On weddings

August 4, 2010 at 9:57 am (It's all about me)

As a 30-year-old, I’ve been to my share of nuptials. There was a pig roast on Whidbey Island where I had never met the bride or groom (but took a summer sublet with the groom’s sister). There was the platinum affair at the Four Seasons in Vegas for a cousin I’ve known all my life. There was the quirky sweet and simple afternoon in Salem, MA with orange accents and Converse All-Stars. And of course the three incredible days in North Carolina with wonderful college friends and Journey. And yet it’s really only this past year that I’ve started to pick and choose what I’d want for myself. And since I’m not engaged and there is no danger of this turning into an all-weddings-all-the-time blog, I hope you’ll indulge me.

What doesn’t matter…

1) Cake.
Not that there won’t be dessert, but a big fondant-covered thing with flowers or stripes or little bouncing poodles is just not my style. I don’t like cake. And I especially don’t like cake that is meant to look like something else (though I do adore Duff Goldman), so I choose not to spend a ridiculous amount of money on the stuff.

2) Dress.
I love fashion. I even love high fashion. But I am not spending money on a dress I’ll never wear again. I’m just not. Not when there are things like this. Or this. With borrowed jewels from a diamond-loving aunt.

3) Flowers.
Fresh flowers are beautiful. I love the scent and the feel of the petals and the lushness of having them nearby. But I would be very happy with the kinds of flowers that you notice as a detail. Two stems of lilies in a tall vase. Gardenias floating in bowls. Hydrangeas. Basically, I want to be prettier than the flowers. Kidding. (Mostly.)

4) Bridesmaids.
It’s not that I don’t want to honor the friends who have made me who I am (er, will be?) when I wed, it’s just that I’ve been a bridesmaid…and not being one is much more fun.

5) Bridesmaids in matching dresses.
No. If I really need to go this route, they’ll all be in black. Of their own choosing. Because you never, ever actually shorten it and wear it again. Right Katherine?

6) Makeup. I’m rather fond of doing my own makeup. And if I need help, I have C (for ideas) and the Pigskin Attorney (who could have a second career as a makeup artist).

What does matter…

1) Shoes. Maybe these. Or these. I will wear them and wear them and wear them and be reminded every time I do that I married the man I love in style.

2) Music. I’d like to find a friend with a guitar for the ceremony. Just a guy on a guitar. In fact I have one in mind. And I’ve had a friend lined up to sing “The Very Thought of You” for my first dance since I was 13. There will also be Sinatra for my mom

3) Dancing. The father-daughter dance will happen. Perhaps starting here, then going to this (because Dad loves The Band). And I want my parents to dance to their wedding song.

4) Hair. There will be a trial run. Or three. A bad updo for a high school formal once brought me to tears. Not how I’d like to start my special day.

5) Personal touches. In place of favors, Colorado Friend wrote a personal note to every single attendee at her wedding specifically thanking them for their contribution to her life. And that beer and chocolate ceremony? Totally stealing it.

6) Food. It needn’t be surf and turf, but it must be delicious. And personalized.

7) Location. I just can’t see myself getting married indoors. A tented space (if rain threatens) or under a simple white chiffon chuppah with fresh air blowing in from all sides. In the mountains. Or at a winery on a hill.

8) Honoring and involving my friends…without matching dresses. The Jewish concept of seven blessings is lovely, but I am not religious. Instead, I’d like seven friends (or family) to offer their own blessings for us.

9) Honoring my grandparents. There is absolutely no chance that I will be able to do this without crying, but I’ll wear waterproof mascara. I don’t know what the gesture will look like, but it will likely involve video of them dancing in the kitchen on their 50th wedding anniversary.

10) Fun. It is possible there will be baseball caps on tables to encourage some good-natured ribbing (and photo ops). Red Sox for me and the Boston folks. Yankees for Dad and the family.

11) The breaking of the glass. I’m just not sure I’ll feel married unless a group of people shout “Mazel Tov!” at me.

What matters/mattered to you for your wedding?

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9 Comments

  1. Stevie said,

    I’m right there with ya. After going to SO many weddings, and being IN so many weddings, I don’t want to deal with a lot of things that most people have in their wedding. My boyfriend and I basically just want a backyard ceremony. And the reception will involve simple and delicious food, plenty of beer and wine, and LOTS of dancing. We just want to be surrounded by our friends and family. That’s it.

    • BS said,

      I totally understand. It’s almost odd because my mom has recently become obsessed with wedding dresses. She and my dad are considering renewing their vows for their 40th anniversary next year and she wants a real wedding dress (she wore a silk shantung sundress, more or less, the first time ’round). I’d considered eloping, but hearing her talk about things she wishes she’d had at her wedding makes me wonder if I’d regret just running off to city hall 40 years later.

