Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hippie-Inspired Buddhist Wedding featuring a GENUINE VINTAGE Dress

Hi East Side Bride,

I am a California girl trapped in Pennsylvania where I moved for a job. I am a writer (my novella California was published by LA record label Teenage Teardrops) and teach creative writing at a small liberal arts college. I love what I do, and jobs are scarce, so here I am. 

My parents got married super hippie style on a cliff in Arcata, CA where I was born in the 70's and that has always been my idea of perfect. My dad wore a cape. We wanted to do something in California and something in Pennsylvania where my husband Neil is from, something super intimate and as stress free as possible, and something later where all our friends and family could be together. We decided to have a small private ceremony in December in Marin County at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with three witness, and have a reception for family and friends in May 2012. It worked out great. 

My meditation teacher offered to marry us while teaching a retreat on a hillside on this incredible preserved land -- rolling golden hills, wild turkey, deer, live oak trees, bliss. Her hair just happened to match my bouquet that day. We were lucky on a lot of counts: great weather, all three witnesses were talented photographers, we didn't have to deal with any one else's input, or go into massive amounts of debt. I've never been excited by traditional wedding gowns, and it turned out my mom had saved this old vintage dress of hers that I think I wore for Halloween one year in high school. Luckily I didn't mind that it had holes and had yellowed over the years, and amazingly enough it still fit. 

We spent four days in San Francisco with friends, I did a reading the public library there, got an incredible bouquet of ranunculus, peonies, and thistle at Bell & Trunk Flowers, and then we headed over the Golden Gate. We stayed at the Olema Cottages which couldn't have been more charming, and had a knock out meal at the Olema Inn. We splurged on rings designed by my incredibly talented pal Kathryn Bentley, and I bought some hooker-y red suede platform heels that I wore for only about 20 mins because I needed to keep my boots on for scaling the hills. All these photos attached were taken in a quick 15-minute rush to catch the light. 

Needless to say, we were really happy with our choices.

Thank you for having the only decent wedding blog. The rest of them make me barf.

(Photos by Eugene Ahn and Joanne Kim)


  1. clearly everyone is intimidated by the totally badass title i gave you.

  2. Le sigh, super lovely, especially the hair flowers. Although you'll still have to spend money on the reception, right? And deal with the regular reception planning stress? Or are people more reasonable when you are already married? I'm genuinely curious.

    1. Yeah, we have to spend some money on the reception (probably about a third of what most reasonable people I know have spent). The most stressful part, as many have said, has been the guest list and trying to keep it small to keep costs down. We are having it an Arts Retreat in an old barn, got a great deal for the whole weekend, out of towners can can camp out on site if they want, the local Turkish restaurant is catering for really cheap, we made our own invites, will make our own appetizers, and decorations. People are a little more reasonable when you are married, but most importantly we feel way less stressed out and are hoping to actually enjoy the party this way and really liked the intimacy of our ceremony. My 93 yr. pistol of grandmother is all fired up, but I respect it and can handle it, if she wasn't I'd be worried about her health.

    2. That will be amazing! It sounds like you are able to celebrate your commitment (twice) with ZERO "we have to do this b/c it's a wedding" bullshit. Respect.

  3. Lovely, just sounds super-chilled out and special. Love the bit about the shoes. Enjoy phase 2!

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  5. awww this is our pal, amra. we heart her. she's RAD.

  6. I do love flowers. Just look so cute on those flowers on her hair. Love it!