The Green Wedding Chronicles: Keeping Sanity + Eating What We Want

inspiration found! (source)

The inspiration for my dress on my Pinterest page…it won’t be exactly like this, but will have a nice soft, simple sweetness to it like this…with no bouquet, of course (source)

Hear that? Ahhhhhh, that’s me sighing as my wedding dress now has a maker (my friend has offered to design it after today’s latest round of trying on elicited no purchases but lots of inspiration), we’ve got the food sorted out for engagement, rehearsal, brunch and reception (or as I call it, “what we’re eating the night before and the day of”), and now there are only a few miscellaneous things to contemplate…gotta love it.

So with most of the basics addressed or at least in development, I’ve been thinking about how, even when planning a teeny weeny little wedding relative to the traditional world, it can be easy to let things get to you, influence you, and occasionally overwhelm you.  Maintaining that sanity is vital, and by remembering the intimacy and the “us” of the day, we’ve found a way to continue to breathe in and out…

Keeping it intimate is our first priority. The ceremony itself will be extremely small, with only a few people in attendance who know us and have been incredibly supportive throughout our relationship as it’s blossomed and evolved over the past three years. We are keeping our reception dinner small as well – adding in a few more close friends and neighbors. (Hey, I’m a recruiter – if I invited everyone I am fond of in P-town, we’d be broke!). We’ll be having a separate event with our Australian family and friends, so it’s splitting it up into three events of sorts, and just perfect for our style.  And because of that, we’re going to have a videographer document and compile our special moments into something we can share with everyone afterwards!  If you’ve not seen Kelly Clarkson’s version, it’s gorgeous and sweet and simple, and inspired me so much in my part in planning our beautiful day as we become husband and wife.

Remember that no matter what anyone says, this day is solely about the two of us. When we were talking about what to serve at our (reception) dinner, I got brave and said, “I don’t want to serve any damn food that I can’t eat myself!” It makes me crazy to hear so many folks obsessing about what other people will like at their wedding, articles talking about serving chicken even if you’re vegetarian, to please the old folks, and other stuff like that. Umm, not me. This again is kind of like a birthday – it’s one of those few times you get to say “why yes, it IS all about me.” (Or in this case, WE!). Whether the couple is paying for it themselves or getting help from others, it doesn’t matter – the wedding needs to always stay focused on the joining of these two people, and they should be able to enjoy every last morsel.

Which means, we will be eating pork. A lot of pork.

It’s going to be the awesome barbecue, and along with that, our dinner will be gluten free and dairy free. The meat is from local, sustainably-raised piggies – Stroupe Family Farm does it right here in town for our local southern deli. Just thinking about the barbecued pork spare ribs, pulled pork, and homemade sausages, with collard greens and red beans ‘n’ rice, vegan mac and my homemade GF sweet potato cornbread? Serious comfort food.

Laugh Our Arses Off If you can’t laugh about all that happens along the journey, you’ve got a problem right there.  Whether I’m giggling with my sweetheart as we joke about about all the things he’s NOT going to wear on the big day, laughing with my girlfriend as we discuss my intentions to make this a Spanx-free day (by the way, I don’t own Spanx or any type of oxygen-sucking foundation garment, and certainly don’t intend to smoosh and contort my curves in any way on the day I want to be at my most relaxed!), or walking out into the Crystal Ballroom with my hands covering the sheer spots in the bosom of my dress so I could finally get a peek in the mirror as my designer buddy and the shopkeeper cracked up.

So, with that, the awesome writer Cindy Chupack is on the book circuit for her book, The Longest Date: Life as a Wife, discussing the truth about marriage. Don’t know the name? She’s wrote for Sex and the City, did the great piece Til Death or Homosexuality on Moth (about the breakup of her first marriage) some years back, and has that sweet combination of being both heartfelt and totally hilarious as a storyteller.

Below are excerpts I’ve pulled from Chupack’s article entitled, How to Be a Wife, in the February/March edition of Bride – and yep, this was the only page I tore out of the entire ‘zine before tossing it into the recycle bin (hey, that’s one page more than I did with Martha Stewart Weddings!). I found myself busting up over much of it, both in how I came to be where I am today, also being divorced, and getting what it’s all about this time around. Enjoy…

“I’ve always been a romantic.  When I was single, I slept only with men I believed I could marry. That would be admirable except for one detail: I slept with a lot of men. A lot a lot. I’m not going to tell you the exact number because my parents might read this, and they certainly don’t know the tally. And also, I don’t know it.

Don’t judge me…It’s that every time there was a man inside of me, there was also a voice inside of me saying, This might be the man I marry! Clearly, I knew nothing about the reality of marriage. Or hormones. I’m not sure which was more dangerous, my casual attitude toward sex or my delusions of love, but one led to the other in a decade-long binge of salty and sweet, horny and hopeful.

Finally, after enough relationship wreckage to fill a book, two magazine columns, and five seasons of Sex and the City, at age 38 I found a guy I absolutely did not want to marry, and of course he’s the guy I wound up marrying.

I’m not saying I settled. I’m saying I met a wildly attractive, interesting, smart, funny guy who had so many red flags – which he voluntarily and repeatedly waved in my face – that I told my coworkers “Do not let me fall for this one,” and that’s when, they say, they knew that I would do precisely that…So it was hilariously predictable that, like every other rom-com heroine, I found my happy ending when I least expected it – music up, wedding montage, cue credits!

Or not. Turns out “happily ever after” is the epitome of lazy writing…for the rest of us, the story continues with a lot more complexity, and in a way marriage winds up being the longest date ever. And however much we think we know about how to do dating, on this date you can’t decide not to see him again because you’re tired of hearing him talk about cheese…

So here’s a taste of what you’re in for, dear reader:

1. Your husband will own something you dislike, and you will have to display it prominently in your home because it’s his home too.

2. At some point, your spouse will want a man cave (or an “escape pod,” as my husband calls it).

3. There will come a day when you wonder why the hell you married this person.

4. Your husband might not quit doing something just because you don’t like it.

5. If you’re “trying” to have a baby, hang in there. It will happen.

6. The whole idea of “you complete me” is kind of bullshit.

But remember that just as you didn’t need another sofa to complete your living room, you didn’t need him to complete you; you wanted him. That’s the best and most romantic reason to marry someone – because you love him and he loves you. And he’s not afraid to say it.”


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