Today the “wedding of the century” took place between commoner Kate Middleton and HRH Prince William. I was thrilled!
Does this wedding have a small carbon footprint? Heavens, no! Do I care? No way.
Kate and Wills got married!! This was a fairy tale story. Am I going to be the one to buck that? No siree, but I’ll pass on the commemorative plate.
A traditional wedding
Anyway, whoever thought that Kate and Wills’ would have a traditionally small wedding? Actually, it was a traditional wedding for a royal. But only for royals.
In spite of that fact, during the fossil fuel age, some spinmeister convinced us that a “traditional” wedding for ordinary folks in America and England should be like a Disneyfied version of a royal wedding: A host of attendants, an alarming amount of taffeta, a ballooned guest list and no end to ostentation.
This bore no resemblance to an authentically traditional wedding and was only meant to sell more stuff. Too often it overshadowed what the wedding was meant to represent—the meaning and substance of the marriage itself.
A simple union
Regular people never had what came to be called “traditional weddings.” They never spent fortunes to throw the event. They never had white, sugary cakes. They never had an added piece of tissue over an engraved invite. They never planned for a steak for every guest.
For centuries they had simple, straightforward affairs for close family and if they had a post-vow exchange party at all, it was a festive meal with some wine.
Back to the future
Recently there’s been a return to truly traditional weddings among many folks tying the knot. For these people the quality of the ceremony, along with creativity, connection, the experience itself and a sense of “realness” are the prevailing values governing the event.
Forget the destination wedding and renting the hotel ballroom, for regular folks it’s about smaller chapels, and outdoor venues, including the simplicity of one’s own home.
And there’s been an eco-focus as the happy pair looks for ways to use less.
Brides and grooms are often now making party favors themselves — and in ways that give back. For example favors that are seed bombs, seed packets, small plants or herbs, a jam or jelly and other locally made foods.
They’re often designing weddings to reflect a more eco-conscious life by using vintage and antique props to decorate, mismatched plates and other utensils for a homey yet sophisticated look.
Google vintage wedding, green wedding, or lo-fi weddng and you’ll find lots of examples of folks who are keeping it real and simple while enjoying many truly traditional aspects of a wedding.
Often the couple puts together an “experience” by drawing on personal favorites like the family’s old typewriter for leaving a remembrance note, or chalkboards for listing the menu, or laundry lines for hanging out the seating cards.
The big day
A big focus is on the wedding photography.
Capturing real fun as it’s happening—the experience of enjoying a thoughtfully envisioned event—is where many couples are putting their budget priorities.
Many of the pictures are just outstanding, and so inspiring. I believe they’ll help others make simple, eco-conscious choices for their special day.
Yours, mine and ours
Everyone, of course, has the right to spend what they want, choose what they want, and create the wedding that they want.
But I can’t help but give props to those who are purposefully considering their impact, and are opting for something that brings that consciousness into the heart of their event.
A wedding, which too often ends up a very stressful event (can we ditch the bridezilla vibe already?), can actually be “the happiest day of your life.” But first you have to know what really makes you happy.
And then you have to be strong enough to resist what others tell you will make you happy.
After all, we can’t all be princesses, or what would be the use of princesses?
–Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List