Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Wedding Formula

Nowadays, a lot of teachers feel pressure to ensure that their students pass the standardized tests that determine whether schools pass or fail, according to the No Child Left Behind legislation put in place by the Bush administration.

A lot of teachers actually insist that their students follow a rigid formula for writing an essay, in order to help boost their writing scores. The formula usually goes: one-sentence introduction, three paragraphs with one reason each, and a one-sentence conclusion.

Teachers spend so much time teaching and practicing this formula that they neglect to teach more important things like: voice and uniqueness, establishing a purpose for writing and then making strategic decisions that align with the purpose, or organizing ideas in a way that most compels and engages the reader.

I see the same thing happening in the wedding world. There's so much pressure to follow a common formula for weddings. The formula looks something like this:
  1. Rehearsal dinner for a select few the night before
  2. Ceremony (with walking down the aisle, single-sex wedding parties, bouquets, readings, vows, and a ring exchange)
  3. Reception (with toasts, dinner, first dance, dancing, cake-cutting, and something fun like a photo booth or a scrap booking table)
  4. Brunch the following day
There's nothing inherently wrong with this formula. In fact, you can have a perfectly meaningful and memorable wedding by following this formula.

However, I think our weddings could potentially be even more meaningful and even more memorable if we put each piece of the formula under a microscope and genuinely asked these questions:
  1. Is this tradition something we want to keep?
  2. Is this tradition something we want to modify?
  3. Is this tradition something we want to throw out entirely?
  4. What other entirely new and different elements would we like to add to add to our wedding?
There are no set rules. There are definitely expectations (from the Wedding Industrial Complex, our family, our friends, and society at large). But there's a space between others' expectations and our actions. Ultimately, we decide what to do with others' expectations. The choice is ours.


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1 comment:

Andi Pandi said...

I totally agree with you. While the essay-writing rule set is good for younger kids who are learning what needs to be included in an essay, it's obviously not a wedding, lol! I wrote about this topic, how I felt about progressive ideas & traditional ones. Some of the traditions I'll want to keep, some of them I don't care about (like a garter toss...?). It really depends on what makes the couple happy during the whole event.

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