Tuesday, February 03, 2009

About our wedding

Ok, this is long, but I wanted to include everything.

We had a 'it takes a village...' style wedding. I swear I stole that term off offbeat bride, but can't find where. Basically instead of gifts we asked everyone to contribute in whatever way they wanted, which meant lots of different things. For most of our veg*n friends it meant bringing food to share (including a fancy looking cake), we had a friend play guitar to sea of love by cat power as we walked toward everyone, a cousin did a reading, a friend made gorgeous table runners, another brought flowers and supplied vases, others helped to decorate, many brought drinks, one made 200 jelly shots, my aunt compiled kid pics of Mr T and I and matched them up according to age and/or theme in our guestbook, a few people took amazing pics and much more.

We had the ceremony at my mums house, which is not in the greatest suburb, or the best house or even the greatest garden but up until about a year ago it was my nans house and my mum done a great gob of getting it back to a pretty good standard in the few months notice that I gave her. The important thing about the place though it has a lot of memories and was meaningful to Mr T and I. We had the reception at a community hall around the corner from my mums place which was decided at the last minute. We also decided to have a flowergirl a couple of days before the wedding. She borrowed a relatives dress and basket and didn't throw flowers but instead carried the rings down for us in her very cute way.

We got rid of most of the wedding traditions, no flowers, no being given away, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no bouquet toss, no white dress, no speeches except for our joint speech, no garter, no confetti or rice, (but we did have bubbles) no cake cutting, no first dance, no bucks or hens night. We only included one chinese wedding tradition as Mr T hated most of them. Here is info about it:

In homage to this legend and to Mr T's Chinese ancestry, the couple will share wine from nuptial glasses tied together with a silken red cord [or red satin ribbon in our case].

This is the essence of a Chinese wedding ritual called tuan yuan or "completing the circle." The red cord tying the couple's souls together now forms a circle around their hearts, uniting them forever in this life and the next. The sharing and mingling of wine is symbolic of a harmonious married life."

It was important for us to try not to spend lots of money because we simply didn't have it and we hate the wedding industry and to try to keep it as ethical as we can. We spent more money than we intended to but that's because everything added up and often the more ethical choices cost a little more. However compared to most Aussie weddings which cost on average $30,000 we spent very very little. All of our clothes, shoes (Mr T's shoes were white canvas shoes), food, wine and most of the beer was vegan, my dad had to have a small amount of VB which is not vegan. We also tried to stay green in several ways. A lot of things were second hand including my dress, Mr T's jacket, my shoes, and I even got glasses to use as candle holders from an op shop. My mum and nan even got on board and all of the cutlery and glasses they either owned or were purchased from op shops. I didn't want anyone doing too many dishes, so opted for disposable plates and bowls and got some biodegradable ones. Mr T's ring was locally made from silver. My ring did travel but is also silver and was made by an ethical jeweler I found on etsy. Neither of us had diamonds.

I have had people ask if I regret not getting a lot of gifts and I really don't. The way everyone pulled together and made a great wedding was so much more amazing to us. The memories of their hard work, thoughts and efforts is going to be much longer lasting than some material items. The few gifts that we did were quite special and unique like Michael giving us a best buddy with Timmy (my fav animal) with a cute little note about Timmy being his representative since he couldn't attend, relatives donated to charities and my brother gave us a very generous flight centre voucher because Mr T's family couldn't afford to attend and we spent our money that was going towards saving to visit them on the wedding.

It did mean that there was probably a lot more stress prior to the wedding with worries such as will there be enough food, wine, how to decorate etc. Unfortunately some people pulled out of doing things at the last minute which was quite disappointing and a little hurtful but others really stepped up and some people were simply amazing. My mother for example, made several dishes including two types of lasagne, veggie patties, a pasta bake, pumpkin and soy cheese salad and purchased and prepared spring rolls, samosas, potstickers, pastizzis and lots more. She also made modifications to my fascinator, and made Mr T a button thingy out of ribbon to match my dress and a thousand other little things. Rachel upon hearing that we might not have enough food made fairy bread (which was bit hit) and took along some ninja vegan items along with her contribution of drinks. And the potluckers made huge quantities of yummy food. Cindy made mini sausage rolls, homemade BBQ sauce and choc rosewater mousse slice covered in hearts, Lisa made both pasta and couscous salads (and filmed the event), Emily brought along plenty of la panella sausage rolls, Pip made bulgur wheat salad, Lidia made peanut butter cookies and Caroline's other half made mini onion tarts. And there was plenty of other yummy food from non bloggers: lemon slice, rice paper rolls, chocolate covered strawberries, chilli chocolate puff pastries, 3 different types of cupcakes and much more. I only wish I had pics of the savoury food to show you.

