Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wedding Photography (on an iPhone)

Image via The Digital Story (processed with the Lolo camera in CameraBag)

Technology is a-changin'.

Just the other day, Matt made a Thanksgiving CD for some friends of ours, and it got me thinking about tapes. Tapes were the staple of my childhood. Remember all that rewinding?

And now CDs are almost obsolete.

And those disposable cameras used to be the coolest thing to do at weddings. Now, guests bring their own digital cameras or iPhones.

Check out this iPhone app that lets you cool-ify your iPhone photographs. Wow!

Images via The Digital Story (processed with the Ansel camera in CameraBag)

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There's a lot about Thanksgiving that makes me sad (e.g., the effects of colonization, imperialism, and subjugation on indigenous peoples, which is more real than the whole pilgrims and Indians thing we learned in elementary school), but I'm also smitten with the sentimental notion of setting aside time for conscious gratitude.

Conscious gratitude.

Yes, I need to incorporate more conscious gratitude into my daily life. Perhaps as I fall asleep, I should think through everything I'm grateful for (the list is long).

So, as I prepare to take a mini-vacation from work (and this blog), I want to take a few minutes to bask in conscious gratitude.

Thank you, dear readers and fellow kindred spirits (cheesy but true!), for the constant inspiration you provide me with. You give me faith in the idea that we can reclaim the real purpose of weddings--community, connection, commitment, and fun--without losing our sanity or savings. We can resist the lure of consumer culture and stay centered (as much as possible!) on our relationships and our love. We can keep our marriages at the forefront, despite pressure from the Wedding Industrial Complex to prioritize countless details that will stress us out rather than lead us to the mythical "Perfect Day."

I am a better person because of your e-mails, stories, ideas, encouragement, and criticism. I appreciate your presence in my life and look forward to getting to know you even better!

(For those of you who still find yourselves in front of a computer during the break, feel free to keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter! or my recently-revived personal blog: Feeding the Soil).

Be well...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Plans (a.k.a. "When Your Budget Forces You to Compromise")

There's no doubt that sticking to a $2,000 budget forced us to compromise on some of the smaller details:
  1. Our inexpensive venue (a B&B off the beaten path in Colorado) was adorned with stuffed moose (at least they were the toy kind and not the taxidermy kind)
  2. We had to settle for panther stamps on our postcard invitations rather than the customized photo stamps I wanted to buy
  3. My dress wasn't the most flattering of the potential dresses I could've chosen, but it was only $15 (and it provided a good canvas for making it unique)
  4. We had to get a lot of our ingredients for self-catering from Sam's club rather than local and/or organic vendors (although we did buy quality meat from Whole Foods)
The kind of compromising we had to do to stay within our ideal wedding budget was the same kind of compromising that happens in non-wedding planning life. (It's just that for some reason, everything gets blown out of proportion and perspective when it's related to wedding planning.)

Once again, I find myself making compromises based on our budget.

Originally, my best friend and I were going to travel to Belize for Thanksgiving break. Woo-hoo! 

And then we realized that plane tickets were astronomical and that they had no intention of going down (even though we watched them for months and months!). 

That's when we came up with a back-up plan: a yoga retreat in the Berkshires

And then we realized that plane tickets to the Northeast were also astronomical. 

That's when we came up with yet another back-up plan: make our own yoga retreat at my house in Houston. 

We'll be indulging in homemade spa treatments, doing yoga with my video, cooking healthy meals, and getting massages. 

In the end, all will be well. We'll have quality time for conversation, relaxation, and rejuvenation (and there will be plenty of time to travel: definitely Big Bend and Marfa for spring break, British Columbia for two weeks this summer, and maybe the yoga retreat in June). 

Compromises aren't so bad after all...

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese Addendum

Dearest Anonymous Commenter,
This is Matt Bradford, Sara's partner, and when Sara forwarded me your response this afternoon it lit a fire under my tail to find out whether or not I could definitively have my party at Chuck E. Cheese, or if I'd have to lie to have my birthday at Chuck E. Cheese.

After spending way too much time on their electronic answering service, I managed to find a section of their site online where I could get help from "a real person".

