Lauren & Simon's Llama-Fest handmade vegetarian wedding

April 12 |

Llama Portrait

The offbeat bride: Lauren, Fashion Designer
Her offbeat partner: Simon, Freelance Video Editor

Location & date of wedding: Hawkmeadow Llama Farm in Lee, Massachusetts — September 12, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted to have a wedding that completely reflected our unique personalities. We chose a llama farm in the Berkshire Mountains for our location, and had a llama themed wedding.

Wedding Hair

Llama Cookies
Who doesn't love llama cookies!?

We decorated with llama dolls from Bolivia. Our placecards were stone llamas from Bolivia and Peru. Our save-the-dates were handmade llamas made from alpaca fabric. Our handmade invitations featured a llama bride and groom. The day before the wedding, our guests enjoyed a special llama hike through the mountains. We had llama cookies, llama cupcakes, llama chocolate lollipops, and even a llama cake!

Having our wedding on a farm allowed us to grow our own flowers for the ceremony and reception. They were displayed in mismatched vases we collected from thrift stores. We wrote our own ceremony, which included readings written by our friends and family and a belly dance "blessing." My brother became ordained for the day and performed the ceremony.

Bellydance

Our wedding was also eco-friendly. The wedding party and wedding guests rode a school bus to and from the llama farm. The reception was not only vegetarian, but the sugarcane and corn starch plates, cups and silverware were also 100% compostable.

My husband and I choreographed our first dance, which involved glittery spandex and lifts.

First Dance

For dessert, we utilized the farm's fire circle, and had a s'mores bar / bonfire, in addition to llama cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate lollipops.

Our biggest challenge: We had three biggest challenges. The first was convincing our families that a non-traditional, completely DIY wedding on a llama farm would not only be legal, but would be the most heartfelt, creative, memorable wedding any of our guests would ever attend. My Catholic mother was afraid that breaking the news to my super Catholic grandmother would kill her. Once my brother assured her that he would take the job of officiant seriously, my family was able to sleep at night.

Wedding Portrait

Our families were also extremely concerned and critical of the fact that our wedding would be vegetarian. We endured endless criticism from people who worried that they would be hungry, and others who accused us of being cheap. We assured all of them that we had hired the best vegetarian caterer in New England, that there would be plenty of food that wasn't salad, and that it would be delicious. It was difficult to endure, but since we knew it would work out in the end, it was easier to push through.

Wedding Dress Lining

The final challenge was making my dress! I spent two years making the dress, which featured thousands of handmade silk flowers. There were times when I cried into piles of fabric, thinking that I wouldn't finish on time. It was definitely worth the stress to be able to stand in front of everyone I know in an unforgettable masterpiece that I could say I made myself!

Wedding Dress Closeup

In Front of our Home Grown Flowers

My favorite moment: My favorite moment was walking down the aisle, seeing the excited, bewildered, joyous faces of all of our guests. As I approached my husband, I saw our closest family and friends surrounding us at the altar, waiting to read us the words they had written for us, and my brother ready to marry us. I couldn't imagine getting married any other way.

My other favorite moment was being announced at the beginning of our reception. My husband and I had changed into glittery spandex outfits to accommodate our very upbeat, self-choreographed first dance. It was a surprise for everyone, but afterward our guests said they shouldn't have expected anything less!

End of our First Dance

My advice for offbeat brides: My best tip for planning a non-traditional wedding is to grow a thick skin. Realize that people are going to have criticism – that sometimes people are afraid of new things. A wedding is the celebration of the love between two people, and the best, most sincere way of expressing that love is by having a ceremony that truly reflects who you are as people and as a couple. If you create your own non-traditional celebration, it will be much more meaningful to you and to your guests. The people in my life who were most critical of our wedding choices before the big day are now the people who can not stop talking about how meaningful, unique, and FUN our wedding was!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • The dress was a custom creation by the bride
  • Groom's suit: Panzai
  • Wedding planner: Kyle Bruens Goldman
  • The decor was collected from different sources, including thrift shops and handycraft markets in South America.
  • Photographer: Drive By Photography
  • Vegetarian Caterer: Joan Embree
  • Hawkmeadow Llama Farm
  1. Llamas! Even coming from someone who's not a fan of pink everything looks beautiful, but I must admit I'm mainly impressed by the llamas. They're wonderful animals and I've always been a fan.

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  2. "Llama cupcakes" is the best phrase I've heard all day. (Ignoring that it's only 8:30 am. Surely I will hear no greater phrase today.)

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  3. Dear lord, your dress is awesome. And who doesn't love llamas? I tried to find a farm with goats in my area, but they were all a little pricey. I have a "farm" sans animals. Ah well, it's going to be great anyhow.

