Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The real reason we are getting hitched

Sometimes July seems so close and we get very stressed about everything we have to do, while other times we can appreciate we still have a few months and it all seems manageable. We have planned parties before, this is just on another scale! We are really excited and can't wait for July!
Part of the reason the planning sometimes feels stressful is that there are a lot of details to keep track of, and we are being very careful and critical about what we want to do.
It is in this critical spirit that we approached the question of gifts and the common practice of a gift registry. We have lived together for a few years now and so have started to build a home together. But, considering that Joel is bound to a life of scholastic poverty, and with Vania in the financially lucrative field of social work, our home is still in need of some extras. We will by no means turn away gifts, but at the same time we aren't holding anyone to any standard or minimum gift requirement. Your attendance and participation in our celebration and our lives is what we want.
We have compiled a gift suggestion list, not a registry, that you can find by following the link on the right side of the page called 'gift list'. When you follow the link, type in either of our names and the country and you will find our list. We are not registered in any specific store and so this list is meant as a guide for those looking for ideas and as a way to ensure that not everyone goes out and buys the same food processor. This list is meant for suggestions, but does not need to be seen literally. Don't feel bound by brand name or store. This list is also not exhaustive. We have tried to think of things we need, but we are a pretty happy couple and its hard coming up with what we think is missing! We are celebrating our relationship but also our community, and so we encourage you when buying gifts to try to support local businesses with solid connections to the community, or socially just organizations. We also love antiques and so buying used is enthusiastically encouraged.
Okay, this is starting to feel awkward, so we will end this now. We just wanted to draw your attention to the gift list, and to make sure that people don't feel pressure to spend lots of money on gifts. (Although, like I said, we won't turn them away!!!)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Our Special Day

We always knew that we wanted to be together, and that we wanted to celebrate it. What we didn't think about until recently was how to do this by still respecting 'us.' There is a lot of the challenges around the tradition of marriage and weddings, and all the pressure people put on it made it hard for us to come up with something that worked well. Until now.

We don't want to celebrate in a wedding factory - something that is not unique, and relies on corporations and big box shops that take over. We also aren't religious people and nor do we have oodles and oodles of money - though if we did, we would spend it more wisely than on a 1-day party!

One other thing that is important to us is appreciating where we come from and respecting social justice work. As people who are in love with our city, we really want to honour it by having our Celebration in our city, and also working with local merchants, artists, and community groups. One way we're doing that is by having our Celebration on the Toronto Islands - a wonderful place that sits on Lake Ontario and overlooks the downtown core. We go there each summer and have such fabulous memories there - that and J wants to be a hippy and i've been described as a bohemian, so it seems like a perfect fit! Oh, and staying true to us also means having a vegetarian meal - being a vegetarian/vegan for 14 years is a big part of me and something i hold dear - so i couldn't possibly have meat near me on 'My Day.' But, we'll get to that another time.

Also, as someone who makes jewellry for fun, i really wanted to find a ring - though we're still not sure if we want to be 'branded' like this forever - that was by a local designer. J wanted a ring that did not have a 'blood diamond' and i totally agree - but we both agreed it would be fun to get me a ring anyway! So, he picked out this (see the picture above) gorgeous ring all by himself - a big shiny ring in our colours! It's originally from a designer from Greece but our lovely friend Suzanne tweaked it to make it ours. For us, you don''t have to have a diamond ring to let everyone know that you're 'engaged.' I love all the compliments i get on it - it is truly a conversation starter which is great because i can tell people what it represents and let them know it's okay to think out of the box!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Baby Steps

Well, we just finished cutting, glueing, sticking, tying, and writing our invitations! We're pretty happy with them, and they will be heading out in the mail in the next couple of days. I guess it's official, we are getting hitched! I struggled with the wording a bit more than J did - i know i'm in denial that it's a wedding, but we've come to terms with it. One thought that J shared is that while we know deep down inside that it is indeed a wedding, we wanted to celebrate our relationship in a way that is inclusive, celebrates our community and represents us. In the last year, there has been a lot of debate about what marriage is, or who can and can't get married. Opponents of a more open and inclusive understanding of marriage have often attacked it in defence of what they call the 'traditional' definition of marriage. J always gets angry about this, because a look to history will reveal that this is not only a selective definition of the practice, but also one that tended to disempower women. We are celebrating a tradition of inclusion, compassion and love with our wedding that we hope will become more common. As you will see from this blog and the actual day, you don't have to wear a white dress, a veil, be owned or given away, or have a procession to make it a wedding. Everyone who is there knows why they're there (to celebrate us). I hope so, otherwise you're at the wrong party!

As you'll see from our invites, our 'colours' are blue and orange. They are our absolutely favourite colours so we're making the room nice and colourful. I'm wearing blue, the cake's blue, there will be orange flowers everywhere, and some nice hints of other colours. We're not shy when it comes to colour!