Stacey & Ben's family farm home-grown wedding #Real Weddings: Southern US#barbecue#beer#bonfire#fall weddings#farm#handfasting#hula hoop#logs#long-haired groom#secular#virginia#wedding dogs February 18 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Bob Donnan The Offbeat Bride: Stacey, Spanish Teacher/Livery Owner Her offbeat partner: Ben, Blacksmith Knife-Maker/Livery Owner Date and location of wedding: Hill-top family farm in the mountains of VA — September 29, 2012 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding was a product of the hard work of our family and close friends. We held it on my husband's family farm, and did most everything ourselves. Family grew the flowers, friends and family made the centerpieces and bouquets. Ben made the cake stand with a chainsaw and his forge. He even built the gazebo we got married under. It was truly a labor of love! Our sweet dogs were in our wedding party. I wore a second-hand wedding dress that I got from recycledbride.com. Our dessert table had yummy cheesecake and an assortment of homemade pies and cupcakes. We served pulled pork BBQ and home-brewed beer. For partying down, we had a bonfire and lots of lawn games, and I made a bunch of hula hoops. Many people — including Ben and I — camped out on the farm, which made for late-night fun. Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant was a family friend. We pieced our ceremony together by scouring the internet for sources to combine. We wrote some and our officiant wrote a little as well. It was a non-religious ceremony. My brother-in-law played acoustic guitar and sang as the ceremony music, which meant a lot to us. We chose two readings for two good friends to read, and we also asked my mom and Ben's dad choose their own readings. We had a handfasting ceremony that was beautiful. We loved the symbolism of the handfasting binding us together. Our biggest challenge: Since we had our wedding on a family farm, there were a lot of extra things to plan for. We had to rent Porta-Potties, tents, tables and chairs, silverware, glasses, beverage dispensers, etc. We had to procure enough tablecloths to cover the tables. We had to do all the yard work and grass mowing. In the end, it was all worth the effort. My favorite moment: The speeches that my dad, my sister, and Ben's brother made. Everything was meaningful since it was all done by family! My funniest moment: One of my bridesmaids drank a whole bottle of moonshine and passed out sitting around the bonfire. We had to wheel her in a wheelbarrow to her tent to go to sleep. Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I forgot the handfasting cord that I had made. But luckily our officiant, Amy, was wearing a scarf for back-up. What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The most important thing that was reinforced to me is how important a support network is. I can't describe how wonderful it makes me feel to know how much our family and friends love us. All the hard work they put in to our wedding made it wonderful. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Dress: I wore a second-hand wedding dress from recycledbride.com Photography: Bob Donnan Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Austin Queer Weddings: "Super fun! Super gay! For your super queer wedding day!" NEXT Some seriously sexy fashion overload in this reader round-up Show/Hide comments [ 8 ] Beautiful! By the way, I was scrolling through (ooh bunting! ooh sunflowers! where do you find pretty yellow tablecloths?!) until I got to a picture with the hills in the background and had to stop to go back and check where this wedding happened – I am from West Virginia and I know those hills! 4 agree Reply Thank you! If your in west va you might recognize the area. The farm where we had the wedding is only about 30 min from the west va border! A beautiful area! Reply A bone-fire and Hula hoops! What more could you ask at your wedding? How about a fantastic arch made of sticks?… Yeah that will do! I really liked everything about this wedding. But I always feel a special kinship to women who have a colored stone for their wedding ring instead of a diamond. I have a Mexican fire opal for my center stone (orange). 3 agree Reply Oh my goodness-this looks like one of the most beautiful weddings imaginable! So much love, and every single person there looks happy and blissful! Outstanding, gorgeous work! 2 agree Reply love this , love the inclusion of the puppy x Reply Oh my. I desperately wanted a bonfire for my wedding, but we couldn't find a venue that would allow it. :/ Makes me wish we had a family farm. We do get to have hula hoops though! (And what, you made hula hoops? More info?) This looks like it was a smashing good time, though. Lovely. Reply Making hula hoops is EASY! http://www.jasonunbound.com/hoops.html (Random trivia: in 2003, I was a cofounder of http://hooping.org 🙂 ) Reply I love this wedding and everything about it. I am in southern WV so it looks so familiar to me as we'll 🙂 I hope you don't mind if I use your wedding for inspiration while planning mine. We will be getting married at our neighbors farm outside of Beckley. Love and light to you both! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. 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