Olivia & Mike's fall French foodie wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
offbeatbride
Photos by Don Harper

The offbeat bride: Olivia

Her offbeat partner: Mike, Carpenter

Date and location of wedding: L'Auberge Provencale Boyce, Virginia — October 10, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We decided to put all of our efforts into the things that really mattered to us. I found the dress of my dreams for under $600! I wanted to do something very French in the mountains of Virginia. When we went to brunch at L'Auberge, I knew that this was the place where I wanted to get married.

The most important aspect of the wedding was the food. While everyone had their own ideas as to what we should spend out money on, we knew we were going to splurge on food.

I didn't want to do a traditional long veil, so I got a fantastic feathered fascinator! My husband didn't want to wear the traditional black tux, so he wore a gorgeous grey morning suit, perfect for our sunday afternoon wedding.

It was important to us to be eco-friendly. The inn we chose is a certified green inn! We used no disposable products during our wedding and our invitations were made from recycled paper.

My shoes! I wore red leopard-print pumps.

Tell us about the ceremony: We used two Kahlil Gibran poems in the ceremony.

As the minister said in his preface to the first poem, "The beliefs and thoughts about love which motivate these two people are perhaps best expressed in the words of poet Kahlil Gibran …"

You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping,
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together,
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in shadow.

The second poem ended the ceremony.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks to another day of loving.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home eventide with gratitude, and then sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Our biggest challenge: Planning our wedding from another state. Five months before the wedding, we moved to New York City, but we still had loose ends we had to tie up. We managed to make do with our mothers' help. Mike's mother rounded up the clan for tux fittings, bought shoes, and flew in relatives. My mother was an angel — she picked out the flowers (from Stephanie of Lavendar Green, a flower ARTIST!), had meetings with the innkeeper, and managed to tie up all the other loose ends.

We had a few scares, too. When I arrived on Friday for my Sunday wedding, my dress was about two sizes too big. Thank the stars my mom and her group of sewing friends managed to make it fit like a glove!

It is always difficult having young children in the wedding party, but being flexible made it all not matter in the end!

My favorite moment: Our vows. Mike and I wrote a few promises we wanted to make to each other before the wedding. We didn't vow to "obey" or anything quite so traditional. We simply promised to always respect and love the other and allow each other to always be who we are!

The speeches given by our family members were also a deeply touching part of the wedding. They were unexpected and I think everyone got choked up!

My funniest moment: I liked smashing the cake in the groom's face. The innkeeper had given him a stern warning about shoving cake into my face. (She, as a fabulous lady, felt it was simply not dignified.) However, she had said nothing about me not smashing cake into his face! The look on his face is simply priceless.

My advice for offbeat brides:

  • It's your wedding. I know everyone says this, but it is easy especially if family is helping you financially. Stay true to yourself.
  • Don't make any drastic changes, i.e. tanning or hair color, right before the wedding. I went tanning the night before and unfortunately, I got a terrible sunburn!
  • Take some time to be with your groom; it is about him, too.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. My brother read that second KG poem at our ceremony! I love everything about this – the food looks AMAZING

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