August 9, 2010

Treasure Hunting

2E's and I are both at that age now when our parents' scraps -- their memorabilia and collector's items, their postcards and newspaper cut-outs, so forth and so on -- have an almost immeasurable worth to us, their offspring, and our future offspring (don't get me started). The contents of their photo albums and shoe boxes have passed right through expired, aged, old, and moved straight into timeless, ageless, priceless.

2E's fawning over wedding paraphernalia

Through this journey, we've become (to some unskilled degree) wedding archaeologists, eager to unearth the ABCs of our parents' nuptials, 2E's gasping over every handwritten note, every Polaroid picture, every vintage-y element employed by her hippie parents and their June 1980 Massachusetts wedding (see ancient catering menu below, with a grand total of $900 to feed 125):

Dale and Reid's overwhelmingly vegetarian catering menu, which did, thankfully, include sugar cubes

And what we've found is far more valuable than any inspiration board or "Real Wedding" we've encountered in the last fourteen (yes, fourteen) months. What we've found is a style that cannot be duplicated or replicated because it is inherently theirs. We've found personality etched into every nook and cranny of every last detail. Take, for instance, the generic Marriage Ceremony guide -- a word-by-word playbook of the traditional Christian wedding -- with which they had spliced their own ceremonial words and typewritten vows, savagely sewn into the pages with bronze Scotch tape.

The "this is the word of our Lord" remix

What we've found -- and never intended to find -- is that, when our own children look back, dig up the scraps of our October 2010 Brooklyn wedding in (god help us) 30 years or so, they'll find that we -- like our own parents and their parents before them -- kept it simple, kept it personal and captured some truly unique moments in the course of one very hectic day. They'll wonder at our Save the Date as you might wonder at some crushing historic revelation, turn the pages of our digital photo album and marvel at the technological simplicity of our self-made wedding website; most importantly, though, they'll see personality in every element, and, as my dad would say, that'll be really neat.

In the meantime, my future mother-in-law has fixed me a foursome of vodka and lemon juice cocktails in twist-cap airplane bottles to slip into our carry-on bag and soothe the cough that's been haunting me this week. And I can't imagine anything more motherly-in-law.


1 comment:

  1. When we first moved into our house after G's mom died, I went through a lot of the boxes looking for important paperwork. One of the things I found was an old address book/notepad that G's mom had used as a wedding planning notebook. It had detailed descriptions of the flowers, what the bridesmaids would wear, etc.

    Something so simple, but I treasure it now.