In this first episode of the Un-Wedding Podcast, we explore what an “Un-Wedding” is and how it’s possible to change your wedding from something that fills you with stress and dread into something that excites you and is focused on the stuff in your lives that really matters.

We’ll talk about why traditional weddings don’t work for everyone anymore, in addition to ways you can create something that is built to suit your wants and needs, without going broke.

Learn more about us and our movement: https://unweddingmovement.com

Transcript

Corina Waldie

0:11

Welcome to the Un-Wedding Podcast. I'm Corina

Sydney Spidell

0:14

and I'm Sydney.

Corina Waldie

0:15

We're two neurodiverse wedding planners who are committed to empowering newlyweds to throw out the wedding rulebook, shrink their guest lists and create a meaningful, purposeful wedding experience. We're taking the wedding industry by storm and disrupting the status quo. We're the Un-Wedding Planners, and we invite you to join our movement.

Sydney Spidell

0:33

We record our podcast from Treaty Six territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse indigenous peoples, including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others, whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Sydney Spidell

0:47

In our very first episode, we'll talk about the Un-Wedding Movement. We'll tell you what it is, back that up with a bit of evidence about why it exists and wrap up with explaining how we make un-weddings happen. So let's get into it. Un-Weddings are about the couple, not the norms.

Corina Waldie

1:15

Honestly, I think when we look at the traditional wedding industry, we like to think that it is about the couple we'd like to think it's about celebrating their marriage. But the truth is, is it really is not. And I think we see that so much in the fact that there's a huge focus that happens around the family and what family wants, and all of the drama that tends to come up in relation to a wedding.

Sydney Spidell

1:37

Yeah, plus, we have this image in our minds from, you know, all of the movies, all of the magazines, all of the stories, telling you - right from a young age if you're a little girl - that this is something that you are working your way towards. You're going to have this big white wedding. It's going to be something beautiful, people are going to be jealous, you're going to get gifts, you're going to look like a princess. Who doesn't want to feel like a princess for a day, you know? And so we have all these expectations of what weddings are, and why they are and all of these things. And there's so little personality within it. And that's where we get all these people who resent weddings and feel as though, you know, that's never something that would make sense for them as a couple. It's not the right decision. And yeah, I mean, we get so locked into the norms. Where do the people go?

Corina Waldie

2:32

Yeah, and I think there's this attitude around personalization, where it's like, well, you get to pick your colours, or you get to pick the time of year or the style of dress. But let's be honest, yeah, sure, they help you express your personality. But weddings at their core are all about following a rigid list of things and traditions. It's about your dad walking you down the aisle. It’s about wearing the white wedding dress. It's about all these other tropes that exist out there - like the clueless groom and the crazy mother-in-law - and all of these things that are really, at their core, so, so toxic, and not at all about really what the focus should be - the couple.

Sydney Spidell

3:11

Yeah, so this un-wedding idea is something that seeks to rewrite these ideas that exist within the wedding industry. Especially because it is so pushed on us by the industry itself. Being part of the industry, we can say that. We have to say it. You know, couples coming in for our wedding services generally aren't repeat customers. You're not coming back and back to this business because you like it; you’re going to be spreading on the word to friends that you had a great experience. And that's wonderful. Or you're a big company who has the money to put it into that marketing and advertising. And it doesn't matter the experience that any other couples have with your brand because there's a whole new crop of customers coming up. And all you need to do is make that sale rather than, you know, make your product or your service or whatever it is stand out in the crowd.

Corina Waldie

4:10

Yeah, and I think also too like I said, we-- I guess there's always this idea within the realm of business of, “Make it as easy as possible. Make it as repeatable as possible”. And we see so many different vendors, and I'm not going to point fingers, but so many different vendors that sort of just follow this. Here’s package a, here's package B, here's package C. And it does not give couples the tools to really personalize. It’s why, you know - especially when you're on the what I like to call “wedding circuit” of your late 20s and 30s as all of your friends and family start to get married - you kind of fall into this... The wedding itself doesn't change a whole lot. It's just the couple that are getting married. It's similar people. It's similar styles. It's similar feel, similar experience.