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    • I wish I'd thought of something like this, although doubtless it would have clashed with boyfriends desires for beautiful photos. Ah well, the place we've got booked has sheep roaming around which is near enough.

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      • Oh, should probably explain that comment. I'm in no way suggesting these wedding pictures, or anyone else's don't look beautiful. Really didn't think that comment through!
        What I should have said is that my boyfriend has very specific ideas for what he wants in the background of our photos which pretty much limited our wedding venues to stately homes, most of which are not known for their llama population. :(

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        • No offense taken! (I shot the wedding) Even Llamas in the rain are awesome when your bride and groom are so much fun!

          I personally wanted to be married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator, but my husband wanted something more traditional. ;)

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  4. OMG OMG Your dress if freakin gorgeous!! It's sick! SO worth the blood seat and tears! And the fuschia/magenta on the bottom, LOVE IT!!! SO beautiful.
    THe whole thing looks beautiful and fun. The flowers are so natural and nice.

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  5. Your dress is gorgeous!!! Love the sparkly costumes for the first dance as well….congrats!

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  6. I love llamas! And the glittery spandex is wicked! I love that you two pushed through the criticism on veggie food- people often get the wrong idea about it. rock on!

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  7. Seriously, I love your wedding so much! Llamas! You're dress! Did I mention Llamas?

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  8. I don't really understand the criticism of vegetarian food! I think people just don't realize that there are so many meals out there that are vegetarian without trying.

    When I have people over for dinner they don't even notice that the dinner is vegetarian, but if I tell them in advance then they complain. :)

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    • Same here. I think some people either have a preconcieved notion of vegetarian food, or they assume it's just the extras to a meat dish without the meat, which in many cases would pretty much leave a side salad.

      Sometimes I do like serving people vegetarian dinners without pointing it out just to see what they say, or if they even think about it, and 9 times out of 10 they don't. Heck sometimes I haven't realised until later that I've had a 'veggie day'.

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  9. This wedding just makes my heart sing. This has to be one of the offbeat-est weddings I've seen on this site, and who would have imagined the combination of spandex, a farm wedding, glamour and llamas would be so good?

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  10. i was lucky enough to be at this wedding and can truly say that it was the most memorable wedding i have been to ! the attention to detail was amazing and the atmosphere electric ! The photo's don't do the dress justice though – it was the best wedding dress i have ever seen – the time that went into it was so worth it – watch this space – this lady is going to make it BIG !!!!!!

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  11. please please tell me there is a video of the first dance. PLEASE! that sparkly spandex is epicly wonderful.

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  12. THIS WEDDING LOOKS AMAZING! THE DRESS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! i will definately be contacting you about making my dress (if my wedding ever gets pulled together…)

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  13. It's been said before but it bears repeating. That dress is insane!! Props to you on your mad skills.

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  14. What a fantastic-looking wedding! And it's full of LLAMAS! And fun and smiles! Looks like a great day, and I love the outfits :D

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  15. Thanks for all the comments! I just wanted to drop the name of our wedding planner, Kyle Bruens Goldman. If you are getting married in the Western Massachusetts area, you should look her up! We would not have been able to do so many handmade things without her help with everything else!

    Also, here is the link for our first dance, since some people asked about it:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/scherme1#p/u/9/hVN_hO7Kj1Y

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    • LMAO – this is SOOOOOO awesome. Spandex has never looked more fun and romantic :)

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  16. The dress is fabulous, but I want to know where the groom got his jacket! I love the textured and non-traditional tailoring.

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    • hi,
      this is the groom. I got the tux custom made at a place in new york called Panzai. I designed it based on some of the stuff that they have in their catalogue and yah. so they measured me and i drew it out and they made it.

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  17. Holy CRAP. I have been lurking on this site for ages and always wondered what wedding would inspire me to break down and comment…this is amazing. Cheers to you!

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  18. *slow clap* Hi, can we talk about how much I am in love with and want to marry that dress? And the shoes. The shoes are awesome-tastic. And the glittery pink spandex for the first dance? Ballsy. Well done, friends…well done.

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  19. Llamas, llamas everywhere! How brilliant! And I am so impressed that you made your dress!

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  20. HOMG. Groom in pink sparkly spandex=best thing ever.

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  21. I love this website, but I've been a lurker as I've been planning my own wedding. However, I went to school and college-next-door with Lauren, and I have to say if any of my friends were going to be featured here, I would have picked her first. What an awesome, soul-full wedding this looks to be!

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  22. Yay Lauren and Simon! I was at this wedding and I have to say they totally forgot to mention the Llama hike! We went hiking with the llamas before the wedding. :) What a great idea and a super fun wedding!

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