[Wedding rants] Part 3: Tradition
Those of you who know me personally know that I rant. A lot. These rants are usually long-winded and excessive, and I expect that you listen quietly while I yell them at you. I’ve decided to share these with you (this “you” being my blog audience), so that you can “enjoy” them too since wedding planning has brought a whole new batch of frustrations to my life.
Part 3: Meaningless traditions are useless to me.
I have never been one to embrace tradition. Part of this is from my upbringing, and part of it is from my personality. My family’s tradition is to open our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, which is definitely not the norm in U.S. culture. I went to all of my high school proms with my best friend as my date. I did not care that I identified as straight, and my best friend was a girl. I also wore Converse to prom one year (that was the most comfortable outfit I ever wore to prom).
I love tradition that carries meaning to me personally and that also fits into my lifestyle. I reject it when it means nothing to me and/or is inconvenient/expensive/etc. So, when I started wedding planning, I created a list of all the wedding traditions. I then went through the list with B and had him tell me which ones he cared about. Here are just some of the things we decided to pitch.
Gold-foiled invitations: Actually, I love this tradition, and I think they are beautiful. That being said, the $4+/invite deterred me from even considering it. B was not even interested in helping me pick out invites.
Bachelorette party with strippers and alcohol: Why? This does not sound in the least bit fun to me. It never been something I wanted to do. I don’t really like drinking, and I definitely have no interest in watching people take their clothing off. I would rather get ice cream and walk the beach. Also, I’m inviting my mom because I love hanging out with her and my friends love her too.
Saying “yes” to the dress: My family and most of my closest friends live in FL. I live in GA. I hate being pressured to buy things, and I had no interest in what bridal shops could offer me within my price range (under $150). I bought four successive outfits before I figured out exactly what I wanted. I received all but $6 back, and I didn’t stress everyone else out in the process.
A white wedding dress: I look horrible in white. I have extremely pale skin, and white just makes me look paler. I do better in something with some warmer undertones to it like cream, ivory or nude. I also did not want to pay wedding prices for a dress I would wear once. B looked confused when I asked his opinion and said he didn’t care what I wore. I’ve settled on a skirt and shirt combo that are wedding-ish but don’t make me look like a Barbie cake. Plus, they cost me under $100 and can be worn separately afterwards and not look like bridal attire.
Real flowers: I LOVE real flowers, but I didn’t want to pay upwards of $400 for a bouquet I would do nothing with afterwards that was grown in poor working conditions. I don’t have the capacity nor the ability to grow large quantities of flowers myself. I made all of the flowers that we are using (bouquets, table decorations, and boutonnieres) from an old book that I bought at Goodwill.
The first dance: B hates to dance. I love to dance salsa, merengue, cumbia, East Coast swing…I’m not a fan of the waltz, and I abhor standing in front of a large group of people and swaying back and forth. Plus, a dance floor was going to cost us at least an extra $500 (the space doesn’t allow for dancing without one), and the majority of our guests are not really into dancing of any kind.
Wedding cake: I am gluten free (not by choice, might I add). Neither of us think cake is the best thing ever. The restaurant we are eating at is serving cannolis, tiramisu and gelato. Why do we need an overpriced cake too? I am trying to find gluten free cannolis though. Cannolis were my favorite dessert before I learned that I couldn’t eat gluten.
The bouquet/garter toss: There will be at most a total of 6 single people of marrying age at our wedding. So, let me single them out to throw things at them that I have to buy specifically to throw…I would rather not. Besides, I have no interest in wearing a garter. They look itchy, and B already said he won’t be disappointed that I don’t wear one.
A jetsetting honeymoon: In the six weeks before the wedding, I have to present at an academic conference in Baltimore, present my M.A. paper, submit final grades for the class I teach, submit my own final papers, move all of my belongings to NC, and then drive all the way to FL and finalize wedding prep. After the wedding, I am going to want to sleep for a very long time. I LOVE international travel, but I enjoy it most when I have the energy and time to explore. I want a restful honeymoon, and staying stateside and visiting a place we know will allow me that much needed rest.
Are you wondering what’s left to our wedding now that we’ve thrown out so many traditions? Well, we are going to have a simple, fairly traditional ceremony (the bridal party is all family and almost all of the guests are family too), and then we are going to eat at a restaurant. Short and sweet.
Bonus: it’s all within our budget too.