I admit I was sent to this blog by friends after the whole Mr. Darcy thing. And I have enjoyed everything you've written; but I just had to comment on this. It's so nice to hear a feminist perspective on weddings, and yours sounds like it was lovely. I just got married last month, with the same kind of cooperation and simplicity; and I enjoy, just as you do, experiencing friends' weddings that are not the cookie-cutter magazine ideal, but truly a representation of their lives together. I think that's so important.

This was really nice to read. Thanks.

Maureen Kincaid Speller

Hi, I enjoy reading your posts but I normally lurk rather than comment. However, I did just want to comment on this lovely post.

I've been married twice. The first time I had a reasonably clear idea of the wedding I wanted – simple desires as it was to be a very small and quiet wedding. Little things like no confetti, no wedding cake, and so on. Then my female in-laws took over, and every small request I made was just ignored. Not an auspicious start to a marriage that eventually went down the tubes in part because, like his family, my husband paid no attention to a thing I said.

When my present husband and I decided to marry, we did the whole thing ourselves (partly, this was because I am pretty much permanently estranged from almost all my family, and partly because he had practically no family left alive). We had a simple register office ceremony (our friends packed the office) and then a very informal buffet reception at our own house, which a friend and I catered between us – we fed about eighty people in the end. We were on a tight budget so everyone chipped in to provide the drink for the party; every time it ran low, a group went to the off licence and brought back some more. People filled the fridge with bottles of champagne when we weren't looking, and much to our surprise there was suddenly enough fizz for a toast. The fridge was still disgorging boxes of chocolates for us days later. And the thing I remember most vividly was how everyone came back the next day to clean the house and do the washing-up for us; there was even someone in the back garden picking up the cigarette butts. Couldn't find a thing in the cupboards for weeks, but that's not the point.

It wouldn't be everyone's style, but it was immense fun, it suited us and our friends at the time, and as my brother later said, 'everyone at your wedding was incredibly happy for you'. What still strikes me, looking back on it even from a distance of thirteen years, is that we all had the wedding we wanted. We were sufficiently in control to be able to have the things we felt we wanted in order to celebrate our marriage properly, and our friends were able to subvert the organisation without disturbing the impmortant things, thanks to the Best Woman, to provide all the little extra treats they thought we also ought to have. There was confetti but as it was organic rose petals and the distributors were three years old, how could we complain.

At the time we could afford a party or a honeymoon, and we chose the party. We neither of us have ever regretted that choice (and we had the honeymoon for our tenth wedding anniversary, and didn't regret that either).


There's nothing like having a highly significant ceremonious event be a reflection of your values rather than you simply playing a role in some pre-scripted stage production. You've painted a picture of a very meaningful and enjoyable event.

Our neice and nephew were flower girl and ring-bearer respectively.

I did notice though that you were reinforcing those evil gender stereotypes :)


TM, I had to giggle; I thought the same thing. But, somehow "flower children" has a whole different connotation.

Happy, that sounds like a wedding I would have loved -- one that meant something. Around the same time, I attended two very different weddings on back-to-back weekends. The first had its ceremony in a high-profile, moneyed church's old sanctuary, followed by an extravagant reception in the city's fine arts museum. It was catered by "the" caterer in town, a formal affair, and cost as much as most couples' downpayments on a home. It was lovely.

But...the next weekend's wedding was amazing. It was in the home of my girlfriend's mother-in-law, and every bit of the food was home-prepared. This was south Louisiana, so it was better than the best the caterer had provided the week before! The music was zydeco, flamenco, cubanisimo, jazz, and other eclectica, and every person there was delighted to see these two marry, no pretenses required. Like you, she greeted guests at the door, but her dress was (gasp!) brown. It was one of the most wonderful, memorable weddings I've ever attended.

If I ever marry, I'd hope my ceremony/party would be more like yours than like the formal affair! Thanks for sharing your nostalgia, and happy (early) anniversary!


Nine years?! Kudos kids. Wishing you many more.

The Happy Feminist

Or as my husband says: "Nine looooooooong years."

Thanks all.

The Grouch

A lovely story.

The Grouch

Oh, and about the "going-away dress"--I didn't even know those existed anymore! I think they were once used by brides when they were going off with their news husbands to their new houses in a horse-drawn carriage. I remember reading about them in some turn-of-the-century book or something.

I actually did go to a wedding where there was a "flower boy" once. The bride's little nephew really liked the idea of throwing flowers, since it looked more fun than carrying the ring, so that's what he did. It was very cute. And I've been to several weddings where one or more of the "bridesmaids" is a man or the "best man" is a woman. It seems unkind to be forbidden to acknowledge your dear opposite-gender friends, after all.


Beautiful wedding story, Happy!!!


Awww that was so sweet. Like everyone else has said, I really like the idea of an intensely personal ceremony like you had, and congrats on being together 9 years!

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