But I also kinda don't want to. Part of me wonders if my voice really matters. I mean, all I see is the same shit happening over and over and over and everyone just seems to buy into it. It's all such CRAP! Like, seriously, no personality, waste of money, same old shit, CRAP! Everyone seems to lose their entire sense of self and bow to traditions that mean nothing and make these weddings that suck...or worse! When I was looking around wedding blogs, for the fun of it, I noticed that a lot of really non-traditional brides explain away their choices with excuses. It bugs me! So, whatever, I'm gonna write my thoughts. It's my fucking blog anyway.
I was researching wedding traditions a couple of weeks ago, and I came across that poem. Apparently, it's a traditional Irish poem about choosing when to get married. Funny thing about May, because that's when Adam and I are getting married! We laugh about how much we'll "rue the day" because it's just so melodramatic! But ok, that poem is here to illustrate a ridiculous point that I think most people would laugh at...but it's also meant to illustrate all the bullshit things people do because they're getting married. So much waste of time and money, but also really inexplicable choices based on traditions that don't exist.
Now, if you look up "tradition," it just says that it's stuff people do over time, from generation to generation. But to me, it seems like a real tradition has meaning and reasons...which most American wedding traditions don't. What I've noticed on wedding blogs is how people feel the need to explain away breaking tradition. Like they have to excuse themselves from the commonly accepted behavior, because they feel the need to justify their choices. I don't feel that way. So I wanna start by talking about all the shit I'm NOT doing.
1. Not wasting money on unnecessary things. Have you ever looked at how expensive weddings are? Quite frankly, it's ridiculous. Do you know what else is ridiculous? Engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners. (Throw into this category day-after brunches.) Honestly, if you're already throwing a big fucking party, why do you have to have four more parties!?! I'm not doing any of that. Fuck bridal showers. Fuck engagement parties. Fuck another fucking dinner I have to pay for BEFORE the reception that I have to pay for! No, no, no, and NO! None of this has any real meaning anyway. And I'm telling you, from years of wedding photography, it's all an unnecessary waste. I'm not complaining about getting two meals per wedding, but I'm not paying for you to have two dinners.
Additionally in this category are things like bridal party gifts, center pieces, decorations, gifts to my bridal party when I ask them to be my bridal party, gifts for parents of the bride, wedding planners and other unnecessary vendors (like a dj). As a professional photographer who has shot a lot of weddings, it feels a little bad for business to suggest you forego professionals. Here's the thing; Adam and I believe that a wedding is about us getting married and not about a huge party. Far be it from me to tell you not to throw a huge fucking party, but is it worth it? What happens to those centerpieces? (They end up in the trash.) I think for the sake of brevity, I won't argue professional vendors in this post. I'll write about that later. But I just don't think our wedding needs a bunch of STUFF that costs extra money, so it's not happening.
2. Not engaging in meaningless traditions. If it were up to me, I probably wouldn't even have a wedding. But I'm not marrying myself, so I have to consider Adam's desires. He has some ideas about what he wants in a ceremony and I have some ideas about what I want in a wedding. He has people he wants to participate and I'm going to mirror that. But we're agreed on not needing...oh say, a white fucking dress, a fucking garter or bouquet toss, or even a fucking engagement ring. And the list goes on, honestly. I can't say I never planned my wedding as a child. I grew up in a small town where weddings sometimes included just everyone, so I've been around weddings forever and have always thought of how I'd do mine. I've also photographed a fuckton of weddings, including friends' weddings. I've seen all the traditions that have lost their meaning. (White never meant purity, people...that's what "something blue" is for.) I'm not interested in being "given away," because I'm not property...same goes for an engagement ring that marks me as property. I'm not wearing white because why would I? I don't love Queen Victoria, but I do love blue. And the list goes on. Now, Adam likes some more traditional elements that don't interest me, and so we're going to marry our ideas (do you see what I did there?) for a wedding that suits the both of us. But seriously, we're not interested in traditions that have no meaning, or what I like to call, "This is what we do because this is what we do." I'm far too serious minded for that, honestly. I need shit to mean something!
That image up there saddens me, honestly. I would never fucking let anyone force me to compromise my own damn wedding with TWO FUCKING WEDDINGS!!! Anyway, since I've talked about what we're NOT doing...here is what we're doing:
1. Keeping it simple. Adam and I have talked about what a wedding needs, and we feel it's about two things; a place and an officiant. Now Adam also wants to have a reception so he can hang with his peeps and I can't really argue with the fun of having everyone around to hang out and eat and party. Understanding that we want a wedding AND a reception, we figure it needs about five things total: a place, an officiant, food, music, and invitations. And for me, it needs a photographer. We're basing all of our decisions on this.
Will there be rings? Yes, we do feel they are an important part of a wedding. Will we be wearing pretty clothes? Yes, we want to. I'm planning on making my dress. But as decisions come up for what we need and what we want, it will always come back to the basics. If we don't need it, we're not doing it. If we do need it or want it, then we're doing it simply. Music; I've got a fantastic laptop with a bunch of music and we'll find speakers from someone. Food? Chipotle...cheap as fuck and everyone loves it. Drinks? Just soda and water, no alcohol. Partially because our National Park venue prohibits it and partially because I am not paying for someone else to drink. Dessert? Yes, I like sweets. I might make all of them. And so on. It's all about keeping it simple and meaningful for us and not wasting our money on crap we don't want, don't need, or don't believe in.
Really, that's it. That's the basis for what we're doing. Will it be pretty and fun? We believe so. We're excited about our choices. Will I keep you abreast of decisions? Yes. I am going to DIY things, but not because I want to save money...just because I have the skills and I have ideas. How often will I write? I dunno. Honestly, it's a waiting game right now. Our venue is a park shelter, so I have to wait for the calendar to be open to book it...and then everything from there. It's amazing how easy it is to plan a simple wedding, honestly! But yes, I'll show you my pretty pictures and probably
write rant more about meaningless bullshit.