I hesitate putting up another post about wedding stuff but I wanted to because we just set our date and are waiting for the final paperwork to come in so that we can make the official announcement to everyone.   I don’t want to tell everyone just yet for fear of plane tickets being purchased and then something happens to change the date.  I know how my family is and once they find out when and where, they’ll be booking asap.

We are getting excited about all the fun things we will have at the celebration.  Having our friends and family there is the most important thing to us and so making sure that it is a fun time for all is really the theme of the wedding.  We are not concerned about colors, matching china plates, appropriate timing for dances, speeches, and whatnot- we are there to have fun and want our friends to have fun as well.

So many brides-to-be get so caught up in the details of it all and the planning.  Sure, our planning cycle is very short- less than three months- but other than invitations to our guests, food, and drink, there’s no other big “necessity”.  All the “have to’s” and “must have” and things because they are appropriate do mean much to us and will not mean much in the long run.

I have a list of things in my head I keep running through as I envision how we want the wedding and how to keep planning it without turning into an woman obsessed about the perfect shade of plum in the flower arrangements.  Really, what are we and the guests going to remember more- the flowers or the fact that we have a bouncy house and bike zoo there for everyone to enjoy?

These are just some of the things in my list:

1. The Planning

I will NOT go to ANY “Bridal Extravaganza”

I will not get caught up in what the Wedding Industrial Complex (term stolen from the brilliance of my favorite wedding blog, 2000dollarbudgetwedding).  This 161-billion dollar industry includes all the books, magazines, websites, tv, etc. that tell couples what is necessary and critical for for weddings.  These sources focus on creating “one perfect day” instead of emphasizing the importance of the union for life.  One site, The Knot, actually has suggestion for which cars go with your wedding themes.  Check this out as well as other “essentials” list 2000dollarbudgetwedding lists.

This book is 485-pages and weighs 2 pounds! Really, is there that much necessary information?

I highly recommend clicking this amazon link to read more about the book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding and learn some more about the WIC.  I really would like to read this but but honestly cant bring myself to spending money on it but I will check my local library or bookstore to flip through it’s pages.

2. The Dress– I have some very strict policies to follow regarding my dress.

I will avoid most (if not all) bridal shops.  I have a small intention to hit up one shop in Austin that seems to fit my style called, Unbridaled.  On that trip I will be accompanied by a small, small handful of my friends (Mel,Jen,Sarah,Christie) and a large bottle of wine or vodka.

I want something simple- no train, no tulle, no yards and yards of fabric.  A sundress from a non-bridal store will fit the bill perfectly but am conflicted on long or short.  I’d love to rock out a short one however with my outstanding ability to launch from my bike and on to awaiting sharp rocks, my legs are typically ornamented with bruises and cuts.  On one hand, a long dress will cover this up, on the other, as my cousin put it, my friends all know that is just part of being me.  I also want a short dress so I can have a fun, colored petticoat under it.  I’m thinking either bright yellow or bright orange or even a nice UT burnt orange!

I will not spend over $175 on a dress and am hoping to spend more like $95 or less.  To some this may seem crazy- if you are a female, it may seem on the low end, if you are male and do not know about the Wedding Industrial Complex, it may in fact seem a little pricey.  I assure you men, it is not considering the average wedding costs between $21,000 and $24,000 and the dress can run between $700 and, yes even $10,000 or more.  Just typing those numbers actually makes me feel really ill inside.  I don’t get it and I know that there are women who want that really expensive formal dress for their picture perfect wedding and that is good for them, however I am not one of them.

It pains me to think that someone would spend that large amount of money on a dress they will wear for one day and one day only.  The dress is not the important thing about the wedding, the acknowledgment of the lifetime commitment you will make to your partner is.  I understand it is  “your day” but there are so many other important things that money could be used for- like to double the GDP of Malawi, Comoros, Somalia, and the Solomon Islands or, heck, even donate a little to those who need help in your own community.(sorry, I could really go off on that tangent for a long time)

My dress will be comfortable and not include a train.  I want to party all night in my dress and for the mere fact that I will be wearing a dress over my typical trainers, shorts/jeans, and t-shirt, it will be special.

If I do get a “traditional” dress, I will donate it afterward. There are some amazing programs out there which take wedding dresses, resells them, and uses the money for some very important causes.

Also, I will wear whatever my little feet want.  If that is a pair of smoking hot heels, I shall do it.  If that is a pair of flips or cowboy boots or no shoes at all, that is how I will be.  Same goes for my groom- whatever he wants to wear is perfectly fine with me and that includes shoes, dress, facial hair, hats, costumes….(but if he gets a costume, so do I!)

3.The Ceremony

The ceremony will be fun and simple.  We are not having bridesmaids or groomsmen because we want all of our guests to be part of the wedding experience, not just those who are fortunate enough to hold flowers or rent a tux.

4. The Party

There will be good food and good drinks, no china, eat with your hand if ya’ want, no formality, and no pretension.  We really want the whole thing to feel like a big party because that is what it really is.  We dont want our guest to feel like observers, we want them to rock it out along side us the whole night long.

I’ve scrapped the idea of a slip-n-slide however I have more fun ideas like that in my head.  We will have horeshoes, redneck golf, and washer (just for you Jen!) so everyone can play.

I have lots of great ideas for decorating.  The site at which we are having everything is beautiful and outdoors so that is the main decoration but for things like flowers and table decor, I plan to do it in a way that reflect how we are in everyday life.  All containers for flowers will be recycled containers from home and work and the flowers with either be from the farmer’s market or a local farm and put into the vases by our own hands (imagine that!).  The average cost of wedding flowers is $698.  That money can be used much better other places and if I’m buying at the farmer’s market, I will be assured the flowers are local and the money will go to a farmer I’ll actually meet.

The site does not have tables and chairs so our initial thought was to rent.  Once I started pricing rentals between $600 and $900, I expressed that I really wanted a laid back feel and wished we could just get picnic tables or something like that there.   Greg agreed and came up with a brilliant idea.  We could make our own simple tables and benches from nice wood- finishing the construction at the site.  The benches would also be used for the ceremony and then moved to the party area. After the wedding (the day after) we will break them down and keep the wood to build a storage shed we have both been wanting for a very long time.  That’s the plan now and I’ll update with pictures and details as we figure it all out.

5. Tradition

We are only following those traditions that mean something to us.  There are many things that surround a wedding that don’t really reflect our relationship or our values so we are not doing them.  I refuse to do something just because it is tradition.   Old, blue, borrowed, new….maybe but tossing of a garter, probably not (unless the drink is really good!).

6. The Registry

We both own our own houses and have more “stuff” than we need.  We pretty much have two of everything so a traditional gift registry isn’t what we want, need, or like.  We are thinking of creative ways to have a registry like donations to our favorite charities or help with certain projects around our houses or for our honeymoon but seriously, the most  important gift our guest can give is their love and blessing for our union.

For today, that’s all the things that are coming to mind from my checklist but I’m sure it will get ever longer as we get closer to the day.

I’m a bit tired of thinking about wedding things at this moment and must go clear my mind with images of bikes.  Here ya’ go, the bike I am about to order from my new team, Specialized Epic 29er Comp.  It was a hard decision between the Comp and the Marathon (which is super sick and has sramXX on it) but I decided to save the money, get the Comp, and maybe upgrade to the Marathon after a full Cat 2 season.

ain't he a beaut'!