A Tale of Two Weddings

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Sustainability, Writing | 0 comments

A Tale of Two Weddings

From the Redwoods to The Ritz.

I just returned home from back-to-back weddings in the Bay area and Buckhead. The first wedding was my fiance, David’s, former co-op housemate and homesteader extraordinaire, and the second was my step-brother and his Indian bride. We camped in the redwoods and hiked among milking cows and swam in the bay, then returned home to Boulder for 3 days before jetting off to the Atlanta area and dressing up for many mixed-faith events (a planetary prayer blessing ceremony, wedding Puja, a Christian ceremony, and oh-so-yummy Indian food all weekend). Being 70 days out from our own wedding, we were paying close attention to detail and experience! While these weddings were vastly different from each other in style and feeling, I learned some valuable take-aways for our own wedding.


1. Presence is paramount. Or, don’t sweat the ceremony. I watched my step-brother during the Hindu ceremonies, and while he didn’t know the language, he was completely present and curious throughout the process. It was touching to see his commitment to his bride’s faith and heritage, even though it went beyond his own. There was a universal understanding beyond language, as he was clearly just excited to join with his beloved. On the flip side, our Bay area friends planned their ceremony the night before with a first-time “officiant of the universe” (they’ve already had a civil ceremony). Although most of their ceremony was ad-libbed, what was clear was their love and commitment to one another and their community. Our ceremony is a hodge-podge of different traditions from different faiths, and we are no longer worried about who “gets it”. There is a message between the bride and groom that gets through.


2. All you have to do is feed them. Or, don’t sweat the details. It honestly doesn’t matter. If you have an amazing location and good food, people will have a good time. Anything extra is nice to have, but not necessary. The first wedding was in a feed-barn surrounded by hay bales, and the second was in a warehouse converted into a luxury event center. Each showed the couple’s personality, and I honestly don’t remember what was on the tabletops.


3. We’re all family. Or, don’t sweat the drama. Even though I had to play diplomat between table 12 and table 11 because of differences in celebrating style, it was great to meet so many people who were there for the exact same reason: to love on the bride and groom. Seriously, there’s not much else. I connected with my step-mother’s ex-husband, and it was cool. I became instant family with my sister-in-laws family. I became better family with my own family. Weddings are a place to put differences aside, and people really do.


David and I are entering into the final stretch of our wedding planning, and these two weddings were a helpful reminder that we don’t need to stress about it. Simply being ourselves, and loving each other, is plenty. We’re focused more on spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being than planning tools. Being our best selves around each other is what’s important, and that looks different for everybody. As my fiance (and soon-to-be husband) says, “there are many ways to tie a knot.”


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