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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cookie Cutter Weddings

The bride-to-be over at A $10,000 Wedding had an important realization the other day. She realized she didn't have to have a nighttime wedding. Then a commenter wrote about her own daytime wedding and how she had an amazing dance party in the middle of the day.

It got me thinking about the one-size-fits-all approach we take to planning weddings. So many of us follow the same pattern: Rehearsal dinner the night before, late afternoon ceremony, evening reception, brunch the next morning. The only time it feels permissible to break the mold is for budgetary reasons. If you have your reception on a Friday night or a Sunday night to save money, then that's okay.

But there are no laws about what makes a wedding a wedding (well, okay, there are a few laws--but not many!). Instead, we choose to follow unwritten laws, the laws of our culture and society. We've been to a gazillion weddings that followed the same pattern, so we follow the pattern, too.

I'm not saying we definitely shouldn't follow the pattern. I mean, hey, the pattern is a good one! (and we followed it for our wedding.) But it may not be the best formula for everyone's wedding. When we start to plan our weddings, we shouldn't just default to the old tried and trued formula. We really should start from scratch and figure out what kind of day we want to have.

Maybe it makes sense to get up on a Saturday morning, get married, and then have a delicious brunch buffet with mimosas! Or maybe it makes sense to get married in the early afternoon and then head over to a baseball game with all your guests?

The point is, a wedding has very few rules. My person rules are: community, connection, commitment, and fun. But some people may prefer a wedding without the community. Or they would prefer to have a more serious affair. The possibilities really are endless!

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Angie Mae said...


I've been stalking your blog for a while now and I love it when you post about getting away from the "cookie cutter" feeling. So I wanted to share my wedding with you: we're having a saturday mid-day wedding. it's going to be a very simple ceremony in our church then off to a pavilion owned by the local county water authority. The feeling we want is a very relaxed family reunion style reception. People can dance on the docks, go fishing or even play horseshoes together. We also want everyone to feel like it's just one big family--the way I think it should be.

I've been going to so many weddings of friends lately where they spend so much money and time stressing out over the silliest things and it feels like it's all the same blur... I think you should make your wedding a reflection of yourselves, not a reflection of what you see online or in magazines. Plus, I don't like following "rules" :)

Thanks for your wonderful posts, your blog is very inspiring!

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you... and love your perspective on what a wedding should be like.

Anonymous said...

Im having a morning wedding on a Thursday! ha! We're having mimosas at 10:30 am, beach ceremony at 11:00, brunch at 12:00 and our reception is a beach party-kayaks, footballs, floats, boogie boards & music. And Im not doing the Canon in D song that we normally hear at weddings...a bagpiper will lead the way down the boardwalk, all our guests will follow, kind of like those European weddings where they all walk through the town center to the church--we'll just be walking to the beach. And we're having a little mimosa bar on the beach so everyone can visit and enjoy the ocean in the morning.

The whole idea was born due to a tight budget--I could compromise and cut on every single thing about my wedding, except the photographer--and this photographer was 6K on a Saturday--so they had a mid-week rate for less than half--and we took it! Everyone coming is staying at the beach for the weekend, and we're having a Halloween costume party and open house for food, beach and visiting.

I agree with doing something different that fits your personality! And I feel so great that Im spending 1/4 of the original estimate!

Hadeel said...

I was wondering if I could repost this on my own blog sometime?

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ This Girl Asia: Of course!

@ Angela and Renee: Your weddings sound absolutely lovely! Hooray for doing your own thing.

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