One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: A day full of love from family and friends with DIY flair all done on a strict budget.
Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Wedding’
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: British garden party meets Canadian cottage weekend.
Today’s Vintage Wedding is a brilliant must-read for about a million reasons. But what I like best is it simultaneously reassures you that simple weddings are very traditional, while reminding you that the wealth of options we have now (Keep your name! Get married in a park with a reception in a BBQ joint!) are not to be taken for granted. All that, and it’s just super smart, so read on. (And then go interview your parents and submit their Vintage Wedding.)
My parents were married in Toronto, Ontario, on August 21, 1971. My mom, Amy, was 21 and my dad, Fred, was 23. My mom says, “I think the average age for getting married was younger then, but we were pretty young even so—we were both still in school. In 1971, and in our families, we couldn’t live together unless we were married. We badly wanted to live together, so we got married! We had a little car (a Datsun sedan we called Daisy), some used furniture, an apartment that cost $125/month, about $1000 in the bank, and lots of high hopes!”
My mom made her own wedding dress, and for reasons that she says “have disappeared in the fogs of time” decided that every inch of her skin should be covered—long sleeves, high neck and even a bonnet in August—but she loved doing it. She says “I remember spending many hours that summer in my parents’ basement, sewing and dreaming about our wedding and married life!” Typical of my mom, the dress pattern doubled as her major project in her Advanced Flat Pattern course at University (her major was Clothing, Textiles and Design).
The wedding was very small—only about 20 people. This decision didn’t come without a fight—apparently family arguments over guest lists are nothing new. “The wedding itself was lovely (except that the front of the church was under construction). But the hours and minutes before the wedding were tense. Until they showed up at the church, it wasn’t certain whether Fred’s family was going to attend. They were upset because we had foolishly told them they could invite only six people to the wedding. Since there are literally hundreds in their extended family, this was not a popular decision!”
My dad says, “By the time I was ready to go to the church—with the best man [his brother, who hadn’t yet shown up] or a substitute—I was so stressed I just wanted it to be over. I was resigned to the fact that my family might not be there, but I wasn’t going to miss this day for anything.”
It was important to my mom that the wedding be small—she was terrified of being the centre of attention of such a large crowd, and there were financial considerations as well. Funnily enough, 40 years later she’s an Anglican Reverend who specializes in officiating weddings and other celebrations, so it’s her job to speak in front of those crowds! Luckily my dad’s family turned up (all 6 of his siblings and his parents), and in retrospect, she says, “I didn’t handle things well at all with my in-laws. No wonder we weren’t sure they were going to show up on the big day. They did turn up at the wedding and after our honeymoon they gave us a lovely party in their home town. ” Continue reading 1971 Vintage Wedding: Amy & Fred
I love Jocelyn’s wedding graduate post because it somehow strikes the perfect balance. Jocelyn doesn’t tell you that your wedding is your day and you should do whatever you want (sigh, it’s not), but she does tell you to choose your heart. She tells you, really clearly, that in the stress of wedding planning, it’s easy to fall into doing what seems right for everyone else, and to stop listening to what your needs are, and what your partner’s needs are. She says, “So I say this to all the brides and grooms who are frantically trying to cater to others or trying to plan the perfect wedding according to the rules of tradition: I firmly believe that the two of you should be your main priority during the planning stages.” And I think this is spot on. Your wedding day is for everyone, but as you navigate the planning process, you’re slowly learning how to be a new family, and how to stick up for your needs. Be brave, and know yourself. And with that, I give you Jocelyn.
Through the process of planning our wedding, we learned everything we know now about weddings. How is that possible? Because we knew nothing (I mean nothing) about weddings before we had our own. The last wedding I’d been to before ours? It was my aunt and uncle’s wedding, I was 6 years old, and their flower girl. The term “wedding novice” was coined for people like us. I could sit here and tell you that that all changed when we got engaged; as if the presence of an engagement ring on my finger magically told me what weddings were all about. No such luck. It was a long process. It was a year and a half of learning what worked for us and what didn’t.
And for the first months of our engagement, that process was particularly difficult. I’d turn red in the face if I ever had to describe to you in person the way I behaved during the first six months of our engagement. If I had to use one word, I’d say it was ridiculous. If I use more than one word, I’d tell you how I got the idea in my head that our wedding had to be an expensive, elaborate, formal affair with a dress that cost more than a car and décor so fancy we’d need a line of credit to pay for it.
For six months, I thought that was the kind of wedding we would have. I thought it was perfect, just the way I’d pictured it. But eventually, I began to realize that I, in fact, hadn’t pictured anything at all. I could not remember a single time growing up that I’d fantasized about my wedding. Even after meeting Scott and realizing that I wanted to marry him, I still had no idea what our wedding would entail. I figured, hey, as long as we get married, it’ll be a success. I just didn’t care about a lot of the other stuff. Actually, let me try that again… I didn’t care until I was made to feel as though I needed to care. Websites, bridal magazines, television shows… all these things told me I needed a clear vision for my wedding. So I began to obsess over every single detail with the goal of making everything perfect according to the standards placed in front of me by magazines, movies, blogworthy weddings etc.
It took us (okay, okay, me especially) a long time to realize that we didn’t need a clear vision for our wedding. It could just be a wedding. It could be whatever we wanted it to be. We didn’t need a color scheme. We didn’t need a theme; Victorian, tropical beach, woodland themes? Not for us. Our theme was “wedding”. That’s it. It was a wedding. That’s the theme. End of story, goodbye.