One City

One City

Mindful wedding planning in thought and in reality

Despite Christie Brinkley’s recent pessimistic advice where she stated, “Right at the beginning of a relationship, I would formalize an exit strategy,” I am going to get married in 10 days on June 13, 2009. I am in the midst of wedding countdown insanity, with many little things that need to be taken care of. It is crazy to think I have been putting this event together for at least 9 months now.



Photo courtesy of

Some of the hardest, but most rewarding, parts so far has been trying to make our wedding (and our future marriage) something that truly reflects our values. Being conscious of what we wanted instead of just mindlessly going along with tradition. If and when we chose to go with the classics (such as having maids of honor and best men), we did it intentionally.

Well, that was the plan anyway. I can say that the ideal and the
reality are not quite the same – some compromises have been made in
order to make people in our lives happy, due to the cost limitations
placed on the event, or because we do not have any time or energy left
to find a different solution. We have just been making each decision the best that we can, trying not to hold onto our ideals too tightly (particularly when it causes a lot of unhappiness), but still drawing the line when something makes us uncomfortable or is really important to us.


We used a great article on the Alternatives for Simple Living website called “What Matters for Your Wedding?
as a starting point to shape our wedding ceremony and celebration. As a
couple, we decided what things were the highest priorities and shaped our
plans from there.

We knew that if we were going to
have a wedding (which takes a lot of time, resources, and energy) that
the focus would be on sharing a wonderful weekend with the people we
love – our family and friends – and having a good time, not on having
things be picture perfect and extravagant (no ridiculous Platinum Wedding
for us). The most exciting part of this whole process (besides actually
getting married to the person I love) is having most of our family and
friends in one place at the same time – so many of whom have never met.
I hope it will truly be a joining of not only the two of us, but our two
families and our different groups of friends (though in reality, in may not quite be that warm and fuzzy!).


We also
particularly have been making an effort to try to be more environmentally-friendly,
conscious of waste, and the overcommercialization of the whole wedding
process. When we cannot rent, borrow, or buy used, I try to
support local or small businesses. has been particularly helpful in this regard.

am also very happy we are encouraging people to donate in our name to
charities of our choice instead of giving us gifts. We set this up
through a great website/organization called the I Do Foundation.
We got some push back at the idea of having donation as the only option
because some of our guests really wanted to give us gifts. Thankfully,
the website let us set up a registry through participating merchants
where a portion of the purchase goes to our charities. However, our
guests have to make sure to get the gift through the foundation’s
website and there are only a limited number of merchants who are
participating. In the end, we tried to only put a limited number of
items on the registry and pick out things that we need and will use
(and can actually fit in our apartment).

Finally, while I am
not usually a person for poetry, I have enjoyed the process of trying
to find readings for wedding that reflect our shared values… but I
will save those for my post next week, as I will be spending most of my
time enjoying the company of family and friends who I have not seen in
a while.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 9:41 am

Congratulations, and may samsara take a break for both of you.
It struck me though, that this post could have been titled . Perhaps you should take a break from the computer and just talk for a bit? Even better, just sit together quietly and reflect on your lives together? MInd you, I shouldn’t complain – our very moving and inspirational vows were plundered from the web!
Finally, don’t be surprised if a small mountain of wedding presents appear on the day regardless of your instructions to the guests. We stated that “No presents required. Your presence is gift enough” (catchy, hey?). This seemed to act a a kind of reverse psychology, with people actually bringing MORE. Three years later:
“Junior’s broken the vase”;
“Never mind, there’s another one in the wedding gift cupboard”.

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