Desaray of Dingmoonment


I’m really excited to bring you wedding graduate Desaray of Dingmoonment today. Desaray and I started blogging right around the same time, so I’ve been waiting for her wedding forever and ever. I love what she wrote here because so much of it echos my experience: gratitude, community, simplicity, and the art and magic of being present. With that, I’m going to let Desaray take it away:
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingMy wife, Lauren, and I got married August 1, 2009 at the Friends Meeting of Washington in Washington, DC. We had a reception for 130 people back at our house and spent around 11,000 dollars. My biggest piece of advice about weddings is just to have one. So many people, especially gay people, are so deeply ambivalent about throwing a wedding and for a lot of good reasons. But, really, it’s hard to understand the power and the purpose of a wedding until you are planning your own.

When it comes to Meg’s practical values of creativeness, thriftiness and sanity, I am also a big fan.

Creative: My wife, Lauren, made 10-15 different collages for our save the dates. Because we have such a diverse group of friends and family, we were able to send STDs that would appeal to the person getting it.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingWriting is my art of choice. I started a blog two weeks after we got engaged and kept it faithfully for the entirety of our engagement. The blog kept all the guests informed and connected, help me get organized and motivated, help our families understand what we were doing and find a gay wedding community. Since the wedding, I’ve started a new blog called A Basement about the first year of our marriage. Having kept a journal from the ages of 11 to 23, writing a wedding blog re-kindled one of the things I cherish most about myself.

Thrifty: Six months after we got engaged, we rented a room in a group house where we ended up having the reception. One of my best friends from college works at Charm City Cakes and the wedding cake was her gift to us. We hired a gay wedding blogger, Kelly, who was just graduating from the Corcoran, to take pictures and she charged student prices.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingI think passing heavy appetizers also saved us some money. There’s the obvious difference in price compared to a seated meal or a buffet, but then there’s table, linen and dish rentals, centerpieces and escort cards that we just didn’t have to worry about – or make or buy. I also leaned really heavily on the idea that you can save a lot of money in decorations if you find naturally beautiful places. Both the Quaker Meeting House and our townhouse were built circa 1850, so we were able to limit decorations to around 200 dollars.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingSane: At some point in the process, I realized that planning a wedding wasn’t going to change fundamental aspects of my personality. I was not suddenly going to become highly motivated, detail-oriented, budget-conscious, or crafty.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingSince we had guests of honor instead of a bridal party, I made a list of every chore I needed help with and sent it to every wedding guest two weeks before the wedding. If the chore got volunteered for — it got done, if it didn’t — it didn’t. In some cases, I got better than I wanted, in some cases I got different, in some cases I didn’t get what I wanted at all, and in others still I got things I didn’t even know I needed. In the end, it was a pretty OK way to get a bunch of stuff done.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingGratitude was also a boon to sanity. We ordered buttons as wedding favors and I made sure to create special buttons for volunteers and guests of honor. I spent quite a bit of time “pinning” people during the reception, which was a wonderful and whimsical way to literally touch my loved ones, look them in the eye, smile and thank them.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingQuakerism also kept me sane. With its emphasis on community and simplicity, as well as weekly silent worship, I had consistent, gentle reminders of our real purpose.
Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingLittle did I know that the actual wedding day would be so mind-altering. So many of my daily habits of mind evaporated. I felt the way that yogis and buddhas and spiritually enlightened people of all stripes must feel on a regular basis – truly alive, positive and present. It was nothing short of magic. Desaray of Dingmoonment | A Practical WeddingAll photos by Kelly Prizel Photography

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12977525202055990615 MaryKate

    What a beautiful wedding- love the dress, the save-the-dates, the whole atmosphere. And, I can't say I'm not a little jealous that you're friends with Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes, as I see by your picture. She's my fave! What a great cake!

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    Love love love Desaray; she speaks so clearly. I love that she is talking about creativity with a purpose; to make people feel loved, and included, and involved. This is the point of creativity and all the "details" to me too–not to re-create a page out of Martha Stewart Weddings, but just to make everyone we love feel loved.

    The wedding looks like it was awesome; fun and magical. Mazel Tov.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15082554090481175349 A Los Angeles Love

    Another wake-up-and-cry-in-a-good-way wedding. Congratulations to you both on a thoughtful, beautiful, family-ful day. I only discovered Desaray's wedding blog recently and it's really a beautiful corner of the wedding blog world. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209861350905135093 LPC

    Beautiful. Beautiful wedding partners, beautiful wedding, beautiful writing. Must go read blog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13424616103795706999 LindsFM

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Beautiful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02567097973987043341 Lauren

    That last photo is A-MA-ZING.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00388295799913646592 “T-Bone” Lee

    What a cute couple! I love that last photo! So much joy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07593507545118567343 THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE

    Yeah Desaray! I Looove all the touches. You guys did an amazing job :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06843978652366295217 kristyk512

    I love everything that you said! May I ask where you ordered the buttons from? I have been looking for some and have yet to find a set that I really like…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13781314774264492284 blind irish pirate

    i love this. the whole thing. love.

  • Cate Subrosa

    Congratulations, Deseray, so glad it turned out so beautiful for you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17780331196723830632 christina

    so beautiful…i LOVE it…everything…
    the buttons
    the cake
    the quakers
    the sanity
    the gratitude

    congrats to the beautiful couple!
    xox

  • Desaray

    this is the entry about the buttons: http://dingmoonment.blogspot.com/2009/07/buttons.html

  • http://www.365daysandnoring.blogspot.com/ Amanda Katherine

    Such a fun wedding! It looks like they had an amazing day.s

  • http://www.verhext.com verhext

    that last photo is possibly the best wedding photo i have ever seen

  • http://www.onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    That last picture is so happy! The look they have on their face is one every couple should have!

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