I've been around the block more than a few times and I've never heard of a non-wedding. Enlighten me, Lorna

I’ve been around the block more than a few times and I’ve never heard of a non-wedding. Enlighten me, Lorna

What is non-wedding planning?

I realize this could be confusing. It could mean simply having a wedding and foregoing all the hoopla-dee-da planning that takes years months and someone’s life savings  401K  pre-paid funeral expenses to pay for.

I was saving up for this little number, but I suppose a wedding with all the buttons and whistles is worth it.

I was saving up for this little number, but I suppose a wedding with all the bells and whistles is worth it.

I’m not talking about that kind of non-wedding planning.

I’m talking about planning for a non-wedding.

What is a non-wedding?

It’s a gathering of as many people as you can sucker into coming to witness at least two parties say out loud that they intend to commit themselves to each other for as long as they mutually decide. Or something like that.

Is a non-wedding the same as a commitment ceremony?

Sure. But the LGBT folks kind of had to use that term for their unlawful unions. Heteros who want unlawful unions need something to call what they’re doing so they don’t feel left out. “Non-wedding” is kind of clunky, but it’ll do.

I pilot-tested “commitment ceremony” with some people and they wondered if things hadn’t worked out with Phil and I was moving in another direction.

Can anyone have a non-wedding?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes.

If you’re already married, you aren’t doing anything that is recognized by the law that could get you in legal trouble. But if you’re non-marrying someone other than your spouse, you could find yourself in hot water on the home front.

If you’re not legally married, your non-wedding isn’t going to change your marital status under the law. That’s kind of the point of the whole thing. You’re saying you want to be monogamous but not signing anything that says you legally have to be. It’s totally a voluntary thing like getting a library card, only you don’t get any card that says you’re non-married. Though I suppose you could make one up….

If you’re really into it, you could have your favorite pets get non-married. The vows would be hard to understand, but the party would be just as fun.

Even if things get ruff, I stay with you until my tail no longer thumps.

Even if things get ruff, I’ll stay with you until my tail no longer thumps.

What goes into planning a non-wedding?

You’d think a non-wedding would be easier to plan (and cheaper, too) than a wedding. The “non” is what makes you think that, right?

Wrong.

You still need to make all the same decisions as you would for a regular wedding.

1. Who will you invite? I’d go easy on the number of people. Less explaining to do.

2. Where will you have the event? Don’t do it at your house unless you live in a mansion and a staff to clean up after the non-event. I suggest this because I hate housework.

3. Do you really want to feed all these people? If so, what are you going to feed them, balancing your need to pay your bills after the event and your need to sustain your reputation as not a total cheap skate tightwad. Tip: food at a non-wedding has non-calories. Totally true.

4. What about drinks? Do you want to fund their buzz?

5. How should you word the invitations so people don’t think they are attending a LGBT event? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that some people will be confused and not know how to dress.

6. Music: Live band, DJ, one large speaker and iTunes playlist?

7. What kind of decorations don’t shout “WEDDING!” but don’t blare “VALENTINE’S DAY!” either?

8. Cake or cupcakes? Homemade or fancy bakery?

I ordered a castle-looking cake. What's up with this? Don't answer that. I should have gone with the cupcakes.

I ordered a castle-looking cake. What’s up with this? Don’t answer that. I should have gone with the cupcakes.

9. Color scheme. Since there’s no one “standing up” with you and your “non-intended,” basically the color scheme is the color of your dress/pants suit/sarong/bikini (whatever you’re wearing as the non-bride).

10. Pictures. Your need them for your non-wedding to document the non-event. But don’t go with non-pictures like the FBI uses for your non-wedding–you know, the sketches. Go with a professional or a hobbyist or a professional hobbyist. You want nice photos of your non-wedding. I’d stay away from having lubed up guests take photos on their cell phones. You may regret what gets uploaded to Face Book.

Phil's relatives look kind of sketchy, which is ironic given the pictures we have of them.

Phil’s relatives look kind of sketchy, which is ironic given the pictures we have of them.

I’m sure I forgot something a lot.

You see, I am, by nature, a non-planner.

Imagine that: a non-planner planning a non-wedding.

I’ve been having pre-PTSD for weeks just thinking about what I haven’t remembered to do for this big party that will surely overwhelm me.

I can't take the pressure even though I created the pressure.

I can’t take the pressure even though I created the pressure. I’m a highly sensitive person. I can’t help it.

 

What was I thinking? I am an idiot, thus the perfect person to write this guide.

At least the dancing should be fun.

And this is just my beginning move. Wait until I loosen up.

And this is just my beginning move. Wait until I loosen up.

And I kept my vows really short.

Well, not that short...

Well, not that short…

Wish us luck!

 

Can you think of anything else that should be in the Idiot’s Guide to Planning a Non-Wedding?