Why we didn't want a wedding.


A couple of weeks ago, I read this article on how we should modernise Indian wedding traditions to make them less sexist and cater them to 21st century couples.

I agreed with many of the points the writer made and although upholding tradition wasn't really a problem in my own wedding planning process, it did get me thinking about the implications it may have had on Ty and I choosing not to have a wedding at all. 

We always knew we'd get married before our 'actual' wedding with family and friends because we wanted to have our civil ceremony pretty soon after we got engaged, meaning we could get on with applying for my visa so we could finally be together. That didn't leave much time for planning a big event as we tied the knot just two months after he popped the question, saying our vows in Beverly Hills Courthouse with just my sister, Parker, as a witness. (FYI - the photos in this blog are all from that day. Shoutout to P for the photography!)

It was low key, because at the time we were planning to have a bigger celebration the following year but we loved that our day was just about us two and that we got to spend it exactly how we wanted (going to get tattoos after the ceremony, stuffing our faces with seafood and posing for photos on the beach). Looking back now, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm just so glad we decided to have our photoshoot with the amazing Taylor Kinzie as we now have those beautiful photos as a reminder of our day.

After the 'getting married' trip to Cali, I had gotten into full swing with wedding planning and my mum and I went out to LA a few months later to look at wedding venues. It was on this trip that I started to realise how much fun I WASN'T having with the process and although it was nice going to see pretty venues and exciting imagining up different things we could do for the day, I wasn't getting the kind of pleasure out of it that I'd hoped I would. 

It turns out that my feelings about planning and participating in my own wedding weren't completely unexpected. They actually stem back to my childhood and relate to the subject of Indian weddings and traditions. Being Indian and all, I've obviously been to a ton of week long Indian wedding events, from the Mendhi (where all the girls get their hands adorned with henna) to the Ladies Sangeet (where the women from the bridal party get together to party and sing songs) and of course the wedding days themselves (where you dress up in the most bejewelled outfit from your 'Indian wardrobe' and eat, dance and drink the night away).  As a kid I loved these festivities and it was only when I got to an age where I realised that an event like this could very well be in my own future, that the sheer magnitude of an Indian wedding started to terrify me. 

Just the thought of being the (Indian) bride at an (Indian) wedding made me well up with embarrassment at all of the attention and fuss, not to mention the dread I felt at the possibility of having to pretend to cry at the end of the reception (as per tradition) when it was time to leave with my husband. I was excited about the clothes and the parties but I wasn't cut out for the theatrics. It was all a bit too much for me to accept as my reality so I promptly decided, at the age of 10, that I wouldn't be getting married so therefore, I wouldn't be having a wedding.

It turns out that life had other plans, so I did get married, but my 10 year old self was right about the wedding. It's funny how we can so innately know what's right for us before we even consciously realise it and clearly, being a blushing bride wasn't in my destiny.  

Thankfully, Ty and I were on the same page with the whole thing and we came to the realisation that although a wedding with all of our loved ones in the same room would be an amazing memory, it would be just one memory of hundreds we were yet to make in our marriage and the cost and energy spent on making it happen just wasn't worth it to us.

I think when it comes to something like this, you have to know what's important to you both as a couple and for us, a wedding day wasn't it. We wanted multiple trips to faraway places, buying and furnishing our first house and being able to comfortably settle into our life together. When I was still in the angsty stages of indecision about the wedding, Ty said to me "a wedding is only as important as you make it". That was the turning point for me, when I accepted that deep down, I didn't really want the wedding anyway, and that it was ok to feel that way. 

What comes with making a decision like that is the fear of disappointing people and this is something else that feeds back into the article I mentioned at the beginning. A lot of couples (not just Indian ones) feel like they have to forge ahead with their weddings, even if they don't want to, because of tradition or what their family/friends will say. This does apply particularly to Indian culture, though, which makes me realise how lucky Ty and I were to not have had any pressure from either my side or his side to do anything we didn't want to do. The freedom to choose is something we tend to take for granted until it's not available to us and the pressure to keep up with tradition can take that freedom away.

