I've been thinking and reading a lot about authenticity lately--about the difference between doing things for personal fulfillment and doing things for the approval of others. (Re: Brene Brown's recent book The Gifts of Imperfection). Reflecting on it, what made this wedding such an incredible experience was the way that Brian and I together, committed to creating something that came from our hearts, out of love, not out of obligation or the need to be viewed in a certain way or fit into a certain mold. As Jen said to us: "You were really standing in your power."
I have to admit--in some ways being strong came easily for us, but in other ways it was really hard. Brian and I both have big dreams and visions, and definitely strong opinions. (And they're not always the same opinions! Can you believe it?!) But at least speaking for myself, I also have a deep need to be accepted and praised for the things that I do. (Not fun admitting this one). But Brian was a huge help in reminding me that we needed to stand by our values and practice what we preach. It felt like we were really supporting each other through the struggle to balance authenticity with compassion.
In the end, we honored our way of doing things--collectively, holistically, joyously--and guess what? People loved it. But more importantly--we loved it. So much that we're still riding the wave of inspiration from what our community--and our commitment to honoring our values--made possible... Take a peek! All photographs by the ever-talented and kind, Katie Campbell who I would undoubtedly recommend for her incredible eye, awesome down-to-earth attitude, and speedy turn around.
|250 vegan cupcakes!|
|brought to us by Alyssa & a whole crew of friends!|
|25 of these beautiful centerpieces|
|brought to us by Kathleen & friends!|
|Our rockin' outfits! My dress was re-created from the skirt to my mom's 2-piece antique lace wedding outfit. Brian's suit was found on ETSY for $14!|
|Brought to us by Theresa!|
|Priceless advice and counseling on our non-traditional ceremony from the ever-wise and thoughtful Jen.|
|My close friend and musician Daniel Lee graciously captured our special day via video.|
|Jodi & my brother Mike played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" just after we kissed! Jodi also created our beautiful programs, and Mike got us beer from a local brewery!|
|Micayla (on the left) was our MC, gave my toast, and hosted a wedding shower. Judy (to my direct left) helped with the wishing tree and centerpieces.|
|and this picture of my very best friends just makes me so so happy.|
|Brian's band, the Forest Dwellers, made up of some of his closest friends--Brian, Marc, Theresa, and Andrew--who provided sound and a/v support...proving to be the hardest day-of job. :) Brian gave an awesome toast, and Andrew read a beautiful poem.|
|our guests provided the delicious food! :) we sent these pot-luck cards with the invitations and asked for guests to bring them to the wedding with their dish.|
|adorable program by Jodi|
|endlessly energetic and entertaining dancing by brian's mom (left), brian's aunt (right) and brian's friends (back)|
|omg my parents win the award for MVP shoppers (mom especially!) and undying support|
|brian's incredibly supportive and awesome parents|
|and a father brother dance-off that had people bent over in sobbing laughter|
The wedding felt like sheer proof of what's possible on a tight dime when you're working with the currencies of community and love.
So--in hopes of sharing a little more love with you, here's a video that we showed at the reception, with a poem by my brilliant brother.
Ode to Love from Rachael Maddox on Vimeo.
Love from my heart to yours... and thanks for all the warm wishes pre-wedding freak out :). I have so much to write about these days, and I'm really excited to sink in and get it out. More soon! xoxo