{Wedding}: What we’re not doing

wedding invitation banner

Snippet of our invite. Copyright Dennis Thompson 2012.

It’s safe to say I’m a nontraditional bride. I’d even go so far as to say I’m an anti-bride. (But I’m still Southern!) There are a great many things I, nay, we’ve decided to do differently. I’ve always believed that a wedding should reflect who you are as a couple and not do things simply because it’s social convention or trendy. I love heritage and tradition as it relates to family but we don’t have much of it with regards to weddings in my family.  It’s wonderful to wear your grandmother’s veil if you have it but some of our grandmother’s were daughters of blacksmiths. They eloped or went to a justice of the peace. The wedding doesn’t mean any less without these things of course.

No attendants.

Being a bridesmaid is fun when you’re in your young twenties but loses its luster as we move into our thirties. We realize just how much we are asking of our friends for this role. Most importantly, it can be an expensive request. When I shared that we had decided against attendants, my friends all said they would be more than happy to wear an ugly dress for me if I wanted it. Needless to say, we all had a good laugh over that one! Who doesn’t have an ugly bridesmaid dress story to tell?! For me to ask friends to spend money on a dress they will likely never wear again is unbelievably selfish. And even though dresses are a might prettier today than yesteryear, I still have never worn a bridesmaid dress after the wedding for which I purchased it. No way I was doing that to my friends. I would only have asked them if I could have paid for it myself. I’ve always thought that if you’re going to ask people to be an attendant, then YOU should foot the bill  for their required attire. It is YOUR wedding after all. It may be tradition to have attendants but it was also tradition to get married in the backyard of your family home and have one attendant who simply wore the best dress she already owned. So in some ways I guess I am reverting to tradition. At least in the “getting married in the backyard” sense. 🙂

No writing of personal vows.

When we met with our officiant, Dan, he asked what we wanted for our ceremony. We pretty much said, “Do what you like. This is your area of expertise”. He appreciated it but not in an egotistical manner. We’re supremely fortunate that Dan is a very dear friend and we knew we could trust him to do this without much input from us. We don’t believe we can say it any better than he can – I defy anyone to try.

No padding.

I was initially a bit anxious that our ceremony is slim with regards to time and flirted with the idea of adding “something”. If something is meaningful to you as a couple, do it. Don’t pad your ceremony with vignettes of people doing things just to make the ceremony longer. We ultimately decided against solos or readings. There will be no lighting of a unity candle or pouring of symbolic sand in a vase. We’re going for simple. Nothing to detract from the words spoken to one another – the whole reason we’ll be there in the first place. When Dan asked us about the framework of our ceremony, I shared that I felt no need to pad the ceremony just to wear my dress longer. He laughed. Knowingly. Which brings me to the dress…

Dress shopping.

I didn’t do the big dress shopping excursion that daughters usually do with their mothers and grandmothers. Of everything we decided to not do, this is the one thing I wish I could have done. Even after I purchased my dress I later lamented to the Mr. how I wished I’d had that moment. His response? “Babe if you want to buy a dress to have that moment, then let’s see that it happens.” I choked back tears over that! But what I wanted can’t be purchased in a bridal store; at least not one where I live. I wanted vintage and color! Vintage is what I bought which means I didn’t have the family outing. However, I did show mom every dress I liked before I purchased. So essentially she was there. We were just looking at my laptop instead. And the bonus? I got two dresses for less than half what most women spend on one. Plus no one will have a dress that looks like mine. 🙂


Oh we purchased rings. We just did it differently. We bought the Mr.’s ring on etsy. I showed him a ring I thought looked like “him” and he got interested in the possibilities of anything besides a gold band. He originally wanted a wood ring but changed his mind to meteorite instead. I can not say how excited I am for him to have a little piece of the universe on his finger. He proposed on one of our shuttle launch excursions so it’s extra special in my mind. As for mine, we didn’t go the traditional wedding band route. I really wanted a band on each side of my engagement ring but I needed them to be narrow since I wanted two of them. I have very small hands and anything large just looks silly on me. The perfect solution? Ladies stacking bands. They happened to have two diamond ones and it worked out perfectly. (Bonus: they’re also less expensive than traditional bands!) You can get them in most any semi-precious stone, too. I almost chose two blue topaz bands. Almost. The Mr. suggested getting those at a later date. I like that idea!


I’ve decided to not carry a bouquet. Most will be surprised since I’m known as an avid flower gardener. I really wanted to do something different plus I don’t have an attendant to hand it off to when we exchange rings. But I’ve found a fabulous substitute that fits perfectly with my vintage dress. You’ll just have to wait to find out what it is! And no I will not be tossing it the single women in attendance!


No, just no. Even as a kid I found that to be pervy.

No his and hers cakes.

Actually no to cake period. For multiple reasons. First, I dislike his and hers cakes. I’ve never really understood the separation. The bigger reason we’re not having cake is due to our wedding being outside. It may be hot. Or not. The weather changes every 15 minutes in middle Tennessee so one never knows exactly what to expect. I would hate to purchase a cake from my favorite baker only to have it be a pile of buttery goo in the heat. I asked the women in my family if they would bake pies and cobblers to bring for a dessert table. It’s so much more special to have homemade desserts from family and it’s a way for them to be included in the day. In a later post I’ll share what my lovely girlfriends did for us at my shower with regards to cake!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s