The following dialogue ensued and I can, in-fact, with 100% certainty, have the kick-off to my 27th year in the comfort of singing animatronics, endless pitchers of soda, spinning lights, tickets, and prizes, prizes, prizes!!!

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Reason #2,104 I Love My Partner

He planned his own Chuck E. Cheese birthday party and made a corresponding logo for the Facebook invite.

I love this man.

Happy Friday to you all!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mr. (and Ms.) Clean

I have a love/hate relationship with cleanliness. I love living in a clean environment (it seriously lowers my stress level), but I hate putting in the work it takes to keep a house clean. 

Matt and I have a good system down for splitting up our weekly chores, but it's always inspiring to read other folks' systems, like the one featured at Young House Love. I've really been taking Sherry's ideas to heart, like making sure everything has a spot. Instead of just dumping our mail on the dining room table, for example, I set up a small old drawer on our buffet table (which is really an old science lab table to go along with our old schoolhouse theme).

I've also been being more diligent about spending a few minutes each day returning things to their spots (although it's a little difficult to return Hoss's toys to the old gym basket we use for his stuff; he thinks it's a game that requires him to take them back out again). When I come home from work, for example, I put away my lunch, sweater, sunglasses, and water bottle instead of just dumping everything. I also try to put away the pots and pans once they're dry and putting my nasty running clothes into the hamper. It's so much easier for me to do a little bit here and there as opposed to a whole bunch at once.

And it means that I enjoy a clean environment every day instead of just for a short time after weekly chores!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Truly Unique Rings

I'm already a huge fan of Etsy jewelers for engagement/wedding rings, and then I got a lead from Jocelyn.

This dude in Maine literally sends you an impression kit and then makes a mold from your fingerprint, which he turns into a ring. 

Here's what he says:

Searching for a truly unique wedding band? This is just what you were looking for. It is many things: unique, sentimental, custom, heirloom quality crafted, and you are completely involved in the making process.
I send you my Impression Kit in the mail. Once you receive it, imprint the entire length of your finger and/or your fianc├ęs finger separately. Then you mail that back to me. Once I receive it here in my studio in beautiful coastal Maine, I make a wax form from the impression material. Then utilizing the ancient lost wax casting process, I turn that impression into a metal ring utilizing gold or silver.
Maybe some day this ring gets passed down to your children--a family heirloom for sure. How romantic! Your lover touching you, holding your finger, always with you.
I would love to talk with you about this exciting process! Only available from Brent Williams Designs with such fine craftsmanship.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Q & A: Staying Connected with Our Nearest and Dearest

Reader Question: Weddings tend to be a sore subject for me. I was pregnant when my husband and I decided to get married. Plus, we were broke and although I thought eloping would be simple and romantic he felt that we needed to involve family. My mom graciously paid for everything, but it was her wedding not ours. 

Now back to the reason I'm writing...We've been planning a vow renewal basically since we got married. We figured it would be our time to include everyone that we wished could have been at our wedding. A time to publicly commit to one another with our friends and family all around. (The guest list was mostly mandated by my mother as well and we couldn't even include some of our nearest and dearest.)

Reading you blog has really spoken to me. In talking with my wonderful partner we share a lot of the ideals you talk about on your blog. There's only one problem. We've been married for three and a half years and have since lost a lot of valuable relationships. We live in Arizona with only our parents nearby. We never intended to lose the communities of people we grew up with, but somehow in all the craziness that is life instead of merging those communities we've really missed out on a lot.

I've already made a resolution to begin immediately. (I don't see much significance in waiting for a new year there is no time like the present.) I want to take the first step in reconnecting with the people that used to be so dear to us. I plan to send out an invitation that invites everyone to share their lives with us and to partake in ours. I want to put forth the effort to cultivate new beginnings, but I don't know what to do beyond the initial contact.

I've thought about a family newsletter. Scheduling times to call everyone. Getting together a list of emails. But I guess I just need some direction to get started. Do you have any suggestions to remake and then maintain relationships with family and friends?? Any advice is appreciated.

What a great topic to address! I think you've already got some great ideas.

Over the years, I've accumulated a lot of friends in various locations (e.g. high school, college, a summer of working at Space Camp, Summerbridge Cambridge, AmeriCorps, Teach For America, a seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities, KIPP, YES College Prep, a self-subsidized sabbatical, our honeymoon sailing trip around Greece, etc.). 

