But, though I'm bored by the concept as a whole, I have started pinpointing just what I do and do not like about it. For example, I do like being able to share this commitment not only with Joshua, but with our family and friends. And I know that this is important to some of my family, though I doubt if anybody would complain much if we just eloped.
But I don't like the idea of doing something so standard and traditional that it's boring. The problem is that Joshua doesn't want to go too unorthodox, since he is a more traditional sort of guy. So trying to balance what he wants while trying to create a ceremony that will actually mean something to me is hard. In some ways, I'd rather just step back and let it be whatever he wants, while I get my killer party. But I don't want to dislike our ceremony, because it'd leave a sour taste in my mouth.
The first thing I had found that made my eyes light up was a Quaker-style ceremony. Basically, it's two people joining each other without the need for a pastor or priest or other officiant to get involved. Partly, this spoke kindly to my wallet; officiants are expensive! But also, I think I like the idea that only God needs to bless our union, not a person acting as his intermediate. Maybe it's because this is how I already feel bonded with Joshua; just the two of us and a promise to God.
Unfortunately, this sort of ceremony isn't legally binding in the state of Tennessee, and our budget really doesn't allow for a destination wedding. And though we could get the legal paperwork out of the way at the courthouse, and then do the ceremony separately, Joshua's family has expressed dislike of that idea. (Though they otherwise tell us to elope. So confusing!)
Another idea that I've grown to love is a Ring Warming Ceremony. Basically, you pass the rings around your guests, asking everybody to say a little blessing or prayer over them before they finally make it back up to the bride and groom. I like this because I think it's a great way to involve everybody, and I get to share in their love and support. Joshua isn't crazy about the idea, but I'm hoping he'll learn to love it. I'm still trying to find other ways to avoid a super boring, traditional ceremony without bugging my super traditional fiance, though. Ah, sigh, it'll work out, though.