Sydney Spidell

4:55

or my friends in September of:

Corina Waldie

6:31

Yeah, 100%. And, you know, I'm also kind of coming at this as a 10 year veteran of marriage. And like, you know, I remember my wedding, and it was super, super traditional. And it was a, you know, like 150 people. And I was told I had to have all these things and the societal pressure that came with that. And this was also 10 years ago, before Instagram, before Pinterest, before all these tools and resources that have allowed us to share ideas in a very powerful way. And now when I look back, and I think about that wedding, and I'm like, “I did my best to add my touches of personality. Like I did some cool things.” We did the horse and carriage ride after our ceremony, which was super cool. And we brought in kind of our own unique flair to the decor in the sense of... I'm a huge history buff, so we had kind of a very “Victorian style at Christmas time” flair to our wedding. But it was really typical. There really wasn't anything super, super interesting about it.

Sydney Spidell

7:30

It gave you the illusion of personalization, the illusion of being something that was for you. And yet, all the other stuff that went along with it just ended up taking away from that joy that you could have experienced.

Corina Waldie

7:40

100%. And I can honestly tell you the stress that I experienced creating that and trying to navigate all of the wants and desires of my family - especially my mother - was part of what made it one of the most stressful experiences. I was so waiting for the day to be done because of that dynamic that existed for the entire two years I planned my wedding. And that's something too that I think a lot of people seem to forget. We all experience that when we're planning our wedding in usually in one way or the other; that drama, that stress, that pressure. But it does real harm. It does real harm to relationships. And it's something that I don't think we're talking enough about,

Sydney Spidell

8:22

And what a strange concept: to be working towards the thing that you're told is going to be so monumental so important in your life. And it is causing that harm. How do you reconcile those two things of this being something that just interferes with your life until you get to this one day? And when you do get to this one day, you're wanting it to be over? Why are you wanting your wedding day to be over before you've even gotten to it? That's not something wrong with the people. That's something wrong with weddings.

Corina Waldie

8:22

I became a wedding planner in:

Sydney Spidell

9:45

And it's that whole concept to have. If you're not saying something, if you're not actively speaking out against issues, but you benefit from those structures that have issues within them, then that's a form of being complicit. So it's not about necessarily saying that other vendors in this industry are the problem. But it's saying that unless we are out here talking, having these conversations -- unless we are addressing the fact that there are major issues with racism, classism, ableism, and maintaining societal structures as they stand to keep people in power, the wedding industrial complex, the fact that this all ties in with just how governments run -- we lose so much within that. I've totally lost my train of thought. That's one of the things I lost within the wedding industrial complex, is my train of thought.

Corina Waldie

10:49

affair that costs hundreds of:

Sydney Spidell

12:27

Yeah, yeah. I mean, what is it worth? And what are the parts that are worth something to you? The mouse on the table there… We're learning how to use computers. Yeah, this whole disrupting the industry, coming in and having transparent business practices, our approach to this. We’re building it right into the framework of our business, saying that we are not accountable exclusively to the bottom dollar. Yes, it would be nice to maybe be able to afford to pay our bills. That would be cool. But regardless of what we do, we aren't accountable only to shareholders within our business; we are accountable to stakeholders. And that includes not only the couples that come to us and look to build this moment of their dreams, but it also includes the land that we inhabit and the resources that we use. It includes the businesses that we choose to work with and align ourselves with. It includes the people that might be attending this wedding, or might even just be walking past the wedding. It makes sense that we are thinking about everybody who might be impacted, everybody and everything that might be impacted by this event that we are doing. And it is built into the precedent of this industry that you're only acknowledging certain impacts. So yeah, breaking this cycle, trying to disrupt this industry that causes a lot of harm. But at the same time, it's about something so beautiful and so harmonious. It's something that brings human beings together, you know. There's room for that. So creating these un-weddings is is about acknowledging that harm. It's about being transparent in our business practices. And it's about making space for people who feel like they've been traditionally excluded.

Corina Waldie

14:23

ty. And I think, you know, in:

Sydney Spidell

15:15

Good old performative allyship. What a surprise to see that from a consumerist industry, right. You know, it's, “how can we make our solutions to issues first of all, not quite solutions, but bypasses? And how can we make them as palatable as possible to the people that are resistant to change and to the people that are asking for it?” Now specifically, it's going to be about the resistant-to-change people and just to appease enough of the people that are asking for it. And the voices that are going to be appeased are the voices who have less of a stake in that change, too, right? So make it seem as though you're being representational. Make it seem as though you're being inclusive. Give people a little here and here and like, “look, we are building towards this.” Where does that get us? Where does it get us, really? And there's this concept of like, “Okay, if I'm going to put something in a magazine, it's got to be a pretty wedding. We're putting all this effort into it.” And then we get to this really horrible - oh, gosh, I feel like a jerk just thinking about this right now and saying this - this idea of “now the people have to be a certain level of pretty,” too. But um, hello, whose standards are we going by here? Whose understanding of what beautiful people are? Are we looking at-- These are beautiful people. They are here. They're sharing with other beautiful people a beautiful thing. That's it; that's the bottom line. So if you're putting the effort into making something a wonderful event, it deserves to be shown to other people who feel like, “maybe I deserve that wonderful event too. But how is it possible for me? Because I don't look in wedding magazines and see ramps leading up to the altar so that it's accessible for everybody. I don't see Braille in programs. I don't see a service giving people with audio issues an option to read if it's live-streamed; closed captioning, you know, and follow along that way. Even just selecting locations with paved pathways and walkways can be a huge difference. Creating stores that have clothes and sizes that fit human bodies!