Apart from the celebrant and the makeup artist (who only uses vegan products) we did everything else ourselves and we ended up with lots of food leftover. In fact, we were able to give plates of dessert out to several people at the end to take home and we were eating desserts for almost a week afterward. All of the food was vegan and I was so impressed that my 15 year old male cousin veganised my nans banana cake (and then wrote with cinnamon K heart's T) and another relative googled vegan cake recipes and made a chocolate cake.

Mr T and I made food too, he made his signature neat balls from veganomicon with orange rind instead of lemon although unfortunately they ended up being quite salty as the tomatoes also had salt in them and we made heat shaped spritz cookies and covered them with white chocolate and dark choc sprinkles. Lesson for the year- don't make spritz cookies in super hot weather, the dough melts and then the cookie press doesn't work. We had to made two batches and had to leave it in the refrigerator overnight to get it to work.

Mr T did most of the music and put it on to a laptop and an ipod (as backup) that was hooked up to borrowed speaker (thanks Emily). About a week before the wedding we got together with a small bunch of friends and brainstormed songs. Mr T arranged it to so there 30 min blocks of family friendly music like (YMCA, grease songs, girls just want to have fun etc) and music we liked. I'm glad that we did have so much family friendly music as we learnt that most of music obsessed friends don't really dance much. That didn't stop us though we were determined to enjoy ourselves and throughout the night there was either Mr T or myself on the dancefloor if not the both of us. It was so much fun to dance in silly ways with so many people.

We had a thousand little things go wrong prior to the wedding, but towards the end I learnt to just accept them and not let them build towards more stress. Although that might have also been the Bach's rescue remedy that a friend got me on to. The only small thing that did bother me was my earrings. I got cat earrings because Button is part of our family and I really wanted to include something related to her but couldn't actually get them in my ears before the ceremony. But hey, it the scheme of things, I really can't complain!

There was so many amazing memories from the night, Mr T looking into eyes and seeing that he was genuinely touched during our vows, the flowergirl accidently holding my hand instead of giving the basket to my sister, Mr T dripping wine down his chin when we conducted the chinese cermony where we drank wine with our arms interlocked, dancing and singing away to le tigre with a few friends, watching our 4 year old flowergirl instantly learn the moves to rocky horror show song and so many more.

It was really a horrible week before the wedding and if it nothing else it taught Mr T and I that we really are a awesome team and get through anything. Also that we have some super amazing family and friends.

We might not be able to eat or drink out for a little while because we are super poor right now, but it was so worth it. But we wouldn't have changed a thing.We had so many people, many of which are non wedding people say it was the best wedding that have every been to.

We didn't write out vows but did choose them and so they had meaning to us and our celebrant was quite non traditional and funny yet warm. Anyway here our vows:

Mr T, will you take Kristy to be your wife

Will you love & respect her

Be honest with her, and stand by her through whatever may come

So you can genuinely share your lives together?

I, Kristy, call on the people here

To witness that I take you,

Mr T, to be my wife

I will try to be a loving husband

I promise to respect you as an individual

I intend to develop as a person in partnership with you

I want to love you

Through good fortune and adversity

For the rest of my life

Kristy, take this ring and try not to lose it (all of the other options didn't really suit us)

My cousin did a reading from the alchemist:

When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing.
Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

And here are some of the desserts:

Ok, next I'm back to regular food blogging I promise!

( btw, I don't know how to fix the font, but will keep trying).


Cindy said...

I'm so impressed that you (that we all!) pulled it off. It was terrific to be a part of that village. :-)

Theresa said...

It sounds wonderful. And that dessert table looks great!!

steph said...

Yay to you and your village!

I'm Philippa O said...

dammit! now i REALLY wish tim and i didn't have to rush off before dessert! everything looks amazing! yours was the best wedding i have ever been to. the food was amazing, the music was amazing, the ceremony (or what we saw of it) was amazing - i wish you guys all the very very best xo