I want to talk about our wedding party.
There seem to be a lot of traditions and rules in North American/European anglophone culture surrounding bridesmaids and groomsmen that there is heavy pressure to follow. I imagine that if you have been reading my posts thus far, you probably know how I feel about arbitrary rules, especially if they are outdated, rooted in sexism or classism and/or expensive.
(Coincidentally, its also how I feel about using outdated memes.)
Here are some of the rules that I have observed (Although, I know that some of them are undergoing shifts, and there are many regional and cultural variations):
- The bride must have a maid of honor and the groom must have a best man.
- There must be an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- Brides have bridesmaids, grooms have groomsmen.
So, unsurprisingly, I am rejecting some of these rules.
First of all neither of us have a clearly delineated “best friend” who we feel comfortable elevating over the others, and we both have multiple siblings. For some people, there’s an easy answer for who will be the best man and maid of honor. For us, there isn’t — so we aren’t going to have them.
Second, Ev and I have friends of all genders, so we have a couple of bridesmen, and groomswomen.
Given that we’ve known each other for 11 years, and have been dating for five, There are a few people who are as much my friend as his, and could as easily be on my “side” as his. He also makes friends more easily than I do, and has moved all over the country, so he’s asked seven people (five men, two of which are the potential overlappers, and two women) while I’ve asked four women. Whether separated by gender or by side, there’s not going to be symmetry. In lieu of either cutting people out, or asking more people, I just threw up my hands and said, “screw it.” The photos of us all together will be lopsided. We will deal.
Therefore, we’ve established that it’s more of a collective “wedding party” than two separate ones.
I know that this will create a few questions in terms of how that’s going to look in terms of bachelor/bachelorette parties, getting ready the morning of and so on, but I’m sure we will figure it out along the way, and handle it.
To be continued …
One big question about wedding planning that loomed over us for months was, where were we going to have it?
Evan and I are both originally from the prairie region of Canada, and most of our families live out there. Currently, we both live and work in Ontario. Most people expected that we would have our wedding in our hometown — it’s where we grew up, we’ve got the beauty of the Rockies in our backyard, and nearly all of our family and childhood friends live there.
However, we were struggling to find a venue that fit our needs. A wedding at a resort in the mountains was way out of our price range, and the venues that suited our guest count located in and around the city just didn’t seem to fit our style. In addition, we only go home to visit two to three times a year for a few days, which limited our ability to go check out venues and meet with planners. As our options dwindled, I held fast to the idea of the hometown wedding because of the guilt associated with requesting that our loved ones have to spend time and money to schlep to the other side of the country to attend our wedding.
I’ve heard from one friend who had a destination wedding that you can plan a wedding remotely, but you generally need to hire a wedding planner to coordinate on your behalf, eliminating some of the personal touches that we wanted. I started to put out tiny little feelers for venues in our area of the country, just to “keep our options open.”
We ended up stumbling an adorable little venue an hour away from us, in wine country, that perfectly suited our tastes and budget. The owners of the venue recommended excellent vendors, and I was able to meet them at my convenience, rather than try to cram meetings into limited-time visits home (when I’d much rather be hanging out with my family and friends!). I wanted this venue so bad, but I was afraid to tell my guests — would they be upset?
As per usual, my inner voice was entirely too fatalistic. Everyone understood, and they were happy to make the trip to see us tie the knot. Likely, they’ll end up seeing a wedding with a less stressed-out bride and groom, which is nice too. Yes, there’s lots that can be done to ease the financial burden of guests, but to some extent, there’s a point at which you’ve gotta do you. This was mine.
How did you compromise to help your guests but save your sanity?