This Oregon micro-wedding with a $31 dress casts a spell

Updated Sep 14 2021
 
Photos by: Rachael Renee Photography
Photo by rachaelrenee.photos

Offbeat Partners: Rachael & David

Date of wedding: September 2021, Mount Tabor, Oregon

Tell us a bit about your wedding: We basically canceled our wedding plans back in July when we started hearing about the delta variant. We canceled our families flying to attend. We canceled the reception: a public, live music show I was going to play with my favorite music friends. We canceled even though people said, “It’s probably fine."

At the micro-wedding we ended up having instead, there were no bridesmaids, no flower girl, no Maid of Honor, no Best Man. There was no after-party, no toasts, no speeches. And you know what? It was fucking great.

Turns out neither of us wanted to plan a wedding. We just wanted to be married. Having never been one to dream about or desire marriage, this felt like the pragmatic choice of two responsible, wise adult co-parents living through end-stage capitalism during a global pandemic.

It was also a spell::

::A spell about how to live and love in the age of limits and consequences. About what it means to offer yourself as a home to someone when the world unravels around you.

The average cost of a wedding is $20,000. There is absolutely no reason to hemorrhage that kind of coin on a wedding when so many people are being evicted, becoming houseless, relapsing, suffering from lack of collective care. We spent less than $1000 on our nuptials including my $31 dress from eBay.

Less than 15 people attended the ceremony at the extinct volcano known as Mount Tabor, where we purchased no permit for our “special picnic.”

About our micro-wedding ceremony

Because we're a blended family, and the kids' other house is more traditional, we wanted a ceremony that was both earth-based and also sensitive to everyone's sensibilities. We made a list of what was most important to us about the ceremony: relaxed, ancestral, joyful, simple, musical, natural, affordable, beautiful.

In the end we decided on this: together with our few guests, we created a circle out of dried magnolia leaves, and botanicals….

 

…Everyone added something to the circle.

….Then there were gifts of few words, a few poems, and no vows. We had the rings, and the I dos.

It all took about an hour.

Then we went home and ate cake with our kids.

No one got drunk and requested Hotel California from the band. No one was exhausted from the stress or the expense or the pressure.

And no one got Covid.

And if the day had a soundtrack, it would be this song by The Kinks:

So we will share this road we walk
And mind our mouths and beware our talk
'Til peace we find, tell you what I'll do
All the things I own I will share with you
And if I feel tomorrow like I feel today
We'll take what we want and give the rest away
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two, we are one

Oregon micro-wedding vendors

  • Photos:@rachaelreneephotos
  • Officiant: Cybelle Clements, an ordained minister who specializes in magical and non-traditional ceremonies

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