The shoestring steam-punk wedding
My son just got married last weekend and it was the best, yet through necessity, it was pretty much on a shoestring budget. He has just graduated from University and didn’t want to wait any longer to get married, so has had no chance to save himself and we weren’t able to help as much as we would have liked, but do you know what? Turns out it didn’t matter. It seems creativity, joy and love are free, and we had those in abundance.
They love fantasy and chose a steam punk wedding theme. I had to google that to discover the intricate details of such a subcultural phenomena. Turns out it involves Victoriana with gadgets! We hit the thrift shops and vintage stores with a vengeance. The wedding party were free to choose their own outfits and incredibly by chance all arrived completely colour coordinated, looking incredible. We made our own intricate jewelry. They didn’t want an official photographer or a proper cake. Everybody took beautiful pictures which we have all shared and the cutting of the cupcake with an axe was the most hilarious informal wedding moment I have ever seen. The venue was our own backyard, a dear friend cooked jolly delicious curry for everyone and our nephew and girlfriend performed an emotional song for the first dance. Somebody even lent me my dress.
I have to admit I am not terribly creative but I am good at copying stuff! I turned to google for inspiration. The ultimate fantasy wedding has to belong to Sean Parker of Napster fame. He apparently spent $10 million creating the most dizzying and controversial ceremony in the forests of Big Sur California. There is a diatribe of debate on the internet filled with passionate argument about whether it was a grotesque, environmentally destructive display of wealth or whether he earned the money and he should be able to do whatever he wants with it.
Previously I hadn’t really formed an opinion either way, but now we have very successfully pulled off our own shoestring version I have to admit I do think money can be better spent than on extravagant weddings. My son and his wife now have money for boring essentials like a roof over their heads and by eliminating some of the traditional and expensive elements we actually decreased the amount of decision making and stress.
Why am I writing all this on a Charity blog you make ask. Well it has been all I have thought about for the past few weeks so that is one good reason but really it is because it made me think about priorities. Weddings are important; they are about families coming together and respectfully honouring the sanctity of marriage and blessing the guests with heartfelt hospitality. They are not about being extravagant to try to outdo your neighbour or spending lavishly to try and distract from relationships that need mending.
I will try and keep the lessons I have learned through this experience with me as I move forward. I will try and remember that I need to give a hug more than I need a new dress, that I can make do with something home made and it will bring me even more joy and satisfaction than the latest fashion item. My children have taught me that we can do without what most other people say you have to have and we can still have meaningful fun. So I challenge you to approach something differently this week and see what happens. Maybe volunteer at the Gospel Mission instead of going to the movies. Perhaps you buy a designer bag at the thrift store instead of the department store. Be creative and I look forward to hearing from you.