The bride and her father

My son married his girlfriend of six years over the weekend. We called it the anti-wedding wedding because many of the trappings and stresses of what’s become modern weddings were left behind. No long strapless Cinderella dress, no tiara, no endless portraits and yards of tulle. In its place was a community wedding where families came together with food and friendship to bless these two with love.

The bride’s father walked her through the woods and out into the clearing to meet her groom who stood with the officiate. No decorations save for the natural beauty of the location. No official attendants though their best friends were there and so helpful and supportive. My son and his new wife live in that forest (he’s a park ranger), their first official home together, so it has special meaning for them.

Exchanging vows and rings

Exchanging vows and rings

The ceremony was over in the blink of an eye with vows exchanged on a grassy knoll near a swirling river. No microphones or staging for the camera. Just them and us, looking out onto some amazing nature. The sunlight was broken up by storm clouds which threatened rain, but they held off until after the ceremony and photos were taken.

After the event the audience (who stood for the 7-minute ceremony) walked as a group back to their home where homemade food and cupcakes were shared as two families came together. Simple décor borrowed from their friends and families and flowers purchase from a Farmer’s Market made their backyard deep in the woods even more inviting.

Kissing his bride

Even the rain and thunderstorms didn’t dampen the spirits and laughter and music rang out from the backyard. Nothing formal – no toasts, no cake cutting, no first dance. Just their wedding done their way. I couldn’t be more proud of them for making it about being married and not getting married.

Simple Weddings

They’re starting out their married life without the debt of a wedding and with money spent for what they wanted – a 2 week Disney Cruise. Memories for a lifetime. Ironically this non-traditional wedding used to be the way it was done. Before the caterers, DJ’s, lighting systems, and wedding coordinators got involved, it was families.

I love these kids and wish for them a lifetime of happiness.


 They did have a professional photographer whose photos I will be sharing soon – these are snaps I took that day.