I've mentioned my fiancé (still weird to say) and the fact that I'm getting married this fall (crikey) quite a bit, but I've kept pretty quiet about the other parties involved, aka, the wedding party. Now my fiancé and I landed on the five fabulous friends we want standing up there with us pretty quickly, but once we locked them down, we sort of forgot about them. This is not because we don't love these people, but rather because over the last six months, we've discovered we're not terribly wedding savvy.
Some couples fall into the whole wedding planning routine like they were born doing it. We are not one of those couples. We're both pretty busy people in our normal, not wedding-related lives, so remembering to look up calligraphers for escort cards often does not make it onto our to-do lists. But more importantly, we simply don't jive with a lot of the more traditional traditions that appear in and around most weddings.
Many couples today are choosing to do away with a lot of those tired, often sexist wedding traditions, and I'm right there with them. As a former bridesmaid, I've been through them all, and thus am more determined than ever not to subject my 'maids to the same tortures. Here's how the plan is going so far.
Originally, bridesmaids and groomsmen wore matching attire because it was an echo back to the Roman tradition in which 10 witnesses would dress like the bride and groom to confuse evil spirits. That sounded pretty absurd to me, so I decided to break the tradition by having my maids pick whatever dresses they wanted to wear, no matter the color, style, shape or texture. This is sort of an homage to the mix-and-match bridesmaid dress trend, but I'm taking it one step further because I sincerely don't care whether or not their dresses go well together.
Ah yes, another tradition steeped in misogyny. Heaven forbid any woman walks down the aisle by her lonesome. Both times I aisle walked as a bridesmaid, I was paired with married guys who were trying desperately not to look like they weren't touching me more than they needed to while arm-in-arm. Good times. My fiancé and I aren't entirely decided on this issue yet, but it's likely everyone will just walk down solo, or to save time, we'll pair up maids with each other and grooms with each other.
Yeah, yeah, I'm doing one semi-traditional thing with my maids because it's fun and can be interpreted any which way you want. However, one thing we absolutely will not be doing is going out on the town in ridiculous T-shirts that say something like "Ally's last stand." I was forced to wear one such T-shirt at a bachelorette in Nashville, and let's just say we weren't the only ones in matching attire. Saturday night on the Nashville strip is like a freaking color war of bachelorette parties without the fun relay races.
Of course I want pictures of all my 'maids getting ready and hugging and dancing at my wedding — I just don't want any that look ridiculously unnatural and staged. You know which ones I'm talking about. The ones where the photographer positions the wedding party like they're a flying V with the bride and groom at the center? When in the natural world would you ever find yourself standing together like that? Those posed shots end up taking hours to pull off, and several more hours for everyone to unscrew their smiles. Wouldn't it be more fun to say, I don't know, hang out and have a good time while the photographer takes candid shots of everyone?
All my maids are equal in my eyes. There will likely be maids of dishonor at the reception though (wink wink, nudge nudge).
We're having a co-ed party during which no one will have to ooh and aah for two hours while I open kitchenware gifts. Sure, there will be games, but nothing bridal or couple trivia-related. Unless it's couple-style Cards Against Humanity.
The last thing I want my maids to worry about on the big day is having to escort me to the bathroom. What am I, an infant? That's why I got a less bulky dress with easy access to the under area. Rather than feeling like they're on the clock, I just want them to live it up with me (and maybe start fielding Champagne if it looks like I might fall over).
Remember, this is just one bride's opinion. If you enjoy the traditions and what they stand for, by all means. However, if you too are ready to air these rituals out, there are so many ways to go alternative. You just have to think outside the wedding favor box (see what I did there?).
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