How the start of the Herbert Waite dynasty begins

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I am happy to share that Matt and I are officially Mr. & Mrs – although I will be keeping my last name for all the reasons laid out here ūüôā

We had a beautiful ceremony and evening celebrating with our nearest and dearest along the Ottawa River on July 15th. Family and friends travelled far and near (including from New Zealand, Australia, London, Russia, the US, and West Coast of Canada) to be with us on our special day. In planning our wedding we took care to give our guests a taste of who we are as a couple, and we choose not to conform to typical wedding customs. Let me walk you through some of the highlights.

Walking down the aisle together

In order to symbolise that we were entering into this marriage as equals, Matt and I elected to walk down the aisle together. As a woman, this also empowered me to push back against the patriarchal tradition of the bride being given away. It was super cute. Matt came to get from inside the boathouse (he even knocked on the door….it melted my heart instantly), and we walked down the aisle hand in hand. I now know why most brides go with arm in arm though, my beautiful bouquet was waved all over the place.

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Sharing vows that will make you feel born again

Matt and I wrote our own vows for the ceremony. Have a read of both below and you will catch a glimpse of how we feel about one another and our existence. Interestingly, we didn’t share our vows with one another ahead of the wedding, yet they ended up being so similar…. almost as if we were saying the same thing, just in the opposite way. But then again, if how we feel about each other and this existence is true, than I wouldn’t expect otherwise. Reflecting on this the week after the wedding literally made me break into tears of joy multiple times. It was if I was born again. The content of our vows and the process of making them to one another gave me complete affirmation of our evolving philosophical understanding.

Matt, everything in this infinity literally has an exact match. You are mine – my exact opposite – the ying to my yang, the acid to my alkaline, the disciple to my prophet. Together we form a binary system. We are each other’s one true love. Given this sole truth, I vow to complete you forever.

If there wasn’t you, there would be nobody. With you, I can truly be myself, and having experienced this pure joy, I promise to always have absolute faith in us.

As your best friend and confidant I vow to always try to see what you see, to support and encourage you in all your endeavours, and to question you often in order to push you to your ever evolving potential.

I’ll be with you for eternity РIn sickness and in health, in successes and in failures, in harmony and in chaos. Through it all and from this day forward, I promise to keep learning what it means to be in love with you.

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Robyn, Thank you for choosing me to share your wedding day with, and for gifting me our future together.

You are my muse. You bring me life, love, song, contradiction and completeness – and I am so honoured to be partners in this journey.

I promise to empower you and protect you; to challenge you, learn from you, and teach you; to let you grow as an individual; and grow with you. I promise you a bond that will not break, that will grow stronger and deeper, and that you can rely on, always.

In chaos, you are my constant – and I promise to be your anchor to a reality filled with love, happiness, excitement and adventure. This is why I’m marrying you. We connect like no other.

A bubbly ceremony

Everyone was greeted with a glass of prosecco upon arrival so that they could drink in celebration with us and raise a toast during our first kiss. Rather than have everyone sit during the ceremony, people crowded around and stood to watch (expect of course those that needed to sit). We also didn’t have a traditional wedding party as part of the ceremony. We wanted to keep the focus on us and really couldn’t see the purpose of having more than our witnesses (my beautiful sister and Matt’s bro) up there with us. We kept the ceremony short and sweet and included a cultural blessing from Matt’s mom to honour the diverse cultures our union has, and will continue to bring together.

Food and drink that tell our story

The food and drink we had on offer was carefully thought out in order to tell our story. We elected not to have a sit down dinner and instead turned our wedding into our favourite Street Feast in London. This way our guests were free to socialise the entire evening. Food was passed throughout the course of the entire event, ranging from canapés to street feast bites, a taco stand, dessert bar, and poutinerie. Matt and I met in India so we made sure to have a curry on offer; we currently live in London England so included fish and chips; Matt is from New Zealand (NZ) so we naturally served up NZ lamb chops; and all Canadians will advise poutine after a night out of drinking so that was definitely on offer as a late night snack. For drink, we went with wines from vineyards we visited while in NZ last year, and his and her local Ontario craft beer (we of course also had bubbly and a selection of cocktails on offer).

