Saturday, January 2, 2010

Celebrating practical engagement rings and giving a big middle finger to "color palates" for weddings

Fitness day 16!
Pilates 10 min
Eliptical 45min - 700kCal

Last night the Hubbs and I went to a New Years Eve party at a friend's house. We were surrounded by kindred spirits in the form of medics, nurses, and various aspiring medical professionals. In particular our friends Gabe and Christina were there. Gabe recently proposed to Christina during Christmas at her family's home. He took her for a hike in some lovely forest and got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She said yes and last night they were both still aglow with the candle of their new engagement. As she and I swapped stories and plans/dreams it became clear that the two of us were kindred spirits. She too has a list of practical wedding blogs she follows and upon hearing me answer "no" to her question of if we were having "colors" and "bridesmaids" laughed and said she too thought most of that stuff was not necessary and not "her".

I think it is interesting to reflect on the phenomenon of otherwise rational and practical women becoming engaged. As I have joined the ranks of the engaged I have begun to watch as a staggering number of my friends have become engaged. Women who once espoused feelings of commitment to small carbon footprint, conflict free, fair trade, eco-friendly and financially reasonable products and habits now are sporting large (new) diamonds and planning high impact events. I feel a little like I might have back in high school if all my girls and I had made a pact to shave our heads or wear head to toe pink and then I was the only one who did it.

I want to be clear that I feel good about our choices to have responsible bling. My engagement ring is a piece made from reclaimed white gold and white sapphires. It was created by a local artist and is practical for my life as a glove wearing health care provider, an avid outdoors woman and an aspiring mother. It also reflects where the Hubbs and I are right now. We are not in a place where spending thousands of dollars on something that we cannot eat, commute in or live in makes sense. I am proud of where we are and feel no need to wear some big diamond as a status symbol real or not. I think the exception to this would have been some family ring. If there had been a family diamond I think I would have worn it with pride and gratitude however, it is clear that an antique is not the same as a shiny newly mined diamond....but I digress.

I am not trying to slam women who chose to have the big traditional Cinderella day...ok, maybe I am a little...however, how can we justify going so far into excess and in so many cases deep into debt for one day? I understand that it is a special day and a very important day. I am psyched for my wedding too. I am calling out to my girls who would have us believe that eco-conscious and practical are important to them yet when the "big day" comes they toss it out the window. I say that the big day is an important time to lay a foundation and possibly even demonstrate to others that you are committed to a certain belief that the earth, its people and responsible spending are part of who you are. In today's economy and this culture we live in there is a LOT of room for creativity in this wedding planning nonsense. You can compost, choose a green venue, buy a dress that doesn't require refinancing you entire life. You can start by finding a ring that did not require modern day slavery. If you are into diamonds there are options if you can live without diamonds there are LOTS of options.

I am not hear to rain on any one's parade but as the girl who is planning a summer camp wedding where friends and family are doing things from making cloth napkins and collecting glass jars, to picking wildflowers for me and baking cakes, I am here to salute and encourage my would be practical sisters to shave your head and wear that pink. You are not alone and you should not feel pressured to cave into the wedding industrial complex just because that is what sells bridal magazines. This is the beginning of something new and exciting. Right now, with your wedding planning you and your future Hubbs have a chance to design something that speaks volumes about who you are and what is important to you. Think carefully and take your time. It means something.

ETSY is my favorite inspiration site currently. My ring came from a wonderful woman named Justine at SingleBbeautiful. She uses reclaimed metals and conflict free stones for all of her stuff. Check her out on ETSY - Sellers SingleBbeautiful.

1 comment:

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