The Green Wedding Chronicles: Keeping it Simple

One of the things that cracked us up on our last trip to the forested area near the coast where we'll be exchanging our vows.
One of the things that cracked us up on our last trip to the forested area near the coast where we’ll be exchanging our vows.

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
~Henry David Thoreau

Throughout my life I strive to live simply.  Not too much stuff, not too much chaos, not too much of anything that’s going to make me wonder why the heck I’m doing it.  And in making plans with my future hubby for how we want this special time to look, we have been really good at reminding each other how important it is that we do it exactly how we want to do it, and always remember that simpler is better.

So with that, here are a few more areas we’ve kept simple, and therefore green…

The Wedding Party
With our nuptials, we’re bringing just a few special people with us to the coast to celebrate this new chapter we are beginning – and with food, friends, ocean, and a whole lotta love…what else is needed?  And with this small group, we have no one holding any official titles, with exception of my friend Amy who is going to be our officiant (thanks to ULC!). No bridesmaids or groomsmen. No flower girl.  No ushers.  No maid of honor. No matching outfits that those attending can never wear again. No fuss.  Yes, we’ve asked two folks to sign the marriage certificate to make it legal, but we embrace everyone equally.

Did you know…

  • “The original duty of a Best Man was to serve as armed backup for the groom in case he had to resort to kidnapping his intended bride away from disapproving parents.” (source).
  • “The earliest tradition in bridesmaid fashion involved dressing the bridesmaids exactly the same as the bride. As with many older traditions, the idea was that by setting up lookalikes, any troublesome spirits in the area could not fixate on the bride.” (source)
  • “The Western bridesmaid tradition is thought to have originated from Roman Law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits (believed to attend marriage ceremonies) by dressing in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married.” (source)

Deciding Who To Invite
In my world, I know a lotta lotta lotta people, and frequently socialize, network, lunch, and cocktail it with the folks whose company I particularly enjoy.  Additionally, as my sweetheart is new to living in this country, his social circle is quite small.  So when it came to getting hitched, decisions had to be made as to how big we wanted the event, how much we could (and wanted to) to spend, and other related details. For us, keeping it small was vital – both for the ceremony and for the dinner that evening (i.e., reception).  We didn’t want an event so big that we couldn’t spend time with the people that were there.

I always thought big weddings were such a lonely event when you’re not in the actual bridal party, because you basically just would hug the happy couple in the receiving line then go sit at a table in a huge room, usually with folks you don’t know. The older kids were bored to tears, folks were uncomfortably dressed up, and as a woman you got pushed into the group of crazy women vying for a damn plastic bouquet. It was all more of a show than breaking bread together.

And, ultimately, as the couple paying for the event, do you want that to be the feel of your big day?  We didn’t.  We wanted to be able to have one long table where everyone could sit and laugh and eat and hang out with us, with some music in the background and no worries about cutting cakes or throwing bouquets or doing the electric slide to that scourge of wedding receptions, Kool & the Gang.

These “quick and dirty” reminders from Modern Manners Guy, Offbeat Bride and HuffPost are great…

  • Your wedding is not a time to pay people back or make others happy.
  • Deciding if you should invite someone with a date can make your numbers add up to grand proportions.
  • With your wedding, invite the guests who will make the day as special and fun as possible.
  • If someone starts fishing for an invitation, politely refuse to do battle.
  • If there’s a doubt in you mind as to whether to invite them – don’t.

We hope we never have any angst during this planning, but ultimately we are satisfied with our decisions to keep it intimate, keep it simple, and keep it true to our vision for the day.

Happiness is a morning wedding in the middle of the week.
Happiness is a morning wedding in the middle of the week on an empty beach.

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