Corina Waldie

17:36

I'm a plus-size person, and it is so frustrating, and this is not a new story, for how many plus-size people who choose to wear a wedding dress for their event going into a store and it all being size zero to size 12 and then feeling incredibly excluded within that experience. And you know, this is something that, I know for me buying my wedding dress, that was supposed to be fun, and it very quickly was not because I was told...

Sydney Spidell

18:06

That buying a bathing suit experience where you know that you have to do it, but you're gonna hate yourself at the end of it.

Corina Waldie

18:11

Well, and I know for me it was also very much about this idea of like, you know, “I'm not enough, my body is not enough,” or, “I don't fit into this space, that this space is not something that is designed for me.”

Sydney Spidell

18:25

“A wedding isn't for me, maybe. Maybe I don't deserve my wedding because there's nothing about this wedding industry that says ‘hello, you belong here.’” Ah, yeah. How nasty.

Corina Waldie

18:36

It is. It's a very-- when we really break it down, and you really think about it. Our industry has a long way to go to even begin to remotely approach progress other industries have made towards inclusivity and towards making everyone feel welcome into this overall larger thing that we like to call the wedding industry.

Sydney Spidell

18:56

And even just with garments specifically, too. There are-- We're coming out of this-- You know, remember the show What Not To Wear?

Corina Waldie

19:06

Oh yes.

Sydney Spidell

19:07

Honestly, I believe Stacy London is probably a lovely person. I love the shock of gray in her hair. It's great. I love fashion. It's something I enjoy. I don't necessarily dress like I love fashion all the time. But I do, and I love reading about it, and I love understanding it. I like looking into the history of things. And we have had, for a while, all of these conversations going around. Especially that stemmed out of the 90s when there was this beauty trope of being rail-thin. We have these conceptions of, “okay, if you have a body, here are the parts you need to hide. Here are the parts you need to cover up and take away.” So not only is it hard to find possibilities and sizes and just be able to try on sizes, but finding something that you like, something that you love that's going to make you feel beautiful, that's going to make you feel like it's your style and it represents you. You're then cut to an even smaller, you know, pond to fish in. How many metaphors have I used?

Corina Waldie

20:08

Many, it's how we roll.

Sydney Spidell

20:13

You know, like you're, you're-- Then - again, it's the cyclical thing at that point. Then you're getting somebody in a dress that is the dress that they could make work. You're getting somebody standing up at their wedding feeling, not like the princess they should feel like, or empress, or bridge troll, or whatever you want to feel like, but not feeling the way that they should be allowed to feel. It's their moment. And then that backs up then this idea of, “well, we don't see too many plus-size brides in gowns that we want to share on our platform because we're not seeing the designers that are really trendy. We're not seeing the styles that are really trendy.” Make the styles available for all bodies!

Corina Waldie

20:58

100%. And before anybody is thinking, “well, in those situations, you can just get something custom made.” Well, I hate to break it to you - but don't get me wrong, I know some wonderful dress designers who do make custom garments - but you're talking something that easily starts at five to $6,000 without a whole lot of additional extras. And the reason for this is because of the craftsmanship and the amount of work that goes into creating a dress that isn't mass-produced. Yeah. And so you know, to turn around and say, “well, you can just get custom,” well, I'm sorry. Fuck you. Because frankly, we should all have access to the things that are going to make us feel good. And it should be widely enough available that I don't have to go out of my way to have something custom-crafted for me just because my body does not fit into the ideal.

Sydney Spidell

21:52

Yeah, I mean, folks who use mobility devices too, right? Any adaptive devices, the same thing is that you have to get things custom made to fit around something that allows you to operate in this life. You know, talk about exclusion. Talk about making things seem like only certain people are deserving of it. But um, just to clear things up, you and I believe that everybody deserves love.

