Saturday, July 3, 2010

You Get It, Right???

Yesterday we hit the 3 month mark for our wedding, and it was all kinds of stressful.  I'm not sure if the stress had anything to do with the fact that we are 3 months away from our wedding or not, though.  Maybe it played a part subconsciously, but the truth of the matter is that I had an epiphany:  no one in my real life "gets" the wedding we are planning.  I'm at the age where my friends are getting married left and right and no one is deviating from the Wedding Formula but me.  You know the formula - it starts with one bride who knows exactly what she wants her wedding to be and one disinterested (or interested but afraid to speak up) groom.  You mix up a bunch of "new" and "fresh" ideas and details from Martha Stewart/In Style/Real Simple/The Knot that the bride has decided she must have, and then spread those over the top of the traditional wedding format - ceremony, pictures, reception grand entrance, first dances, toasts, dinner, garter toss, bouquet toss, dancing, cake cutting, grand exit.  It's like cheese and crackers.  The traditional wedding format is your basic Ritz cracker.  You can change up what cheese you put on top, but in the end it's still just a Ritz with cheese.  But for our wedding, we're forgoing the Ritz and the people in my life just don't seem to understand it.

This epiphany came as I was thinking back to a conversation I had about a month ago with one of my newly engaged friends.  She had just shown me her dress online and then the topic of garters came up.  I said I wasn't going to wear a garter and she just had this look of disbelief on her face.  She tried to persuade me by saying "but you can get a blue one and then it can be your something blue" to which I responded, oh, I'm not doing that either, and her look of disbelief grew into a look of horror.  Looking back on this conversation then lead me to remembering all the times we've met some resistance to our tradition-bucking ways or heard a tinge of disappointment in someone's voice when we tell them that things aren't going to be as they expected.*  

Then I started browsing the email I received the other day from a friend who is getting married in a week and realized how much effort she has put into all the details for their wedding.  There will be gift bags awaiting us at our hotel, there will be a basket of flip flops for dancing, there will be bubbles for the exit from the church and sparklers for the exit from the reception, there will be framed family photos adorning the guest book table and, and, and.  

The result of all of this is that I ended up feeling like a slacker bride and questioning whether deviating from the Wedding Formula will be worth it in the end.  As strong and independent as I am, people's opinions do matter to me.  I normally won't change my decisions because of those opinions, but it still pains me to know that people don't like or understand what I am doing, and causes me to second guess myself.  Would it kill me to do a damn bouquet toss and garter toss?  No.  Nor would it kill me include any of the other ingredients in the Wedding Formula that we've omitted.  But it's not what I want.  And I'm already including so many ingredients of the Wedding Formula in our wedding that I could do without simply because the Mister wants them or omitting them is not worth the hurt it would cause (and I'm 100% okay with that).  If I added back in all the things that we've omitted because they don't matter to us and just blindly follow the Wedding Formula, I would feel like our wedding is a performance for our guests instead of a deeply personal celebration of our relationship and commitment to each other.

Long story long, I'm struggling with fear that our guests are not going to understand our wedding and the decisions we've made to carefully craft it to be a true reflection of who we are.  Instead they'll just see a lazy bride who didn't want to spend the time or energy to do the things she's supposed to do.  Or worse, a bride who just doesn't care.  I really wish I had someone in my real life (other than the Mister, of course) who got it.  But I don't, so I turn to the blogs.  So thanks for being there.

*Though, I'd like to clarify that by and large our families have been very supportive of our decisions.  I'm not trying to paint a desolate picture here.  It's more like a lot of little things adding up.  Plus, for the most part they get over the disappointment when they realize they like what we've chosen to do instead.  It's just that initial resistance/disappointment to not following the Wedding Formula.


JEM - Aqua Bride said...

The same thing is happening to me so I totally understand how you feel. It's like people are so used to seeing the same things done over and over that when you decide to forego or tweak something, it's like you're committing a cardinal sin.

I've since stopped telling everyone my plans. Everyone will see it on the big day, and if they're disappointed (which I don't think will happen), then oh well. I'm just so tired with a little over 1 month to go.

marikoy said...

Yay! It's three months to go for us... and I'm getting nervous too.

A wedding doesn't have to be typical. I believe it should be the kind of wedding YOU want, not what everyone expects. I think it's kinda cool to be not typical and surprise the guests and keep them wondering what's next, because they feel that it's not the same boring wedding routine like all the other weddings they attended.

kristininjapan said...

