3 Inspiring Ethical Weddings
This is the story of how Something Blue were lucky enough to be part of three really moving, deeply human and inspiring ethical weddings – Monica and Nathan, Kal and Matt and Laura and Simon.
All three show what you can do with a sense of community, a creative approach and a full heart, so here’s a few of their amazing and generous ideas and experiences to help charge your wedding plan with positive energy.
Monica and Nathan’s Red Nose Day at Merewether Surfhouse
Monica and Nathan decided to replace favours with Red Nose Day noses, and what a memorable, heart warming result!
Monica said “The SIDS for Kids was a pretty easy decision for us. It’s always been a charity I’ve supported since I was young and as we were planning the wedding we really didn’t come across any ‘favours’ we particularly liked ( and let’s face it, most the time they are quite useless)”.
But it took some planning. As Monica told us, “when Red Nose Day came around (it was still 13 months until the wedding) it occurred to us that we could purchase a heap of red noses and have a bit of fun! So we contacted SIDS for Kids, made a bulk purchase of noses (and a couple of stuffed toys for the little kids that were there) and made an additional donation”.
As you can see, the guests loved it, and the quirky aspect it brought to the wedding, and as Monica said, “When we look back at our wedding photos it’s so great to see everyone smiling with their red noses!”
But the real take home was the energy it created on their big day, which for Monica “just felt good and right. It was nice to know that something had not been just for the ‘commercial’ side of the wedding industry as well”.
Guests clearly took more meaning from these momentos, because as Monica recalls, they “also ended up getting some bottle stoppers (I caved to the expectation of others) and at the end of the night I still remember seeing these left on the tables and yet hardly a red nose to be seen!”
There you go.
Kal and Matt’s Salsa Forum at St. Joseph’s Guesthouse
Kal and Matt took the DIY route to avoid waste, and insisted guests donate to a charity rather than bring a gift – friends and family catered with amazing, hearty home cooked food, Matt’s brother tended bar, and a Cuban salsa band made up of friends and dancers played.
They both have PhDs, and are deep thinkers who dedicated the start of their wedding celebration to a lecture, exploring the philosophy behind their union – sharing with their loved ones the care and respect that binds them.
It turned into an open forum around the ethical considerations that should inform the decision to marry, and an honest collective discussion of the history, and current relevance of marriage.
When it came time for the first dance, Kal and Matt impressed – they are both expert salsa dancers! Decorations and accessories were replaced by feasting and dancing.
Kalpana said its important to research into your choice of charity, “We asked guests to donate to the Against Malaria Foundation as a wedding gift as they are consistently ranked as a top charity by effectiveness assessments of all major charities. We referred to https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/ to get these details”.
See more of Kal & Matt’s wedding here.
Laura and Simon at the Wayside Chapel
Laura and Simon met through volunteering at the Wayside Chapel in Potts Point – which is where we first met them too.
Wayside is a Sydney institution, and has provided unconditional love, care and support for people on and around the streets of Kings Cross since 1964.
It’s a place where love is the driving force, and after years of working there, Laura and Simon are really REALLY loved by everyone involved in Wayside.
As Laura recounted, “Our day was all about community at a place incredibly special to us. It’s where we met (I work in Marketing and Fundraising and Simon works in the Café) and it’s where we’ve formed incredible friendships with people from all walks of life over the past five years.”
So, they had their wedding at the Wayside Chapel and invited EVERYONE – family, friends, colleagues and the day to day visitors of the Wayside….and over 200 hundred people came!
Laura remembers fondly, how they “spilled out of the Chapel, into the Café and onto the street. One of the most special moments for me was laying eyes on the crowd for the first time and feeling an overwhelming sense of love and community.
A lot of the people who attended were sleeping rough but they all managed to get a nice outfit for the occasion and they all had a shower and spruced themselves up. One guy who’s in his fifties told me that he had never been to a wedding – only funerals. He said our wedding was one of the best moments of his life.”
Instead of gifts, they asked for donations to their Smile For A Smile campaign. The goal? A new set of teeth for Dave. Laura explained this touching story:
“Dave is a cleaner at The Wayside Chapel and he’s done an incredible job to get his life back on track after years of mental health issues, homelessness and drug abuse. One day, he told us he’d love to not be so embarrassed about his teeth. So we decided we’d love to get him the dental help he needed for a new smile.
Contributing to Dave’s smile made us smile, and that’s the best gift we could have asked for. We were very fortunate to raise over $12,000 for Dave.”
And what goes around comes around – Laura said people just donated help with their wedding without the need for asking, “We didn’t ask for people to do it for free but people felt that we had given so much of our passion and energy to helping others that they wanted to help us.
Even the guy who resized my ring (Camelot Jewellers of Cammeray) and the printers (SnapNorwest) did jobs for free when they found out we worked for The Wayside Chapel. Our stylists were the girls from the Wayside Op Shop, the caterers were the Café team and my boss and Wayside CEO Rev Graham Long married us.
Our photographer was the amazing Katherine Williams from Something Blue Photography who I had worked with on an exhibition at Wayside and who I knew would capture the uniqueness of the day and the colorful characters.”
You can check out their photos here, and decide for yourself, but we reckon Katherine lived up to the hype! High vibes, thanks Laura and Simon.
And thanks to all our amazing couples, for letting us be part of the inspiring love on your wedding day!
You can donate to the Wayside Chapel here.