A wedding is one of the biggest events in a woman’s life. In this day and age, the desire to marry is slowly dwindling among millennials and more modern relationships but for many women, the fairy-tale wedding to Prince Charming is still in their stars. Like most things, weddings have changed. From the cultures, to the practices to the fashion and the ceremony, weddings have become quite the production.
When my husband and I decided to marry, we had already been together five years, had a child and lived together for three years. We didn’t have an engagement ring and our wedding, though breath-takingly beautiful, was small and intimate among close family and friends. I wouldn’t have done it any differently.
During my planning, I hadn’t given much thought to rules per se, but I had my mind pretty much set in certain aspects of the wedding such as where everyone would sit and how I wanted the affair to pan out. Although we hadn’t expressed it in our invitations, we advised our closest friends with children that we would prefer not to have children at the ceremony. As I write this, I can’t quite remember how we expressed this or in what context we would’ve provided this “rule” but we were certain of this. Liam and my niece, Aava, were the only children at the wedding and those two little terrors caused enough destruction on their own.
I kid, kid. They were stars of the event, really.
Having a small intimate event played a part in the lack of rules because I knew every guest on my list personally. However, for larger, more elaborate events, I can definitely see the need for some reining in of wedding guests. Here are my thoughts on some of the most common wedding rules :-
- Don’t Wear White- This is probably one of the most common wedding rules whether a small and quaint affair or elaborate fanfare. This is more about respect and tradition than anything else. The white wedding dress symbolises purity of the wife-to be-and her heart. Wearing a white dress to a wedding is widely thought of being tacky or tasteless and is often looked down upon. However, times are a-changing and this thought is slowly disappearing. Some couples actually request for their guests to wear white, and some brides even opt out of wearing white altogether, leaving the door open for white-wearing wedding goers. I toggled between the idea of wearing a white or a blush coloured dress on my wedding day and eventually settled for ivory. I didn’t experience the “scandal” of anyone wearing white to my wedding, but I honestly can’t say I would’ve given a toss. I imagine in the next few years, this rule will become obsolete and the bride’s dress will be included in the wedding planner’s colourways.
- No Kids- Out of all wedding rules, I believe this one is the most valid. I love kids, but, lets face it, they can be liabilities. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to have your serene ceremony disrupted by a child having a tantrum because their socks don’t match. Additionally, ceremonies are generally long and young children with short attention spans just aren’t compatible. Sure, plenty of weddings embrace the laughter of children and the shushing of parents breaking the silence while two people express their love for each other but I can whole-heartedly understand those who don’t. And this is coming from the mother of a young child, herself. Of course, not every ceremony with children results in disaster but it’s certainly asking for it. Excuse me for sounding cynical. I know- yes, there are many weddings where children are the highlight of the wedding and I can appreciate that but I can also relate to those who choose the highlight to remain on the celebration of their union.
- No Phones- In this, the age of smartphones and social media, this is another rule I agree with. I didn’t have this rule at my wedding but due to the size and intimacy of my wedding, I didn’t need it. However, I believe phones are not only distracting but also quite intrusive during such an intimate setting. Further, professional photography is one of the larger expenses on the wedding checklist so the last thing a newly wedded couple want is for cousin Karen to post all of her candid shots of the affair on her Instagram page before they even receive the draft shots. I do believe there should be some flexibility to this rule, however, considering some of my nicer wedding shots came from the phones of my friends and family taken later on in the event. In addition, personal phone shots are a great way to capture special moments after your photographer has completed their scheduled hours. There are pros to having phones at weddings as long as they don’t get in the way of making memories.
- Don’t Change the Seating- As frivolous as it may sound, the seating plan of a wedding is actually one of the most challenging parts of the planning; a lot of thought goes into this, especially if, like me, you don’t have a wedding planner to do it all for you. I did my seating plan at least three times and you have to consider the seating for not only the ceremony but for dinner, also. The seating plan of a wedding has many elements to it but all of them will determine the comfort of your guests. Apart from the traditional family seating, not everyone at the wedding may be familiar with one another, even in an intimate setting so the aim is to ensure your seating will encourage positive interactions and not leave anyone “out in the cold”. When this seating is changed by a wedding guest, it can completely unravel the structure which can lead to unnecessary problems and possible isolation of some wedding guests.
All in all, no matter the size of the wedding, a lot of goes into the actual day, whether its been dreamt of from childhood or decided on a whim the week before. There’s a thin line between wedding rules which will ensure order and structure and straight-up ridiculous demands. I believe some rules are here to stay and others will evolve with the changing eras.However, the main event is about two people expressing their love for one another and becoming united as one.
Nothing should come between that.