meFamily members are weird about weddings.
If we included every “tradition” our loved ones say we must include, the wedding would last days and involve all manner of the weird shit they sell at bridal conventions. But people take it super personally when they find out you’re not doing certain things. Because they did those things at their weddings (probably to appease their loved ones or a pushy bridal convention salesperson) and if you don’t do them, you’re breaking the rules they secretly wished they’d broken. Instead of admitting this, however, they will say things like, “It’s the most important day of your life, how could you NOT light a unity candle?”
And mothers are the weirdest of all about weddings. Long ago, their plans for their weddings were usurped by their mothers and mothers-in-law, so their children’s weddings become the chance to plan the wedding they never had. It’s a cycle. But that cycle ends with me because I am stubborn as fuck.
So here is a list of traditions we are skipping:
1. Symbolic candles, ropes and sand at our wedding: In other words, “Unity Candles,” whatever it’s called when you pour colored sand together into a jar, and that God’s Knot thing (which I call the God Snot because I’m going to hell). If you don’t know, the God’s Knot involves paying $35 to some evil genius on Etsy to purchase three ropes of three different colors (one for the bride, one for the groom and one for God, duh), having someone read a poem about them at the ceremony, and braiding the ropes together to symbolize your union. Seriously, though if another person tells me about how “lovely” it would be if we did the God’s Knot, I’m going to choke someone with the fucking God’s Knot, which, btw, looks like bondage rope:
The above-mentioned traditions can be lovely if they MEAN SOMETHING TO YOU. But they’re annoying when they’re pushed on you. Besides, I know the wind would totally blow out our unity candle, or we’d break the sand jar, or we’d fuck up braiding the God Snot. And then those props that were foisted on us would symbolize the imminent demise of our union.
2. A veil: I’m not wearing one. It’s not that I want to “make a feminist statement” … Mom. It’s simply that I didn’t want to spend another $100+ on an accessory of negligible value to me. Besides, I’m spending a lot of money on my hair, which is going to look amazing. But “nobody will know” I’m “the bride” at the wedding, at the reception, or, most importantly, in the picture our mothers want to hang on their mantles. I’ll just be standing there all stupid and unbridely in a beautiful dress, next to the man I love, RUINING EVERYTHING.
3. The ‘Grand Entrance:’ Several years ago, as a bridesmaid, I was given over-sized sunglasses and told to dance into the reception hall to a Jennifer Lopez song with the a groomsman. And I thought to myself, “If I get married, I’m not making my friends do this crap.” Plus, a couple of my bridesmaids have kids, so it wouldn’t be fair to be like, “HEY stop breast-feeding your baby, it’s time for you to dance into the room in front of a bunch of strangers!” According to our DJ, though, we’re robbing our attendants of the chance to “feel special.”
4. Flowers: I’m not knocking flowers, as I have seen many beautiful ones at weddings. But they are a decoration and nothing more. So, besides bride and bridesmaid bouquets (which we will get at the grocery store), we’re not doin’ ’em. That eliminates the need to hire a florist and puts a couple grand back into our lives — our Goodwill-jars-and-candles centerpieces cost a couple bucks each. Aren’t I a savvy bride? Haha nope, I am Mean Bride, Ruiner Of All Joy. Flowers are fucking symbolic, don’t you know that? Because purchasing plants, begging guests to take them home at the end of the night, and then throwing them in the trash symbolizes, well … whatever, you HAVE to have flowers because it’s the most important day of your life, so stop arguing with me, young lady!
5. A wedding cake: We’re serving cupcakes, and we are going to therefore cut a cupcake — maybe even with a sword — and feed it to each other, because that is going to be adorable. Oh wait, hahahaha no it’s not. It’s sacrilegious. We have to buy a giant, expensive fucking cake with goddamn tiers that is mostly made of frosting-covered Styrofoam because a Styrofoam cake is symbolic of … marriage … and a new life together … and you really need to stop arguing with me right now young lady. People expect a CAKE.
6. The bouquet and garter toss: These would be harmless, fun traditions … if people weren’t terrible. In honor of my divorced friend who was dragged out onto the dance floor as “All the Single Ladies” played … in honor of my 13-year-old cousin who caught the bouquet and then had to dance with Creepy Uncle who caught the garter … in honor of those who just want to eat their goddamn cupcakes in peace … we won’t be tossing a damn thing. Before you become the 101st person to tell me, “Well you have to do it, everyone expects it,” read the stories of those who have been damaged by these traditions.
7. The Grand Exit: Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching Newly-Single-Drunk-Girl at a friend’s wedding run off with a sparkler (intended to be waved at the bride and groom as they drove off in a golf cart) during a drought as someone from the venue chased after her, so she wouldn’t light the crispy, parched grass (and the historic venue it surrounded) on fire. But I did not enjoy the wedding where I had to hold a fucking toy light saber aloft in the freezing cold outside alongside a bunch of frozen people holding the same, forming a tunnel that the bride and groom walked through THREE FUCKING TIMES so their photographer could get a good shot. When the wedding’s over, we hope our guests will simply drift off into the night with good memories.
I keep getting told the Grand Exit is the “final act” of the wedding, and I will regret not having the picture. But I doubt I’d look cute in any picture at the end of the night when all I want is a hot tub and a milkshake and french fries and pizza:
Certain wedding fixtures may have meant a lot to you and been among the most treasured moments of your wedding. And we’re certainly including some things that mean a lot to us. But I can’t see myself two years from now telling anyone they “have” to include those things in their wedding just because I did, or telling my daughter, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE NOT cutting your cupcake with a sword???”
Are you skipping any traditions, and is anyone mad at you for it?