Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Crazy ass wedding plans or the non-wedding party

The following post does not mean to offend everyone and if you want to spend $30,000 on a wedding like the average Australian and love all of the traditions of weddings please don't let me stop you, it's just not for me.

Mr T and I were originally going to have a wedding party a couple of years ago but were put off by the ridiculous costs, being the centre of attention, and traditions that don't match well with either of us. We also thought that the event would be kind of meaningless to us, we love each other and we are committed to making the relationship work and we don't need to stand up in front of everyone and spend lots of money to know that. Mr T moving here is more of a commitment than a wedding or a marriage. I also still think a marriage is just a piece of paper and that my non married friends are in just as committed friends as those who are married. Plus it sucks that marriage is not available for same sex attracted couples. It is ultimately a patriarchal tradition too. I could keep going on with issues to do with weddings but I think you get the point. Anyway we both still feel the same way but got thinking that we did promise our families a wedding party and that perhaps we could throw a party for everyone that didn't cost the earth and wasn't like thousands of other weddings. In fact for the first time we actually got excited by the idea.

So Mr T and I have started planning a non-wedding wedding for Jan next year. We are throwing out almost all of the traditions that go with weddings:
  • No white dress or $1000 plus dress
  • No church
  • No expecting or accepting expensive gifts from guests
  • No spending lots of money on the event
  • No bridesmaids or groomsmen
  • No bucks and hens nights
  • No bride and groom dance
  • No father and daughter dance
  • No being 'given away' by my father or anyone else
  • No throwing flowers to all the single women
  • No garters or any other silly traditions
  • No name changes for me or him
Instead we are having a potluck style party where guess contribute food, or whatever they want to. They can help decorate, bring flowers from their garden, help with music, help with invites, help take pics or contribute in anyway they want to in lieu of gifts. That way no one is spending lots of money on the event and hopefully it will be more personal and fun. It will be an all vegan affair and if previous potlucks are any indication than the food will be better than most catered events and show my family that vegan food is amazing.

The only problem I have is trying to find a location. I thought of a picnic, but we can't really have dancing at a picnic or have a backup plan if it rains. If anyone knows of any cheap places for hire with access to an oven and an outside area let me know. It doesn't need to be big as their will probably only be about 60 guests.

Btw, if you also not in to traditional weddings and want to get married you might like indiebride or offbeatbride. It was great to find that I wasn't the only one who had these thoughts.


Cindy said...

Good for you! I hope you'll blog more about your non-wedding party in the lead-up. I've seen many intelligent friends choose days full of consumerism and patriarchal tradition and would love to see you prove that there's a fun and meaningful alternative.

(For the record, we pretty much opted out of a wedding. Op-shop clothes, matching silver rings from a market, only our two mums as guests and witnesses, and a fancy vegetarian lunch for the four of us after our 15 minutes at the registry office. The only reason it worked was because we didn't tell anyone our plans until a couple of days before!)

Good luck with all your preparations!

Theresa said...

That sounds like a fun way to fulfil your promise. And a good example to set about how you can have fun without excessive consumerism, animal products, and patriarchal/religious traditions. Good on you both!

shawna said...

that's the best way to do it. i kinda wish we'd gone with a potluck and no gifts instead of a vegan dinner at a vegetarian cafe but a lot of our families struggle with the whole idea of what's vegan and the potluck would have ended up being full of things that weren't actually vegan. we did try to keep things fairly simple though (second hand dress i got for very little on ebay), ceremony on the beach (although we ended up hiring marquees in case of rain) and very casual reception.
we just wanted to have a big party with lots of our friends to celebrate our relationship (and it was really cool that some of my extended family came all the way from canada for the occasion).

Léna, said...

mazal tov, mazal tov etc.

a D.I.Y. wedding!
and suddenly this becomes a brides blog.

i'm sure that your sentiments towards tradition in marriage and the wedding 'ceremony' are quite common for contemporaries.

the pot luck idea sounds great. i can imagine that it may become a bit anarchaic (not in the red-emma desireable) or stressful if there isnt some sort of agreed assignment to different meal types prepared by each guest who is a willing contributour. you don't want a million cakes and only one set of sandwiches.

Miss T said...

*blushes* I love a good consumerist, traditional wedding I'd be really disappointed if I didn't get a dress, a walk down the aisle, some vows and a kiss at the end ... but to each their own and if that doesn't do it for you then congrats for wgoing with somethign that will instead of bowing to pressure! It sounds fabulous and very exciting and I also hope you'll blog about it. xx Miss T

kristy said...

Thanks for all of your supportive comments, I was a little worried you would all think I was crazy or I would get angry responses from more traditional brides to be.

Cindy and Shawna your weddings sounds great!

Lena, just like the potlucks there will be some slight organising so we won't end up with all desserts, although that wouldn't be such a bad thing in my opinion ;-)

Miss T, I am wearing a dress, and kissing Mr T and there will be vows and even a kiss. But I know what you mean :-)

Lisa Dempster said...

I think it:s fairly cheap to hire space at Montsalvat in Eltham... beautiful place for a chilled out picnic wedding and an amazing view as the sun goes down on a summers day. Your wedding sounds ideal... go for it!

Another Outspoken Female said...

I've been to a couple of weddings out in the open in public gardens followed by pot luck meals and partying. As a guest they are so much more enjoyable than any church wedding to attend. But then again, being an atheist I could be biased.

One in the height of summer (a whopping 40+ c day) was in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens, they'd also hired the ?conservatory i think it was, in case it rained (most councils now have a permit system for large gatherings in public spaces). But it is probably not doable for a night time shin dig. Another ajourned to a church hall. It was cheap but a bit dingy and cold (like a lot of church halls though they are worth checking out).

kristy said...

Thanks Lisa and another outspoken female, will look into both places!

Mandee said...

Fantastic idea, Kristy! I really think it's a lot of money to spend on something that lasts a day, the most important part of it should be the fact that you love each other and you spend the day with friends and family.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your efforts to keep it simple and non-traditional. I was married in that same fashion a few years back and used a Unitarian Universalist Church for this event. Check them out if they exist on your continent and you will be surprised to find out how interesting and flexible they are; It is a faith tradition that encompasses many beliefs so your own beliefs (or non-beliefs) are perfectly acceptable. Check it out!

Jawill said...

Hi Kristy!
We got married in our front yard (we live in the hills so we had a nice view!) and then cleared out our loungeroom for a veggie feast! - it was simple and fun and relaxing. I saw your brownies at the vegan bake-off - but didn't get to taste them - I entered some coffee/hazelnut cupcakes. I loved the build up to the bake-off and experimenting with new recipes! I can't wait for next years comp!
Andrea :)

Polka Dot Rabbit said...

Sounds great, we looked at something similar for our wedding but were thwarted by the space issues (we didn't want to pay $2000 for the use of a paddock at the children's farm for example). We also found most places charge extra if you want rain protection. So we are going for the registry office then a meal in a wine cellar. It's tricky. But exciting!

kristy said...

Anon, I will look into it, thanks!

Jawill your wedding sounds great, I wish we had a big yard with a view.

Polka dot rabbit, your idea also sounds nice.

It's so great to be hearing about other non traditional weddings!