Is it Any Less Personal Because it's Traditional?

So I'm going to give the closest thing to a rant that I've ever done thus far on this blog.

Perhaps it's just me being sensitive, but I'm starting to wonder...when did the non-traditional wedding become the standard to which all weddings should be measured and judged? Am I alone here in thinking there is something sacred with being married in a church, something awe-inspiring about brides in white, crispy linens on the tables, sit-down dinners and dancing the night away to your favorite songs? The question begs to be asked: At what point, exactly, did traditional become cliché? Is a wedding any less personal when it's traditional?

Stay with me for a second...because I'm confused and would like to work this out.

It seems to me that more often than not, wedding-related sites and blogs out there are giving the impression that they celebrate the individuality and personality behind the wedding, cheering on the "non-conformists" for making some kind of stand against the WIC via their wedding and, by doing so, have found the new formula to a happy wedding. Well, sorry, but I think that's a bunch of B.S.

This really should go without saying, but I feel like I need to give a kind reminder that it isn't the tchotchkes on the tables, wedding fashion choices, invitation selection, flowers, venue, music, cake or any of that other stuff (or lack thereof) that makes a wedding personal. That stuff doesn't define you; it merely reflects your personal taste. It didn't make your wedding special. Perhaps it made it memorable, but not special. There's no magic in stuff. The part that made your heart sing, your guests cry and onlookers wonder with delight came from the non-tangibles -- the unadulterated bliss in seeing your love at the other end of the aisle, the sadness in hugging your parents, a baby crying through the vows, tripping on your dress's train, dropping the rings, giggling during the blessing, eating well and drinking enough to dance on a chair (sorry, Mary!) -- these things are it. These very real things make the magic of a wedding and make it a fiercely personal experience. The practicality lies in your perspective, knowing that the stuff doesn't ever make or break you.

I'd hope that everyone getting married wants to celebrate in a personal way, in a way that reflects who they are, what they represent as a couple and what makes them truly happy. Otherwise, maybe they shouldn't be getting married in the first place...but that's another post entirely. My point is this: who are we to judge the wedding-related choices that another couple makes based on our own personal preferences? Should we look down upon a bride who dreams of a black-tie wedding at St. Patrick's and reception at the Ritz, wearing a white Monique Lhuillier gown and sipping champagne on the arm of her handsome bridegroom, listening to the sounds of an 18-piece band? Do we somehow feel that the antagonist bride & groom have a better chance at a successful, loving marriage because they opted for being married in an art gallery, with her in a bright yellow dress and he in Chucks, with a doughnut and PBR reception, complete with local underground DJ and an after party? Is their version that much more "real"? Are we guilty of privately (or publicly) shaming those people who spend exorbitant amounts of money on their (stress: THEIR) dream wedding or those who let go all preconceived notions of a wedding and got married in the back yard? Are we jealous, maybe? Jealous of the money spent on one side of the coin and freedom spent on the other? Perhaps we will always think the grass is always greener? Maybe we're completely insatiable creatures. Who knows.

For me, the magic behind any happy wedding (and marriage) is the love, respect and friendship people share, with their dearest people encouraging and supporting those same feelings. It has very little to do with the stuff. The trick in planning YOUR perfect wedding is to not give a hoot what other people think about the choices you're making, but be unwavering in your choices made together. Don't let anything distract you from what works best for your budget (whether it's $500, $5,000 or $50,000), what is a natural choice for you as a couple (because that's where the magic really starts) and what you'll be happy remembering forever (because it really should be forever.)

So. With that said, I'm going to say this: though maybe the wedding we've planned for ourselves may appear too traditional for some, it's what works for us. Every choice we made was thoughtful and deeply personal. Nothing went unnoticed, nothing made arbitrary. It will be a complete celebration of who we are and what we're all about. This is OUR wedding and our version, like many others, involves a church, a white dress, black tuxes, a sit-down dinner and a band. It also involves a fourteen-year friendship, an eleven year relationship, our shared values, our memories together and separate, our creativity, what we love and who we love -- best friends and family who came from all over the globe to witness and be in the presence of our joy.

And it is that, my friends, is what it's all about. For us, anyway.


Taryn said...

You've said everything that's been in my heart and on my mind. My wedding is a mixture between traditional (ivory gown, tuxes, sit down dinner) and non-traditional (not getting married in a church). Every decision we have made has been one that suits our tastes and our desires...and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for this post, Eve.

HennHouse said...

Well said.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...