Category Archives: Eco Thrifty Wedding

Peas and Carrots: Pre-Marital Prep

Pre-cana? Nah. FOCCUS test? Nah. Any sort of marriage preparation reading material? Nah. Although, now being almost six months into marriage, I can see that any of those would be very, very, helpful.

This is marriage prep Veggie-style.
On Friday, amid decorating, welcoming guests, eating some scrumptious food, swimming, and boating, we took some time out for playing on the ropes course. Everyone got pretty into it.

Most surprising entries?
72 year old FFIL Veggie. Re-discovering youthful zest on the zip line and flying squirrel.

6 year old Veggie Sprout Ringbearer. Not scared at all of the 40+ foot multi-stage zip line.

Not to be outdone, Momma Veggie and the Veggie siblings got in on the act.


And this is definitely one of my favorite series of photos from the entire weekend.

Now that’s teamwork. What’s your favorite dish? (Any Tenacious D fans out there? Anyone?)

Your family might not be as crazy as ours, but I seriously recommend finding some way of having a relaxing fun time with both sides all together at some point before the wedding. Because we live so far away, and our families live far from each other, it isn’t often that we are all in the same place. Doing the ropes course all together is one of the first memories we created with our new family…all 20+ siblings, parents, and nieces and nephews. Here’s hoping there will be many many more.

Peas and Carrots: Bachl-ARRH-ette

How do you know if a pirate is coming to your wedding?
They send an AAARH-SVP.

What will a pirate eat at your wedding?
AAARH-d’ourves

OK, I’m done, I’m done. Maybe.

One more. Where does a pirate go for her bachelorette party? A BAAARRRHH.
True that.
I should have been worried when I got a pirate-themed invitation earlier in the summer, but I really had no idea just how far my sisters would take it. Pretty far, it turns out.

Once we arrived at camp and had a wander around, we spent Thursday afternoon doing all sorts of wedding prep as our families arrived. After a yummy pizza dinner and birthday cake for my nephew and FIL, I was whisked away by my bridesmaids and bridesman for my bachelorette party.
It started off innocent enough at a secret bonfire where we played a panty game, to the utmost discomfort of Little Veggie Bro. I was presented with panties galore and this fantastic pirate outfit.

My birdesmaids convinced me that I should go ahead and put on the outfit. I wouldn’t be alone. They were going to dress like pirates too. Ummm…yeah, they had eye patches, swords, and cute little black dresses. I had a freaking pirate’s costume. Unfair? Perhaps. But you’re only a bachelorette once. I felt like Lindsey Lohan in that scene in Mean Girls, a gnarly pirate amongst cute pretty pirates.
After a not-so-brief limousine ride and copious amounts of beverages, we painted the town.
Safe to say that the Scranton locals were not accustomed to a band of merry pirates frolicking in their fair city. They didn’t take to us too kindly. We were actually turned away from the only bar in Scranton that we could find that might be classed as a nightclub because they wouldn’t let us in with our “weapons”. Um… we’re not real pirates dude. And these aren’t real swords.

Oh well, all the better for us, because we found a local dive somewhere between Scranton and Honesdale that had kareoke. Have I told you how much I love kareoke? A lot.
Apparently it runs in the family. This bar was everything you could ever hope a local bar would be. Fellas who look like they had been on the same bar stool for weeks. Ladies who could very likely beat Mr. Veggie in an arm wrestle. Honestly, I didn’t know that there were still bars where you could smoke inside. Not only did we get cheap drinks, and maybe a free round or two, but I even got a wealth of unsolicited marriage advice. I think some of the Veggie Sisters may have gotten marriage proposals. And on and on the night went…

…and so that’s how I ended up slightly tipsy in downtown Scranton trying to storm a castle with Veggie Sister Carrot (using a beer as a weapon?).
Those Veggie siblings sure do know how to have a good time.

Peas and Carrots: Location, Location, Locatio

When I first started planning our wedding I was torn between a camp wedding and farm wedding. We nixed the farm idea when we couldn’t find a farm that would actually grow our food on-site without costing us an arm and a leg. After some turmoil and a lot of research, we ended up at Indian Head Camp. Are you ready for some knock down gorgeousness?

All photos family photos unless otherwise noted.

