Cancel the friggin wedding rules!
How to do away with antiquated traditions and plan a uniquely YOU union
So you're in love! You've found another human that you think is pretty great and you're down to spend some significant time together. But if you're anything like me, you're trying to think how on earth to do that in a way that celebrates your love and honors your values without celebrating all the outdated and sometimes sexist traditions that come with weddings and marriage. So let's break down some of the weird traditions that seem to weasel their way into every bloody wedding... and most importantly, figure out whether or not they have any place in your day.
Waking up apart
I don't really get the whole getting ready apart thing. This is the person you're saying is your person above all other persons. Why are you not enjoying the entire day TOGETHER? Wake up in each other's arms. Share a slow morning in bed, cuddling with a coffee and bask in the excitement together! So much of a traditional wedding day is spent apart - separated from the night before the wedding right until 3pm or 4pm the next day! Team this with meeting and greeting hundreds of guests, and all of a sudden it's time for last drinks and you've hardly had a chance to soak in the gravity of the commitment you've just made to each other.
Bridal parties are a great excuse to spend the day with your best mates, but for hetero weddings, why do we still feel so inclined to stick to such an exclusionary gender dynamic as the boys only / girls only scenario? At the risk of sounding like a broken record... why not just get ready all TOGETHER? More friends... more fun! Same thing goes for bucks and hens….
And while we're on the topic of getting ready... don't be afraid to mix it up on the fashion front. Your bridal party doesn't have to be so uniform that everyone is in the exact same outfit. If you feel like you need to give some direction (e.g. similar tonal palettes), fine, but otherwise, why not let em shine as their glorious selves like they would any other day? I promise your photos will still look great!
Dresses don't have to be white. Dresses don't have to be dresses… (I’m a big jumpsuit fan from way back). The point is - you're not a puritan - well at least if you've made it past the nudity on my site I'm assuming you're not - you don't have to follow this saintly virginal tradition.
Fathers giving away brides
I'm pretty passionate about this one... You are not a possession to be swapped between males like a dowry. Why not walk into this deal with your partner, hand in hand? You can show your dad how much he means to you by including him in another more unique and personal way. Something that holds significance to the two of you. Plus... the aisle is just another thing someone somewhere once made up. If the thought of walking down an aisle scares the shit of you... don't do it! There's no rule saying you can't both stand at the front of your ceremony and be there ready to greet your guests.... you guessed it... TOGETHER.
Now, this may come across as a little harsh, but, let's face it... a lot of the time, wedding favours end up being a waste of money that nobody really cares about. They're an added expense and thing to stress over, and when you have to calculate the cost over a large number of guests, they're often times cheap, potentially tacky, and not really worth it. You're giving people free booze, food and freaking good times - they don't need another landfill item to take home to the bin.
Weddings are for you and your partner and should be whatever the hell you want them to be!! If you have to pretend to be something you're not to appease or impress your family or friends - they're not worth inviting. Trust me... in 10 years time, you won't still be worried that Aunty Jackie didn't approve of the pant suit you chose.
Now if by now you’re thinking who the hell is the negative Nancy who has turned all our plans on their head – hear me out. Firstly - I am not totally anti-tradition - I am anti meaningless tradition. If there are rituals that you connect with, by all means keep them! And secondly - if your wedding plan included traditions that you do not connect with - it’s not your fault! The wedding industry is a big fucking beast that has been doing this shit for decades – centuries even! And the problem with all that experience is, sometimes, like a neglected sex life in a long term relationship- it’s easy to fall into the pattern of doing the same thing again and again, because it gets the job done. But we are conscious lovers people! We are not sex neglectors and we are not status quo followers. So what’s the solution?
Sit down with your lover and make a list of all the days you have spent together that were fucking epic. All those ‘day of all days’ moments. And what made them so special.
Was it that one Christmas morning that you woke up at dawn, went for a skinny dip and then had a sneaky quickie on the sand while the rest of the world was still sleeping?
Was it the hike through the Blue Mountains followed by an afternoon drinking beers and people watching in the streets of Katoomba?
Was it the wild house party where all your mates ended up naked and dancing on tables?
Was it the marshmallows and beers and drunken ‘Wonderwall’ renditions sung around a campfire, sandy feet and salty haired?
Was it the mornings in the swag, nestled in each other’s arms, watching the morning light begin to filter through the trees?
Pick all the little moments of goodness from these days and plan a wedding around what you love doing together. I promise you it will be more rewarding, and a helluva lot more fun making a wedding that is uniquely you. Don’t let the stress, pressure and expectations of the fairytale turn you into another bride who gets to the end of the speeches and all you want to do is take your shoes off, unbutton a suffocating dress and lay down in bed exhausted.
Check out these legends below who did it their way. They hired an avocado farm (no lame 'wedding venue' rules there!) They setup swags and tents for the guests. And then they had a rad fucking time!
And so did I!