Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Perfect Primitive Wedding

So this past week I've been working as a camp counselor at Riverbend Park's primitive teaching camp: a place where children learn to make tools and weapons just like the Indians did it, except the Indians didn't use power saws when they were running out of time to finish a child's spear for them. It was a lot of fun, but we had to do a lot of cleaning-up this afternoon. Someone rented out the same pavilion we use for their wedding reception. Unfortunately, it's going to rain all weekend, and all those sticks we chucked out will almost certainly make their way back inside.

So what will this poor woman face at her venue? I can't tell. But at least the kids aren't there, because if they were, here's a few things they'd be facing.

The Traditional Rock Throw

I've been told you shouldn't throw rice at weddings, because it's bad for the environment. It's also bad for the bride, who has to spend the whole ride to the reception venue picking rice out of her hair. I've heard of people throwing birdseed, which is really nice for the birds, provided you live in an area with abundant songbirds and very few hawks. 

Imagine this. You're walking down the aisle surrounded by friends, family, and flocks of twittering songbirds. Suddenly, a flock of hawks swoop down and rip the songbirds apart, scattering entrails on your big day. The Greeks would call it auspicious. I call it grounds for divorce. 
But at primitive camp, we know that gathering the seeds from the plants that make birdseed takes hours and isn't really worth it. Instead, we'd turn to something much more readily available for a weapon: rocks. There's a lot of shiny ones down by the river we could pick up to toss at the bride. And dodging them would be just the thing to get everyone warmed up for the reception!
This is the first reason it's good that wedding wasn't scheduled for a weekday. 

Favors? Special Sticks

There are thousands of sticks in the wood. Some are wet. Some are dry. Some are skinny. Some are fat. Some have bark. Some do not. Adults have a great deal of trouble telling sticks apart because sticks are sticks. By definition, a stick is not very important. 

Unless you're a child. You've found The Ultimate Stick. Maybe your counselor has sharpened it using a machete. That stick is your stick, and it will never ever compare to any other stick in the forest. If it is broken, no replacement will do. Your counselor will have to glue it back together or you will cry. If they try to offer you a similar looking stick, you will know automatically it's the wrong stick and you will report to your parents that your counselors have really bad eyesight. Some sticks are special and adults can't find them.

What better favor to hand out to guests at your wedding? Just send your ring bearer and flower girl out to find as many special sticks as they can. I promise you, they won't disappoint. Just make extra clear that these are not keeping sticks, but giving away sticks. Make this as clear as humanly possible, then clarify it. They still might cry, but don't give in. Don't let them keep a single stick, because they will keep every special stick they find and every stick will be impossibly special. Their parents will not thanks you, and neither will your favorless guests.

Poison Ivy Decor

All weddings need a theme--something that draws the ceremony together. Having a wedding theme has been a tradition since the Dark Ages (where the theme was usually 'drag the screaming teenage bride to the bedroom by her hair'). For the bride on a budget, it's good to stick to a fairly common theme; something where you'll have lots of options and won't have to pay for too much custom work. And nothing's more common--nor easier for children to find--than poison ivy. 

The leaves are pretty, green, and fresh this time of year. As an added bonus, you can also get it in vine format. This perfect floral accompaniment will bring roses to your cheeks! Your single friends won't fight over the bouquet if you make it known you've got some of this in there. As an added bonus, you can use the vines for a romantic bonfire at the reception (note: don't do this. It's just that my campers brought back a poison ivy vine to use as firewood). 

DJ Screams-A-Lot

Last but not least, all receptions need a good DJ. I'm not a fan of modern pop music, aside from Call Me Maybe, which is so catchy you have to like it or go crazy. Rap music to me is just screaming. Rock music to me is loud banging. 

Thankfully, the primitive camp children are good at both. A good way to get them to scream is to present them with one of nature's most famed creatures: the common honeybee. Even one of those bugs will evoke all kinds of melodious noises from children. They also tend to scatter when faced with a bee, so be sure to purchase an enclosure ahead of time. Rocks and sticks make excellent drums

Who needs parties when you have small children? 

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