There is a lot of rubbish surrounding weddings, and as soon as you mention the word “wedding” people turn into utter maniacs (me included).
There are things I’ve worried about that I never even knew were things before I got engaged, and it’s all frankly ridiculous. So I’ve decided to write a guide on how to navigate Rubbish Wedding Fluff to help any brides-to-be who are currently sweating over what font to use on their invitations (seriously, no one cares apart from you).
1. People think it’s open season to say weird stuff to you when you’re getting married
I posted the above list on Instagram a few weeks ago and people got a bit sniffy with me, which sort of proved my point.
People seem to think it’s fine to start commenting on your weight, what clothes that suit you (“I don’t think white is really your colour” – what exactly are you trying to say there, pal?), or that your hair really should be a different length or colour. One person even told me, 18 months before my wedding, that it will definitely rain on the day and be miserable for my guests. I mean, why say that? Why?! I’ve found these people will say something fairly dreadful and then in the next breath “It’s such a happy time” with a wistful smile. They’re not even joking, they are that lacking in self awareness it’s almost admirable. They don’t know they just stamped on your heart and made you internally cry/scream (delete as appropriate).
Brides and grooms-to-be: don’t listen to these people. When folk start giving unsolicited, unhelpful advice or making ridiculous demands as wedding guests, just tune them out. You have enough to worry with what with sorting out guests’ bizarre dietary requirements (why do so many people hate melon? Why have they told me this, we’re not even serving melon?), chasing guests for their RSVPs and trying to find a DJ who won’t play ‘Agadoo’. These barers of Wedding Nonsense need to be ignored. Then, if those people happen to be wedding guests, sit them all on a table together to share in their abject negativity on the day. Best to quarantine those bad vibes, right?
2. Favours – no one likes sugared almonds
I guarantee someone will now message me saying “I quite like sugared almonds, actually”. To those people I say: I am tuning you out (see above). What I mean here is: don’t bother with the fluff around weddings that doesn’t mean much to you. You don’t have to do favours if you don’t have any strong feeling about them. No one will miss it on the day.
We are doing favours, because we found something we actually wanted to give our guests, but if we hadn’t I would’ve had no qualms in not doing favours. You’re already paying for these people’s food, drink and entertainment for the day. You don’t need to give them a weird, tiny gift too.
And it’s not just favours. Think about what really matters to you about the wedding and focus you attention and budget on those things. If you have the patience and cash for extra frills later on (word to the wise: you won’t), great. If you don’t, no worries. The important thing is you’re having the wedding that you, as a couple, want.
3. Being called a bridezilla
This is just plain old, slap-in-the-face offensive. The term “bridezilla” is normally thrown about by people who have no idea how complicated it is to plan a wedding of any reasonable size (or else their wedding was/is going to be rubbish as they’re so disorganised).
“Bridezilla” name calling is also garbage because, as one of my awesome bridesmaids pointed out, there’s no equivalent for a groom. In my experience the groom is just as involved (and stressed) as the bride – so why does the bride get called crazy but the groom gets praised for caring? Screw that.
I think everyone has moments of slight madness when planning a wedding. It’s hard not to. Sometimes you lose perspective. That’s OK – people do worse things all the time (murder, theft, posting Minion quotes on Facebook…). You care about your wedding and that is a good thing. Call me a bridezilla one more time and I’ll rip your stupid head off. Ahem.
4. Wedding tax
It’s an well-recognised phenomenon that as soon as a “supplier” (that’s the wedding term for someone who is providing a service at your wedding – flowers, food, music) knows you’re contacting them about a wedding they add on a 40 per cent wedding tax to their quote. (As an aside, they tend not to include the compulsory 20 per cent VAT on their quotes the first go ’round – watch out for that!)
But do not stand afraid of these money-grabbing tyrants. Lose a bit of your Britishness and go back to them with a counter offer. You don’t have to take their first price, you can trim and change what you want until costs lower to a figure where you won’t have to sell one of your vital organs to fund your nuptials (and if you must, always go for the kidney – you have two of those suckers).
We’ve worked really closely with our suppliers to ensure we’re getting what we want for our money. I’m not even sorry. I don’t have more money than sense. I want to be spending my budget on free booze for our guests, not catering staff’s astronomical commuting costs (yeah, they add that in there).
5. Rules are there to be broken
In a similar vein to my Favours Rant™, I’d like to cut through the crap about wedding traditions.
Sure, wedding are a tradition in and of themselves, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow a tick list of doing everything the way your forefathers did. If we did that with everything, we’d still be fretting about falling off the side of the earth and letting senile old Monarchs boss us around (oh, hi Charles).
Do the traditions that feel right to you, if indeed any do. My Dad is giving me away, but that’s not for everyone. We’re going to listen to our Banns being read – again, most people don’t know what Banns are these days.
But there’s loads of stuff we’re not doing. I bought Debrett’s Wedding Guide when we first got engaged, mainly for the LOLz. There are some corkers in there, such as addressing invitations to the woman in a couple, as she manages the social diary (presumably her husband/partner is much too busy marching around in a top hat in the City somewhere to be concerned with such frivolities). But I’ve found that’s part of the joy of planning a wedding – finding out about all these weird quirks and then not paying any attention to most of them. Do what I want. And that is basically the theme of our wedding.