Monday, October 1, 2012

Our Thrifty Wedding Behind Us, It's California, Here We Come

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round...The sky is round, and I have heard the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles for theirs is the same religions as ours...Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power  moves." - Black Elk (1863-1950), Oglala Sioux holy man.
I've been thinking a lot about Black Elk's words which I was reading while swaying back and forth in my rocking chair. My wedding is now officially filed into the "memories" drawer. Saturday afternoon, after a ceremony in Steve's church, we celebrated our union with about 30 loved ones in a garden party in the backyard of our home I shared news with you about many months ago. I thought about the circle of the full moon shining down on us this weekend, and of my rose gold wedding band, which has alternating circles and squares in it. I thought about the nest Steve and I are creating, for ours is the same as the birds, seeking shelter, love, and warmth. I'm so glad we got married at the start of fall, one of my favorite seasons which does indeed always come back again. Nothing like an apple in a fall, also a circle.

We were proud of our thrifty wedding. No loans were needed to pay for the event, no sleepless nights over big checks to write, no heavy burden on ourselves or our families. My mother and her neighbor did the flowers, my bouquet came from the fields of a a local farm (which they generously gave me and my sister for free), Steve's brother took the photos and his nephew did some videos, we played some music softly from satellite radio (neither of us are fans of loud music at events which so hinders conversation), we decorated with garden-themed finds from garage sales and thrift shops, and Steve, a chef, was proud to cook for his guests. We did hire a dishwasher (we're not that thrifty)! I did my own hair and makeup, and wore my dress from the Goodwill ($15!), sky blue shoes from an estate sale ($1), red earrings that reminded me of New Mexico ($8 from a thrift shop in NYC) and a  red silk painted orchid in my hair ($10) from a vendor at the Jazz Age Lawn Party.  Our favors were assorted seed packets which we hope our guests who took them will plant and watch them grow. The only thing I changed from my original plan was my outfit for the rehearsal dinner: I wore instead a yellow vintage blouse ($1, estate sale), white silk flower ($1, thrift shop), green skirt ($3, estate sale) and Hush Puppy shoes (just a few dollars, thrifted).

Many of guests generously gave to our honeymoon fund which we did instead of a registry. We are going to California, starting in San Francisco, off to Yosemite, the wine country, hopefully some gold rush towns. I'll be chasing the ghosts of beat poets and peace activists, John Muir (highly recommend Ken Burns'  national parks documentary to learn more), gold rush brides, Laura Ingalls Wilder (did you know a collection of her letters were published when she was at the world's fair in San Francisco in 1915?) I have the book with me for the trip, and it mentions the city during her time being surrounded by Sutro Forest, a great stand of eucalyptus trees planted by schoolchildren. I thought of the eucalyptus garland I had on my chair of my sweetheart table. A garland - another circle.

I'll be curious to see what ghosts seek me out on the trip, and nudge me to tell their stories. You know how much I do love a good story.

California, here I come!


  1. Congratulations! Mazel Tov! It sounds like it was a most beautiful event, and thank you for sharing about it here. I wish you a joyous life together, and hope you have a grand and magical time on your California journey. Many Blessings!

  2. Congratulations! I loved reading about it. I know you don't post pictures of yourself, but I'd sure love to see one of you and Steve. Best wishes to you both!

  3. Thank you so much! I'm back in New Jersey - cleaning up the house from the wedding, commuting to my job in NYC and absorbing the travels. Need some downtown from everything that's happened, but will be posting this month.

    We're awaiting pictures from Steve's brother. I plan on a wedding update in the future, and hope to do a travel diary series similar to my Southwest one. So many California storytellers! :-)