Wedding Planning is far too infrequently called Marriage Planning. But look away from the wedding sites for a minute and take another look at what you’re doing.
- You’re celebrating the relationship that you’ve chosen to define your life.
- You’re commiting yourself to the maintenance and nurturance of this relationship.
- You’re building support for your relationship within your community.
Sadly, much of this gets forgotten on the way to the wedding. Too often the relationship gets pushed to the side as you argue over which invites best define you. The wedding vows aren’t chosen or written until the last minute unless one of you happens to run past something in a magazine or on a site and you both agree that here’s something that’ll do, let’s check it off the list. More on that, later!
But one way to begin to build community is to begin to connect the people who will be standing up with you on your wedding day. By asking them to be in your wedding, you’ve declared them your best support. They should know one another. Why not have some fun group nights out and make that happen.
You can always cook together. Not just ask everyone over for a meal, but have a potluck or invite them over early for an intensive food-prep dinner to be part of the fun. Then while things are cooking you can walk, play games or hang out and look at tv.
Or you can meet in the City at a fun restaurant where lingering is encouraged. Kabul (at 106 Chestnut Street, phone: (215) 922-3676) is a great place for building friendships.* Afghani food is wonderful (built on chicken and lamb and recently expanded to include a goodly array of vegetarian options) and it’s very special here! (I’ve heard from several people that they’re not overwhelmed by the starter salad, so be daring, have a salad for lunch and say, “no salad, thank you.” Here’s the thing, if it’s not going to add to your experience, don’t give it space on the table! Why complain when you can eliminate?)
If you’re really wanting to get cozy, and your group can pull this off, call to reserve the “taqh,” a raised platform in back, where you lounge on cushions — and maybe be brave enough to eat with your fingers! It’s BYOB, so that keeps your costs down, and lets you have your favorite wines. (You might want to do a research trip before you all go so that you can make recommendations for the right wines to bring, or you can consider bringing the wine as your contribution to the party!) Invite your celebrant and she’ll be drinking the Afghani Iced Tea… yum lime and cardamom!
And then come in, settle down and take a slow journey toward getting to know one another. The food’s great; the company is your favorite. Weave your friends together, deepen your relationships and strengthen your support over a slow and wonderful dinner. You can be that laughing group in the back that lingers and lingers and lingers! (And remember, pumpkin is a very good thing at this place!)
*there’s a small step up to the restaurant, which is easily navigable by most wheelchairs. Fully automated chairs may require a ramp. And you’re probably going to want to sit at a table.
If you have suggestions for topics to explore, write to the Wedding Priestess. You make it all so much more interesting.