Weddings are wrought with traditions. This can be a good thing, unless we carry on things that don’t make sense for us just because we’re “supposed” to. Here is your permission to break some rules. You don’t have to..
Invite your mother’s fourth cousin. Once upon a time, the family of the bride was responsible for footing the bill for the wedding, and so got the privilege of making many of the decisions surrounding how the money was spent (including the guest list.) These days, it’s the couple that pays for the bulk of the wedding expenses. In Greene County, you can expect to spend between $100-$120 per guest, so not inviting distant relatives and friends of parents is not a matter of disrespect, but a matter of finances. My rule of thumb? If you wouldn’t recognize the person on the street and they’ve never met your significant other, there is no reason to feel obligated to send an invitation. If mom is adamant about someone in particular, gently explain your budget limitations and your reasons for not inviting this person. Trimming the guest list is the absolute best way to keep your out-of-pocket cost low and ensure your day stays intimate instead of chaotic.
Wear uncomfortable shoes. Or an uncomfortable dress, or a silly suit. Modern fashion rules dictate that there are no rules, and that includes your wedding day. Brides and their grooms choose to get married in whatever style they wish these days, from full-on tuxedo and ballgown, to denim and skater-dress with cowboy boots. The point is- don’t wear something you’ll be uncomfortable in. The day goes by waaaaay too fast to suffer blisters on your feet, a corset poking your ribs, or to feel like a penguin all night (for the fellas.) One fashion recommendation I do have? Keep it classy. Though celebrities seem to believe sexy gowns are the way to walk down the aisle, believe me, Grandpa and your future teenage son have no interest in seeing your breasts hanging out of your top. Save a secret for the wedding night, no?
Buy your guests a favor. They are there because they love you. And because you are buying them dinner. And because weddings are pretty much the only occasion we can get super spiffed-up for these days. You don’t need to spend an extra penny on an item that, quite honestly, will be in the trash by the end of the month. Upgrade your DJ instead to make sure they have a great time.
Send save-the-dates. Save the paper, postage, and time spent on Pinterest trying to find a unique idea to let people know that you are sending this piece of paper to let them know that soon you’ll be sending a piece of paper that will tell them to mark the date you are sending them now on the calendar. Whew. I wasted time just writing that. Seriously, if you think someone will need longer than 8 weeks to make arrangements to attend, just give them a call.
Spend an entire year planning a wedding. Especially if you’ve hired a coordinator (which I know you have, right? Right?!?) six months can pull together an amazing shindig, no problem. Less time just means you may have fewer options for vendors, photographers, caterers. More time means you have more options. If you and your honey can’t wait to get married, though, don’t fall for the traditional advice that says you need a year to fully plan. You don’t.
What about you? Any traditions you’re ditching for something that makes more sense for you?