If you ask me, wedding traditions are bullshit. Theyâ€™re designed to celebrate the bride, which is nice, but theyâ€™re borne from a time when brides were regarded like porcelain figurinesâ€”too fragile to exist without a manâ€™s supervision. Even today, brides are typically escorted into the ceremony by one man and then handed away at the altar to another. And sheâ€™ll do this while dressed in virginal white (uh, yeah, virginâ€¦).
It feels kinda, I dunno,Â gross.
Or maybe I just donâ€™t get it. Iâ€™m recently engaged myself, and my fiancÃ©e isnâ€™t the fragile type. The reason I want to marry her, at least in part, is because of her strength. Sheâ€™s tough. Sheâ€™s independent. She loves me, but she doesnâ€™t need me. She can function just fine without male supervision, and sheâ€™d marry me even if her father didnâ€™t want to “give her away.”
In any event, I entered engagement with no grand plan for our wedding ceremony. I didnâ€™t give a damn about cake, flowers, or tiny crab cakes on cocktail trays. Iâ€™d have been happy withÂ a drive-through courthouse wedding, so long as we could have a raging party afterward. But my bride-to-be, being more sensible than I, kindly steered me toward an event that blends my desire for debauchery with some more traditional elements of matrimony. And with that, theÂ wedding planningÂ had begun.
Weâ€™re only a few months in, so itâ€™s all still new to me. But despite my general cynicism about tradition, Iâ€™m discovering that wedding planning isnâ€™t all terrible. Hell, itâ€™s kind of fun. And here are six reasons why.
It starts with a simple question like, â€œWhat should our colors be?â€ The next thing you know, itâ€™s midnight, thereâ€™s an empty bottle of wine on the table, and the two of you are working out your choreographed dance moves.
This is probably the only time weâ€™re going to be able to force our best buds to wear exactly what we want. And as we start figuring out what that will beâ€”sleek tuxedos and cummerbunds or plaid suits with skinny ties?â€”weâ€™re already imagining how badass weâ€™ll look.
A lot of big ideas crop up in theÂ early brainstorming phase. The fantasy wedding you two scheme up is festooned with candles, flowers, and ice sculptures. The wedding singer (Justin Timberlake, perhaps?) will be flanked by contortionists and illuminated by a laser light show. Sounds nice, right? But then you start crunching numbers and realize that youâ€™re approximately 850 percent over budget. At first, a guy worries heâ€™s letting you down. He canâ€™t make the dream come true. But then you startÂ cutting the superfluous stuffÂ together, and he realizes that youâ€™re more concerned with marrying him than you are with flowers and ice sculptures and Justin Timberlakes. That’s a good feeling.
There are probably hundreds of bad photos thrown away after every wedding ceremony, but the ones we see from our friends, relatives, and random Facebook contacts show perfect, stress-free brides radiating happiness. As the day draws closer, we start to imagine whatÂ youÂ will look like in those photos:Â the pristine dress, ethereal lighting, your huge smile. Itâ€™s a thought that makes even my inner cynic shut the hell up, at least for a while.
At some point, a parent or an aunt or horrible friend will tell you that your wedding ideas are stupid. Theyâ€™ll tell thatÂ youâ€™re not being traditional or extravagant enough. They might disagree with your drink menu or your choice to serve kimchi tacos instead of the usual chicken, beef, or fish entrÃ©es. The two of you will likely make some concessions to keep family happy, but for some decisions, youâ€™ll double down. You’ll defend each other. Youâ€™ll realize that, maybe for the first time in your relationship, youâ€™re a true team, battling for what you believe in.
I canâ€™t help but think of my wedding as a product launch, wherein the relationship that my fiancÃ©e and I have been workshopping for the past few years is suddenly ready for prime time. Itâ€™s an exercise in branding, really: What values are we trying to convey? What colors and symbols and typefaces represent that? How should we frame the marriage that we hope to have? Itâ€™s a fun process to go through with the person you love, and weâ€™re learning a lot about each other.
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