Oh sure, we wondered, we thought about it, we assumed, but being ever so tactful, we never actually asked if there would one day be a wedding for my daughter and her boyfriend of two+ years, Nick.
Now it gets hilarious - time to plan the wedding! Here's where my daughter and I differ just a bit. She dislikes any kind of attention, and I mean really. At Christmastime she doesn't even like people watching her open gifts. I'm guessing when it comes time to walk down the aisle, we'll just have the priest ask everyone to close their eyes. That should work and not be too weird, right?
I know things have changed since 26 years ago when I was planning my wedding, but people have been getting married, I'm pretty sure about this, for quite some time. The basics haven't changed all that much, it's the "fluff" that has taken on a life of its own.
My sister sent me this article about how Pinterest is taking over weddings and it's just too funny. Her point being, all those "original" ideas are now predictable and aren't quite so original anymore. Her comments about cowgirl boots, Mason jars, photo booths, and stick mustaches are right on the money! And honestly, the first 200 times or so that I saw Mason jars used various ways, I loved it and couldn't wait until we could be Mason-y, but now we may take a pass on that one.* Kind of like the first time I saw a family/couple/children's photograph taken from behind while they walk down a railroad track/wooded path/flowery lane. There will be no pictures of me, by choice, from behind. I'll take a pass on that one, too. Nobody wants to see that, believe me.
I don't want to butt in and take over so I told Meredith, "Please just throw me a bone and let me be in charge of something, even if it's stamps." Well, she doesn't have a whole lot of interest in all the hulabaloo and said I can be in charge of anything I want to. I admire her that it's the marriage that she's excited about and spending her life with Nick, not all the fluff, and she's not out to impress anybody which is one of the things I love most about her. Welllll, OK! She does need to promise to stop saying, "Who does that!?" and, "What's the point?"
I work at the library, can you tell?
A few things that I need to get used to that either they didn't have in my day or I never heard of or used them if they did:
1. "Save the date" cards/magnets/etc. It's to tell people to clear their calendars and keep the date of the wedding open. Hmmm... the jury's still out on this one for me. How about we send them an invitation and if they can make it, great! I don't want to sound like Meredith, but what's the point?
2. A wedding website. I've only seen a couple of these but Meredith and Nick won't even get on Facebook so I knew this was a no and double no.
3. Wedding "themes". This isn't West Side Story or a Disney movie, it's a wedding. The theme is wedding. Although, I do have to admit when we were looking at the St. Louis Zoo as a reception venue (so awesome!!), I thought it would be cute if the bridesmaids wore a simple black dress with a zebra or cheetah sash. So cute, right!?
4. Wedding registries have come a long way, baby! People can now register at Target, Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, you name it. I love that. And yes, I've accepted the fact that they can't register for two of something just because I need a new mixer. I get it, OK!? I think we should start a new trend ~ the "I've been married for a long time and need new stuff" shower.
Speaking of registering, this cracked me up ~ I was telling Meredith she needs to think of her colors for their kitchen and bathroom, etc. for when she registers. She looked at me strangely and said, "Why?" I told her, "So people know what color towels and stuff to get you," and again she got a puzzled look on her face. "Who wants certain colors of towels, we just use them to dry off?" I'm a white towel person so I can kind of understand why she's confused, but that just threw her for a loop that you can register for certain colors of towels, sheets, etc. Can you tell we haven't had any weddings around here lately?
OH - and I love that now you can register online with your honeymoon destination (great idea!) and memorial & tribute registrations so people can give to a charity chosen by the bride & groom. Nick's mom passed away several years ago and they were trying to think of something that could contribute in some way to honor her and now they have that option to give their guests.
5. Couples showers. I love the "idea" but the reality is that the wedding is basically a place to get something for the couple. Gifts for men are expensive, except alcohol, and that's awkward when you don't know someone's beliefs. These are usually young people and the girls have already spent money on a bridesmaid's dress and probably a bridal shower or two. Maybe because I've never met a guy that thought the idea of a shower sounded like fun, it's influencing my thought process on this.
6. Father-daughter dances that start off slow and turn into some disco boogie spectacular. Again, funny the first 100 times, now eh, not so much.
7. Photo trends. I remember for our engagement going to JCPenney and they took a few couples shots and we were finished. Nowadays they're done "on location" and there are dozens and dozens. That got a pretty quick "No" from Meredith so I told her why don't I just take them? I've got a great camera and we can go to a park nearby and get a few shots and be done with it. She agreed to that but only wants a few. Yes, Miss Minimalist, I know.
One thing that is everywhere you turn, is a heart made out of either your fingers, your intertwined hands, or even your wedding guests in the parking lot or a nearby field.
There's one trend I love but I know won't happen. It's a picture of the bride and groom before the wedding each standing around a corner from each other holding hands. Awww, presh! It won't happen, I know that, but I do have another daughter so maybe someday. I can say with 99% certainty there also won't be any cutesie shots of all the bridesmaids jumping in the air or anything that looks like them trying to pull back the groom who looks like he's trying to escape.
8. Party favors. It seems like now at every wedding there is a party favor of some kind at each seat. If they did this in my day I don't remember it, but I love this idea! Meredith and Nick would rather donations be made, but I think it would be fun to do both.
9. Late-night food. More and more lately we're seeing a late-night refresher of food for the reception guests. And by late-night, I mean like 10. Anything from pizzas, to White Castle, to fries & Coke, you name it. One article I read was how to keep people at your reception to the end and food was one of the ideas. Why are you trying to keep people from leaving if they want to go, I don't get it? It's funny because I know, as a bride, I just assumed everyone was as excited about my wedding as I was.
10. Last but not least, one trend that I don't even think they know is a trend, but was the first thing Meredith wanted at the reception...a hot dog bar. Not that hot dog bars are a trend, but food bars of any kind are showing up everywhere - pasta bars, cheesecake bars, mashed potato bars (that I did for a dinner at Nick's one time), burgers, sundaes, and on and on.
Simple is the name of her game for reception food ~ hot dog bar, three kinds of pizza, chicken wings, and a few other goodies. It was worth it just to see the look on my mom's face when we told her there was going to be a hot dog bar at the reception. Don't worry, it'll all be on china plates and served with total class. It's going to be a fun experience seeing things through Meredith's eyes ~ it's already opened my eyes to how much hype and over-doing there is going into weddings these days. It's a (hopefully) once in a lifetime event, so I think you need to have fun, make it beautiful, and enjoy your day and soak up every moment of it.
*Let me put in a disclaimer here that by saying I do or don't like something doesn't mean I'm right or wrong or that someone else shouldn't do it or have it. I don't care how anyone does his/her wedding or pictures or reception. If you want a monkey marrying you upside-down from a tree holding a banana, you should have that because it's YOUR wedding. That's what makes everyone's wedding special - because it's unique for that couple. Understated or over-the-top, it's your day. What matters is the happily-ever-after and how you prepare for that. And who knows, by the time all is said and done, Meredith may be wearing a stick mustache and posting all about her and Nick on their wedding website. Anything is possible.