Monday, July 5, 2010

Make It Yours

It wasn’t until I started planning my wedding over 2 years ago that I realized rules are meant to be broken. I couldn’t believe how many “musts” are involved in the traditional wedding. It never occurred to me that my wedding should reflect my wants and personality (and my husband’s). I was more concerned about people being disappointed to experience something against the wedding norm.

But then I wised up. We were on a fairly tight budget, so obviously some of these traditions weren’t going to work out. So, which ones could we throw out? All of them, as it turns out. We started thinking about what was most important to us and how we envisioned the most perfect day of our lives. From there, things just started getting easier-- even fun! And looking back on the way it turned out, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have always been much more of a day person than night, so I decided to have the ceremony at 1pm, followed by the reception at 3. Instead of the traditional chicken, starch & veg dinner, we opted for a pig roast— my husband’s favorite. The dressed pig made for a great decoration (my apologies to the vegetarians) and it was a pleasant change from the typical wedding menu. There were a variety of sauces for the pork, and our sides included pasta salad and grilled marinated peppers, onions & squash. Everyone commented on what a great meal it was.

The next thing I nixed was the veil because it’s just not me. I had some real qualms about this one because you’re only a bride once and I really wanted to look like one. But I also wanted to look like me and the veil just seemed too serious. Along those same lines, I took the liberty of choosing the most ridiculous bible reading of all time because I thought all of the options were a little outdated and silly (I’m a devout Catholic, but you have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes!)… The reading I chose had something to do with “my lover leaping like a gazelle.” I figured I might as well have a little fun with the limited selection. It lightened the mood, too-- everyone had a good laugh.

I am also Irish, which if you know us, we like to shout it from the rooftops. It’s not a detail you leave out of conversations with people you’ve just met. So, I not only canned “Here Comes the Bride”; I hired a bagpiper to do all of my church music. Then, my cousins and I did an Irish dance to open the reception and get people going.

My absolute favorite thing about my wedding was the location of the reception. We were thrilled to find out that my in-laws were willing to let us use their bay house in southern Maryland. We grew up near the water, so having our reception on the St. Clement’s Bay was really a reflection of who we are. People walked along the hill overlooking the water or sat down by the pier over the course of the afternoon. It was truly a relaxed wedding and we were relaxed as a result.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to do anything for your special day. The more you free yourself from the traditional norms, the better your day will turn out—because it will be about you!


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  2. I agree with you completely! We threw out some traditional aspects, too, serving Mexican food, and choosing the processional from The Sound of Music for my walk down the aisle. Personalizing the day makes it so much more special and fun.

  3. You made a beautiful bride!! I like how you made everything your own. The traditional side of it seems pretty redundant. :) Kudos!!

  4. I managed to break a few of the set "rules" when I got married and I am so happy I did. If I had been a little older and braver, I would have broken even more!