Growing up, all of my friends were obsessed with the idea of extravagant weddings. They seemed to already have an elaborate plan in their heads for when they eventually said “I do.” Of course, I wanted to find a great guy and settle down (which I did, eventually), but I wanted something different than the usual puffy white dress and roses — and that’s exactly what I eventually got. Here’s why my husband I and chose a less traditional wedding:
Who looks good in white anyway? Traditional weddings call for traditional dresses which are all always cream, ivory, or white. I look awful in all shades of white. So instead, my non-traditional outfit was a tea-length black dress with red roses all over it and big red ribbons — colors much more suited to my skin tone!
I didn’t want to trade in my identity, even for the day. Generic weddings are so, well, generic. Also, they’re full of silly traditions that most of us don’t even remember the origins of. So my husband and I decided to go for a more modern approach, leaving all of the bouquet tossing and ring exchanging out of our day.
We didn’t want to spend the money. An average traditional wedding in the US costs about $35,000. Jeeze. Really? I could think of a whole bunch of better things I could be doing with that $35,000, like paying off my damn student loans. Between what our parents spent and what we spent, our wedding came in at about $6,000. After the ceremony, we still had some money left over for fun.
We got married where we met. We met at a comic book store. We’re both nerds, and that comic book store and the people who run it mean a lot to us. We made our registry there too, supporting our favorite local business on our special day.
It was informal and fun, which most weddings aren’t. There were no droning preachers or long speeches. There were no hymnal sing-a-longs or long walks down aisles. Nope, there was just us, being informal like always are. Why would we button up for just this one day? We wanted all of our friends and family to gather for a day of fun. Everyone had a blast, playing games and relaxing. Isn’t that how it should be?
Marriage isn’t the big deal it used to be. Most couples these days live together, have sex, make big purchases, and even adopt animals together before they decide to get married, if they even do get married at all. Although most of my parents’ generation all seemed to get married young, I didn’t get married until after I was 30 — and marriage, once we got there, didn’t seem like a big deal. We just wanted an excuse to throw a big party.
We wanted to nix the religious parts. We aren’t religious. Getting married in a church would have felt like a lie. It was important that the venue, the cake, and all of the trimmings were about us. It was our day, and a church didn’t feel like a comfortable place to party. And, as it turns out, it doesn’t bother us that his super Catholic grandparents don’t agree.
We already pledged ourselves to each other. Since we were already living together, already had our finances entangled, and neither of us is planning on going anywhere, the wedding was just a formality. All the big milestones had already happened, as far as we were concerned. More important ones, like moving in together, having our first argument about toilet seats, and deciding what we want to name our first fur baby had already come up.
The venue was small. Really small. While this might not seem like a big plus at first, it gave us an excuse not to invite some of the people we didn’t want around (Don’t tell my uncle, okay?). It felt really intimate, and everyone there was someone we really wanted to share our wedding day with.
It celebrated an important aspect of our lives. Every couple has a place, a hobby, or a thing that they share that is really important to them. Our wedding allowed us to celebrate that thing and introduce our friends and families to it, too. Not only was I marrying my best friend, but I was also having a celebration of the hobbies that brought us together. And nothing in the world could feel more special than that.
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