For several years, I sent a monthly e-mail message called the Friends & Family Update. I would write about all of my adventures and misadventures for the month. I would also write about questions I was grappling with, books I had read, movies I had seen. Different people would respond to different updates. For example, one of my long-lost friends from high school e-mailed me in response to my complaint about trying to hold my dog's leash while we run. He suggested that I instead connect the leash to my waist. Brilliant! The list has kept me in touch with so many scattered friends.

I think the trick to any sort of mass communication (either e-mails, holiday letters, or newsletters) is authenticity and candor. Generic fluffiness is boring and contributes to the distance people already feel. The holiday letters I most appreciate are the honest ones. The ones that speak the truth about relationship struggles or insecurity or grief or sheer pride and excitement.

Other ways to stay connected include starting a blog (I use blogger, which is very user-friendly) or finding/communicating with friends through Facebook and Twitter. (Digression: You can now follow me on Twitter if you're interested!)

Also, there's nothing like the power of the telephone. I find that I'm personally more consistent about staying in touch when I designate specific times to call people (like calling a different person every Monday while driving home from work or every time I clean the house). 

Birthday cards are another nice way of staying in touch. I used to look at my calendar at the beginning of every month and write birthday cards to all my friends/family. I would then put a sticky note on each of them that specified which day I needed to mail them during the month.

As I write about all of the things I used to do, I'm realizing that I'm letting myself fall out of touch with my nearest and dearest. It's easy to do when your inner circle is complete. Now that Matt is in my life, so many of my needs for companionship and comfort are satiated.

But you've reminded me that I don't want to lose touch with all of my scattered friends and family. Life has more vibrant color with them in it.

Thank you!

2000dollarwedding kindred spirits: How do you stay in touch with far-flung friends and family?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Luggage Tags

Woo-hoo! I've been saving this post for awhile now. I wanted to make sure this free offer was legit, and it is!

Royal Dutch Airlines is offering two free, personalized luggage tags. I tried it, and it totally works. I received them in the mail a couple days ago. I'm not uploading images of my new luggage tags because they happen to be a gift, and I think the recipient might read this blog.

You have to give them all your contact information, but I considered it a fair trade. You upload a photo, and tell them the name, address, and phone number for the person who will be the eventual owner of the luggage tags (so, um, actually you're giving them the contact information for two people!). They send you two free luggage tags. Voila! They are sturdy and lovely.

Happy Luggage Tag Making (and Happy Monday!).

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Matt and I can only afford to send Hoss to doggy daycare once a week. He goes on Thursdays because the owners say he has a preference for the Thursday dogs. Apparently he "flirts it up" with a dog named Daisy.

I hope you're looking forward to the weekend as much as Hoss looks forward to doggy daycare.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Unique and Interesting Wedding Ceremony Scripts

I added a couple more wedding ceremony scripts to the list of inspiration. Enjoy!


An e-mail from a 2000dollarwedding kindred spirit gave me the idea to create a resource list of unique and interesting wedding ceremony scripts. Creating your own (or even revising one provided by your officiant) can be a daunting task. A little inspiration can go a long way. I'll add to this list as links are mentioned in the comments section. Please, help a girl out! I had trouble finding a lot. If you want to e-mail me your script and have me upload it and link to it or if you've seen other awesome scripts posted on the internet, let me know!
  1. Sara & Matt of 2000 Dollar Wedding
  2. Ariel & Andreas of Offbeat Bride
  3. Kat & Justin of Weddingbee
  4. Jen & Shell
  5. Peonies & The Boy of Peonies and Polaroids
  6. Katie & Paul of A Backyard Wedding
  7. Hope & Ben of hippie dippie bebe
  8. Katie & Katie
  9. Nina & Justin
  10. September and Will of Party of Six

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Post: Wedding Pinata

By Linda

One of our challenges was trying to come up with something to replace dancing since neither of us are really dancing people so I wanted to share our idea since it was a big hit. We had a pinata made by my best friend and filled with local maple goodies, chocolates, mini liqour bottles and small toys. These served as our "favors" to guests.

