Dane and I are both wanderers who got lucky and found the person with whom we want to explore the world. We both studied anthropology, share a passion for culture and history, and have spent more of the last decade living outside the United States than in it. When we got engaged we knew that, since our lives are different than most, our wedding should be too. It was important to us to stay true to ourselves and not get caught up in other people’s expectations. We live very frugal lives and often “rough it” in order to stretch our travel dollar, and the idea of dumping a bunch of money into the inflated wedding industry went against our every fiber. We knew if we were going to have a wedding, we would have to make it a very hands-on and self-expressive journey. Luckily, we both come from very D.I.Y. families. We are originally Texans after all, so working with our hands and getting down and dirty is basically bred into us. Also, as an Etsian, I knew I had the Etsy community as a boundless resource as well.
In addition to keeping costs low, our main priority was that our wedding embody our love of travel and history. We currently live in Thailand, and at first we planned to have the wedding here amid archaeological ruins, but when we considered the expense it would cost our families and the fact that we’d be the contact points for all the logistics involved in their trip, we decided to avoid that potential stress pit and bring the ceremony home to them. But we figured there was no reason we couldn’t have some wedding photography taken in Asia first. We scoped out some of our favorite backdrops and then hired a local photographer to accompany us there for a whirlwind day of surreal wedding photography.
On another occasion, Dane and I traveled to Cambodia to our favorite archaeological site, Angkor, with my dress stuffed in a backpack. I changed into it onsite and Dane, a skillful photographer himself, took the coolest bridal pictures an archaeologist gal could ever imagine. I know it broke with tradition, but the pictures mean even more to me knowing he is the one who captured them.
Then it was on to the real thing back home. We reserved a free chapel overlooking the Texas hill country. I flew home two months before the wedding so I could spend some time with my family and get all the details rolling. Nearly every element was collected from around the world, made by hand, or passed down through the ages.
I made our invitations myself and printed them to look like vintage postcards.
My dress, an amazing vintage find from an antiques store, only required minor alterations, and, to suit my old-fashioned taste, I added an extra layer of lace acquired from an Etsy fabrics recycler.
It was extremely important to me and Dane that the ceremony be intimate. This was reinforced by the fact that the chapel was tiny and had very limited space, so we kept the guest list down to immediate family and only a few of our closest friends. For us, it was essential that the ceremony be representative of who we are, as individuals and as a partnership, and of the commitment we were making to each other. Dane is a writer, and I dabble a bit as well, so we decided to write the ceremony ourselves, and Dane’s brother officiated it. This made it all the more meaningful for us and for our guests. As the rain clouds momentarily parted and our loved ones gathered near, we shared the joy we had found in each other and exchanged our personal vows expressed from the heart. It was an emotion-filled, magical night.
|my mother's bridal portrait|
After the wedding, we had a small, informal reception at the pavilion next to the chapel and then a larger bon voyage party the following weekend before we left for our honeymoon and return-trip to Thailand.
And the blissful journey continues...
Wedding photography in Thailand:
Wedding photography at Angkor, Cambodia:
Wedding photography in Texas:
Wedding location in Texas:
Catering and Set-up:
Musician (classical guitar):