Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Geography of the Wedding of Catholicgauze and Catholicgauzette

By now Catholicgauzette and I are settling down and recovering from the massive, epic, and thoroughly enjoyable wedding/honeymoon we had. Instead of giving a run down of the wedding I will describe the elements of our wedding that were highly influence by geography.

Catholicgauzette's Wedding Outfit

A white wedding dress was chosen to be Catholicgauzette's wedding dress. The white today symbolizes purity but in fact the color choice is a product of the first wave of globalization and reestablishment of Anglo-American ties in the Victorian Era. White became the popular color for wedding dresses because of Queen Victoria's choice of white for her wedding which occurred in 1840. Both European countries and the English-speaking New World were allowing room for cultural cross-pollination despite high levels of nationalism. Victoria's style managed to transcend monarchists, republicans, and nationalists. Women did not care one way or the other because Victoria was a British queen, they only cared that she looked good in a white dress. The trend suck and is tradition today around the world.

Meanwhile Catholicgauzette's veil was of the mantilla-style. This design is popular in Spain and Latin America. My wife's experience with working with this area of the world has made her a Hispanophile. The veil is also popular among more traditional Catholics which Catholicgauzette and I both describe ourselves as. Thus the veil was one that instantly appealed to us.

Fancy Church

Fancy, eh?

We were married in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region of western New York. The city of Buffalo is the most ethnic Polish city in the United States with the exception of Chicago. This makes the area very Catholic with many old style, ornate churches. The one we were married in is one of the largest in the region complete with alter, paintings, and stained glass. The sheer amount of wealth that was invested in the church reflects the booming economy that was once in Buffalo, New York. Great Lakes-St. Lawrence-Atlantic Ocean shipping, steel manufacturing, grain storage and more made Buffalo a rapidly growing economic power house in the latter half of the 1800s and into the early 1900s. However, the Rust Belt-effect along with shipping changes, government mismanagement, and various other factors has greatly harmed the economy in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Today the massive churches serve as monuments to a past golden age for the region.

The Service

Catholicgauzette and I are neo-traditionalists. We have no problem with a "modern", English-language service though we do prefer a respectful service with Latin prayers. The combination of old and new reflect our own culture with what we feel emphasizes the respectful awesomeness that is required when worshiping God. We are part of the newer generation of Catholics in the United States (of non-Hispanic background: Hispano youth is generally less "smells and bells" than English-speaking Catholic youth in the United States) who seek stability and faithfulness in the old ways while keeping the reforms that help relate Catholicism to the contemporary world.


People from the Buffalo-Niagara region love to brag about their food. Polish and German influences combine with urban, working class resourcefulness to create a melody of great taste in Buffalonian cuisine. We had kielbasa sausage (Polish), beef on weck sandwiches (German-influenced American), and Buffalo wings (American). The beef on weck and Buffalo wings are pure Americana. A German immigrant who owned a pub added salt on a kaiser roll roast beef sandwich in hope that patrons would buy and drink more beer and thus made the beef on weck sandwich. Buffalo wings were invented in Buffalo, New York by a bar owner who wanted to have a cheap to make yet profitable appetizer. The incredibly cheap chicken wing was discovered to taste delicious when cooked in a spicy sauce mix. Today Buffalo wings can be found all over the world (sadly for food fans the beef on weck sandwich is still limited to the greater Buffalo area).

International Travel

Now this is where the wedding got exciting. Our photographer-friend and his sister are proud citizens of Mexico. They traveled all the way from Mexico City to celebrate with us and take photographs of our special day. In between the wedding and reception we traveled to a nature park for a photo shot. The photographer-friend placed his bag on the ground to help us to the car. Sadly while he was helping us someone stole his bag with the cameras, photographs, and his and his sister's passports (Yeah). After the reception the Mexicans, Catholicgauzette, and I did a vast array of actions including contacting the police and family members. The nearest consulate for Mexicans was less than forty miles away; however, it was in Canada. The nearest consulate in the United States was in New York City. The Mexicans also used family connections to find out they have distant relatives who legally live in New York City for six months and spend the other six months living it up in northern Mexico. So because of consulate locations, globalization of migration, and the tightness of families in Hispano culture both Catholicgauzette and I were able to drop off our Mexican friends safely in New York where they could get new passports.

International travel, food, wedding dress, church, and service were all influenced by geography. In the end of the day I married the love of my life and began our life together.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this and my very best to you both.

Pfly said...

Congratulations on the wedding and all! I'm from Buffalo and reading this post I chuckled as I always do when seeing the term "Buffalo wings". I never heard that term until I moved away from Buffalo. Naturally, in Buffalo they are just called "wings". Plus, the term "buffalo wings" gives me visions of angelic bison.

Catholicgauze said...

Very true. While Catholicgauzette is from the area I am not so they shall be as they always have been to me: Buffalo wing