Because it’s not working on my main blog
Community, or why I love my back yard wedding December 27, 2010
When my mom suggested holding the wedding reception in the back yard, it just felt right. I couldn’t have put my finger on what was right about it when she said it, but it was like a light bulb went off above my head. In my back yard is where I’m supposed to celebrate my wedding.
Of course, I had my reservations. Could we fit enough people? Would the neighbors get pissed? Where will everyone park? But the idea seemed so right to me, I just couldn’t let it go.
My mom said that it was because this idea is just more me than a reception hall. I am passionate about local economies and urban homesteading. I have a love affair going with this back yard, and leaving it will be the saddest part of getting married. I have put a lot of work into it, and I will put a lot more into it to get it ready for the wedding. And I will love every minute of it.
But, the longer I have to reflect upon it, the more I think that there is so much more meaning to a back yard wedding than just environmental friendliness and speaking to me as an individual. A back yard wedding speaks to the meaning of marriage as a whole.
Weddings serve a greater purpose than just procreation (despite what some homophobes want people to believe). Traditionally, weddings were a way to grow families and communities by bringing them together. Wars could be resolved through weddings, poverty could be eased, friendships could grow and communities were strengthened. Marriage was more about that than even love, traditionally. In fact, marriage for love is a relatively new concept, anthropologically speaking, and in many ways, unique to western culture.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like marriage for love. I love Jeremy very much, and I’m glad that I have gotten the opportunity to marry him, instead of being forced to marry the first man who showed interest, or the man who knocked me up (thank God I didn’t have to marry that). But I think that the other purposes of marriage, the ones that have served such a vital purpose to human culture from the dawn of time, ought to be recognized and cherished. And while it is true that that purpose was often achieved by treating woman and children like property (I will trade you my prettiest daughter in exchange for ceasing this war, etc.), I don’t think that ancient sexism devalues the role of community and the way in which community can be served through marriage.
Marriage can, and should, bring communities together. Of course, most people’s marriage brings two families and sets of friends together, and that’s very good. But community consists of more than just our friends and relations. Community consists of your neighbors, your mail carrier, your garbage person, local business owners, your religious authority at your place of worship, all the people around us every day that most of us tend to take for granted. And it’s hard to involve community, on that level, when you’ve shipped yourself far away from your home, your neighborhood, your community, to some sterile, foreign, artificial location for your ceremony and reception.
While I understand that budget and space restrictions keep most of us from inviting our entire communities to our weddings, I love the idea of having my wedding reception in my community, involving my community. Not only will my friends and family have the opportunity to get to know each other, but my neighbors will all have this opportunity to get to know my friends and family, and each other, as well. In a world where we spend more time talking to Facebook friends than our own neighbors, I think back yard weddings might just be one step towards saving the world. Or at least culture.
Here’s an article about community and family that I really enjoyed. I hope that you do too.
The Vision October 20, 2010
I have a general idea of what I want my wedding to look like. I want one of the pastors from my church to officiate it, for example. I’d like it to be very bright, cheery, and colorful (I went to Home Depot and snagged some paint chips in the colors I want, they’re called Pumpkin Patch, Red Carnation, and Sunflower, with an accent color called Cool Cobalt). I want to do things with as little environmental impact as possible. I want to serve Mexican food, and I want to just serve beer, wine and a signature drink (margaritas) for alcohol. I want to make my own cheese to serve before the meal with other snack/appetizers. I’d like it to be a little casual, fun, and unique.
Apparently everyone wants unique.
Which, as I’m coming to understand it, is the driving force behind the wedding industry, which, the more I read, the more I dislike. But oh, the draw is irresistable. I’ve only been engaged a few days now, and already I’ve gone back and forth between being excited at the prospect of spending several thousand dollars on a single day, and being horrified. There is a chunk of me that just wants to buy a pretty dress and elope.
But I’m not going to do that. For one thing, there’s this other chunk of me that does want to be a princess for a day (even if it’s not a super traditional princess). I love weddings, they’re so much fun (except for those rare occasions in which you don’t approve of the wedding, in which case, at least they’re ironically humorous). Why not throw one of my own? Secondly, I really do want to share this with my family and friends. They have done so much for me in my life (especially helping me to grow as a single mother), the least I can do in return is buy them a meal, a few drinks, and give them a place to dance and socialize for a few hours.
I just don’t want to spend $10,000.
So this has got me thinking about what’s really important to me when it comes to throwing this party, and what’s not. When it comes down to it, if guests could only say one thing when they leave my wedding, I would rather it be “I had a blast at that wedding” than “That was a beautiful wedding”. I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on details that the guests probably won’t notice and won’t do anything to contribute to the amount of fun they have in the end. I want to keep it simple, and cheap, and low impact. How exactly I’m going to do that is still a mystery to me, but as I work it out, I will share what I discover with you.
The proposal October 11, 2010
Welcome to my first post in my wedding blog! You might know me from my other blog that I no longer keep up with very well, All Natural, Single Mothering 101. If you’re interested in learning about natural parenting, single parenting, dating as a mother, and women’s empowerment, check it out.
If you’re interested in talking cheap, environmentally friendly, fun, and slightly feminist wedding ideas, this is the place for you.
Let me tell you about our relationship.
Jeremy and I met through a dating service. We almost didn’t get together because I was an idiot. But eventually I stopped acting like an idiot and we did get together. We have been together a little over a year now.
Jeremy proposed to me after I got done running my first half marathon. It was supposed to be a full marathon, but due to an unfortunate turn of events, I did not get to the checkpoint in time, and was redirected onto the half marathon course. He wanted to propose at the finish line, but because of my redirection, and where he and my family had positioned themselves to cheer for me, I beat them to the finish line. We found each other after the race, and surprise! He proposed. I forgot all about how disappointed I was about the race (I remembered the next day, but it wasn’t so bad).
The ring is a beautiful sapphire in yellow gold, with little diamonds on either side. Very pretty. I prefer sapphires to diamonds because they are more colorful, and it’s easier to ensure they are conflict free (as it is with little diamonds as well).
That’s really all there is to that. Lets talk wedding planning!