Entertainment that tells our story

For music, we had the DJ mix our London Town Spotify playlist, which we have been cultivating for three years now. We wanted everything about the day to reflect us and our journey together, so when the DJ went down an MJ or Pink path a few times in an attempt to get people dancing, we quickly reigned that in.

Our first dance was epic. We danced and sang along like know one was watching to “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. If you know the song you might think “but really…isn’t that a little raunchy and less than PG”?? Yup…but we didn’t care. As a song it speaks to us, which we thought was the point of a first dance. A lot of people thought we might have choreographed our dance – we didn’t – we just dance like that together at home all the time so it comes naturally now.

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For speeches, we had two of our great (and dramatic) friends MC, and people came up to give what we called “quick fire” speeches. We didn’t want anyone going on for too long and made sure guests knew that they didn’t have to stop what they were doing in order to listen. The venue’s stairs ended up offering a great platform for speeches and it was cool how guests casually sat on the steps to watch and listen. Just in case anyone got bored during the day we also had life size Jenga and bean bag toss for garden games.

It’s the people that count

Matt and I had an amazing day. Although a lot of thought went into making sure our day was a reflection of us, it was all done with the intention of sharing a piece of ourselves with our guests. We weren’t in the least bit stressed leading up to the big day (seriously I got “you are the most chilled bride ever” on more than one occasion). Ultimately, we knew that all that really mattered was the people that would be there to celebrate with us. We wanted an intimate wedding so we only had about 80 of our nearest and dearest in attendance. These were the people that really made our day. We love you all dearly and are so grateful to have you in our lives! Robyn&Matt-447.jpg

Credits

Photographer: Agatha Rowland

Catering: Thyme & Again

Makeup: Done by Amber from Liana LaCroix Beauty

Florist: Harmony Florals

Officiant: Paul Racine, Doulous Ministries (and my past football coach)

Venue: Ottawa Rowing Club

~ Robyn Waite (September 8, 2017)

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To Brave the Bare or Rock a Bush?

pubic hair

DISCLAIMER: If you know me personally, but don’t want to know me that personally, do not read this!

For those of you reading on – you might know that I am not shy. In fact, I love a good dive into a topic that some of society might see as taboo. Today I want to talk about women’s private parts – more specifically, the act of¬†trimming and pruning our lady gardens.

I was literally going to head to the salon today to get some “hollywood” treatment (pun intended), but then I read this article and got thinking. Why do I wax down nether, and, should I?

The article grabs your attention quickly, asking “how do you tell a gold medal winning cyclists she needs to stop getting bikini waxes”? Throughout the read you learn that leaving nature in it’s place and having a¬†good old bush actually helps prevent saddle sores. How you might ask?

  1. removing hair (i.e. shaving or waxing) typically damages the skin, making the area prone to further irritation and more at risk of infection
  2. believe it or not a thick bustle of hair adds a layer of protection between your precious parts and the cycle saddle, and
  3. hair helps with the wicking away and evaporation of sweat.

Given the above, and imagining the intense, sweaty, non-stop training lifestyle of a competitive female cyclist, it becomes pretty evident how hair removal might just cause more trouble than pleasure. But what about for all us moderately active or straight up couch potato women of the world?

Athlete or not, boxes get hot and sweaty! The groin area is packed with both apocrine and eccrine sweat glands. This means that we can get sweaty down there for pretty well any reason. I’m sweating my cooch off just writing this blog ūüė≥ ! Now, remember we said hair removal practices typically cause damage to the skin, increasing risk of infection? Well this includes STIs like herpes, warts, or HIV.¬†Where nasty little viruses and bacteria have easy access to the body through skin lesions (these may be microscopic btw), risk of infection is always elevated. The list of potential health concerns associated with shaving and waxing go on. To me, this, + the pain of the process of getting a wax, provides sound reason for leaving my bush in place. So why do we young women go for the bare look anyways? We sure as hell aren’t doing it for ourselves (ok maybe a few of ¬†you ¬†truly are).

