23 April 2009

What's the deal with a date? - Part 2

You might be thinking, "omg - wtf Miss Bear Cub... a TUESDAY wedding?? are you MAD??"

Well, I'm not mad, but I'm definitely conflicted.

I've let you in on the little secret that Mr. Cubbie and I are full-time astronomers. That's the reason why we're in Chile - we do research funded by the National Science Foundation on objects that can only be studied from the southern hemisphere.

When we were picking our wedding date, we had a choice between mid March and mid September (summer camps are chock-full-o-kids in the summer!). September in Oregon is way more likely to be sunny than March, so that was easy. Within September, we were able to choose our wedding date - we wanted the weekend of the autumnal equinox.

Really quickly, remember our venue? Since we live a hemisphere away from our family and friends, we wanted to spend the entire [long] weekend with them - three full days of fun at a summer camp! For this reason, our wedding is really more of a domestic destination wedding. The idea isn't for people to be able to drive in for the afternoon - it's to spend several days together.

The autumnal equinox, however, lands on a Tuesday (sept 22) this year. Did you know it's a different date every year? It oscillates between September 21, 22, 23, and sometimes 24! Seeing as how our wedding "date" - the equinox - changes every year anyways, we figured it wouldn't be a big deal if this year it was the 21 instead of the "real" equinox on the 22. Some years it'll be on the 21!

September 21 is a Monday. This isn't as bad as a Tuesday, but it's still a Monday - a 3-day weekend ending on Monday. For some reason it seem like people are generally more willing to take a Friday off from work than a Monday, even though the hours lost is the same.

While you're silently gawking at how I'm forcing my 80-so-odd guests to miss work for my Monday nuptials, hear me out a bit. The symbolism of an equinox wedding is, to me, awesome.
  • The "equinox" means equality - the hemispheres of the Earth have equal daylight for that one day. Equality in our marriage is very important. The two halves of this marriage will always be equal.
  • While it's autumnal equinox in Oregon, it will be vernal (spring) equinox in Chile - we're traveling from the vernal equinox to the autumnal equinox! Not only is our wedding day going to have symbolic equality (of spirit), it's also going to have literal equality (of uniting the southern hemisphere with the northern!).
  • We're freaking astronomers! Why wouldn't we include something astronomical in our nuptials??
We were all set to send out our save-the-dates as September 21, when I panicked. What if, out of 150 invited, only 20 show up?? What if everyone hates me for insisting on having a Monday wedding? I couldn't bare the thought of traveling all the way from South America, to be surrounded by a whopping 5% of my friends and family on my wedding day. I tend to take things rather personally, and this lack of support on such an important occasion would devastate me.

I called our site coordinator, and changed our date to September 20 - Sunday. We felt that could be a decent compromise - it's still the weekend, and almost the equinox.

I understand having your wedding on any day that's NOT Saturday is rather controversial. But given the significance of our equinox wedding date, would you really be so upset to go to a domestic destination wedding on a Sunday? Can we still call our wedding an "equinox" wedding even though it's the weekend before the actual equinox? Have you had any positive experiences with non-saturday weddings?


  1. i think you can still call it an equinox wedding if you want. as long as you know that you're having it the week of the equinox and you intend to celebrate your anniversary on the equinox in the future. you're the astronomers so everyone will just go along with what you say!

  2. It's an equinoxish wedding, and hey, that's fun to say! I do think the significance of your date coupled with the compromise on the day of the week is absolutely perfect.