I had a wonderful wedding.
Almost immediately following I posted the event to social media and well wishes came from friends and family around the world.
A haute couture designer posted pictures of us to their social media pages under the heading, “Tara and her groom look so happy in these pictures. Congratulations to a gorgeous couple! The #bride is particularly stunning in her [designer name] #gown.’
It was the beginning of an experiment I had in mind which culminated in all the reactions I’d hoped for.
Some friends from abroad were upset they weren’t invited if it was going to be such a big event, one even wrote to me and suggested spending so much money on a wedding dress (the couture dress retails for $13,000 Australian dollars) was hypocritical, since I was having such a small wedding.
In appearances it could be argued that I was indeed a hypocrite, but looks can be deceiving.
The truth is that the dress wasn’t designer couture, it was made by Daisy, a 24-year-old from Jiangsu province China, where I’d previously visited, and cost $200.
Daisy majored in English in college, but trained in lining and she’s saving to start a family. The cake I made myself from supermarket refuse, the weeks leading up to the wedding I spent trawling wheelie bins for bunches of overripe bananas, which I washed, peeled before baking into a misshaped tiered cake.
(The cake was thankfully proclaimed as delicious, eaten and no one fell ill with food poisoning!)
The décor was converted from wood cutoffs near our home and carving our firewood into candle holders, we picked our flowers from road sides, pressed our own apple juice, my husband’s shoes were five years old, I didn’t get a facial or my nails done, we asked friends for digital copies of their photographs.
The children played DJ with a computer and speaker. The list of hacks is relentless.
It was a more of a special day for us, I believe, because we tried to limit our carbon footprint, and because neither of us went into any debt because of our union. It was memorable because it was truly a lovely, small event with 28 of our closest family and friends from France, where we live.