Corina Waldie

22:19

100%

Sydney Spidell

22:20

Everybody and every body.

Corina Waldie

22:23

And love in a way that makes more sense. That isn't necessarily cishet. That isn't necessarily just you and one other person. I'm talking about everybody. I'm talking about, you know, the aromantic people. I'm talking about people who are in a relationship with more than one person. And unfortunately, our wedding industry tends to be, you know, because of the law and because of government, we tend to focus specifically on a very narrow window of two people. But it can be so much more, and we can create both legal and commitment ceremonies that are beautiful and are still representative of the couple. If we just think beyond what is the norm.

Sydney Spidell

23:04

Yeah, cuz let's talk like what is it about a wedding? You know, what is the thing that makes it special? Is it the dress? No, is it the signing of the legal document? I mean, for some people, sure, great, cool. Go to City Hall. It's not. What it is, is getting excited to share a day where the entire purpose of that day -- the entire purpose of any gathering that you have, be it just a single person to officiate, or bunches and bunches and bunches of people that you've barely even smelled before just to come join in on this joy with you, whatever that looks like -- this is a thing about people to more people saying, “Hi, you, I have decided that your existence, who you are, your entire being your entire person is important to me, is something that I am going to prioritize and cherish.” It’s saying that “I would like to navigate these next steps of my life, and I would like you to be my teammate in that. I would like to show everybody that means a lot to us that you are my number one selection, putting you right here. And you and I are going to go through this together.” And it's not necessarily, like in that moment-- We're not in love with weddings because we're like, “they will never be apart..they will die in the same bed like in The Notebook.”

Corina Waldie

23:33

At 97 years old.

Sydney Spidell

24:40

Yeah. I mean, like maybe that's some people's considerations. But again, maybe you need to watch less Nicholas Sparks movies. Like, that's not what it is. It's that intention. And it's making that choice to exist through this life with another human. So what does that mean to you? What does that mean to me who, I mean-- And this is crazy too, just the fact that you and I are doing this and in this business right now. Because I don't think I ever, as much as I've always loved weddings, I don't think I ever saw myself committing to the industry. Because I don't tend to often see myself committing

Corina Waldie

25:25

Commitment issues.

Sydney Spidell

25:27

Yeah. So you are this like person who entered into her marriage in a state of life where you were still not necessarily the healthiest you that you could be, where your hubby wasn't necessarily the healthiest he that he could be. But you're, again, choosing each other every single day, you're continuing that relationship, you're continuing that love, and you're building and growing into better, more whole people together. And I am like, I've had like one kind of monogamous thing. I don’t necessarily suit this. And yet, the thing that we share is that appreciation for genuine, authentic human connection. Whether it's romantic, or whether it's even just what you and I have. We're very much in love.

Corina Waldie

26:19

Jon, it's okay. Don’t worry about it...

Sydney Spidell

26:21

Being able to align mentally on your values and build something together. You know, we're making a commitment to each other on a live podcast. It's not live. But we're making this commitment to each other as well, just in the building of this business. And it is something that deserves celebration for something beyond just the potential for dollars down the road. It deserves appreciation because we are two people who are doing something in the world.

Corina Waldie

26:52

And I think that's sort of the thing that we tend to ultimately forget about weddings and about the commitment that two people are making. And I think it's so important that a wedding does not destroy those connections. Because, unfortunately - I've seen it before, and I'm sure I'm gonna see it again - we see relationships break down. Whether that's between the couple because they literally stopped talking about anything but the wedding, and they get all stressed about everything. Then all of a sudden, they're breaking up when you know they had been very much in love and intending to make this commitment to each other mere months before. To other familiar, family-type relationships, or relationships with friends. Like how often do we hear about bridesmaids quitting? Or we hear about, well, those other lovely tropes, like the mother-in-law, and we have the mom and the dad and all of these different things.

Sydney Spidell

27:46

Have you ever seen a fight at a wedding?

Corina Waldie

27:50

Yes.

Sydney Spidell

27:51

They happen!

Corina Waldie

27:52

They do.

Sydney Spidell

27:53

The fact that they happen… there’s something that’s not right.

Corina Waldie

27:57

Yes. And honestly, being a bouncer is not something in my qualifications. Even though that day I kind of was. But you know, it's very much.

Sydney Spidell

28:09

Yeah, if I have to bounce people, that's a separate fee entirely.

