A few years ago, I had resigned myself to the fact that I probably wasn’t getting married. I had never been one to view marriage as any type of ultimate goal in life, but after a string of bad relationships, the last of which left my usually strong and quite healthy self esteem in tatters, I was pretty much done. After years of convincing myself that my relationships were good enough, that “the one” didn’t exist so just because a relationship was perfect, didn’t mean it wasn’t destined for the long haul, I decided to stop being with a person just to be with someone. After nearly two years of singleness ““ though the ex tried in vain to bully me into getting back together for that entire time- I had decided that I was prepared to be alone. It wasn’t motivated by self pity or despair, it was motivated by the return of my confidence; the confidence in myself to know I was enough. I had purchased my own home, was financially secure, had two cats to keep me company and had an awesome friends-with-benefits situation going for when the need to bone became overwhelming.
Enter another ex-boyfriend, Jon, one I had known since high school, one who I had loved very much but due to circumstances already in motion when we had gotten together 4 years prior, couldn’t stay with. He was planning a move to Humboldt County to build an artist’s foundry (he’s a bronze sculptor), a dream project for someone like him. He had the chance to build the foundry of his dreams, a huge custom designed facility for him as well as multiple studios for other artists. I loved him, but I am not a Humboldt girl. I knew I would be unhappy leaving a good job close to San Francisco and culture to relocate to an area that hails Gottschalk’s as its flagship shopping opportunity. I suppose that makes me shallow, but it is what it is. I also tire quickly of perpetual stoners who ramble on for hours about ideas that seem fascinating when you’re high, not so much when you’re not. Sue me. Most importantly, though, was the fact that I don’t think either of us was ready for the kind of commitment my moving would have meant. We didn’t speak for over three years after he left, then two years ago this month, he popped up as a new friend of a friend on Facebook. I sent him a message and the ball started rolling.
Emails turned into phone calls. They started off as long rant sessions about all the crazy things in our lives, mine mostly being complaints about the other bully ex who would not leave me the hell alone. I relayed to Jon the story of Bully asking me “do you honestly think you will ever find someone who loves you as much as I do?”, to which I replied “Since you’ve treated me like shit for the past two years, I think I’ll be good with someone who loves me less, thanks.” Jon commented that he recalled saying something along those very same lines to me at one point-though in a much less hostile manner. I responded that yes, he had, but his statement actually was and remained true. The wheels in my head started spinning, that small exchange playing over and over in my head all night, the whole next day. Then it clicked. I had what can only be described as an epiphany, something I had never experienced to any great extent ever. Jon loved me, loved me more and better than anyone else I had ever been with, loved me for exactly who I was. More importantly, I realized that I loved him. I began calling my closest friends, stating matter-of-factly when they answered that I loved Jon. I picked my mom up from the airport the following day and told her, too. All were surprised by the out-of-nowhere-ness of my proclamation, but everyone loved him, and everyone supported it fully.
Along with the epiphany came the sudden realization that this was it, I was done. I was in love with the person I was going to spend my life with. Whether we got married or not, this was it. Done. Finito. Game over. It was the most calming realization I had ever had and I finally understood what people meant when they said you “just know” when it’s the right person. After many months of long phone calls, long drives, and long talks about our lives, he finally moved back to me. We got married in July 2010 on my parent’s property surrounded by the most amazing family and friends a person could ask for.
So that is my long-winded introduction into what I hope will be an enjoyable series for all you amazing Persephone peeps out there. Our wedding was about as non-traditional as they get and super DIY. I want to share with all of you the fantastic projects we took on to make our wedding unique, kooky, and completely us in the hopes that it will inspire any of you all looking for cheaper alternatives to the wedding industrial complex, more personalized expressions of who you are and not who society tries to force you to be. One warning- DIY weddings may be cheaper, but holy shit are they time consuming. I am very, very lucky to be surrounded by supportive and loving people who helped me fulfill my vision even when they doubted it would turn out the way I thought it would. Our wedding was a true (hard, manual) labor of love, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. The tutorials I will be putting together will be step by step guides showing you various types of projects that you can use for your won wedding, parties or even home dÃ©cor. Enjoy!