Ahead of time, we had put out at each person's seat on the tables a little slip of paper with a thank you note and our shutterfly web site address for people to upload their photos from the wedding to share. We numbered them on the back for the pinata hitting order. The numbers were scattered randomly throughout the room and when we made the announcement for everyone to come out back we told them to bring that slip and then asked for who had #1 and so on. We had about 40 guests total and I think about 6 people got to swing before the pinata was broken by my brother. It was great!

How to Make a Basic Pinata:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups water
  • balloon
  • newsaper cut into about 1" thick strips
  • colored crepe paper cut into about 1" squares or streamers
  • glue
  • string
Mix flour and water to make a pasty substance. Dip newspaper strips in the paste and cover the balloon with them, but leave a hole near where the balloon is tied so you can add your fillings afterward. Do at least 3 layers of newspaper strips, allowing time between each layer to dry. When fully dry, pop and remove the balloon. Glue crepe paper squares all over. Get creative and add cones, streamers, or other fun stuff to add interest to the basic round shape. Poke 2 holes in the top near the opening and put a string through. Fill with goodies, hang from a tree branch and have fun!


Linda is former ski bum turned road technician who travels around Vermont helping towns deal with erosion and water quality issues that arise from the of hundreds of miles of dirt roads in the state. When she's not fixing roads, she's probably camping, hiking or just playing outside.

Chad is a former ski bum turned farrier (that's someone who shoes horses) and blacksmith and he's working toward being self-employed-full time. He likes to make big campfires and is the greatest camp cook.

Linda and Chad met when they both simultaneously moved from different states to the same small town in Vermont to enjoy life in the mountains. Chad proposed to Linda on the chairlift when they went skiing on Christmas day 2008.
Your turn: Do you have something you want to share with 2000dollarwedding kindred spirits? Maybe you want to write a post about how to DIY your wedding invitations or you want to share a profound realization that helped you approach wedding planning a little more sanely. Maybe you want to write about the name-changing dilemma or a creative idea for making your wedding more eco-friendly. If so, e-mail me your idea. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monthly Budget in Review

Photo courtesy of VivaTerra

As we slide into November, I wanted to take a second to share an update on our new index card strategy for keeping ourselves within our budget.

It's still working!

What a relief. It's one thing to devise a system and an entirely different thing to implement it consistently.

We didn't do as well this month as we did last month in terms of diligently recording every purchase. Sometimes, I might have recorded a purchase two or three days after the fact, which meant that the system lost some of its accuracy.

However, I'm motivated to recommit to a little more diligence by recording purchases the day of.

So far, this system is helping us seriously increase the money in our bank account. It's amazing how easy it is to frivolously spend money if you're not conscious of it. Honestly, I don't really miss any of the stuff we're no longer buying (whatever it was).

For a while, I had to stop our automatic saving plans (car, vacation, baby, retirement, etc.) because we were hemorrhaging money, and we needed to use our savings to cover our general expenses. Now that they are activated again, I'm eager to watch those accounts grow with little to no effort on our part.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Wedding Quiz

Oh, I love this idea from a 2000dollarwedding kindred spirit. She and her partner-in-awesomeness put an All-About-Us Quiz in their wedding ceremony program. I love little ways of injecting fun and entertainment into a wedding. So clever!

Here's how it went:
  • Who’s afraid of spiders?
  • Who’s afraid of heights?
  • Who likes to ride horses?
  • Who had to come home early from a slumber party in the third grade because they were scared by a snake?
  • Whose nickname was “crash”?
  • Who forged their mothers name in high school to excuse late arrivals?
  • Which one weighed the most when they were born?
  • Where did Meghan and Wesley meet? Where did Wesley “pop” the question?

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Matrimonial Bed: Making the Switch to an Eco-Friendly Wool Comforter

Photo courtesy of Holy Lamb Organics

Please don't tell any potential burglars this, but Hoss isn't much of a guard dog.

The other night, Matt came home late from a weekend road trip, and Hoss didn't recognize him when he entered the house. Instead of barking ferociously (which he can do quite well, thankyouverymuch) or lunging uncontrollably, he simply ran into our bedroom, jumped on the bed, and started peeing.