Corina Waldie

28:12

Exactly. Or, you know, if you really think that that's the thing, we should be having private security at your wedding. And weddings really shouldn't be about that. The fact that I even have to say that, because of the drama that can come up. Yeah, I think is...

Sydney Spidell

28:24

The fact that there's a potential for security at weddings...

Corina Waldie

28:27

Is completely crazy...

Sydney Spidell

28:29

And it’s not just feuding Italian mob families. No. You know what, the fight I saw-- or it didn't even turn into it, we managed to stop it from getting there-- but it was between a bridesmaid's boyfriend and the DJ. And it was over packing up times. And also people were drunk and whatever. And with things properly negotiated with this DJ, not having been hired because a friend said you should hire my friend and not wanting to feel bad about it; with contracts that are in place, specifying things; with having the advice of a wedding professional to guide you through to make sure that contracts are signed, and in place to protect both parties, that's the drama that happens. And you know, like honestly, that one, I gotta say, my friends did not need the stress of knowing that there was-- they didn't even have to interact with it-- but knowing that that was there. You're literally starting somebody’s relationship off with that. Yeah, no, not very considerate.

Corina Waldie

29:42

And I think that's honestly one of the most powerful things about working with a wedding planner throughout the entirety of planning a wedding. And I understand that wedding planners aren't necessarily affordable to everyone. That's why we do have resources - that are presently in the works, not presently available, but will be hopefully down the road - that can offer those resources to couples who can't necessarily afford to hire a wedding planner to do the whole shebang, backwards and forwards. However, if you can afford it, it is something that is going to make your planning process so much better. Because I tell my couples all the time, especially if there's drama of any kind, or you know, especially a parent who is insisting on something, that they can blame it on me. I'm perfectly cool being the scapegoat. Yeah. If you really want something, and when you and I have agreed on something, and your mother-in-law is stepping in saying, “well, that's not how weddings are done,” just blame it on me. It was my idea, even if it was yours.

Sydney Spidell

30:44

“My coordinator said this, and the contract is very exact.” Honestly, though. We look at these relationships that we're building in the way that we do this. Because we think that un-weddings, the reason we're having them, is that, like we said in the beginning, it's about the couple. It's not about the norms. It's about that moment. That shared experience. That commitment. So the healthy way to look at this is that the relationships involved in this should be able to be healthy. You know, your wedding coordinator is there along this whole process to help you navigate the drama. Not just so that you don't have to put the work in, but so that when your wedding day finally approaches, you're not resenting the person that you're going to go say these things to; you actually mean the promises that you're making. And you have the support from this industry professional who's reminding you that, “okay, you know what? You guys are getting way too caught up in the details right here; go on a date.”

Corina Waldie

31:48

100%. I actually do try and challenge my couples to go on date nights, at least once a month, with the rule that they're not allowed to talk about the wedding. No wedding chat. Because it's really easy, when there's so many elements in so many things and so much amount of money involved, that you focus only on that and nothing else. And that, unfortunately, is a surefire way to walk into your marriage, not really knowing the person you're married to.

Sydney Spidell

32:14

And should an engagement - the time that you spend with someone before you are their spouse- should an engagement be about an event? A day? That's not what the rest of your marriage is going to be about. That's not what your whole getting to know each other dating experience was about. So why are you spending between a few months to a few years, focusing all of your collective resources and brainpower and support and whatever, on this one thing? Rather than-- Especially if you do have a longer planning process, your ideas can change along that time, too. As your relationship grows and develops, as you understand what things are important to you. And as you have more conversations. Oh my gosh, please have conversations with your partners.

Corina Waldie

33:01

Yes. And, and I am going to say it whether or not your officiant requires it. Getting some premarital counselling is so so so important. It doesn't have to be with a religious professional. Plenty of couples therapists out there offer a similar service. But by taking that time to actually talk through things, you'd be surprised what you haven't thought to talk about.

Sydney Spidell

33:22

Yeah, and-- What you haven't thought about, too, and then also just, you know-- You're making this big adult step, you're spending all this big adult money. Don't do it empted... Empty. Empty-handedly, empty-mindedly. Don't be empty, okay, folks? You're going to do this adult thing. Be a freakin’ adult about it. Learn how to navigate adult relationships. Yeah, the therapist is there, not just to make sure, “okay, I approve. You guys are compatible. Go get hitched.” The therapist is there to say, “you guys have these communication barriers between you. Let's work on some tools and tactics that are going to allow this-- to allow you to navigate those issues.” You're building a toolbox for the future the same way that registering for wedding gifts is helping you build your toolbox for your future. Yes, get the tools. They're out there.

