Is it 'untraditional' or 'nontraditional'?
I consulted Google on this, and apparently 'untraditional' means that you're departing from a tradition, while 'nontraditional' means that it was never related to tradition to begin with. So I guess this is a little of both because we've personally never been married and therefore have no set traditions, but we are partaking in a wedding, which is a societal and familial tradition in and of itself.
Although we're having a wedding and making a lifetime commitment to each other that is legally recognized by the State of Oregon (and Hawaii?), my fiancé and I are not super-duper traditional people. We're selecting what we want from the long list of wedding expectations set forth by history or society or religion or whoever makes the wedding rules.
Here's how we're being un/nontraditional about our wedding:
1. We aren't going into debt.
Admittedly, our wedding is going to cost more than we'd like and more than we planned but I suppose that's normal. Normal isn't an excuse (hence the theme of this post) but the good news is that we won't be in the red after all is said and done, which has been important to us from day one.
2. My wedding dress is not a secret from my fiancé.
Joe was right there with me while I browsed for options and has had an active opinion along the way, which is typically just, "That would be really hot on you," followed by a vocal daydream about me being his "wifey."
3. Our wedding party is small and includes only our siblings.
I'm not sure if this is actually a deviation from tradition, but I read that one 2017 wedding trend is to have a small bridal party or none at all. Joe and I lucked out because he has 2 brothers and I have 2 sisters, so that's our whole wedding party. It's great because we don't have to decide who of our best friends are better best friends than our other best friends. Our siblings will wear matching black suits and dresses. They will be wedding celebrities, but the guest count is small enough that they may not even stand up there (wherever that is) with us during the ceremony.
3. We're not having normal bachelor/bachelorette parties.
I'm personally not super into binge-drinking (anymore) and don't find strip clubs to be that compelling. If you haven't already gathered this, I don't think it makes sense to do things that I don't like doing just because I'm getting married. When we get to Hawaii, Joe will be doing a "guys day" golf outing and my sisters are putting on a small bridal shower for me a few weeks before the wedding which will probably include champagne, chocolate, savory snacks, and maybe even a barre class (a few of my favorite things).
4. We're not having a rehearsal.
But we are getting everyone together the day before our wedding for a kickoff dinner. The great thing about having a small wedding is that all guests can be invited to all events. Since everyone is flying to Maui, we want people to feel included and that there are opportunities to see everyone more than once. The wedding will be a 3-day event, starting with the kickoff dinner, then the wedding, and capping off with a farewell day at the beach. I'll be wearing a black dress for the kickoff dinner and likely a black swimsuit for the beach event. I don't even really like white clothing or dresses at all, but I'm not gonna take it as far as to wear a black dress on my wedding day. I still wanna look like a bride. Sue me.
5. We're staying together the night before the big day.
(Surprise! We're not virgins.) I just want to be comfortable, and the most comfortable way for me to sleep is with Joe in a king-size bed. For me, beauty trumps tradition, and beauty sleep is an important part of my bridal prep.
6. We're getting ready together!
Joe will be right beside me while I do my makeup and get my dress on. (My mother and sisters may be there too, but this will all be going down in the condo we're renting.)
7. We might not have an aisle to walk down.
On that note, do I have to hide from everyone as they're arriving before the ceremony? Why? All of this is TBD. We need to scope out the venue (which won't happen until 2 days before the wedding) to figure out exactly where we're gonna say our vows. I'm starting to get really good about my bride-chilla zen, so I'm actually totally fine with this.
8. The ceremony is gonna be like 2 minutes long.
My brother-in-law will be our officiant. He will say a few things, Joe and I will recite our hand-written vows, we'll make the whole thing legal, and then we'll head to the reception! No poems. No prayers. Let's party!
9. We're only having jazz, funk, and oldies music.
This came about because the original venue we wanted wasn't going to be a full restaurant buyout and they only allowed jazz, Hawaiian, or reggae music. I embraced it and found a long list of Jazz covers for popular songs. Now we're doing a full buyout at a different place and can have any type of music we want, but I still wanna stick to my curated list. I basically want to hear the Westworld soundtrack during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Classy af, right?
11. We won't be sitting at our own tiny table.
I want big, loooooooong tables and I want to sit with everyone!
12. We're not doing any of that first dance, father/daughter dance, or other organized dance shit.
We're just gonna dance.
Joe and I aren't total wedding grinches. We're embracing some parts of the wedding industrial complex. Here are some ways in which we are being traditional:
- We sent out paper invitations (mostly because I love stamps and snail mail).
- I'll be wearing white.
- We're having cake 'cause wedding cake is effing delicious and weirdly not that popular anymore.
- My dad is walking me........somewhere.
- Joe asked me to marry him and I wear an engagement ring.
- I'll be taking his last name.
I should note that Joe's and my parents very sweetly encourage us to be ourselves and don't have any reservations or requests for traditions they want us to uphold. We are lucky in that department.
How are you being untraditional about your wedding? Or how were you untraditional? Or what do you hate about wedding culture?
Or what do you love?
Guys, I'm not ragging on anyone else's wedding choices; this is just what we're choosing for the party that we're throwing. What I'm trying to relay is that I think people should do whatever they want! If you love tradition and always dreamed of having a movie-perfect wedding, then you should do exactly that. (I'm not a monster, gosh.)