Tuesday, December 9, 2008


© All Rights Reserved Wedding Thrift

I knew my partner was thinking about marriage when, one day, he added "for a really long time" to our good night ritual.

"I love you."
"Love you too."
"I could love you. For a really long time."

Soon he was incorporating this sentence into our conversations throughout the day. "Me too," I finally responded. Next, "forever" replaced the "really long time." When I became comfortable with that, it turned into "I want to love you forever."

Now might be a good time to mention that I never felt super excited about the concept of getting married. It just seemed overrated, and I thought it would be much more exotic to have a "life partner" than a husband. But Jake got the best of me, and I soon warmed up to the idea.

Still, when we talked about it openly, I got slightly nauseated each time. It's not that I didn't want to share my life with this wonderful man, so what was it?

Turns out, it was about The Wedding. All the weddings I attended were of the typical, cookie-cutter, exchange corny vows in a hotel banquet room, sit uncomfortably at your reception six top, avoid the videographer, and converse only about the wedding food, variety. The musty smell of the rooms where the ceremonies were officiated reminded me of the conferences and trainings I had attended for work, and made my stomach turn. There was that one wedding that took place at a country-club-like estate, with glamorous gardens, interior majestic staircases, and lavish wood paneling. But once the ceremony started, we were shuffled into yet another one of those hotel banquet-type square rooms. And after the ceremony, we were shuttled by mini-van away from the serene outdoor setting and into--you guessed it--a hotel for the reception party. With that smell.

These weddings often had the same components:

  • The radio announcer voice beaming "And now, for the first time in public! Please Welcome Mr. and Mrs. X!"
  • Enough pre-dinner food that most guests were ready to hurl by the time the iceberg lettuce with rotten tomatoes and ranch dressing salad arrived at their table.
  • Enough liquor consumption to make even the most sweet, innocent granny attendee look like a raving alcoholic.
  • Floral centerpieces so big I couldn't see the guest in front of me.
  • Brides with so much make-up on, it was hard to recognize them.
  • A point in the evening when all the younger guests proceeded, barefoot, to dance enthusiastically to "Brown-Eyed Girl."
  • Manufactured (in China), useless, indistinguishable, conventional guest favors with the Bride and Groom's names plastered all over them.
  • Guests congregating in their little pre-assigned cliques; gossiping instead of mingling.
  • A chance to actually converse with the Bride & Groom. For about a minute. They looked exhausted and seemed not to eat.
  • An elaborate spread of beautifully decorated and colorful cookies which surprisingly tasted like crumbly cardboard with calories.
There came a point in the night where I generally crashed the wedding next door (next banquet room over) just to indulge myself in a change of scenery. And to check out if their party favors were any better (they weren't).

It's not that I think the aforementioned kind of weddings are wrong. They're just wrong for me. It seemed the only other feasible alternative was the polar opposite: City Hall. And those rooms have a funny smell too.

As you can see, my wedding imagination was severely limited and uninspired.

So, a wedding for me? Not so much.

Luckily, Jake, much less prone to emotional breakdowns and rants, and much more pragmatic, snapped my mind into reality: "We don't have to have one of those weddings!" he simply stated, with a chuckle. And thus, I began to get over my fear of the Organized Wedding Mafia.

After spending hours online reading through inspiring tales of frugal, creative, and quirky brides and their meaningful, down-to-earth wedding days, I am happily and solidly on my way to being a fully recovered wedding-phobic partner!

The thought of having a wedding can be intimidating, but doesn't have to be. How wrong I was to think that I couldn't plan a wedding that reflected who we are. After all, we frequent supermarket garbage bins after hours to fish out (perfectly good) tossed bread for our lunches. We're avid cooks. Instead of using our dishwasher to wash dishes (wasting water) we use it to store cakes and muffins (try it, keeps them moist) and wash dishes by hand. We walk everywhere we can. We have a storage space jam packed with found furniture and scraps from the streets, waiting to be magically transformed by our DIY project dreams. And we go out of our way to favor local community shops and vendors and avoid the Big Chains.

No reason not to buck convention now.

Move over, Martha, I'm getting married!

1 comment:

  1. I forget how I got here but am glad I stumbled onto you! Thanks for verbalizing what I imagine are/was the jumble of thoughts/feelings in my mind about engagements, weddings, etc. I have seriously avoided any planning & now we will be coming upon the 2 YEAR anniversary of our engagement. Plans are bit haphazard now but we're finally getting married by justice of the peace at home & then having a party at my parents' house. My mom is virtually taking over all decisions of said party & well, we'll see how it goes! I figure I will plan my own big party celebrating 5 years or something. Ha! Good luck! (Uber-lovely ring, btw!)


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