Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wedding Rules

I was reading A Practical Wedding, one of my most favourite wedding sites, okay, the only wedding site I read other than Offbeat Bride. And I was looking in her Advice section under Sass. I love Sass. Sass keeps me sane. Anyway, point, when she, the writer of A Practical Wedding, got married two years ago now, she had wedding rules she sort of made up as she went along. Hard limits of things that just would not happen.

I love her rules, enough I want to share them:
  1. No DIY projects that involve tying hundreds of tiny bows.
  2. No favors. No apologies.
  3. No use of the word ‘lover’ in the ceremony. Period.
  4. No colors. I know, anarchy is next.

It got me thinking, do I have my own?

I love #2, no favours. I want to do that, but I don't know if I can. I should really. Our budget is already more than I want it to be.

Reading hers I also thought, OMG, #3!! I hadn't though of that, but that is so not happening. But I wouldn't call that a rule, it never occurred to me, it's not being pushed at me, thank the gods!

So what are my rules?
  1. No hoopla.*
  2. No Bridal Shower! No bachelorette! I will not tax my female guests just for being women.
  3. No bridal/wedding party.†
  4. No theme. No colours.
  5. No overly fussy DIY projects.
  6. No favors. No apologies. ??
  7. No registries.¥

* Obviously wedding have a certain amount of hoopla, if you really didn't want hoopla you wouldn't have a wedding to begin with! But I'm trying to keep it to a minimum. I am not a hoopla person. I want to stay true to that.

† This, like #2, stems from my primary rule: No hoopla. There are so many expectations, and traditions, and 'have-to's attached to having a wedding party, I wanted to nip all that in the butt before it began.

?? Like I said, I'm not sure about #6, but I think it's for the best. I have never liked wedding favours. I have never willingly taken one home from a wedding. They are most usually just crap to take up space. We don't have room in our budget for unnecessary things, and I feel favours, are just that, unnecessary. We're feeding our guests, there will be home made cake, what more could they want? The idea of giving our guests a gift is nice, really it is, but any gift worthy of them, for all of them, is just not in our budget. So I'd rather not do it at all.

¥ I don't want to pressure my guests into buying me things. Besides, we live in a tiny bachelor apartment. So I'm not kidding when I say tiny. There isn't even enough room in here for all of our stuff, never mind more stuff! Over half of my belongings are living at my parents house. More stuff is not what we need. I've already told some of Chris' family, and they seemed a bit put out, but whatever. Well, that is until I explained we lived in a space smaller than Chris' parents living and dining room put together. Yeah. Small.

I told Chris' aunt, and I'll be telling everyone else eventually too, that if they want to get us something, then help us put a down payment on a house, aka, give us money. I want to make very sure, however, that everyone is well aware, that what we want most for a 'gift', is their attendance at our wedding. We want them there, we don't care if they get us something or not, that is a gift to us. But if they are set on getting us something, then $$ is the way to go.

Chris was raised English, so he has their traditions and values, mostly. I was raised Canadian, by Maritimers to be exact, so I have their values and traditions. For us, money or gifts are both the norm for weddings. Within my friends, money is the norm for weddings. It didn't occur to me giving money would be seen as anything other than perfectly acceptable. But when I talked with Chris about what we were getting his cousin for his wedding, he balked at giving them money. He wanted to give them a physical gift.

This is something I really don't get. I mean, it's not like his cousin and his wife-to-be haven't been living together for over a year. They bought a house in the last 6 months, I think; sounds to me like money would be the most welcome gift. Money for the mortgage, or the (potentially) needed home repairs that always seem to come with a new house.

I tried to argue that we were going to have to tell them that the only gift option at our wedding was going to be money, how could we not return in kind, and give them money? I tried to argue that money is the best gift - because they can do whatever they want with it. I tried to argue they already have a house, they've been living together for a long time, they don't need 'stuff', but money is always welcome. None of it worked. He still wanted to get them a physical gift!

I did manage to get him to agree to giving them money, but only because he left the gift buying until the wedding day! I had assumed we'd just give them money in the end, so I never even looked at their registry. Come the wedding day there was one gift left, other than a gift card. He finally caved. They got money in their wedding card.

Wow. I really went on a tangent here! My points were (1) We don't have room for more stuff (2) We want to buy a house, so money is the best gift for us (3) Implied in all this, I hate registries. From all I've heard they are a pain in the ass to set up, and I really don't like the idea of forcing my guests to go to specific stores to buy us specific items. I like gifts to be a surprise! And if they can't be, then they should be money. :) Call me materialistic, whatever, at least I'm being true to myself.

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