When Salomé and I got married back in 1998, it was a step into completely foreign territory as none of our close friends were married, few even in serious relationships. Not counting my father’s shotgun second marriage at town hall 18 years earlier, I’d never even been to a wedding before!
Our wedding was a relatively simple affair, with 90 or so family and friends attending a no-frills, non-denominational ceremony, and a well-catered reception with a DJ. We avoided as much of the traditional stuff as we could get away with – one friend jokingly called Sal's father the "wedding Nazi" due to his insistence on "tradicion!" – but it was still a pretty straightforward event.
Now, six years later, some of our best friends are married, or have at least matured considerably, and one couple even has a kid!
Later this month, a couple of friends of ours are getting married and they’re doing a whole weekend-long retreat for the wedding. Though they’re Jewish and will have many of the traditional prerequisites that come with their faith, the overall feel of what they’re putting together is pleasantly funky and inclusive. While one of my favorite things is the no-tux-required dress code, they have some great stuff planned, including an "after-dinner oneg talent show" on the first night, and a full-day of pre-wedding activities like hiking, boating, arts & crafts and yoga classes!
The coolest thing about them, though – and they’re both very cool people – is that for their registry, beyond the requisite where to buy stuff, they’ve asked for donations to specific charities and volunteer pledges. Predictably, and to their sincere disappointment, it seems no one has taken them up on the volunteer offer. It's so much easier to snag something off their traditional registry.
So Salomé volunteered me!
I didn’t take it all that seriously at first, until I checked out their web site and saw that they were actually very serious about it, having set up a wish list for the charities they wanted donations for and links to two great volunteering web sites - volunteermatch.org and networkforgood.org - with a form to let them know what you were pledging to do.
[NOTE: They have an entire web site set up for the wedding that humorously treats them like a non-profit organization, including an "about us" page that tells the story of how they met and identifies the Board, aka both families. Very cool!]
I checked out both sites and found something with The UnConvention: An American Theater Festival which features six pieces of "provocative, political theater" running before, during and after the Republican National Convention. They're also running some great panels and other events, too.
So I’ve pledged 6 hours as house staff for their shows on Friday, September 3rd. Why not join me?