And here comes a huge bridal blogging fail. I like to think it is a testament to how much fun everyone was having, but I hardly got any pictures of the venue from anyone during the whole weekend. Lots of pictures of the wedding. Lots of pictures of us having fun. But hardly any of the camp itself. I didn’t even get a picture of the cute sign they made that said “Dani and Nelson’s Wedding” that was waiting for us when we arrived. Sigh.

Well hopefully this hodge-podge will give you an idea of what we saw when we arrived on Thursday afternoon.

The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and an army of staff were waiting to make our weekend incredible. There were cabins waiting to be filled with our guests.

And that one, just there on the lake shore, that one was for me and Mr. Veggie. They had turned it into a cute little honeymoon suite, with a double bed and linen and a minibar with snacks. Of course I didn’t get a picture. Grr.

There was a lake ready to be skied on, canoed on, and swum in.

A field ready for softball.

photo: Indian Head Camp

And another one ready to become our ceremony site.

photo: Indian Head Camp

There were ropes ready to be climbed.

photo: Indian Head Camp

And a dining hall and canteen to decorate.

photos: Indian Head Camp

There was even a wee little tipi and fire pit awaiting some late night shenanigans.

photo: Indian Head Camp

This was the first time Mr. Veggie had ever seen the venue, and only my second time. Before our families arrived we took some time to walk around and get a feel for the place. It was then that we saw people there from the other group. Ummm what?!? Other group?

Yeah, turns out that because we were having very small numbers on Thursday night the camp decided that another group could be booked for that night through lunch the next day. Without letting us know. At first I was annoyed, really annoyed.

But then I just thought, “Whatever. We do have a really small group here tonight, only our immediate families. They wont care that there are other people here. And there’s nothing I can really do about this”. So, I just let it be. And I chose to be happy and indulge myself in the beauty of the place and the fantasticly good vibes that the staff were sending our way.

Were there any unexpected hic-ups when you arrived at your venue?

Peas and Carrots: Our Eco-Thrifty Wedding

Way way back, at the beginning of this whole process, over nine months ago, I wrote about how our goal was to have an amazing wedding that celebrated us. By celebrating us, I mean celebrating who we are, what we stand for, how we live. Our lifestyle. A lifestyle of living simply and lightly on the planet.

The Veggies on 350 day last year (personal photo).

I’d like to pretend that this was easy, but the pull of the wedding industry is strong. Actually, maybe that’s unfair, because it’s not just the wedding industry. I am a girl who grew up in a state known for its highways and malls, in the highest consuming nation on the planet, during an economic boom. I was given Barbie dolls, and movies starring Disney princesses, and cassette tapes of Debbie Gibson and told by society, that like them, I too could have it all, especially on the biggest day of my life, my wedding day.

A princess bride? (Oh Darling Photography)

So, yes, even though my heart and my head knew the boundaries that I wanted to play within when planning our wedding. And even though I created those boundaries, not anyone else. Even though deep deep down I wanted simple, and thrifty, and eco. Somewhere even deeper, laid a girl ready and waiting to buy into all of the hoopla.

Beautiful hoopla. (Personal Photo)

So, if my recaps seem a bit schizophrenic… If you wonder why we were so staunch about non-paper invitations, and then printed out eight page programs… If you wonder why my dress is re-used but my flowergirls are wearing new Chucks, all I can say is it was a struggle. It was a struggle between us and what we thought our families wanted, between us as a couple, and between myself and my inner diva.

The Veggies de-stress the day before the wedding. That’s some good teamwork. (Photo by Mamma Veggie)

And as I sit here in my gumboots, wiping the baby duck pooh off my workpants, sorting through wedding pictures to put with this post, I am happy with the balance we struck. In the end, I think we came out on top. We didn’t end up with the thriftiest or eco-iest of weddings ever on the whole planet, but we sure gave it a go. And we did end up with a very eco-thrifty wedding, one that was also very us, and made us very happy.

Happy Veggies. (Oh Darling Photography)

I will try to give out any eco and thrifty tips that we picked up along the way as I go through my recaps, and I will definitely give you both and environmental and financial tally of the event at the end.

P.S.- Wanna see a picture of our new baby ducklings?

I thought you might! (Personal Photo)

Did you have battles with yourself or your SO while wedding planning? What were some of the things you got pulled into that you wish you hadn’t? What are some things you were happily able to resist?