Corina Waldie

34:15

Yeah, 100%. And kind of on the same lines, I guess it's just-- The important point to remember is that the wedding is just one day and what you're doing is you're committing to a relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime with another person. And that needs to be the ultimate focus of preparing for marriage. This engagement period really needs to make sure that you're understanding the gravity of the commitment that you are making to each other. And that you're making sure that you have those tools and resources available to you moving forward.

Sydney Spidell

34:48

It's not about the party. It's about the vows. The Vows are so important. Yeah, you can just do the generic ones if that's what you believe. And that's what you feel like, or if you're just lazy and you don't care. It’s about the intention; you're going to think about it. But frankly, to me, I know if I were doing this, it would be so central to ensure the words that I'm saying are the words that I intend to keep, the words that I mean and have importance to me. How am I supposed to promise somebody, vow somebody something if I haven't done the work to get to know them and myself in that, too? Right? Healthy relationships! Core to this whole thing. But it's not just the couples; it's the relationships with-- like going back to your experience, your whole interaction with your mother and giving that pressure on what was to be expected. -- an un-wedding is about making sure that if you had a planner - if you had you...

Corina Waldie

35:46

Yes, if I had the me of today.

Sydney Spidell

35:47

if you had you, an un-wedding planner there to be like, “Corina, this is why we're doing this. How can I help you navigate this person who you emotionally are so tied to, and so indebted to, in so many ways?” That's such a difficult, difficult thing to navigate. You can't give yourself permission to step away from those things all the time. And sometimes, your partner isn't able to give that permission either, right? To be like, “it's okay. We're doing this for us. You don't have to listen to your mom.” Sometimes that can feel like a betrayal from a partner, too, telling you that you don't have to listen to a person who’s shaped you so very strongly. But the wedding, the un-wedding, it doesn't deserve that. And having a planner, a coordinator, being able to take on that, like that accountability to say, “No, we're doing this for you, and it is for you, and you are good, and you are deserving, and you are worthy.” Regardless of if someone in your life feels put out because it's suddenly not about them.

Corina Waldie

36:57

100%. And the other thing, too, like, I guess the other the bigger question, then, you know, as talking about all of these things, is-- How does one get from the traditional and get to these ideas of, “okay, great. I agree with all of you. How do I have an un-wedding? How do I rethink this entire process?” And -- I know for me, as part of my own journey in this career, and understanding different strategies and ways that we can approach this process -- one of the most pivotal things that I learned - and it was really only within the last year - is this idea of purpose. Because I'm sure if I asked the question to you, just kind of out of the blue, “why are you having a wedding?”, you're going to tell me, “it’s to get married.” Right? And the truth is, getting married is simply the function of the event. It's so important at the very beginning to figure out why you're having a wedding in the first place. Is it to celebrate your family? Is it to honour traditions? Is it to celebrate your relationship? Or the commitment you're making to each other? Do you want to have a bangin’-ass party and just go all out because you can? Whatever that looks like for you, it's such a personal thing that really needs to be determined from couple to couple to couple. But once you have that purpose figured out, it's going to make the entire planning process so much more intentional. Yeah, because you know what your target is, you know what your goal is. You know - and I think anybody that has project management experience or has done any event planning on their own knows - that when you have a goal, I mean, you have a target, it makes everything so much better. And it makes the process so much more intentional and defined.

Sydney Spidell

38:39

And when you are interacting with those naysayers or those parties that are making things a little bit more difficult, you then have the paper trail; you have the written proof, I guess, that this is an unnecessary step. And this is a necessary step. This is the direction that we're going, and this is why we're not going that way. And it takes out so many potentials for it to become a personal disagreement. Versus, “I totally hear what you're saying, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your wants with me. And I'd love to, if that's something that's important to you, celebrate with you in that way for something that you're doing. For me, or the thing that I'm celebrating is this, and this is how we're framing it.” If you and Jon were to get married today, the people that you are today, without the same pressures, what would your purpose be?

Corina Waldie

39:34

Our purpose, honestly, for me, would be about creating an experience that's super intentional. I can tell you my wedding would be maybe 40 people. And it would be honestly something that was really different and really unique and celebrated us and celebrated our relationship where the focus was truly 100% on the love that we have for each other and the love that has grown over for a decade of marriage.

Sydney Spidell

40:01

But not marriage, because in this scenario, well, yes, you're living in sin. Okay, so yeah, so for you, the purpose of marriage for you guys right now would be a celebration of love.

