So today Carolyn Hax smacks down a pretty self centered groom who wants to inconvienence his whole family and his bride's whole family for a "unique" wedding.
Hax brings up the most pressing issues of money and time, two things no one ever seems to have enough of, and basically tells him to knit a ladder and get over himself. Well, not exactly. But hopefully he read her response and was at least a little ashamed of himself.
But this post isn't about that. It's about how rediculous and unattainable a unique wedding is.
This is an odious trend that's emerged over the last few years that seems to coincide with everyone on earth thinking that the sun shines out of their asses. (And yes I am aware that blogging is part of this trend as well. The difference is that i'm not forcing anyone to read my blog where weddings are usually must attend events for various reasons.)
Anyway, when I was planning the wedding I went over the various magazines Elegant Bride, Modern Bride, Obsessive Bride. And every other article was about how to really make this YOUR DAY and make sure that everyone in attendance remembered how cool YOUR DAY was and how to impress upon your guests how very unique you and your husband are. It got annoying fast. Thankfully I pretty much new what I wanted and didn't need the magazines for ideas, or help, or anything much beyond pretty pictures.
And some of the ideas were just overkill. Like having a mixed drink created for your wedding. First of all, who the hell would you go to for this? Second, hasn't every palatable combination been created by now? Third, how lame for your guests. What is a Ken and Tammy anyway? Oh, red wine, vodka and hot sauce. Sounds disgusting. Finally, how much would this cost? Probably a lot more than is really worth it. If you're going to have mixed drinks (and pay for them, no cash bars allowed) then just offer the basics that everyone knows and likes. It's not unique, but it's awesome for your guests and that matters a hell of a lot more.
Writing your own vows was a popular suggestion that i've bitched about here before. I've read about guests being subjected to Powerpoint presentations about the minutae of the couple's courtship as if we cared. And of course the destination wedding which screams "We're so cool you have to buy a plane ticket to see us get married!".
Now none of this is to say that your wedding has to be like everyone elses. If you really want to get married in the Bahamas then do it. But don't act like you're planning a vacation for everyone else you know and they should be chomping at the bit to attend your wedding. Because unless you're going to pay everyone's airfare, hotel and food expenses you have to understand that attendance would be a big deal for most people.
So how else can you make your wedding special? Well, how about making choices that matter to you? Hate white? Would you love to get married in this gorgeous pale blue evening gown you found online? Then do it. Hate roses? Love begonias? Carry them instead. Can't find a cake topper you like, but think Wall-E was the sweetest movie ever? Have Wall-E and Eve on the cake. There are thousand ways to make your wedding special to you without being rediculous about it.
Our wedding was really traditional. But we switched it up a little bit. We took communion instead of doing a unity candle. My Mom chose "This is a Day of New Beginnings" as the song for the ceremony. When the violinist flaked, my Mom sang it making it even more special. Instead of using the reception venue's punch I gave them the receipe that my family always uses. I danced with my Dad to "Brandi (you're a fine girl)" the song I was named for. Josh and I danced to Tori Amos' "Sleeps With Butterflies". To a lot of people our wedding would have looked cookie cutter. To us it was special because of these little decisions.
Which brings me to my final point. Don't be different for the sake of being different. If you like something then go for it. Who cares if everyone has a strapless dress and a tiara right now? If you feel beautiful in it, then wear it. If you always dreamed of dancing with your dad to "What a wonderful world" then do it. Don't try to come up with something different just to be unique. You'll only suceed in wearing yourself out, confusing your guests and possibly embarassing yourself. No one will care in ten years if your cake looked like everyone elses as long as it tasted good. So make your decisions based on what you like and what your guests will like. That's all that matters in the end, not being unique. Because unless you're getting married on the moon, I promise you it's been done before.