10 Wedding Tips You Can Go Ahead and Ignore
Kelsey Miller, Contributing Editor
A wedding is a ritual fraught with tradition. Technically, it’s a tradition in and of itself, so it’s no wonder that when setting out to plan your own, you’re flooded with input on what you should and shouldn’t do. Eight months into engagement, I’m elbow-deep in the planning process, and there are just two things I know for sure...
First, wedding advice is necessary. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and I’m so grateful to the experts, friends, and articles that are helping me figure it out. Second, some wedding advice is bad. Amid all the sage wisdom and helpful pointers, there are a million little nuggets of straight-up BS. And because the pre-wedding period is such a crazy-making time, it can be hard to spot the logic amid the lunacy. So, in the spirit of common sense, I present to you the worst wedding advice I have ever received. Because, if you want to avoid the crazy, it helps to see it coming.
1. Spend it all! It’s your wedding!
Spoiler: Weddings are expensive. Some think it should be the most expensive event of your life, arguing that this is not the time for penny pinching and that you should expect to spend [insert ungodly sum] on the big day—even if you have to take out a loan. With rare exception, this is simply bonkers. Absolutely, splurge if you want to and can. But if you’d prefer to save your money for a home or a baller honeymoon, or if you’re not in a position to overspend, then don’t. Whatever you do, don’t let your wedding become more of a financial burden than a joyful celebration.
2. Invite everyone. They won’t all show up.
Courtesy invites are a touchy subject. Does everyone get a plus one? Do you have to invite cousins you haven’t seen since childhood? And what about your mom’s best friend who she insists is “like family” and should get an invite and who—she promises—will politely decline anyway. Bottom line: If you’re inviting someone, expect that they’ll come. You may feel obligated (or happy!) to invite your long-lost cousin or mom’s BFF, especially if your family is helping foot the bill. But pick your battles. Look at the guest list and make sure it’s one you can live with.
3. Everyone loves the bouquet toss! You have to!
They don’t. You don’t.
4. Planners are mandatory/Planners are a racket.
Whether or not you get a wedding planner depends entirely on you: Your budget, your interest in planning, how much time and ability you have to devote to this. If planning is part of the fun for you, do it! If you dread the thought of organizing such an event, get help. It’s probably wise to at least get someone to run the show during the actual wedding (these are often called day-of or month-of coordinators). But planners are neither a must nor a never. It all depends on you and your betrothed.
5. If it’s not white, it’s not a wedding dress.
Is it a dress? Are you wearing it while getting married? Congratulations, it’s a wedding dress.
6. Don’t waste money on flowers/programs/favors/etc.
Everyone has different musts when it comes to weddings, but none are universal. If you don’t give a crap about flowers, keep them minimal—or skip them all together! If you dream of a ceremony bedecked in garlands and exiting in a shower of rose petals, then prioritize flowers on your budget. It’s only a waste if you don’t want it.
7. Let’s keep grandma happy.
Maybe grandma’s bummed you’re having a secular ceremony. Maybe she’s shocked at your knee-length dress. Maybe she’d prefer jazz to Beyoncé. Guess what? It’s not grandma’s wedding. You should, of course, consider the comfort of your guests, especially the nearest and dearest. That may involved compromises, and if so, make them with an open heart. But don’t let grandma or anyone else call all the shots. Remember: You want grandma to be happy, but she wants you to be happy, too.
8. Screw grandma, it’s all about YOU!
On the other hand, don’t make everyone miserable just because it’s “your day.” The wedding isn’t actually all about you. It’s about your partner, too, and all the people you’ve invited to celebrate this step you’re taking together. If you want to be a princess, at least be a benevolent monarch.
9. You can’t see each other before the wedding OR ELSE.
Oh, come on.
10. Just enjoy it! This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life!
For many, many, many people, it’s the opposite. Perhaps you’ve heard, weddings are stressful. If you’re not into public speaking, being the center of attention, or public displays of affection, then your wedding may a real challenge. I know more than one person who claim it was actually the hardest day of their entire marriage! If that's the case for you, don't sweat it. Just grab a glass of bubbly, look at your sweetheart and remember all the days ahead that you have to look forward to. Together.
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