In the midst of our party planning (I am calling our wedding a commitment ceremony, but I prefer "party" to everything else because of the celebration aspect of it!), J read this opinion piece on the New York Times: "Say No to the Dress."
I was intrigued by the title; I thought it would be a metaphor for saying no to having a wedding or the wedding establishment, or no to a long-term, committed relationship, or no to something else. When I got to the end and realized it was a metaphor for growing up and speaking your mind, I was a little disappointed at how shallow the whole piece seemed. Instead of going with the dress that the author's mom loves, the author finally "says no to the dress" and opts for the one she really loves. Yay! (Bleh)
But, as many people close to me probably know, I have had my own challenges sticking up for my values when planning this party. I wanted a smaller guest list (inviting maybe 100 people instead of 200, or whatever the hell number it is). I wanted a same-site ceremony and reception. Those factors significantly increased the cost of our party, and it was/is important to me to keep the costs down as low as possible. While I want to party with friends and family, I also know that everyone in our lives already knows we love each other and I think it is silly to blow so much money on one day of our lives when we clearly have loved each other every day for the past 6 1/2 years.
Here are the things that I have been able to advocate for though: a Mexican buffet for the reception dinner (instead of "fancy chicken" dinners); cupcakes (instead of the traditional cake); Friends of Honor (instead of a wedding party, and with mixed gender friends); a knee-length dress (instead of a T length or longer one); brightly colored shoes (probably red or purple); simple flower arrangements (with local and seasonal flowers); a really low-key "rehearsal"/night-before dinner (probably BBQ or pizza! yum!); and funds set aside to pay for our Friends of Honor sleeping accommodations (since they are all so poor, like us. haha). So, I haven't been completely subsumed by the maternal whirlwinds. Other things that J and I have done that have been intentional: telling our officiant that we have an open relationship, and planning on writing our own vows.
I am excited that I have consciously and happily said "yes" to so many things about our ceremony and party. And that I am not only advocating for myself and what I want out of this process, but that we are able to celebrate our relationship with so many people that care about us.