I do LOVE Indian tradition and Indian weddings. They're a part of my heritage, my culture and my people and I wouldn't change the essence of them for the world, but I do think that all traditions have a purpose and that purpose should evolve as we do. Weddings in India now are quite different to the weddings that many Indians here in the UK have, I guess because as immigrants we fossilise our culture so that it remains as it was when we left 'home', while 'home' has kept it moving and changing with time. I do think it's possible to keep the essence of our culture alive whilst still catering to the lives of younger generations if we're open to change.

While not having a wedding was right for us, I totally get that it's not ideal for others and that some couples dream of their big day for years (which I'm very glad about because I do love a good wedding - just other peoples!).

Would any of you consider not having a wedding? Or if you didn't have a wedding, what was the deciding factor for you and your partner?

Five things.

So I haven't been great at posting regularly, mainly because life seems to have taken over in the last couple months!

Ty and I were in Los Angeles with my mum at the beginning of January looking at wedding venues, then I came to Phoenix at the end of Jan and have been here since. While a lot has been going on, none of it has really felt blog worthy, so I thought I'd tell you guys about a few of my current obsessions instead...

 

Obsession one: My nephews.

These two cuties are Ty's sister's kids, so now that I'm officially their auntie I'm showing them off to anyone who will listen. The big one is Ky and the little one is Zo but his big brother has named him 'Bubba', so that's what we call him. 

It's nice having them around while I'm out here as they keep me company while Ty's at work and are a pretty fun distraction, even when they're getting in to everything and I'm chasing them around. One thing being with them has definitely confirmed for me though, is that I'm not ready for my own kiddos just yet. Ty is great with them and I love being with them too but we're sure we want to wait a few more years before we take that step!

 

Obsession two: Dutch Bros Coffee.

Ok, so I'm not a coffee person at all but since I discovered my love for Dutch Bros I've developed a taste for it. It might be because the drinks that I like are loaded with carameliser and sugar that I like them so much, but whatever, the stuff is magical. Their staff are also consistently witty, cool and make you wish you had them as a friend, which makes for a great customer experience. Stuff like that is important to me so it might be another reason why I like them so much. I applaud their recruitment process.

My favourite drink is the Ninja Turtle as a Dutch Freeze (which just means that it's an icey). It's on their secret menu so you won't see it displayed when you go there but if you ask, they'll tell you all of the secret concoctions they make (or you can click here). If you have a Dutch Bros in your area and haven't tried it yet, I can't recommend it enough so go try it! (They didn't sponsor this post, but if anyone from HQ is reading - I'd be open to the idea :).

 

Obsession three: Being married.

It really is the subtle things about being married that you notice the most. It's in little things like buying a Valentine's Day card that says 'husband' on it, and receiving one that says 'wife'. It's in making joint decisions about important and exciting things, like the area you want to buy a house in or what our plans for the next year should be. It's even in hearing him call you his wife and giving people your new surname. Although I know this feeling won't last forever, it's nice to finally be able to savour it with him seeing as we spent the first 2 months of our marriage apart. 

This year was our third Valentine's Day as a couple but the first we've spent together. Although I do think the 'holiday' is pretty inconsequential, it was nice that our first one in the same place was also our first as husband and wife. 

 

Obsession four: Outdoor lighting.

On the many viewings during our wedding venue hunt I realised how much I adore great outside lighting, specifically chandeliers. A lot of the places I loved had fairy lights hanging down from trees in a way I hadn't seen done before and it had such a lovely effect. One of my favourite venues had a massive waterfall with two chandeliers hanging above it - just gorge.

I actually got a lot of interior design ideas from our venue hunt and I think I'm more excited about decorating our house than I am about planning this wedding. Anyone know a wedding planner that wants to do it all for me? 

 

Obsession five: NARS velvet matte lip pencils

Sephora has been taking all of my pennies since I've been out here (as it usually does - why on earth they shut down in the UK I'll never know). One of my favourite purchases of late has been these NARS matte lip pencils. I've been using lip pencils instead of lipstick a lot lately and these ones give that perfect matte effect without rubbing off as easily as most 'normal' lip pencils. They're not cheap but they're worth the investment.

The colour I'm loving at the moment is Bahama. It's fitting my mood perfectly.

 

That's all I have for now because my other obsessions of marathon watching Parenthood in between the 11 other shows I have on the go and eating 'low fat' cheese strings aren't very interesting to read about. Bet you're glad I spared you that, right?

What are you obsessed with at the moment? Give me some new ideas for things to obsess over!