for Alternative Weddings

A World of Ways to Say "I Do"
This is a little book that describes ceremonies, vows and traditions from across the world. It's the best compilation I found of meaningful traditions, that weren't overly biased toward western culture.

The Conscious Bride: Women Unveil their True Feelings about Getting Hitched
A book that acknowledges and explains the underbelly of weddings and the emotions that accompany the bride from engagement through the first year of marriage. It's all the stuff not written up in Bridal Magazine. I've found it very helpful for understanding the unexpected emotions and reactions, not just of my self, but also of family and friends. There is also a companion wedding planning book, which might have been useful had I discovered it more than two months before the wedding. See my post on Velma.org.

Let's Elope: The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options
Being non-traditional and not wanting the traditional-big-white-dress-church-wedding and fancy-food-forced-dancing-reception, ruled out nearly all of the wedding planning books that exist. This book talks about the pros and cons of alternative weddings, emphasizing that what's right is what the couple wants.

Non-Violent Communication
This book has been invaluable in helping me navigate the intense emotions that have arisen with family and friends around the engagement and marriage.

Smart Couples Finish Rich
You've got to talk about money. Love won't make everything right. This book gives couples the context and tools to talk about money and finances in a way that puts values and how you want to live over what you want to have. It's a thoughtful and considerate way to venture into this tricky subject.


I wish I'd found this sooner. It would have made the planning of the bachelorette weekend a little easier — it has good descriptions of meaningful rituals that honor how major a transition getting hitched is for a woman. This is the website by the author of The Conscious Bride.

This site features Indieetiquette, where Elisa helps answer those tough questions that arise from breaking new ground. Also helpful is the Kvetch section where you can ask other women for advice and help. Most of all, it's comforting to know that there are enough of us out there that we get our own website. I am not alone!

Henna Lounge
I'm not doing much fancy for the wedding day, but I did want a little something. I've always loved tattoos, even if they're temporary. And mehndi is beautiful and a wonderful way to force a slowing down.

Sustain Lane
Six ways to host a healthier wedding.

On Honeymoons

We didn't want to do anything too touristy or for the mass market (when have we ever?). But, we did want it to be exotic and special. So we planned a vacation that would be lower-impact on the environment.

Responsible Travel
Visit this site to get a sense of what's involved in traveling "responsibly." This is where I got the idea to have a honeymoon vouchers instead of registering: "Responsible travel is a new way of travelling for those who've had enough of mass tourism. It's about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment — but it's about far more than that. If you travel for relaxation, fulfilment, discovery, adventure and to learn — rather than simply to tick off 'places and things' — then responsible travel is for you. Responsible travel suits life's curious adventurers and enthusiasts."

We're using ClimateCare, endorsed by Al Gore, to offset the natural resources consumed in our travel.

GloCal Travel
Great for finding places in Mexico to stay. This is where we found the Hacienda San Juan, where we're spending the bulk of our honeymoon.



I've done a lot of research on vows and marriages. Here's my collection of sites I liked.

Dr. Seuss Vows
Wedding vows inspired by Dr. Seuss

On Marriage Covenants
Restoring lost biblical truth concerning divorce, remarriage, and submission.

From this site, I specifically liked:

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife). I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.

I, [name], choose you [name] to be my [husband/wife], to respect you in your successes and in your failures, to care for you in sickness and in health, to nurture you, and to grow with you throughout the seasons of life.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my partner, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the (man/woman) you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.

Do you together promise in the presence of your friends and family that you will at all times and in all circumstances, conduct yourselves toward one another as becomes Husband and Wife? (Together they respond, "We do.") Do you together promise you will love, cherish and respect one another throughout the years? (Together they respond, "We do.")

A nice quote

"I want to love you without clutching, appreciate you without judging, join you without invading, invite you without demanding, leave you without guilt, criticize you without blame, and help you without insulting. If I can have the same from you then we can truly meet and enrich each other."

– Virginia Satir, Making Contract

Colophon (about this site)

Mark's a bit of a geek, so he's proud that this site passes the World Wide Web Consortium's tests for valid Strict 1.0 xHTML and valid CSS. It was tested in multiple browsers to ensure that everyone has the same viewing experience.

The site was designed (by Mark) using Adobe Photoshop and uses the fonts DF Chase, Rosewood, and Georgia (sadly you'll see Times if you don't have Georgia), .

The xHTML and CSS were made by hand and with the help of Adobe Dreamweaver.

The Photos page uses Lokesh Dhakar's wonderful lightbox.js script, and the RSVP page was aided greatly by Jason Ables' PHP expertise.

And finally...

For when you need a completely inane distraction from all the planning!