  2. amber said,

    Oooh. Most of the stuff I agree on, except for flowers and makeup. I want a garden at my wedding – which will hopefully be outdoors. Lots and lots of flowers, everywhere. And I want my makeup done professionally, because I suck at being a girl and I want to look amazing on that day.

    Shoes – you’re absolutely right. Massively important. My sister-in-law wore knee-high red BOOTS under her (ridiculously expensive) wedding gown, but she loved them and she looked incredible. And so many pairs of white heels look generic, it’s important to find the best pair.

    Food and music are also important. 🙂 I could care less about the dress. I could get married quite happily in a rockin’ pair of jeans, a sexy white top, and perfect shoes.

    🙂 Loved the post!

    • BS said,

      Knee-high red boots? I love it!

  3. Jess said,

    Sounds like your wedding is going to be awesome. I’m trying to remember our wedding planning (and I know you read along for all of it) and I think more than saying we care more about X than Y, our approach was that we wanted a fun, relaxed, lovely wedding and we looked for ways to get all the elements necessary for that on a reasonable budget. We did care about things like flowers as well as the bigger things like designing a personalized, emotional ceremony and having a dinner that everyone would enjoy, but we definitely adjusted our budget to spend more on the big things. But rather than sacrificing the small things altogether we tried to just find more budget-friendly ways to allow for them. I think it worked out pretty well in the end.

    • BS said,

      I remember your (virtual) idea board, which seemed like such a lovely way to show your vendors (and readers) the kind of feel you wanted the event to have.

      And purple, of course, which was so fitting!

  4. Nilu said,

    Food. I wanted good food – so I has my mom make a bunch of it. 😀

    and dancing. I’m so happy that our dance floor was pretty much packed the whole time. Yay for a great DJ!

  5. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said,

    The thing that makes every wedding unique is all those things you listed and more … and the priority that every bride & groom places on them. I was particularly happy that we planned a wedding unlike any other our guests had ever been to … and provided it at a time and location where almost everyone we wanted to be there was able to attend!

  6. Amanda said,

    I hope it’s not weird that I want to comment on half of your list! So much of what you say here resonates with me. As much as I enjoy the weddings of my friends and family members, there is much about the wedding industrial complex that I would abhor, for me personally.

    1 – Cake – I don’t really care about having a big cake, either. Maybe cupcakes, or cheesecake for dessert. (Heart cheesecake, big time.) Plus, some places charge cake-cutting fees. Absurdity upon absurdity.

    2 – Dress – My best friend bought a designer gown at a trunk show for TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I couldn’t believe it. And now she’s divorced, and it makes her sad that b/c she’s not with him, she ought to part with the gown, but OTOH, she paid so much for the gown, and she loves the gown. Ugh. I would love to find an inexpensive gown, or inexpensive vintage gown. (The gowns you linked are gorgeous.) It wouldn’t even have to be a wedding dress. White or silver, maybe. I do like the idea of wearing a different color than I would normally wear, because it’s not a normal day.

    3 – Flowers – They are so expensive. Compared to other things that are more of a priority (good photographer), it wouldn’t pain me at all to cut corners in this area.

    4, 5 – Bridesmaids – Dude, I have TOTALLY considered doing the “bridesmaids in little black dresses” thing. Their own dresses, that they can wear again. It makes me sad to think of the crazy hot pink (undeniably bridesmaid) dresses I’ve had to buy; I don’t want to ask friends to do that. I have, however, had fun as a bridesmaid, so I think I would like to have at least a couple.

    6 – Makeup and hair – It seems like so many women emerge from having their makeup professionally done, looking way too made up. I would do my own. I do, however, require someone to do my hair, as I am mostly incompentant at hair-doing, and would like it to stay in place/not look sloppy.

    There are other things that make me want to buck the traditional wedding trend. For example, I don’t want a diamond ring (I have a different stone in mind), and I don’t want to wear it on my “ring finger.” I’m fine with walking down the aisle, but I would like the groom do so also – and not have everybody stand up just for me. I do not want to be “given away.” It would be weird to do a father-daughter dance with my step-dad, and I don’t think my BF would be thrilled to do a dance with his mother (who is a little…different), but we’d have other ways to honor our parents.

    Good food, good music, and an open bar, however, are high priorities.

    I’ve only been to one Jewish wedding, but I absolutely adored the traditional Jewish elements that were incorporated, like the chuppah, the glass-breaking, and the dancing-around-with-the-couple-on-chairs thing (sorry, I don’t know if there’s a name for that!). It was a fun, fantastic wedding.

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