DIY ‘The Kiss’ shot
I was told by several people who came to our wedding that it was one of the best weddings ever! To me, who had only ever been to two weddings in my entire life, I felt like I had nothing to compare it to, so it seemed pretty ordinary to me! I kept it simple. Everything went smoothly and so gracefully and even… peacefully… yes, PEACEFULNESS at a wedding! Can you believe it!?
The preparation… all done in house! And look at me… big as a HOUSE!
I organised the wedding myself (except for some awesome help from our marriage celebrant who wrote the script and gave me ideas for what I wanted her to say). We spent about $1500 total on the entire wedding! Including $300 for a handmade dress, even though it would have been nice to have a dress from somewhere like https://www.winniecouture.com/, but I loved my homemade dress. That $1,500 included some of the flowers, earrings, a shirt for Art, the marriage celebrant, wedding cake, hairfdresser. We had over 30 people come to the ceremony. Twenty eight of them came afterwards to the ‘reception’ (reception was a huge table booked at our favorite sushi restaurant O’Sushi, a short walk from where we got married at Greenmount beach). I did my own make up and nails (yes, can you believe I actually had make up on!). Oh, did I forget to mention that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant! Probably part of the reason why I felt so hot!
The DIY Dress
The dress had to be hand made because I couldn’t find a pregnancy one in the shops and I was HUGE. I didn’t want to order one online and I wanted to it to be made from cotton because,,, um… hello… beach wedding… who wants to wear polyester to the beach in the middle of summer?!
The DIY Photos
Looking back, this is the one thing I would change about our wedding. I would have loved to get “proper” Charlottesville wedding photography because then the photos that we show our friends would be professionally shot and set up… But I still think we did pretty good with what we had! We had all of our friends take the photos (kudos to Darren for supply the awesome fire dancing shot). He’s into street photography and used to be a photojournalist for the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. He is anti-cheesy-posed photos of any kind! Candid shots are his most prized photos and I have to admit, I’ve converted to an anti-posed photo snob myself. If you want to hire a professional photographer, Get in touch with the leading wedding photographer Olga Topchii, or, you can DIY like we did!
See my basket of frangipanis!
The Mostly DIY Flowers and Cake
I wanted my favorite flowers, frangipanis (plumeria) for the wedding, but the florists don’t sell those kinds of flowers…. they don’t keep well. So, I sent out an email to all of my friends to see who would go frangipani hunting for me on the day of my wedding. A woman whom I worked with was happy to find them for me and brought a big basket to the ceremony, full of my most favorite fragrant flowers. Later I found out that she had to do some serious hunting for them because the weather was too dry that summer and there weren’t many around. I heard that she even got yelled at by some man for taking the flowers off his tree! Oops! The bouquet, orchids for my hair, and Art’s flower thing on his shirt (I know that has a name…) we bought from the florist. The cake, I had ordered from a Hare Krishna restaurant. Not specifying that it was a wedding cake. And, then we ate our cake on the beach straight after the ceremony, that way no one would miss out!
Here comes the bride… around Kirra point.
The rings we bought for total less than $40 and were really just for the ceremony… You see… I did a lot of research about wedding rings beforehand. I thought I wanted to wear them, but there were three main reasons why we decided to just buy cheapy ones.
Three Reasons Why I Don’t Wear a Wedding Ring
Reason #1 Ethics: We’ve all heard of ‘blood diamonds’… well you should have, and if you haven’t, now you have. There are several places where diamonds are mined. Some come from Canada, and are mined on land that once belonged to indigenous Canadian people. The aboriginal communities there are in a constant power struggle with the diamond mining companies. Some diamonds come from Africa, where bloodshed and war mars the diamond trade industry. However, you can buy manufactured ones with recycled metals… but by the time I did my research, I was over the whole ring thing. However, if you’re looking for a ring, recycled ones are great. Not only do they help the environment, but they also normally support small businesses. These small businesses normally source discarded metals from landfill sites, for example, and turn them into new pieces of jewelry by using a number of welding techniques to join the metals together. Most welders prefer die grinding different metals together to create a flawless finish on the ring, however, some might use different techniques.
Reason #2 Environment: any mining at all, diamond, metal, etc.is putting a scar on the earth’s surface and polluting Earth’s natural resources. I feel bad now that I even bought the cheapy ones and I also feel bad that so many precious metals are used in electronics, even the computer I’m typing on now! Ugh! Well, we can only do our best and reduce what we use, as much as we can…
Reason #3 Work Place Health and Safety: A long long time ago, I was dating a guy in the Navy. Before 9/11, I was allowed to go on his ship if they were in port. They had this sign on the wall with a picture of this guy’s hand, who had been wearing his wedding ring and had had an accident… it said… ‘And, then there were four‘. Gross! Ok, enough, won’t go on anymore about why I don’t want to wear a wedding ring! I love how they look… but I guess they’re just not for me.
Back to the DIY wedding… The dinner was pre-ordered vegetarian sushi platters and water… we forced 28 people to eat a vegetarian dinner! Bwahaha! No alcohol because we don’t drink. In lieu of wedding presents, I just asked that if people felt inclined to bring something, that they could just bring something for the baby, cause I wasn’t going to have a baby shower.
Best photo ever!!! After the ceremony and before the reception, a little entertainment, with a drum and a big gong!
It was a friend’s idea to have fire twirlers for after the ceremony as her wedding gift. It really added to the magical-ness. Fire and drumming and the beach. Oh yes, very cool indeed. By the way, the ‘venue’, the beach… was free, just had to give the city council a head’s up!
It was all done a little different to the usual wedding, but not really. It was perfect and only a little unusual all at the same time. Everything came together and after only 3 weeks of planning, I was pretty proud of myself for pulling it off. Orginally, I thought we would have just gone to the court house, but when we found that the celebrant cost the same, we decided to go for a ‘real’ wedding.