Corina Waldie

40:15

100%.

Sydney Spidell

40:16

That's wonderful, right?

Corina Waldie

40:17

Because I think that's, you know, when you look at our journey and what we've been through together, that is, honestly, what a wedding would symbolize for us at this day and age in our life, because honestly, that's something that will evolve. Even if you were to have a vow renewal or another commitment ceremony down the line, you might have a different thing. And that is okay.

Sydney Spidell

40:35

A totally different focus. Because, yeah, it might be these promises that you're making to each other, whether it's new vows, or old, or repeating the same things, you know, but they're coming from different people or a different version of who you were. So it's going to mean something different, even if the words are the same.

Corina Waldie

40:56

100% Both of us, especially me, but both of us are entirely different people than the people that we were when we got married to each other. And we have just grown together over the last 10 years. And it's not been a cakewalk. But it's been something that's so worthwhile - to have that relationship to invest in and to continually put first. And that's why, 10 years later, we are so strong or stronger than we were on the day that we got married.

Sydney Spidell

41:26

So, walking me through then, the Un-Weddinging Movement process. We're looking at me now because we've talked enough about you, Corina. Yeah. So I'm getting married? And how does that process work? How are you going to engage with me to get to my purpose?

Corina Waldie

41:43

Well, in terms of purpose, I do have a thing that is a part of my consultation before you even hire me. Because, frankly, as far as I'm concerned, whether or not you hire me, I want you to walk away with a wedding purpose. Yeah, and the language to communicate it as you move forward with another planner or not, or whatever that looks like for you. But also, by having that conversation, I have different questions that we're going to ask, and ultimately we will write a purpose statement at the end of that. And I think we can have a much longer conversation in a future episode about purpose and how to really determine that.

Sydney Spidell

42:24

I think right now, my wedding purpose would be to get insurance for my cat. So somebody with like a really great insurance policy. Really well employed.

Corina Waldie

42:37

Questioning your motives, but you know.

Sydney Spidell

42:39

Hey, but if that's my partner's reasoning, too... They're like, “I have this amazing insurance policy with pet insurance. And the only thing I'm looking for is a beautiful, intelligent woman with a really cute cat who needs to be insured”?

Corina Waldie

42:57

Yeah, you know, what?

Sydney Spidell

42:58

Would I want to plan that for me?

Corina Waldie

43:00

100%

Sydney Spidell

43:01

Yeah, you would write we'd figure it out. There would probably be pictures of my cat everywhere.

Corina Waldie

43:05

Yes, it would be very interesting. As long as we don't do the fur because you know, the fur can be problematic.

Sydney Spidell

43:11

Yeah, yeah, I don't even need his fur. I'm allergic. But hey, he's cute. So that's, that's what matters.

Corina Waldie

43:20

But outside of that purpose establishment, the second conversation that we have is an experience is a conversation around experience design, which, again, I'm not going to get into for the sake of time.

Sydney Spidell

43:30

Yeah, that's going to be a whole other podcast.

Corina Waldie

43:32

But basically, we verbally talk through different ways that we can create an experience that’s super, super intentional and very outside that norm of the typical, you know, getting ready photos, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, that you know, just about every wedding seems to follow universally. Yeah. And then after that, as we move forward into our planning process, we have basically what I like to call the five stages of planning. Starting off with Launch, which is when we're actually, you know, picking our venue and picking our photographer and other key vendors that we really need that you know, your wedding day is probably not going to go forward without.

Sydney Spidell

44:09

And the exciting point of the part of doing that and having that purpose is, not only are you deciding on the experience design aspect, not only is it guiding your interactions with your family and stuff, too, but it's helping align you with the vendors that are being selected. You know, if your values matter, if these things are important to you, then you're going to find vendors that bump up that purpose, not detract from it, right.

Corina Waldie

44:31

Exactly. And by determining that purpose in that experience, because we've established that right out the gate, it helps us develop a budget and helps us find the right vendors. And it helps to really put the foundations in to have that amazing un-wedding experience at the end of the day. And then following that, we then move into a design phase which is actually, you know, the pretty stuff. Because weddings still are pretty. We still want them to be pretty, right? And so determining, you know what your flowers might look like. What your tables might look like. All those sorts of typical wedding things that we see are also all determined based on going back and revisiting that purpose and that experience.

