Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weddings, A Reflection

Hand painted

These ladies are dangerous, I tell ya! Truly, they define me.

Charlotte had these made

Two sets of friends got married yesterday.  I have almost always hated weddings.  I would avoid them at all costs, especially my own.  You can imagine what it took to change my mind.  Not only did some people get married, but more are planning to marry next year.  I can't believe how long it takes to plan and pay for a wedding these days. Weddings are an entire industry, much to my surprise.  In such an economy, I would guess that it makes sense to people to go smaller.  But I'm wrong. There are some really big affairs out there!  If that's what the bride and groom decide on, I'm not one to nay-say. Lots of people love big parties and catered events. All of those ideas sort of give me hives. My grandparents got married in a private home, with my great aunt officiating and my great uncle as a witness.  My mom had a small ceremony in our family church for her first wedding and her final wedding was in a beautiful state park- the same one where we had our family reunion this year.  She and her husband, who I love, just celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary.

I love to tell this story. I love to re-tell it, so even if you've heard it, just tuck in and listen again. In re-telling, sometimes I remember things I missed last time.

G and I got married in 2012.  I wanted to just elope to Eureka Springs.  My dear friends have a house there, and for as long as they have, I have had my own bedroom.  We could've just snuck over the stat line, got married and been done with it.  Really, only one thing kept us from it: love.  G always wanted his mom to be there.  And the more we thought about it, the more we became convinced that a little ceremony shared with a few people would be just right.  My stipulation was on limiting the number of guests.  I just don't do well in groups of people. Inevitably, I say something stupid or inappropriate and wish I could just crawl in a hole and hide.  Yes, yes, I know. I'm a professor.  That's a story for a different day.

Our wedding was a small affair, held at a local train station.  We like to travel, we wanted a small wedding and the simple decor and inviting space with lots of natural light was just perfect.  It was the second marriage for both of us.  We had around 30 wedding guests, and instead of a guestbook, we had friends and family dip their thumb in green or purple ink and press it onto a painting of a tree, then sign their names.  I spent months painting birdhouses to give away- my way of thanking the people who attended and sending them home with a personal gift.

My friend Cathy arranged all the flowers and made, yes MADE my bouquet and my maid of honor's, all of the boutonni√®res and flowers and decorations.  That's not just talent but hard work.  She learned how to do that stuff for my wedding alone.  She had my hair and make up done too.  My dear Charlotte lent me her pearls and serving dishes.  She had magnets made with our picture on them and the date and gave me the adorable shoes I wore.  My sister Mickie sent me a 1973 penny for my shoe, which I still have, and cake servers used by our mom and grandma at their weddings. It was all so much fun and so beautiful.  My flower girl was cranky, my amazing cousin Christian walked me down the "aisle" (I surprised him at the last minute with that one!) and G and I seated our own guests.  Our minister was Unitarian and read from a kindle.  Cathy read us a bit of Shakespeare. G handled the music, selecting every song.  My sister Patti and G's brother Tate were our witnesses and stood up with us.  My mom even came.  My new sister in law even painted my toes for me.  Everyone blew bubbles and my new nieces served the cake.

Just before we began, Gs mom pulled me aside and gave me a gift.  It was a palm-sized book of poetry that Johnny had given her on their wedding day.  I tucked it into my bodice and kept it close all day.   And even though I'd already seen him in his suit, and he'd gone with me and Cathy to buy my dress- which was the first one I tried on and which fit perfectly- I couldn't take my eyes off him.  It was perhaps the best day of my life.

We went to New Orleans for our honeymoon and drove there and back, stopping by my new in-laws on the way home to Oklahoma.

The total cost of my wedding was less than $4,000, including our rings (which are beautiful), the ceremony and accoutrement and the honeymoon.  We kept the size of the wedding party small on purpose.  I'm an introvert and can't see spending that kind of energy on a party just to make other people happy.  I do wish we could've invited a few more people, but only so many could fit in the venue.  As it was, Cathy and Charlotte did an amazing job of organizing and putting things together. The people who came are people who mean the world to me and to G, and I think the small number helped me to relax and enjoy the day.

I don't blame people for spending a lot of money on a wedding.  For me though, I think that no matter the cost, a small ceremony would have still been my choice.  The outcome was what I wanted- a way to say, in front of friends, loved ones and family, that we love each other and that from that day we would work as a team, merging our families and relying on them to accept us as a couple into their lives.  Large groups make me tired. I read that the average cost of a wedding in Oklahoma last year was 15k to 36k.  I'd rather give a good downpayment on a house.  Besides, each person who came contributed and continues to be a part of our lives.  I'm getting to know my in-laws and Gs friends, even if at long distance.  My family seems to adore him and here in Ellensburg, everyone we meet has only known us as a couple. That's comforting, really.  At our church we are the Cavitt's.

The other day, Eleanor crawled into Gs lap and fell asleep.  She's never done that with anyone but me before.  And I think that's fitting. Eleanor and I are both much happier for his presence in our lives.

Cathy and Shakespeare (via kindle)


Kimberly and Grace

G and why didn't I get a good photo w/her?

I promise they are brothers!

What would I do without Patti?! <3 td="">

If you look in my bodice, you'll see a little book of poetry

Actually, we wake up like this sometimes

Tres leche cake from Whole Foods. My mom embroidered the tablecloth by HAND

Pretty hair!

cake cutting 
One of my nieces has red hair! 

Oh Johnny Pentecost! 

This guy!

Thanks for the introduction, Jinglett! 

Patti and VP

After party?!
Dearest Friends!

Happy Face!

Happy Faces

Mom and Cathy

Patti and VP

Hi! I'm married to this guy! 

Anna and A

That's my "I'm gonna get you" face. 

This is my family too now.
Keegan and my mom

Serving cake

Now how can we each get a corner piece? 

<3 nbsp="" td="">

I love this photo of my mom

Wedding party

I love these people!


  1. Sorry Mindie. I learned how to do bouquets for my own very low-budget wedding. But yours were way more fun to make!!

  2. Thanks for the trip down your Memory Lane. I feel as though I attended your lovely wedding. I would say the thoughtfulness, love and all the personal detail you put into your wedding could not be measured in dollars because it is priceless!!!

    1. Thanks, Nonnie! It was so fun to write.