I recently married my best friend of the last six years. For those of you who know Scot and I, we live our life a little differently than society says we should. So, it was fitting that we tied the knot in a non-traditional way.
While there were some traditions that were important to us, we knew we wanted our wedding to be completely personalized to our lifestyle and our value system. There were a few areas in which we compromised but for the most part we did things exactly the way we wanted to.
Here are my tips for having a personalized primal friendly wedding.
Attend Premarital Counseling with Your Partner
This one is usually required if you choose to get married in a church and I understand why. Scot and I agreed in the beginning of our relationship that if we ever decided to get married we would attend premarital counseling. After we decided 2018 was the year we were going to tie the knot, we immediately scheduled an appointment with a psychologist whom Scot and his family have known for years. We wanted to make sure we were both on the same page with the big things in life (finances, children, etc). We also wanted guidance on how to create and maintain a successful marriage. One of exercises our therapist had us do is finish this sentence, “In our marriage we...” For example, in our marriage we encourage each other to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We each made our own list and then read it aloud to the other person. This was a very powerful exercise because it helped us focus on the positive things we can do to keep our relationship strong and healthy.
Announce Your Engagement to Your Family First
One thing that was really important to us was that we tell our immediate family that we were engaged before we announce it to our friends and coworkers. For the most part, this all worked out beautifully. We were having dinner the following Saturday with Scot’s mom, step dad, and brother who live local to us so we told them at dinner. We were leaving in a few weeks for Austin, Texas, where my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephews live so we would tell them during our visit. I knew I wasn’t able to see my brother in person so I told him over the phone. He lives 3,000 miles away and it was just not feasible at the time to tell him in person. Scot’s dad and step mom live about three hours from us so we tried to set up a weekend to visit them. Unfortunately, this did not pan out so we told them over the phone.
Do You Elope or Have a Big Ceremony?
Eloping was important to us because we wanted to say our wedding vows to each other in an intimate private setting. We knew we wanted to elope somewhere that was meaningful to both of us and our relationship. We also knew we wanted to be barefoot during the ceremony. We decided to get married on the top of Mammoth Mountain since that is the place we took our first trip together and it’s become a special place to us. We had a camping trip planned in the summer with three friends so we saw that as a great opportunity to get married. We found an officiant online that specializes in outdoor adventure elopements. His name is Donny Alexander and his website is www.yosemiteadventureelopements.com. Even though ours was not as adventurous as other elopements he has officiated (we took the gondola up to the top of Mammoth Mountain instead of hiking up), Donny was the perfect person to marry us. When we met him in person we we felt like he was part of our tribe.
We were initially going to film our elopement and show it at our celebration but the day before we left for Mammoth we decided to have another ceremony instead. This was awesome because since we were already legally married we could have anyone “officiate” our second ceremony. We made a short list of friends and family that we wanted to ask. Scot’s step dad and my mom were the ones that “officiated.” This was so much fun! They were both ecstatic to be involved in this capacity. And they both did a fantastic job!
If You Elope I Encourage You to Have a Celebration with Your Family and Friends
Getting married is big step forward (if you’re getting married for the right reasons) in your life. You’re officially joining your lives and families together. Even though Scot and I have thought of ourselves as married in spirit for a while, it was meaningful to us to celebrate our marriage with our families and close friends who have been such an important part of our lives. It was also a great opportunity for our friends and family to meet and get to know each other.
Serve Food and Beverages at Your Reception That is Within Your Food Values
Scot and I eat real nutrient-dense foods about 80-90% of the time. Thankfully one of our favorite local restaurants, Urban Plates, offers catering services. We served grass-fed grilled streak, organic free range chicken, sesame broccolini, and rosemary potatoes for dinner. Urban Plates always offers complimentary rustic bread with their meals, which we normally don’t eat, but we served it for our guests. This is an area in which we compromised. For dessert I made primal friendly s’more cupcakes. The cupcakes were made with Simple Mills Chocolate Cake Baking Mix. The cupcakes were topped with homemade primal marshmallows with gluten free graham crackers and soy and dairy free chocolate chips. I love baking and experimenting in the kitchen so this was so much fun for me. If you’re not a baker or simply just don’t have the time to bake search for a local bakery that offers a variety of dessert options for different eating styles.
We served Omission gluten free beer and Mammoth Brewing Company 395 IPA. I’ve been hooked on pinot noir wine the last year so we served one of my favorites, Estancia, along with a chardonnay by Pacific Grove. We also had our fresh spring water that we get delivered at home.
We bought small mason jars four our guests to use for water. We also bought real stemless wine glasses. You can pick both mason jars and real stemless wine glasses up for cheap if you’re willing to take the time to shop around. We always try to avoid using disposable utensils and glasses whenever possible so it was important to us to get real glasses. The mason jars are really cool looking and can be used for homemade Christmas gifts as well (candles, hot chocolate mix, etc.).
Gift Wedding Favors that You Would Enjoy
One of the things Scot and I enjoy is a great cup of coffee made with organic coffee beans from local and/or artisan coffee roasters. I found these adorable brown bags on Etsy to put the coffee beans in as favors. We usually request non-material items as gifts for our birthdays and Christmas so we thought we would gift a consumable product to our guests. Our guests loved them!
Spotify is a Great DJ
We had the most affordable DJ: Spotify. We started making our wedding party play list as soon as we decided to have a celebration. As we were making the playlist, we came up with the idea to add songs that our family would enjoy as well. We had Jimmy Buffet, Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, and many others that we knew our families would enjoy. When I was dancing with my dad, he told me he was happy to hear some Nat King Cole during dinner. This made me smile.
At first we had one long playlist. The day of our wedding celebration Scot had the idea to split the songs up on two different playlists: dinner and dance party. He thought it would be pleasant for our guests to listen to a slower melody rather than Weird Al while they were eating dinner.
We also chose songs to walk down the isle to that were meaningful to us. I walked down the isle to a condensed version of True Colors (the version from the Trolls movie). My sister, who was my maid of honor, walked down the isle to the theme of the tv show Friends. We are both huge Friends fans and watched it while it was still on the air. Scot and I walked down the isle together after the ceremony to Movin Right Along by Kermit the Frog and Fozzie. If you haven’t heard this song from The Muppet Movie from 1979 it’s a really catchy tune with a great melody and lyrics that describe Scot and I’s relationship.
Looking back I wouldn’t change anything because it reflected us. Make sure every part of your special day is meaningful to you. This is your celebration of your relationship with your family and friends so it should reflect who you are as individuals and as a couple.
Honey Bee Kitchen
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