Peas and Carrots: The Veggies Get Hitched

Hi…
My name is Veggie…
And I am a recap slacker.
It has been 85 days since my last post. It has been 129 days since my wedding.

129 days!!! What?!? Come on Veggie. Get crackin’. What are you waiting for, anyway?

Well it’s not like I’ve been slacking. The Veggies have been on the move. Since the end of our stay-cation-moon we have: flown back to New Zealand, moved out of our housetruck, and moved into a 100-year old villa shack work-in-progress about 6 hours down the coast. Oh yeah, and we’ve launched a new project for our non-profit, rebuilt our website, and ran six workshops. Phew.

But hive, I’ve been missing you.

And so, as one of many New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to get going on my recaps. I wonder if there might be a few other bees thinking along these lines too.

I leave you today with a little peek and a promise to be writing on a regular basis in the weeks to come. So get ready for some summer campin’, barn dancin’, softball playin’, compost makin’ good times.

Happy Solstice, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year!

Photo: Liz Gallo. (Momma Veggie)

Veggie-mooning: Our Family History

So we spent some weeks meandering through the every-day experiences of our families. Waking in the homes of our sibling, parents, and friends. Sharing, playing, and snuggling.
Eating and laughing with them and catching up on all of the happenings we’ve missed while we were away.
Helping out with projects.
Celebrating momentous occasions (Happy 30th Veggie Sister Kale!).

Witnessing the first day of school.

And, in so many other ways, reconnecting with our families’ living histories.

We sat with my grandfather at his house on the shore of Lake Winnepesauke and he showed us albums of photos detailing his life, my heritage. He showed me the first date that he ever went on with my grandmother, a woman who passed away before I was even born. He showed us the displaced person’s camp where they lived in Germany, after fleeing Latvia during World War II. He showed us the General S.S. Sturgis, the ship that they sailed to America on.


Being newly married, with a new last name, I began to think of about our history. The Veggie family history, that will weave together all of the strands of these incredible people and places. And suddenly I felt very underprepared.

Did I have proper documentation of early Veggie Family history? One day will my granddaughter be sitting by my side asking me about our first date? Sorry kid, we were all far too inebriated at the end-of-year faculty party that year to take any pictures. Luckily the final stop on our tour of New England was the very place where Veggie love blossomed many moons ago.

So here you are, Veggie grandkids. A glimpse into the start our family history.

Here’s the 200 yr. old, off the grid, farmhouse that Granddad Veggie restored and was living in when we first started dating. He stole my heart when he brought me here and cooked me a stir-fry of veggies that he grew himself.

Here’s the dormitory that Grandmom Veggie lived in, and around the back is the creaky and dangerous fire escape that Granddad Veggie used to secretly climb up to visit her.And here is Grandmom Veggie, dressed in her Salvation Army finest, the night that she wooed Granddad Veggie and stole his heart.
What stories will be part of your new family history?

Veggie-Mooning: A Little Slice of Americana


So there we were: me, my new husband, a few cases of wine and beer, and a pick up truck. We were free to go and do as we chose, no obligations, no reservations, spontaneously deciding each evening where we would lay our heads.

Well, that’s about half true. There was, in fact, quite a bit of spontaneity in our travels. And we did, in fact, not make many plans on where we would sleep. We did, however have a lot of people to visit in a very short time who were inconveniently spread over 7 states. So we had a tight schedule to stick to as we wandered through the most perfect time of year in the northeast.

There really is nothing better than New England in the late summer. If you haven’t had the pleasure, let me fill you in on this little piece of heaven.


The beauty of New Zealand, our new home, is astounding. The vast rolling hills, expanses of wild coastlines, and the greatness of the fiordlands are overwhelming. When you drive through NZ you can practically feel the landscapes shouting at you. “Look at me! I am beautiful”.

But the humble beauty of New England does not shout.

It is hidden in crumbling rock walls and tree-covered hills. It is hidden in weathered barns and covered bridges. It is the beauty of a well-made chair crafted the 1800’s and the man who sits in it, his familial connection to this place stretching back even longer. For me this simple, subtle beauty is comforting.

But it is also bittersweet; a reminder that for everything gained, something is lost.