Sydney Spidell

45:09

So it really sounds as though - and I say “it sounds as though.” I know all of this already. Spoiler alert. It really sounds as though experience design takes into consideration the senses. For all your sensory inputs. And not only the couple, not only-- Thinking about vendors, too. Making sure that they have a decent experience. Working in the wedding industry, being wedding professionals, we have that extra bit of sympathy.

Corina Waldie

45:36

One hundred percent. And unfortunately, there are some vendors that have very negative views of planners, and we don't want to do anything that is going to change that.

Sydney Spidell

45:42

Yeah. Or, well, we don't need to do anything to change that because we're not going to work with them.

Corina Waldie

45:49

But my point being, you know, we want to make sure that even as planners that we're following--

Sydney Spidell

45:53

We're not reinforcing bad stereotypes,

Corina Waldie

45:54

And reinforcing bad stereotypes. Cough. Wedding Planner JLo, need I say more, but...

Sydney Spidell

46:01

I do love that movie, though. She's so attractive in it. So yeah, getting all of those-- getting all of the senses in and ensuring that guests, too, are feeling like, “if you're being invited to this, we want you to enjoy it, too.”

Corina Waldie

46:15

“We want you to not only enjoy it, we want you to be excited for it.” I can't imagine, especially when I was a little bit younger and on my wedding circuit of my late 20s and my 30s, I was like, “fuck, I got another wedding to go to. Right, I gotta go buy a dress. I gotta travel.”

Sydney Spidell

46:31

It's so weird. You're stuck on that investment aspect of it. People shouldn't be like going, “I don't want to celebrate your love because it costs too much.” Like, ew.

Corina Waldie

46:41

Oh no, we want people who are actually, you know, we actually want to get your guests excited about that process through very, very intentional things - that I'm not going to talk about right now - ahead of time so that your guests are like, “yeah, I want to get my outfit to go to Sydney’s wedding, and it's gonna be freakin’ fantastic, and I can't wait.” And that is where the intention and experience design comes in to really make that difference.

Sydney Spidell

47:02

That's how you get an un-wedding

Corina Waldie

47:03

Exactly. And then, in terms of the remaining steps of the planning process, which I'll just kind of run through really quick, they make a lot of sense. Step three is Plan, so we actually, you know, take those designs we make them happen. Phase four being Finalize, so that's creating all of our timelines, all of our production schedules, making sure that all the i's are dotted, and the T's are crossed so that...

Sydney Spidell

47:24

The part that literally no couple wants to do. That we get a little bit of joy out of. Some sick pleasure.

Corina Waldie

47:30

Cause we are really weird like that. And then finally our phase five, which is our celebrate phase. So that's the last couple of weeks leading up to your wedding where at that point, we have completely taken over everything; all of your boxes are ticked as best as they can be. And you can just enjoy those last couple of weeks leading up to your wedding, welcoming your family and your friends as they come into town if there's people travelling in. and just really getting to immerse and engage in that wonderful experience that should be your wedding. Rather than the typical - we see stressing and putting centrepieces together the night before or whatever that looks like. We’re really changing your experience, not only on the day of but even in the days leading up to your wedding.

Sydney Spidell

48:12

And the days after.

Corina Waldie

48:13

And the days after, too, because you know you're good to then go off and do whatever you're going to do. Honeymoon, whatever, because we've taken care of everything.

Sydney Spidell

48:20

And you're not dealing with disappointed people that you - because it's been navigated well - you're not dealing with guilt and shame, you're not dealing with the hunger pains because you never got to eat during the day. No, we're gonna we're going to actually make it good, start to finish, and beyond.

Corina Waldie

48:40

Yeah. Well, honestly, I think that was a wonderful conversation. And I hope that, for you, clarifies a little bit about what the Un-Wedding Movement is and who we are, and why it is we do what we do. And so, for the next episode, we are going to be talking about a really, really hot topic that comes about, I think, with just about every single wedding, which is drama. And we're actually going to be digging into why it's time, we think, to do away with the word “bridezilla.” So until then, we're going to ask that you follow us on social media @unweddingmovement and let us know what you think about un-weddings. And we're really excited to engage with all of you and hear about the parts of the wedding industry that make you swoon and which parts of the industry give you the creeps. So until next time, keep it real. I can't,

Sydney Spidell

49:31

I told you.

Corina Waldie

49:35

Okay, it needs work. But until next time, keep it real, and we will talk to you again soon.

Sydney Spidell

49:54

You can find us on the Internet at unwitting movement calm or on Instagram. Tik Tok, Facebook, and Pinterest @unweddingmovement. Our podcast episodes are released weekly and are available wherever you like to stream.