I think weddings that deviate from the standard rock! I know mine does. It's a little nerve-wracking putting all your different ideas out there and seeing the response to them, but I'm sure you'll have a beautiful wedding. Keep on doing what you're doing!

miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

First of all, there's nothing you're "supposed" to do. There is tradition, but that definitely isn't a requirement to being a bride. And it's hard to go to a wedding that will be as beautiful as yours and think that it was put together by a bride or couple that doesn't care.
But most importantly, (and as hard as it is if you still find yourself caring about what others think) try to remember above all that your wedding needs to feel authentic to you and the Mr. And that's it. No one else. Like you said, you don't want it to feel like a performance, you want it to be a celebration of the two of you. We experienced the same sort of resistance from several family members and friends who were stuck in the wedding formula mindset. My grandfather was shocked that we were having cupcakes instead of traditional cakes and most people didn't believe a wedding at a cottage would work. In the end, we got more compliments on the location and space than anything and my grandfather ended up eating 3 cupcakes. Not every single person jumped on board even after the wedding, but for 99% of our guests, experiencing the wedding changed their resistance into joy. And I think a huge part of that is because it was so authentic, so us, and so real.... something which the Wedding Formula brides will never be able to say about theirs. Stick to your guns, girl!

Lizzie [Ten Thou Bride] said...

OH MAN! I just wrote you a massively long comment and Blogger ate it! Recap: Weddings are too much of a performance nowadays, following traditions you don't even understand why you follow, you know? I couldn't agree more with Ms. Fancy Pants that there's nothing your wedding is "supposed" to look like. Define it by what means something to you, your love and your commitment...chances are, it will come out resembling a wedding either way, there are a few key things that are there because they're kind of universal symbols of love and commitment, you know? Read Angie's post on "We have a wedding!" She sums it up really well.

Angie said...

oh man does this post reflect how i'm feeling now.

i'm a month away and i thought by now i'd be done with all the stress and what it's and icky moments.

it's easy to get bogged down with these feelings and sometimes we have to work a little harder to get ourselves out of it, but all the while we know we're doing it our way and that we'll be proud and happy in the end :)

to each their own- garters and OOT bags and all.

Margaret said...

"Instead they'll just see a lazy bride who didn't want to spend the time or energy to do the things she's supposed to do. Or worse, a bride who just doesn't care."

I was worried about this, really worried. Especially that his side of the family would think I didn't care or the day didn't mean enough to me to (they are much more traditional). And I was shocked... people were really nice and extremely complimentary. No one asked why we skipped ____ (and we skipped a lot). We had all kinds of guests at the wedding, none of whom are familiar with "blog" weddings and maybe 1 who would call herself "indie." And somehow, they got it. For real. I wasn't even hoping to get compliments -- I figured I'd be happy if we didn't get complaints... but people were effusive and genuine. One friend did call it "old fashioned" (maybe because we skipped dancing and alcohol?), but in a very sweet/"us" way.

I should include a post on this in my recaps, because it was definitely something I was concerned about pre-wedding.

jacin said...

garter toss? no. boquet toss? no. i'm not doing it either! and yes, i see all these inspiration boards and "real wedding" photos and they are all so intricate - but some things are more important to me than others, like sentimental things and champagne :). i totally agree with your thoughts though - i just hit my 3 month mark a week or so ago and was thinking the same thing!

BridalHood said...

We strayed from tradition and while folks were skeptical of how our weddings was going to be and some cynical - I think after the wedding they all really appreciated it and thanked us for having such a personal and intimate wedding that was non traditional. I say - do what you guys want b/c you will look back and smile about your wedding day vs say "I wish I would have done things differently"

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and we're getting married on the same day (wheeee). We're not tossing anything, not having favors, no colors, no flowers and the list goes on. I'm confident (most of the time) that we're going to have a fun beautiful wedding but the doubt creeps in every time someone asks what our colors will be. People have been marrying for thousands of years before things like wedding colors even existed. If you're happy, surrounded by love, and married on your wedding day you did it right.

nicoliolihpf said...

You know, I had a conversation with a recently married friend a few weeks ago that really assuaged a lot of my fears on this subject. He said that as long as you're clear about where you're going during your wedding, your guests will follow your lead. And I think he's right: as long as you're having fun doing what you want on your wedding day, your guests will not miss stupid little traditions like the garter toss. And if you're still worried, I find that reading makes me feel a lot more traditional. Compared to some of those weddings, even most non-traditional weddings are pretty normal, and they still pull it off so awesomely!

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