Sunday, January 30, 2011

a wedding in apricot...

I am aware that there's a lot of 'competition' amongst women. Recently, I have noticed it specifically regarding wedding stuff. The judgments passed among women about weddings they've seen or been to. How this was tacky, or that was cheap. How her dress didn't have enough beads, or how they should have had flowers in the church. To this end, I am very aware that when writing about the wedding Nic and I went to last night, that these are not judgments based on the 'worth' of the wedding, but based on my own personal tastes.

Because here's the thing; the bride and groom were glowingly happy. In their speeches they thanked everyone for making this such a special day. How everything was perfect and beautiful. And that's the important thing. And I am sick of people competing and judging and saying what should and shouldn't happen. And I know that, compared to the wedding we attended yesterday, ours is going to blow people's minds.

It was a fairly traditional event, set in a little catholic church out in the middle of absolutely nowhere. She wore a veil with a train longer than the dress'. It was about 30 degrees outside, and very warm inside. Two small boys started the processional- one of them burst into tears. A young blonde girl with ringlets wearing a princess white dress followed, without flowers, and then the bridesmaids all in matching chiffon-type dresses, in apricot. The pastor was dull dull dull. I don't tend to listen to religious sermons at the best of times, but this guy just made it more unbearable.
As a side note, I find it interesting that people who may have been 'raised religious' (usually: going to Church at Christmas, and maybe Easter), feel they have to get married in the church and have a religious ceremony. I went to an Anglican Primary school and said the Lords' Prayer every Thursday, and enacted laying the palms for Jesus'... whatever. We also sang songs. Granted the one that I remember out of all the many songs we sung also included "Superman" and "King Kong" in the lyrics, it was still about how awesome God is.* When I was a teenager, at some point, I also found out that (technically, anyway) I'm Jewish. Which threw a strange kind of identity spanner in the works. Not that I believed in God, and certainly felt no affiliation to any kind of religion... I can't kind of explain the weird identity clash that occurred, or why. But that could be a post unto itself, so I think I'll leave it for now.
So anyway, they went on about God for a while, the pastor talking away, rousing himself from a sort of dreary auto-pilot for a minute once during the ceremony to talk, from the heart, about the couple's love for each other, before he slid back into drone. They exchanged rings, kissed, then made their way back down the aisle to 'What a Wonderful World/Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.

The reception was held at a local country hotel function room. There were sushi canapes and drinks. Beer. Lots of beer. These are country people. Dinner was served promptly. I sat at a table with my name card stating "Emma", resigned to the fact that even though we RSVP'd that "Emily" and Nic would be attending, his family were going to know me forever as Emma. When they receive the invites for our wedding, half of them are probably going to wonder who this Emily person is. Meals were cleared, speeches were had, and we all toasted to the new "Mr and Mrs Hislastname". Then there was some confusion as the band started, and none of us were sure if we were allowed to dance, because the bride (which I occasionally mistype as 'bird') and groom hadn't had their first dance yet. The poor band was trying to get people up, but nobody seemed sure. Eventually there was a first dance, and people followed. Dessert was also had, and this was when we left, as we had a 2 hour drive home.

Although this wedding was so traditional, it has given Nic and I a better sense of things we don't want in the wedding, and what we plan to do instead. Here are some things that have come from the experience:
  • Seeing each other before the ceremony. Having photos done then.
  • Party of Awesome (instead of bridal party), not necessarily belonging to Nic or I, but to both of us. Having a "Made of Awesome" or two. Non-matching outfits. 
  • Not having kids involved in the ceremony.
  • Mallei as flower beast. Possibly with flowers in a backpack. Possibly holding my bouquet (if I have one) in his pack. OR MOUTH!!!
  • Certainly writing our own vows ourselves, but trying to include humour in the ceremony, keeping it interesting. 
  • Only a couple of readings/people talking.
  • Ring warming, either as people come in & pass the rings, or having them passed around.
  • Signing the registry before the ceremony, avoiding this part during the ceremony.
  • Involving people somehow, making it an interesting, fun ceremony- maybe making some joke about circles and rings, and pulling out hula-hoops? 
  • Yay flags. My god, they're going to be awesome.
  • Bright, unusual colours. 
  • Hay-bales, or blankets to sit on.
  • We're almost considering having very limited booze at the reception. Neither of us drink very much, and we're against the concept that whenever you go out, you need to get smashed to have a good time. I'm all for people having a couple of drinks, but I think sometimes in social, party situations, people rely too much on alcohol. I worry that having only a small amount of drinks, or light drinks will make people think we're cheap. How about having none at all!? I'm not sure about this yet, but it's certainly a thought. 
  • No speeches?
  • There was something about the "Let's toast to Mr. and Mrs. Hislastname" that irked me last night in a really unexpected way. I thought I had settled on taking Nic's surname, but I'm not so sure now. And I don't know what to do about it. That's something I've got nearly 2 years to think about, so hopefully I'll figure it out before then. 
  • First dance, yes. Father-Daughter dance, probably. Mother-in-law-Daughter dance? Why not?
  • Pies instead of a wedding cake.
  • Homemade favors. Maybe blackberry jam. Depends how easily & cheaply we can find preserving jars. 
  • 3 long communal tables (if possible) and no Party of Awesome table. Us on a table with close family & close friends. After all, they've come all this way to spend time with you, and you go and sit on a table by yourself (basically)... to me, that doesn't make sense. I want to be amongst them. 
  • Dancing, maybe some places to chill out like couches. 
  • A campfire at the end.
I think that there were more, but I've forgotten them.

And at the same time, sometimes the temptation to elope is so strong. Like, how about we go up to the Alps in Switzerland, invite our best friends and close family, and whoever turns up, turns up, and whoever doesn't, doesn't. Because at this point, Nic's parents and brother are in 3 different countries, my Dad is in QLD and vowed never to see my mother again when they divorced (and here I am talking about putting them on the same table as one another?! Um...), Mum who doesn't like Nic, a fair chunk of Nic's friends will be coming from overseas... If we have it at my Aunt's place, that's about an hour and a half drive for most of my family, probably about 3.5 hours for half of Nic's family, and about 7.5 hours drive for the other half of Nic's family. Um.... can anyone else see this turning into some kind of demented logistical nightmare??? Is it too much to ask people to do this (is it better or worse to ask them to go to Switzerland?).
Although, if we were to have it overseas, we probably couldn't have it on the date we wanted because it'd be in the middle of the school year, and I don't think they'd look too favourably on a 1st year teacher nicking off for a month on a wedding/honeymoon.

Is it meant to be this difficult??

*I have nothing against religion, or religious people, or whatever. I don't like it being thrust in my face, and I don't like how sometimes it seems like brain-washing. I very much consider myself agnostic, but sometimes religion just frustrates me.

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