Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Our Key Players

One of the best reasons to have such a celebration is that we get to be with our friends and family, and that they get to meet each other, and spend time together. Normally, for us anyways, we have groups of friends that only hear about each other, so this will be a great chance for us all to be under 1 roof.

Another wonderful thing is to celebrate our community. Joel and i really value the sense of community and love that we don't exist in a bubble (though sometimes we do cuz our ideas are so 'out there!). Our friends are all talented and amazing people, so we wanted to recognize them and honour their work.

For example, in order to honour our community, we are trying to keep our celebration as intimate as possible. That means we are trying to keep 'the professionals' (aka strangers) out of our party! While that can't be done 100%, we are finding ways to connect with our friends' hidden talents. Not only does it keep our costs down, we are also allowing for creativity, intimacy, and connection through this process. That and we also aren't necessarily hosting a carb0n-copy wedding with a roomful of professionals who turn our special day into a wedding factory.

We have friends and family with hidden talents and they will be supporting us on our big day. We wanted to take some time now to say thanks and recognize them for their fabulous work:

The Flower Arranger
My sister is a amazing woman; crafty, dedicated, smart, and very earnest. She will be playing a key role in the day and since i'm not having bridesmaids, i wanted to still say thanks to her in front of everyone. She is an environmental chemist who loves what she does. So, just because i'm not having bridesmaids and bouquets, that doesn't mean i don't like flowers. Quite the opposite in fact. So, my sister will be helping me buy our flower arrangements for the day. We are not ordering bouquets from a florist, but rather supporting our local grocers and favourite corner stores. They sell beautiful flowers, at a good price, and i love that i'm not supporting a big capitalist industry, but rather small local stores. I do want a special bouquet, though, so Trina is the lead 'flower girl.' I have asked 12 key female friends in our lives to bring a flower of importance. These 12 flowers will make up my bouquet, and symbolize the connection we have to our friends. I will share more about this later.

Oh, and who can forget our assistant - Kelly - for helping us on the Friday before the big day. She escorted us around the city, picking up flowers and the cake. She also provided her much needed advice regarding flower choices and care - she has such a green thumb!

The Make-Up Artist
Keegan has been a friend of mine for a number of years and i love her. We have shared this city of Toronto together and i couldn't imagine living here without her. She is such a lovely woman and wonderful friend, and above all that she had the patience to teach me to knit. I am forever indepted to her for that. She once told me if she couldn't pursue the work she does (she's also an amazing listener and supportive person professionally), she would be a make-up artist. Well, who better to do my make-up than a friend that i love and who knows me for all my strengths and faults?

The Wedding Coordinator
There is no better person to help organize the biggest day of your life than a close friend who's done it herself. Robin literally bounced into my life in a Philosophy of Feminism class, and i have never looked back. While our life paths may differ from each other, our commitment to life, love, friendship, women's rights, and happiness keep us as strong as ever. She has helped with everything in my life and loves me unconditionally and completely, as i do her. She has answered all the varied questions i have and we have wonderful debate-like conversations with me about weddings, marriage, child-rearing, and life in general. I couldn't do this without her!

The Personal Shopper/Decorator
Growing up in a crafty household, it should be no surprise that Martha Stewarts has cohorts in us. I think i got my love for hosting and decorating from my mom. While we have different styles, our excitement and eagerness is the same. She really outdid herself with all the decorations and great thrifty finds for our celebration . Who needs a professional decorator when the 'mother-of-the-bride' is even better! Thanks mom!

The Dancers
A party isn't a party without entertainment, and who better than professional dancers! I met Melinda right when i started dating Joel, so she has watched me grow into who i am today while building my relationship with Joel. As a roommate of mine, she really saw me grow! Melinda and Edgar met and fell in love while dancing together. They can do everything from salsa to ballroom. We have asked them to support us on our special day, and we're so excited they have agreed. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but let's just say bring your dancing shoes!

The Photographer
Chris and his family are old friends of Joel's and we have become huge fans of his photography. We admire his ability to capture the beauty in the everyday and to photograph with such tenderness the people and places around him. We are absolutely thrilled that he took pictures for us, and from what we've seen so far, his pictures will be incredible. With his older brother also making a painting for us, we are so thrilled that our day has become a kind of celebration of their creativity.

The Jewelry Designer
It was a struggle to decide if we wanted to be branded with rings. When we finally decided to, it was an easy decision to make as to who would make them for us. A friend of ours, Suzanne, just graduated from OCAD in jewelry design, and she fixed my other special ring. It's very exciting for us that she has agreed to make our rings from scratch and personalize them. They will be some special for us, and we can't wait for her to play ringbearer for us!

The DJ
Music, and along with it, dance are a big part of our lives and relationship. Our friend Mark has such a vast knowledge and appreciation for music and theatre, and even more generally, creative expression. We were super happy he could play music for us on our super happy fun day, and he made it just that! Of course, there were just a few songs that we important for us to play, like Open Window by Sarah Harmer, By Your Side by Sade, Somebody by Depeche Mode, and I Love Everything About You by Stevie Wonder. Mark was also incredibly patient with us and our guests - the dancing fun time competed with the magnificant view of the Toronto Skyline. For an example of his enormous appreciation for music, check out his album reviews here.

The Facilitator
We hold our friend Krista responsible for our relationship, so we felt she should be the one to host our celebration program. She was one of the facilitators at the urban social justice camp where we met. Krista's life commitment to social and economic justice, and her open, supportive and caring friendship with each of us has had an enormous impact on our lives. Her thoughtful, empathetic, caring and honest approach to her relationships and her community makes her the perfect person to do this sort of thing. Anyone looking for a love celebration facilitator?


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