I knew when Rachel Hills announced her intention to start a wedding planning series on her blog that it was going to be good.
I couldn’t have anticipated just how good it would be.
See here? She admits to fully intending to penning a post about how she would be handling typical wedding traditions – and outlining which ones they’d be skipping. But did she? No. And why not?
Because it feels like justifying.
Planning a somewhat non-traditional wedding, she says, has made her more sympathetic to traditional brides.
After all, it’s a hell of a lot easier. The path of least resistance. The way is already more or less laid out for you.
Tradition is so deeply ingrained. I’m totally happy to answer questions about my choices – the few that I’ve made, seeing as I’ve barely dipped a pinky toe into the planning waters to date – but at the same time, a small part of me feels like simply screaming “BECAUSE I WANT TO!” They just don’t seem like a big deal to me.
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Isn’t that what it comes down to? Planning an event that has personal meaning to you? Why I might choose to skip flowers – because I’ve never cared for them, they’re fussy, and make me sneeze. Why I will probably skip a live band – because I know exactly what songs I want played, and unless our drummer friend volunteers his band to cover our playlist, which runs from Clapton to Queen to Buble to Elton to Kylie to MJ to JT (and I doubt any band could do the entire list justice), I’m more than happy to run an iPod.
But yes, it feels like each ‘different’ choice must be defended.
As Rachel puts it:
This is weird, because in the process of actually planning a wedding, none of these issues have worried me in the slightest. Feel like my name is integral to my identity? Keep it. Don’t like the whole “here comes to the bride, isn’t she beautiful” thing? Walk down the aisle with Mr Musings to keep the attention evenly divided. Like white? Wear a white dress. Prefer not to imply a woman’s greatest achievement in life is getting hitched? Don’t do a bouquet toss. Don’t like arbitrary gender divisions? Have a mixed gender bridal party and hen’s do/bachelorette.
Creepily enough, everything she cites there applies to me as well.
It’s not as if I’m shunning everything traditional. It’s not like I’m having a picnic in the middle of the woods and exchanging rings we smithed ourselves and arriving on Ducatis. I actually do want to wear white, because it looks good on me. I do want to say the normal vows. (I think writing your own vows is one of those things that sounds like a good idea in theory. Then you get older. And you realise that you’re really not that shithot of a writer, and that everything has already been said before, and either you try for something super mushy but original (in which I would fail on the delivery) or something funny (I promise to love and cherish you even though you are a raging bitch if one minute overdue for a meal and have terrible morning breath) that just sounds silly on such an occasion.) But I don’t want to be given away, to do a father-daughter dance, to wear a plain ring, heck, to be obliged to do any dancing at all.
It’s a weird place to occupy, this grey zone.
Married/engaged peeps. Did you go the fully traditional route? How did you let your personality shine through? Or did you say feck it all and let’s elope (and how did that work out?)