Elka Karl, CasaSugar
How did you make your day memorable and enjoyable for your guests? We really tried to make our wedding about a joining of the tribes, as my mother-in-law phrased it. We really wanted it to seem like it was a big party where people could just relax and have a great time. We hired babysitters for parents, who wrangled kids at the reception. At the ceremony, since it was a hot Summer day, we had buckets of lemonade and rootbeer and also put picnic blankets under trees for shade. We provided lodging on-site at the reception space, a 19th century fishing and hunting lodge, for about 1/3 of our guests, and found VRBO lodging or lodging with family for at least another 1/3 of guests. Guests later told us that it really felt like they'd stepped back in time, and our officiant's son asked on the way home "Why can't Elka and Peter get married every day?" That's high praise!
How did you incorporate personal touches in your wedding? Our ceremony referenced a backpacking trip my husband and I took together, where he decided to marry me (in part because I made it through that trip and we didn't die, only kind of joking, it was rough.) My little sister (six at the time) and I sewed about 500 feet of bunting, which we hung up all over the wedding grounds. My auntie-in-law and I sewed 120 fabric birds for favors, which were hung up around the reception site and from trees at the wedding site. Guests then cut down a bird to take home with them when they left. Our food/drinks were pretty personal, too, since hosting dinners and cooking/raising great food is a passion of ours. A friend raised the pig that my dad butchered and then our caterer, a friend, prepared. My father and brother shot the deer that we used for venison at the dinner. All of our produce was locally sourced from organic farmers. My dad brewed some of the wine and all of the beer. All of the flowers were grown from my grandmother's Scrabble friend's farm (and we bought them for under $200!). We arranged all of the flowers ourselves. And the chuppah cover I made with chuppah constructed from trees from our property and built by my dad and fiancé the day of the wedding.
What was your most memorable moment of the wedding? It was all amazing, but my favorite time was the quiet in between the ceremony and reception, when my husband and I took a carriage ride from the ceremony site to the reception lodge. It was two miles from point to point, and the only time we had alone all day/night. It was SO needed and special.
Photo by Tom Tomkinson