In Praise Of The Slow Wedding (And A Slow Life)

Kathryn of Snippet & Ink is back to posting inspiration boards again after a long break, and she is creating little works of art (yay!) But, what’s been more moving to me is that as her own wedding inches closer, she’s been focusing more simpler smaller weddings, and on the fact that simplicity does not have to sacrifice style. This week, she posted a link to Gia Canali’s post ‘Notes Towards A Slow Wedding,’ where she said “Let’s take it easy. Do a few things well. Make your wedding one where you can enjoy good food and the company of good friends and family. After all, that’s why you’re having a wedding with people attending.”

Ahhhh…. a slow wedding. Now that is something important. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Slow Food Movement was born as a reaction to, well, the FAST food movement. It brought focus to the means in which we produce food, it’s quality, textures, and tastes. It focuses on food as pleasure, food as a central part of our lives, food as quality not as quantity.

David and I literally had a slow food wedding. Our caterer is part of the slow food movement, in our food was local, organic, and cooked with care. I don’t know if food was central to the experience of our wedding (though everyone still talks about how good it was), but food is central to our lives together, so it seemed only natural that we would focus the bulk of our wedding resources on food. That’s just us. But this post isn’t in praise of the slow food wedding. This post is in praise of the slow wedding.

I have a really hard time summing up what I write about here. Sometimes people try to pigeonhole me into writing about budget weddings, but that’s not really it. I don’t even like the *term* budget wedding, for goodness sakes. What I care about is that each of us to feel empowered to have weddings filled with simplicity, grace, and joy. I want us to feel empowered to have weddings that are focused on love, on why we are all gathered to celebrate. And it’s incredibly important to me that we ALL feel that this is within our reach, whether we have $500 to spend, or our parents are insisting that we spend $50,000. No matter what, that grace and that singularity of purpose should be available to each of us.So it may be that what I’m really writing about is Slow Weddings. Take a look at this definition of Slow Food from the movement’s website:

We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.

I believe the same things about weddings. I think we each have a fundamental right to joy at our weddings. I think that joy is about the simple things, and about paying attention to what you have. I believe that it is more important that we work with producers (in this case vendors, or wedding elves) that we respect, and that we treat them fairly and compensate them with a living wage that reflects the fact that this is their life’s work. It’s more important to me to pay people that I fairly than to make sure I get the best deal. And for us, with the resources we had, that meant picking a few things and doing them well.

We had amazing food.

We had a carefully crafted ceremony.

We have exquisite photography.

And we had joy.

And with all of that, it was impossible to notice the flaws in my homemade bouquet, the way my dress wrinkled under the bust line because I hadn’t sent it off to a professional seamstress,the fact that we had our yichud in a parks & rec bathroom, our ipod play list, our simple cake, or our lack of favors.

So figure out what your doing with your wedding, what simple elements it boils down to, and then do those things well. Take a deep breath, slow down, pay attention. Put care into the things you value, and no one will ever notice the things that you don’t have. Or to put it simply: you have what you need.

Pictures: Important slow small moments from our wedding, as captured by Heather & Jon of One Love Photo, fittingly on their slowest of slow manual focus Hasselbald medium format camera.

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