And boy does our big dog have a big bladder. (I'll spare you any further details...)

Matt and I decided to start looking for a new comforter to replace my 9-year old trusty companion. (Editor's Note: I should've spent a minute investigating how to clean a down comforter before jumping to the conclusion that it was done for--argh! I feel so wasteful...although I did reuse it by stuffing it into my dog's ever-flattening dog bed).

I started researching eco-friendly options. Of course they are more expensive, but I'm an advocate for splurging on things that you spend a third of your life using (I am the kind of girl who needs eight hours of sleep a night, thankyouverymuch).

I came across the idea of a wool comforter, which seems to have all sorts of benefits. It's naturally mite-resistant. It regulates temperatures really well. It wicks away moisture. Sleeping on natural materials has been known to produce positive physiological results.

Better yet, I found a super-small company in Washington that makes them. They had me at pictures of their sheep. I'm smitten!

I had to talk my overly-frugal husband into taking the plunge into the $349 (plus shipping) sea. I hope we like it. I can't seem to find anyone who has experience with wool comforters (even on Facebook--gasp!). The only downside is that the company has recently been swamped with orders and we won't get until late November. Drats.

We allocate $200/month toward home improvement schtuff, so we're basically spending October and November on a comforter. I'm fine with that, since the thing should last for a very, very long time (like marriage!).

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

And the Winner Is...


You just won yourself 50 flat 4’’x8’’ holiday cards with free shipping from Vistaprint. Please e-mail me to claim your prize.

Hooray for you! Your friends and family will be very happy to received customized holiday cards this year.

Oy vey. I better get crackin'...

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Etsy Wedding Rings

Photo Courtesy of HelenesDreams

Unfortunately, I was stuck in the school computer lab until 6pm the other night fulfilling some idiotic district mandate (can I get in trouble for broadcasting that over the internet?).

When I needed to let some steam escape from my overtaxed brain, I struck up conversation with one of my colleagues who is in the wedding planning process.

We specifically talked about Etsy and what a wonderful, delightful, surprisingly splendid place it can be for inexpensive, hand-crafted, beautiful engagement/wedding rings.

Like this ring for $68.

Sixty-eight dollars!

I don't know much about the nuances of jewelry (I'm guessing sterling silver isn't as good as gold?), but there are a lot of different options on Etsy.

Any good Etsy leads?

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ways to Have Fun at a Wedding: Contradancing

A couple weekends ago, Matt was out of town and I was feeling a little lonely and sad (and then mad at myself for losing my independence and not relishing my freedom properly). I was also battling a major sinus situation that was commandeering my head. I decided to cheer myself up by going to Burger King for a veggie burger and fries (which is embarrassing to admit because, in principle, fast food makes me very angry, but it's important to be open and honest about one's foibles!).

On my way home, I saw a sign that said, "Contradance Tonight!" with a sign pointing toward an Episcopal church in my neighborhood.

I haven't seen or thought about contradancing since 2005 when I went on a self-subsidized sabbatical that included a stop over at the John C. Campbell folk art school in North Carolina. Contradancing was a huge deal there, and in an effort to immerse myself in the full experience of folk art school, I took up contradancing. It's a partnered folk dance that involves lots of twirly skirts and live music.

I mustered the courage to follow the notebook-paper signs inside the building and up the stairs.

I was immediately welcomed. I somehow let Roy--a regular--talk me into doing a dance, even though I was quite intimidated by my lack of recent experience (I tend to be a perfectionist, so spontaneous partner/group dancing without months of lessons is not really my thing). But boy was it fun! Sure there was the requisite guy who takes dancing way too seriously and gets impatient with my inexperience, but everyone else was super-friendly and fun. As you pass from person to person, you make eye-contact and smile. They even provided name tags! What a great way to build community.

I realized that contradancing would be a super fun thing to do at a wedding. I added it to the list of Ways to Have Fun at a Wedding. You'd have to hire a caller, but contradancing is a really easy thing to learn. A brief 30-minute lesson would introduce everyone to the basic moves. After that, each dance is explained before it starts with a little practice time.

