Weddings don't have to be complicated to be awesome

Guestpost by Ariel (but not that one) on Jul. 5th

I went to a wedding that was boiled down to a bare minimum, and it was awesome.

Now, I had as complicated and wonderful and over-detailed a wedding as anyone around here, but every so often, when we're head-down in planning, and convinced that everyone will notice if the centerpieces aren't nice enough, or make snarky comments if we fail to provide favors or a suitably danceable playlist, or that the wedding just won't be good enough without our perfect venue, it's really good to remember that those really aren't as essential as we think.

The first we heard about the uncomplicated wedding was just under three weeks ago, via e-mail, with a date that was still tentative, and an RSVP date of a week ago because the brides were going to be spending one of those weeks in Alaska on a family vacation.

The wedding was in their church, and, as far as I can tell, scheduled based on when the priest was available. The music was the church organist and a friend who sang; the service, a fairly standard Episcopal same-sex marriage variant. (Have I mentioned that I *love* living in Massachusetts?) The single attendant's only role was to hold the rings. The outfits came out of their closets; I do believe one of the bride's dresses was the same thing she wore to my wedding.

The reception? They made reservations at one of their favorite local restaurants, which gave us a private space (with a curtain!) and a delightful Japanese buffet. There was no decor at all, no dancing, no special music. The only new purchases they made besides dinner, from what I could see, were their rings, some simple bouquets, a picture mat for guests to sign, and dessert — Taiwanese wedding cakes and Italian cookies. The total guest count was perhaps twenty.

But it was full of love and support and joy, and the reception ran for more than five hours because everyone was having so much fun. It was lovely. And at the end of it? They were married. And that's what really matters.

So the next time you're stressing because everything needs to be done within six months, or because your to-do list is too long, or because you feel guilty for not having something as picture-perfect as the brilliantly creative and crafty people on here — you don't need it. You may want it, but your wedding will be no less wonderful and amazing and getting you married if you don't have everything. And that's a really good thing to keep in mind.

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About Ariel (but not that one)

Ariel is a geek girl: computer scientist, roleplaying gamer, computer gamer, sci-fi reader, MIT alum, and all-around nerd. She's also a crafter: leather-working, calligraphy, and armor making (particularly scale mail). She's studying European martial arts, particularly German longsword and English quarterstaff. She's also the founder of the MIT Laboratory for Chocolate Science, and she's trying to spin up a part-time chocolate business on the side, mostly as a way to pay for experimentation and Really Cool Toys. (Mmm, chocolate airbrushes.)