Remember my Camp v. Farm dilemma? Well, the more farms I looked into, the more wise to the “farm wedding” industry I became.
Most of the farms that I found that hosted weddings were not working farms any more (of course there are exceptions). While many of them used to be farms, they now exclusively do events. Some have a small veggie garden, and a few are actually working farms, but many don’t grow any food at all.
I asked one of the owners about this. He had been farming for 40 years and just started doing weddings 5 years ago. “The truth of it is, I can make more money on a wedding weekend than I can in practically a whole season of growing food. It’s a better investment for me to keep renovating for events than to put money into growing food”. Huh? Wow.
So, if the food wasn’t going to be grown on the farm (in most cases), what were we getting for our money? A beautiful venue. A finely catered meal (generally organic, some local). Great service. All this for a fairly high price tag.
Sigh. Buh bye beautiful farms.
I love your refurbished barns and picturesque settings. I love your waiters and your matching dinnerware. I will dream about being one of the beautiful brides on your website enjoying her elegant wedding. You host gorgeous weddings that I swoon over, but I think we are just too rustic and hippy for you.
Too rustic and hippy for a farm? Go figure.
Of course, this is just our experience. I know that there are some great farms out there that do wedding events. And when you choose to host your wedding at places like these, you are helping to support local farmers (of the produce, not wedding variety). One that I came across is Broadturn Farm.
Any others out there that you know of? I would love to restore my faith in the farm wedding industry by finding other food-producing venues. Or did anyone have a really great experience at a non-food-producing farm venue that might help change my mind?
So it turns out that Mr. Veggie’s fashion insight is stronger than I give him credit for – apparently vests are very in these days. After a short round of internetting I quickly lost any doubts I had about the vest concept. Heck, I’d marry one of these dudes. They look great!
Image Sources: Top: Left, Center-Left, Right-Center, Right. Bottom: 3rd Base, Shortstop, 2nd Base, 1st Base.
How would a group of such dudes look all together?Image Sources: Top: Left, Right. Bottom: Left, Right.
Mr. Veg, when you’re right, you’re right. Vests for everyone.
I have to approach wedding topics gingerly with Mr. Veggie, lest I be greeted with a roll of the eyes or a throwing up of the hands. (Has Mr. Veggie turned into a teenage girl?)
Attempt#1 (while walking to the beach for a surf)-
Me: So, have you thought about what you might want to wear to the wedding yet?
Mr. Veggie: I thought I might just wear this. (“This” meaning a pair of bright green board shorts with hot pink stars on them that he got for free at the dump).
Maybe that wasn’t the right moment.
Attempt #2 (early one morning)-
Me: Have you thought about what the groomsmen might wear?
Mr. Veggie: Maybe they could all wear sarongs that match this one.
Did I mention that said sarong is so dearly loved and thin that it is see through in some conspicuous places?
Attempt #3 (while working in the garden)-
Mr. Veggie: You know, I’ve been thinking about what I want to wear to the wedding.
Me: [feigning disinterest but internally giddy with delight] Oh, yeah?
Mr. Veggie: I really like vests. I think I’d like to wear one. A jacket will be too hot in August.
A vest? Mr. Veggie doesn’t offer ideas about the wedding too often, and I want to encourage these rare events as much as possible. But, a vest? For some reason this is the image I have in my mind:
Mr. Veggie: I think I like a dark vest with light colored pants.
Whoah. Who is this man? What has he done with my fashion-allergic fiance? A dark vest with light pants. Let me do some research.
Part of the effort to minimize the ecological impact of our wedding is minimizing the purchases we make and that others make on our behalf. With that in mind, I knew early on that I wanted my bridesmaids to wear dresses that they would definitely wear again, and if possible, something from their own closet. If the shoppoing urge overwhelmed them, I would love it if they all bought from second-hand shops or showed up in eco-fabrics, but I have enough to worry about with my own dress.
Since my 4 sisters are my bridesmaids it should be easy enough for them to coordinate. I told them our colors: saffron, brown, and grey. And gave them these instructions “Mismatched-casual-anthro(pologie)-ish”.
I guess that wasn’t enough direction. With prompting from my Mama Veggie, who apparently was at the receiving end of some panicked phone calls, I thought I could offer them more guidance with… an inspiration board!
So, ladies, here you go. Make me proud.
Sources: Top Row (l-r): Jumping Groom, Yellow Dress, Indigo Dress, Bridesmaids, Cute Yellow Dress. Middle Row (l-r): Dark Vest Groom, Group Shot, Pink Bridesmaids; Bottom Row (l-r): Grey Vest Groom, Blue Bridesmaids, Bright Bridesmaids, Earthtone Bridesmaids, Dress with Bow, Yellow Dress, Grey Dress, Brown Dress
So, thinking about our wedding venue wishlist, I began to do some intensive googling. My keywords? “farm wedding”, “organic wedding”, “thrifty wedding”, “eco wedding”, “barn wedding”, “cheap wedding”. This was one of the first venues I stumbled upon. Organic local food? Absolutely stunning? I’m in love.
Mama Veggie: Umm… that looks kind of expensive.
Me: How expensive could it be? They’re farmers.
The answer: out of our price range for sure. Not just minimally, but way out. Onwards. Maybe I should emphasize the “cheap” keyword. Hmm… this looks interesting. “A Practical Wedding: Creative, Thrifty, Sane”. I like it. I especially like this one:
Mama Veggie: Ooh let’s call them right now.
Me: I’m already on the phone with them. Oh. They have a no alcohol policy. Thanks anyway, bye.
Not that we are big drinkers, but we like to have a good time. And I think Mr. Veggie might need a shot of something to get down the aisle. Onwards.
My search led me to many beautiful farms. Gorgeous farms. Stunning farms.
And that’s just three of them. I must have found dozens of gorgeous farms with gorgeous people willing to host our wedding.
But…I just kept going back to that great camp wedding. Camps have big beautiful lodges, right? Camps aren’t used much after summer, right? We might even be able to find a camp that has a farm! Let’s see what we can find.
Ooh check out this $2,000 wedding!
Or how great is this lodge?
Ugh, decisions decisions. Let’s make a list.
-Used to doing weddings so better service.
– Generally no need to rent things like linens, chairs, etc.
-More likely to have connections to local growers even if they don’t grow food themselves any more.
– Everyone could stay there all weekend. Fun!
– Looks like it would be a lot cheaper.
– May be more flexible since they don’t do weddings as often.
Which would you choose?