Having a community or 'open' wedding was something we decided early on.
Actually anyone is welcome to attend a wedding in church, which is good for soap operas as they can have people run in and say 'I object!'.
However our whole day is going to be a community event, both the ceremony and the reception, and in order to facilitate this we are asking people to bring a dish instead of a gift. So basically it is like a bring and share after church!
Why a community wedding?
‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”.
A wedding to me is not about the expense spent in dress, the catering, the decoration.
It is most definitely not about having an a-list of people that I can afford to the reception and the b-list of people I expect to come back for the partying.
The wedding is about making the promise in front of our friends, (otherwise we'd elope of course!), in front of family, and in some cases in front of their friends because they are part of our lives, our family. The wedding is about making people feel welcome. How could I be happy on my wedding day in the knowledge that some friends feel on my b-list?
I am -happy- because you are -happy-
Maybe it's a while since I have seen friends, it doesn't mean they are any less friends, they are still important to me and I'd like to honour that by having them at my wedding, maybe I never see them in person but regularly chat on facebook. Still friends. Still special.
I was raised in community, I live in community. My work are my family. I make friends with random people on trains, in stations.
One of the best times of my life, was the time I spent in South Africa on missions. I went with the intention of giving but instead they gave to me, the gave the gift of their friendship, their time without conditions, without limit. Quite an unsual concept for a London girl!
I fall short of the ideals of ubuntu in so many ways. My introverted self likes 'me time' way to much, but on this occasion we will let ubuntu prevail.
I am going to enjoy my wedding because I know so many others will too. I will not miss the catered meal because I know the food provided by guests will be provided with love.
Sometimes you see money reflected in a wedding, in the dress, flowers, photographer, favours, candles. At our wedding you will see guest's faces instead. And for that I am grateful.
Check out this lovely video explaining Ubuntu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu says this about the South African concept of ubuntu: “[It] means my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in theirs. We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “a person is a person through other people.” It is not “I think therefore I am.” It says rather: “I am human because I belong.” I participate, I share.”
Saying all this. If you would like to come and don't feel I have welcomed you, drop me an email at evie.winter at gmail.com as I may have the wrong email for you :-)