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How to Create the Wedding of Your Dreams

A few weeks ago, my boy called me up frantically inquiring about the ins and outs of formal dining etiquette. What made my laugh my ass off is the fact that I never thought I’d get that call from him — a dude who never went to overly formal dinners in his life. It just wasn’t his reality, nor the reality for his wife, his children, and his extended family.

“Bruh! What’s the difference between the dinner fork, the fish fork and the salad fork?” he anxiously inquired. 

He was in a panic because as the best man in his friend’s upcoming wedding, he had just met with their fancy (and expensive) wedding planner along with the groom, the bride and the maid of honor. She was planning every decadent detail of their wedding right down to the opulent cutlery. But here’s the joke: none of them, bride and groom included, are about that life. 

The couple getting married are country, sports fanatics. They love fishing as much as football, and they live on a farm where they actually have names for each and every animal there. They are laid back, except for when they choose to drink and BBQ with their friends like my boy, who actually introduced them years ago at a local pub in their small town. But they love to party and the most important and priciest party of their entire lives will be far removed from all of the elements that truly make them happy. 

As I continued to talk to my friend, I learned that no one in the wedding party, including the bride and groom, were really looking forward to the event. There will be no BBQ, because they “must” offer either a fish, steak or chicken option. They “must” wear tuxedos with shiny shoes and fancy dresses with heels. And the wedding “must” be held in a palatial, luxuriant hall. When I asked him why he kept using the word “must,” he simply stated, “Everyone keeps telling us that’s just how it’s supposed to be.”

And therein lies the problem with modern-day weddings.

We have all fallen into the trap of believing that our individual weddings “must” adhere to old societal conventions of respectability and felicity predicated on old Euro-tradition. The all-white gown, the veil, the garter, the bouquet, the stacked cake, and the twenty-eleven different forks and spoons, are all remnants of ancient European culture — keyword ancient. That doesn’t mean that these traditions are bad and should be done away with, but it does mean that many of these rituals that we so heartily cling to were actually the modern conventions of their day. Before Queen Victoria wore an all-white wedding dress in 1840, brides just wore a nice dress. But now, because of what happened 170 years ago, we’re locked into an unbreakable chain of repetitive wedding ceremonies. 

What we all need to collectively understand is that the most important first step to creating the wedding of our dreams, is to divorce ourselves from conventional wedding logic. My boy’s best friend and his fiancée are making the same mistake far too many people make everyday: not dedicating their big day to the things that make them happy. They are effectively shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to have a celebration that feels more like a frumpy, uptight job interview than an actual festival honoring their love. 

In very big and very small ways, many of us make that same mistake too. We don’t have our favorite foods at our weddings because it’s not “wedding food,” or we don’t let our favorite spot cater the occasion because they’re not “fancy” enough. We end up making all of these conventional concessions because we truly believe that the key to a “good wedding” is to bend ourselves into the shape that fits the event, instead of the reverse. 

Once again, I want to reiterate that I have no problem with tradition, ostentatious displays, and historic symbolism. I just feel that on the day you choose to celebrate your love, you should do it in a manner that is special and significant to you as a couple. Break down the boundaries and explore what would bring you the most happiness, because at the end of the day, the only thing that really counts is how remember honoring the love of your life. 

Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.