Good times!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Guest Post: The Pressure Our Parents Feel

By Carolyn

One of the things that I have noticed in planning a wedding is how much pressure our parents feel about putting on the right sort of wedding. Our parents think about reciprocation - by now, their friends and siblings have entertained them at the weddings of their children, and they want to return the favor. Our parents have their own aesthetic ideas, and their own social pressures to do things the right way. All of these things can make it really hard for parents to support the kinds of decisions we need to make to have a wedding on a modest budget.

There are a couple of things that have really helped me to help my parents get on board with a more modest wedding. The first is to really understand the emotional and social and cultural reasons behind their positions. In my case, I found that a lot of my parents' concern about where we held the wedding, what food we served, and how we decorated, really came down to wanting the guests to feel glad that they had come and - most importantly - to feel that we were glad they had come. Needless to say, it's definitely possible to meet this need whether your wedding is held in a park shelter or Saint Paul's cathedral.

The second thing that helped my parents get on board was to explain, in very concrete terms, how keeping to a smaller budget would change my life, and my fiance's life, for the better. So I made a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet illustrating my student loans, expected monthly payments for the next ten years, and how my fiance and I could save $500 a month for the next ten years if we poured my savings and 3/4 of our wedding budget into paying off the loan with the highest interest rate. I also explained that my student debt is a chronic source of stress and fear in my life, and that I was pretty sure any stress I had about limiting our selection of alcohol, buying a second hand wedding dress, or holding the wedding in a park shelter, would be temporary.

My parents have been extremely supportive of our plans ever since. My mom called up the park service to inquire about renting a shelter for a day, found a vendor at the farmers market who can provide local flowers for a fraction of the price at a professional florist, and she's come up with lots of good ideas for having fun without breaking the bank.


Carolyn is a third year law student in search of the perfect public interest environmental law job. When she's not working on the Clean Water Act, she blogs about cooking ethically at Localizing.

Jerry is a musician, entrepreneur, and an MBA student. When he's not teaching or recording at his studio, he's usually making brilliant YouTube videos.

Carolyn and Jerry met at the Bitter End, a Greenwich Village dive bar, during her first week in NYC. She surprised and charmed Jerry by sitting down and brazenly introducing herself.
Your turn: Do you have something you want to share with 2000dollarwedding kindred spirits? Maybe you want to write a post about how to DIY your wedding invitations or you want to share a profound realization that helped you approach wedding planning a little more sanely. Maybe you want to write about the name-changing dilemma or a creative idea for making your wedding more eco-friendly. If so, e-mail me your idea. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Dia de los Muertos: Honoring Loved Ones at a Wedding

Honestly, I haven't paid much attention to Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday to honor one's ancestors. I think Halloween--my favorite holiday--overshadows everything else for entire months leading up to it.

This year, however, I've been paying more attention to holidays, since I feel obligated to teach my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders at the public Montessori school where I work about cultural traditions and celebrations from around the world (Labor Day, but the way, is a really inspiring holiday!).

I attended a workshop about Dia de los Muertos at a local store for Mexican folk art. I learned all about the tradition of making altars to honor one's deceased loved ones. I then worked with some of my students after school to create remembrance boxes (it's amazing what old shoeboxes can transform into!).

The whole process has really gotten me thinking about the healing and fortifying effects of celebrating loved ones who have passed away. I've read tidbits on various blogs about ideas for honoring one's deceased family members and friends at weddings, and I wanted to gather some of those ideas here. After all, weddings are about community, connection, and love. For some folks, it makes perfect sense to honor or highlight deceased members of our community during the gathering. I wish Matt and I would have done this.

Here are some ideas for how to do it:
  1. Memorial Candles: Each candle can have a specific person's name attached to it.
  2. Small Picture Charms: You can put a picture of an important loved one in a small picture frame (thanks to Ariel for the Etsy idea!) and secure it somewhere significant (on a tie clip, bouquet, sash, etc.).
  3. A Picture to Hold a Loved One's Place: This couple used a photograph to mark the place the groom's deceased brother would have been as the best man. So touching!
  4. A Place in the Ceremony Program
  5. Toast to Those Who Are Present in Spirit
  6. Poem or Song During the Ceremony
  7. A Special Song and Dedication During the Reception
There are lots of options for honoring loved ones privately or publicly.

What other ideas have you come across?

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