A modest wedding should not only revolve around the dress, but also consider humility in other aspects. By Saltanat Bora.
I have always loved flowers. Arranging flowers, giving bouquets and, of course, receiving them. Until recently, making money from arranging flowers had always been an acceptable source of income for me. Now that my interest in the wedding industry is taking a professional turn, this seemed even more likely and acceptable.
That is, until I stumbled across this video of a TED talk by Marla Spivak. To say that I was horrified is an understatement. I was disgusted. Disgusted in the industry that didn’t have the courage or the intelligence it seems to “do the right thing”. Disgusted by ourselves and our excessive consumption and contentment to simply remain ignorant about where or how our food was being produced and the impact of it.
Ever since I had my daughter, I started to change the way I shopped, particularly in terms of groceries. I went to my local farmers’ markets and bought organic, sustainable produce. I spent hours scouring the aisles of my local grocer picking the organic and ethical/fair-trade products. I no longer buy fruits and veggies from Coles or Woolworths (my local big-chain grocers) unless they are labelled as organic.
Not only are we hurting our (and our children’s) health by eating sprayed and genetically modified fruits and vegetables that have either been grown in plastic bags (seriously) or picked when green and gassed to produce colour (like in tomatoes), but the impact on the environment and the bees is phenomenal. Anyone who denies this is simply ignorant or stupid. No bull.
So when a friend posted this article by Mercola on her Facebook page, I felt like the stupid one. Why hadn’t I considered the floral industry and the use of pesticides? Of course this would only contribute to the decline of bees.
Why care, though? Well the answer is kind of simple: bees sustain all growth, or life on Earth. Without them, everything dies. Have you all seen Bee Movie? Well it’s spot on, albeit presented in a cutesy way aimed at kids.
Personally though, I think that as citizens and members of this planet, every single one of us has a responsibility to protect, maintain and sustain the environment. This duty is wholly ingrained in my religion (Islam) as well.
Being in the wedding industry has only further reinforced this sense of duty. Why is it that our weddings have literally thousands of flowers on show? The reason why growers use pesticides is to meet the demand for perfect, bug-free flowers. Do you really need to have that floral arch, centrepieces with towering globes of roses? That floral chandelier? The bride and groom table dripping with peonies, lilies, and more roses? All for one wedding?
I’m sorry, but to me it seems innately egotistical and hubristic to demand that your “one special day” has to be flooded with flowers that ironically, kill the one species it needs.
There are alternatives. Search for florists that use organic flowers (just do a Google search). Break that need to have flowers on every single table of your reception. Get creative. I know a blogger (Young House Love) who used lemons in glass vases as centrepieces. Another bride used wildflowers from an obliging field.
Being modest not just about having humility in the way you are dressed on your wedding day – no. It’s about celebrating your special day with utmost humility. By remembering what it’s really about: two people who have formed a connection based on attraction, a feeling of deep love and respect, and have decided to take that momentous step to share their lives together. To always support, befriend and guide one another. Oh, it’s also about gaining new family members.
It’s not a show of some fairytale romance that must be proven to the world with as much pomp and exhibitionism by having every indulgence possible.
Each and every one of us has the responsibility to be scrupulous in everything that we do. We need to question our intentions, our choices, our actions and the impact of such choices and actions. Your wedding day should not be an exemption simply because we have been brainwashed to think that it is “the one day” that is “all about you”.
If that’s not the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. And yet we accept this without even thinking about it, and use it to justify every extravagance (such as the $3000-plus wedding dress you’ll only wear once, the lavish reception dripping in flowers, etc). In the end, is it really about you, or is it about showing your “perfect” love to everyone else?
In the film ‘The Secret life of Walter Mitty’, one line struck me as profound: “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”
There is humility even in love. It is not something to be cheaply displayed for the world to see, it does not seek attention. It revels in the purer realm of quiet intimacy, where knowledge of the other’s love is recognised, acknowledged, protected and there – celebrated.
This article was first published on The Modest Bride