Thank you society! Yet another unhealthy way in which you have interfered with the perceptions of women and beauty. I can’t even begin to imagine what persuaded Playboy to move from bush to bare, but it sure has¬†created¬†a generation of young men that see the “bare” vagina as the “norm”. To be honest, I just don’t get what the “positives” association with this imagery of the ideal vagina are. Personally, the bare freaks me out. The image it generates in my mind, is youth, and I’m not so sure I can (or should) hold on to that title for ever (especially in the bedroom). Pubic hair is a natural part of womanhood. Heck it’s almost as if our bodies knew¬†a bundle of hair down south would come in handy ūüėČ … and I’m sure it even tickles his pecker a little, adding to his pleasurable sensations, so really society, what is the big problem with hair down there?

This¬†“modern” phenomena of hair removal definitely presents me with a dilemma. I write this blog, and have these questions, yet I am not sure if I¬†will abandon the wax or not. Maybe I need some flower power support in my mission towards rocking a tamed bush. Any other young ladies with me?

-Robyn Waite (August 16, 2016)

Why I won’t be taking his Last Name

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/robynmatt-proposal

My fianc√© Matt is my best friend, lover ūüėČ, main squeeze, partner in life (and crime), and soon to be husband. Knowing that our wedding day is not far off,¬†Matt and I have been having recurring discussions about me taking his last name. He knows where I stand – it’s not happening. Now, I know that Matt is okay with my decision to¬†not take his name (after-all, my independence and unwavering commitment to my beliefs, is one of the reasons he loves me). Regardless,¬†as ever, he enjoys¬†trying to get a rise out of me, and has recently been protesting my decision.

Let me make it loud and clear – this is why I won’t be taking his last name:

  1. I feel attached to “Waite” – names are one of THE pillars of¬†identity. If I changed my last name, I would feel stripped of the identity I have owned and nurtured since birth. To me, it’s not just a last name – it is who I currently am – and isn’t that who Matt wishes to marry?
  2. I have a legacy to uphold – sure, sure, I am young with many years ahead of me. But seriously, I am proud of the years and family behind me. Regardless of size or clout, I have a legacy of 26+ years under the name of Robyn Waite. If I change my last name, what happens to those years? How do I remain indefinitely linked to them? Matt and I did a road trip across New Zealand this past February. We visited the graveyard where his grandparents are buried. Walking through the rows of tombstones trying to locate his family, we realized that women had no maiden names engraved on their¬†headstones. Who were they before marriage? Sure, we live in an age of great technological advances – but I am not confident that the legacy of “Robyn Waite” would follow me if I became “Robyn Herbert” – and I am not willing to risk being separated from my heritage.
  3. I am not to be possessed¬†– there is something about the history and practice of a women taking a man’s last name that doesn’t bode well with me. Why should I even have to question changing my last name when society puts no such pressures on Matt? Why does coming together in marriage mean that we women, typically and traditionally, take on the man’s family name? I will not enter into a life long partnership with the man that I love feeling subordinate. We are equals.
  4. When has doing something simply out of convenience ever been a good idea? – the main (and best) argument I have heard for taking Matt’s¬†last name despite my ¬†personal hesitations, is that it¬†would be¬†convenient. If we were both “Herbert” it would be clear what family name our children would have; our future children wouldn’t have to question why mommy has a different last name; in social settings everyone will assume I’m Herbert anyways, etc. Well, I am happy for my children to take Matt’s¬†last name, and I don’t really mind if people call me Mrs. Herbert out of assumption. But I will not make a decision to take his¬†last name simply because it is convenient. Besides, the endless paperwork associated with changing my last name seems more like an inconvenience.

I recently told Matt that I would take his last name if it really meant that much to him. I regret making that statement, for if I did take his name, it would be out of pity and against my ethos. Thankfully, Matt would never want me to do such a thing (although I suspect this will be a topic used to push my buttons for years to come). Luckily for you babe, I shall remain, forever and always, the bewildering and savvy, Robyn Waite.

Robyn Waite (July 17, 2016)