This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it has already been 5 years since we had our small family ceremony on top of Mount Kearsarge. I hiked 1/2 mile from the parking lot to the top in a corset, so it was a rather memorable day for me.
We had planned on heading back up there for our 5th anniversary, but the weather wasn’t favorable so we went out to the local gourmet pizza joint 900 degrees instead. I had a delicious veggie pizza and a flourless chocolate torte. Adam had no interest in the artichoke on the pizza and wasn’t impressed by the combination of chocolate with a raspberry compote. So I didn’t even have to share on my anniversary.
Then we headed home and snuggled on the couch to watch a movie. I think we are ready for this parenthood thing, we are such homebodies already.
I had considered writing a post about our 5 years of marriage. They haven’t always been perfect. I actually started my first blog as an attempt to remind myself of all the good things in my life. And lets face it, I have a pretty good life. Recently someone asked me for advice I would give a new blogger, I said “set your boundaries early and stick to it”. My boundary has always been along the lines of “don’t post negative things about your family” (although my mom thinks that my playful jabs at her cooking skills are negative). And seeing as my husband and I are probably the happiest we have ever been in all our years together, I don’t see any point in reminiscing about our low points.
So instead, I will talk about my wedding and what we did for food. This is a food blog after all. Warning, I didn’t even know about veganism when I got married. I had only dabbled in vegetarianism, and even then in an unhealthy self depriving way.
We got married when we were 25 years old. We had only been out of school for a year and a half. We didn’t really have a lot of money to put on a wedding (nor did we want to). We also loved the outdoors, we had met hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. And my hubby isn’t exactly the show off type.
So we did a slightly non-traditional wedding. We got married on top of a mountain with only our immediate families and a few close friends in attendance. It was the mountain my husband had grown up below. As a teenager, he worked at the state park. We ended up with a perfect, if slightly windy, day. When the ceremony was over, the gentleman manning the fire tower clapped for us.
For our reception we chose a state park closer to our tiny apartment at the time. The park had a beautiful picnic shelter with tons of picnic tables, a stone fireplace and a brand new flush toilet building next to it. We rented the facility for less than $500 + $3 per guest as a park entry fee. Considering that renting a tent and port-a-potties would have been significantly more expensive ($2000+ range), and that we still would have had to find a place to have the event, it was the best deal we could find.
We did end up having a hard time gathering people for group shots because people kept disappearing for walks on the nearby beach or on the beautiful wooded trails.
The food at the reception was probably what was least traditional. We did not have a professional caterer… at all. We had friends of the family help us. And boy did they help us. We had a huge barbeque, with all kinds of different meats purchased as a pack from a local butcher’s shop. Adam’s childhood neighbours grilled up the meat and served it so well that my relatives thought they were caterers.
But we didn’t only have meat. I ordered trays and trays of food from our local grocery store. I spent several hundreds of dollars on veggie trays, fruit trays, deviled eggs, cheese platters, appetizer trays and finger sandwiches. We had so much food!
Our decorations were done by my mother-in-law and her very crafty friends. They somehow turned our picnic pavilion into something that looked like a wedding venue.
Between flowers, my dress, food, cake, venue, and a bunch of other things, I think we kept our budget well under $5000. Importantly, 5 years later, we still love how we did our wedding. Neither of us feels that we missed out by not having a DJ or the fancy sit down dinner. The moral I want to share is that you don’t have to do an extravagant wedding to be happily married years later. You have to find a way to celebrate your day in a way that represents both of you as a couple. Sure if then was now, I would have loved to have some fancy food at my wedding, but when I was 25 I wasn’t much of a foodie.
Marriage isn’t about the wedding, it’s about the effort both people put into making the relationship work in the long run. And it’s a lot easier to make things work when you don’t spend $20,000+ of your savings account when you live in a tiny one bedroom apartment to get by. But that’s just my opinion.
What did you serve at your wedding? What would you serve at your dream wedding?