When you’re planning a wedding, it seems like everyone (your mom, your MOH, the planner, even the priest!) has expectations about what your wedding day will entail. Maybe they expect it to be a totally awesome reflection of your unique personal tastes – but maybe they expect it to look like the wedding you would have had in the 1950s — with age-old traditions (like a garter toss, receiving line and such), a white dress, a formal dinner and all the elements of a cookie-cutter wedding.
Snotty wedding vendors and complete strangers on the street are always happy to weigh in with their two cents as well. But we’re here to tell you – a lot of the things people except you to have or say or do at your wedding are not “musts” afterall. In fact, some of them are totally bunk. Here are ten pesky wedding myths that people will insist are totally true — but we have strong evidence to the contrary.
1. You have to wear white. It’s your special day. You can wear an ivory satin jumpsuit if you want! (THEIA makes a very chic one). Thanks to Vera Wang you can even wear a black gown (or red! or blush!). Colorful wedding dresses are en mode, so the old notion that you must wear ivory or white just doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, Emily Post tells us that, “Technically, a bride does not have to wear white. In fact, before Queen Victoria, brides simply wore their best dress, no matter the color. The Queen, however, set the trend that became a tradition.”
2. You can’t ask for cash. While it used to be considered uncouth to ask for cash, it’s actually totally acceptable now — thanks to this crop of cash registry sites. Cash sites are like most registry sites – you identify the items you want, and guests choose from the list – but instead of ordering the item, they give you the cash to buy it yourself. You can even register for a home, car, the honeymoon or a charity of your chose. Genius!
3. You need something borrowed, blue, old, and new. This silly tradition, which comes from an Old English rhyme, has been kept relevant for mostly commercial purposes. Trust us – your marriage won’t hexed if you’re standing at the altar sans something blue.
4. You have to have a bouquet toss and garter toss. If these traditions feel a little hokey to you, you’re not alone. Don’t feel the need to treat your guests to either – they’ll have more fun drinking and dancing instead.
5. You have to serve a full meal. There are a range of reception options that don’t involve a seated dinner. A buffet of mini foods (sliders!), food trucks, passed hors d’oeuvres, and even a candy bar are “trendy” and cheap food options to consider. Just make sure to specify that dinner will not be served wedding invitations so guests can plan accordingly.
6. You need a full wedding party (complete with bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, and ushers). People can figure out where to sit on their own, and little kids can be like (little) loose cannons during the ceremony. If you want to keep your celebration as simple as possible, and spare your friends additional wedding-related expenses, scrap the wedding party altogether.
7. You need a planner. You don’t – and it’ll actually be cheaper for you if you book your own vendors, and think outside the box when it comes to outfitting your wedding: get your favorite restaurant to cater your reception. Buy your cake from your favorite bakery or even the grocery store. Get your flowers from the farmer’s market. When you don’t stick to a wedding planner’s cookie-cutter formula, the result can be quite spectacular.
8. Your father has to walk you down the aisle. It’s actually customary for both parents to walk their children down the aisle — so don’t rule out mom from the equation. If you don’t have a father figure in the picture, choose another close family member — a sibling, grandparent or dear old mom would love to do you the honor. You should be escorted by someone you love – regardless of what their familial relationship to you may be.
9. You have to spend a small fortune. Starting a marriage in the red is NOT fun. Create a perfect day that’s within your means, and spare yourself the headache of monthly credit card bill-related squabbling. Alyssa from A Practical Wedding says “You should NOT go into debt just for your wedding. Nor should you go into further debt. It is bad news bears in so many ways, I can’t even tell you… You might have a stunning wedding, but when your credit score keeps you from being able to secure an important loan, that perfect wedding is going to look mighty bad in hindsight.” Find out how to cut corners on literally everything wedding-related (trust me, I’m a Broke Ass Bride expert).
10. The bride’s family pays for everything. Money is a sensitive issue, and weddings are very expensive – so come to a fiscal arrangement that works for everyone. It is no longer expected for the bride’s family to bear the entire burden; the groom’s side and the couple themselves often chip in. Just make sure the language on your wedding invitation reflects the financial breakdown.
Wedding planning stressing you out? You look like you could use a little retail therapy. Shop our guides to the best colored gowns, inexpensive wedding shoes, and unique wedding invitations!