are gorgeous…some of my favorites!!

    what a fun wedding…it was so great to read all the details! way to stay positive and loving throughout, no matter what happens.

    wishing katie & clinton a wonderful & magical life together!
    xox

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  12. Thanks so much, everyone for the comments, everyone! It was the love of our family & friends that made our wedding special.

    Jillian,
    I can't tell you the name of the farm, but it's not hard to figure out with minimal research.

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  13. ZOMG that last shot is AMAZING – I want to crawl inside it and live there forever!

    And your wedding looked like so much FUN!

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  14. The last pic, such a magic place!.I even figured out myself in that place with my partner, romantic, magical, enjoying him alone with him. It must have been a perfect day for them, nice marry party.

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  15. I wish I could say that I am at peace with the evil things that happened. I'm not over it & sometimes have a hard time separating "our day" from "their day". I may have seemed over the drama when I wrote this way back when, but everyday is different. Looking back on our wedding, 8 months ago now, still gives me mixed feelings. I advise you all to RESEARCH RESEARCH & ASK FOR REFERENCES. I wish we did. It's a good rule of thumb in anything really-choosing a pet sitter, an accountant, mechanic…etc.
    That said, we are glad we had such wonderful family & friends to help us on our day. We had early arriving guests who helped us set up our table settings, decorations, etc (due to the circumstances). You know you are loved when that happens. Plus the love & warmth throughout the day was everywhere from our friends & family. When all is said & done, The most important thing is that our wedding wasn't as important as our marriage is.

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  16. Oh my God, this is in my area! I was looking at this place!

    I hope that your complaints to the BBB went over well. I don't know what the BBB does to remedy situations, but I do hope some reparations were made for you. I wish I had money to buy a place like that out and do it PROPERLY. I've considered going into the wedding planning business before… hearing about people who are so inordinately unprofessional just makes me want to do it more. So that it's done RIGHT.

    I will be sure to thoroughly research a place and read reviews before I choose to use it.

    I am so glad that your family was there for you, and I truly hope that karma will kick in for those rude people.

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  17. OMG, shocking stuff! So much kudos to you guys for being strong enough to rise above it, though. There's no way those people should be running a wedding venue – I really hope you manage to get some redress and closure after such appalling behaviour on their part. I reckon definitely contact the press – this is a real story, it'd probably be cathartic for you guys to get it out there, and the publicity would probably save a few people from booking at the venue in question!

    And that photo on the steps is amazing, one of the most gorgeous wedding shots I've ever seen!

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  18. I want to thank you for sharing your really positive attitude about not letting things going wrong bother you DURING your wedding (retrospect is fine…but not ruining your day is key!). I needed to read this and then see your pictures of how truly happy you were on your wedding day! My wedding is in 28 days and I'm going to try and emulate your good attitude if things don't go exactly as I have them in my head! The day is about US…and sharing out love with our family and friends. Thanks for the reminder!

    Even if your venue let you down…it was a beautiful setting! I'm in the Berkshires, too (though my wedding is in the Hudson Vally of NY)…dying to figure out where this was!

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  19. Katie, I can totally relate to the almost-ruined wedding. We had so many little things go wrong, which I was able to pretty easily brush off and recognize as trivial in the face of our wedding day. BUT- some of the neighbors of the reception venue called the police as soon as they saw a wedding was being set up. So guests arrived at our reception with the cops outside, and neighbors standing around in their boxers with their arms folded, angrily peeking into our reception. So no hardly anyone drank, and practically all of our guests left early (literally only us and a couple of our sisters were left with an hour or two left of the reception.) The owner of the reception place was so worried about the police being called that she kept turning our music down, which was never any louder than you would listen to in your house on a regular day, so no one danced to our whispering music. My mother in law, among other things, also video taped the wedding and reception despite all our requesting (basically by the end of the planning telling her she would be asked to leave if she showed up with a video camera). My grandparents couldn't make it to the wedding because they are both battling cancer, and when they asked if we would send them a video of it we explained our reasons for not wanting video, and they and the rest of my family respected that, but now half of our pictures from the day feature my mother-in-law with her head replaced by her camera.

    I have those mixed feelings about our wedding day, too. For most of it, I am able to separate the disappointments from the really beautiful and joyful moments. But it is really hard to get over the things that were not just details- the owner of our reception venue lurking around nervously and warning people every few minutes that they might be arrested, the early departures of people we thought would stay and hang out with us all night… those seriously affect the way I think of our wedding. I hope we can both compartmentalize our memories and look back on the happy things without souring them with the disappointments!

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  20. Rodrigues,
    I'm sorry about the stress you had. It's hard, I know. Walking on egg shells the entire wedding. Never really relaxing completely. The key is to separate the bad from the good. Remember the good, push aside the bad. The important thing is that you are married now & the wedding doesn't have to set the tone for your future. Your married now & someday, maybe, possibly, you will laugh about the problems of the wedding. I'm not there yet, but someday…

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  21. Hi Katie,
    I'm sorry your wedding was so troublesome and I know that if that happened to me I would probably be crying the whole time. (I'm not so good at holding back my emotions.) But I wanted to ask you if you can recommend any venues for a wedding in the Berkshires on a farm with a pretty barn like yours that isn't run by a bunch of a-holes. Were there any places that you considered before deciding on this venue that you wish you had gone with? The pictures are just so pretty and it looks like exactly what I had in mind so I would love recommendations if you have any…

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  22. HI katie,
    I too am getting married at a hobby farm, and I am trying to find some blue flowers just like the ones in your flowers. What are they?
    Thanks,
    Tiffany~

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  23. Hi Emily, while it's not a barn, Santarella is soooo beautiful! We looked into it, but it only holds about 70-90 max, so it was too small for us. Maybe someday we will do an anniversary party there! Other than that, I'm not sure about other barns in Berkshire County. There is Gedney Farm in New Marlborough,but tres pricey!There has got to be others in Berkshire County. What about Hancock Shaker Village? I don't know if they still do private events, but that's a thought.

    Hi Tiffany, I'm not sure, I'll ask my friend/florist. We just told them we wanted white, blue & yellow country flowers & left it all to them, so we got whatever was beautiful & in season. But I'll email her.

    Thank you all for your lovely comments & support!

    XXX000

    I'm feeling the love, it's my birthday!!!

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  24. Hey Katie!

    I was on your facebook page and took a stroll over to this kick ass website!! I loved your review of your wedding and I'm sorry that all of that bad stuff happened but like all of the other ladies who wrote here, I'm happy that you were able to rise above it. Remember…what goes around comes around and those people should learn some manners!! Stay positive and I hope you two have a wonderful future and a great marriage together!!

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  25. Thank you for sharing your story! I am so sorry this happened to you. I was looking at this place and now I am crossing it off the list.

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  26. 2 years later, the venue is now gone. They mis-managed it down to the ground. The farm didn't even have the right licenses in the first place. They foreclosed on the farm and ALL of dirt on them came out. It was all in the papers about their crookedness. Not just from my wedding, but many others too. They owed and swindled from everyone. And other crooked dealings all over town. After over a year in court, we won a settlement against them which we have yet to receive.
    In the end, 2 years latter, the wedding was the best day of my life AND I will always have negative thoughts associated with it, but I don't care anymore. We are married and that is the important thing. We may get married again, just for fun. Why not. But again, the important thing is that we are married, not that we had a wedding and it was awesome and terrible all at the same time.

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  27. Oh no now I'm scared ill book this place! Looking in the Berkshires area, which I'm not very familiar with… and can't tell which place it is! Any hints? Anyway it looks like it was beautiful and so glad u had such a magical day!

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