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Did you ever see the movie Bride Wars? [If you haven’t, stop now… and pat yourself on the back for your discerning taste.]
In it, the eponymous warring brides meet with a wedding planner, and the first item of business is to share their wedding themes. The brides spout off well-rehearsed nonsense phrases: one seeks “elegant minimalism with romantic textures;” the other “classic traditionalism with trendy infusion.”
That might sound like a load, but chances are you have a buzzword or two that you toss around with friends or vendors to give an idea of what you want your wedding to look like. Today, I’m going to walk you through a few of the most common wedding theme buzzwords, and what they really mean for the Broke-Ass Bride.
Your buzzword: Rustic.
What you want to express: My wedding ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. I just slapped these charming pieces together into a warm (if rough-around-the-edges) bundle of homey warming unifying warmth.
What you worry it will express: The peeling paint on my recovered-cabin-log ceremony benches is a metaphor for where my marriage will be in ten years. Also: I don’t care if you get splinters on your tush.
Budget-friendliness: Moderate. The key is to find things that are actually rustic, as opposed to new things that have been distressed. Because paying someone to make something brand new look old and used is rarely budget-friendly.
Sanity-friendliness: High. Every DIY mishap can be chalked up to enriching the lived-in, hand-made ambiance. Matching is a very low priority, so you can throw pretty much whatever you have on hand or whatever you can find at the wedding.
Your buzzwords: Simple and elegant.
What you want to express: Had representative government failed to find a global foothold, I’d probably be a princess right now.
What you worry you will express: I have no personality other than holding up a mirror to my imaginary royal self.
Budget-friendliness: When the emphasis is on simple, high. When the emphasis is on elegant, moderate to low.
Sanity-friendliness: Moderate. It will be easy to find the building blocks for a simply elegant wedding, and not too difficult to stay on budget, but there is always the risk that arranging 20 centerpieces out of 700 identical ivory votive candles will push you over the edge.
Your buzzword: Vintage.
What you want to express: My kids are NOT going to laugh at my wedding for being dated. My wedding will transcend passing fads, floating across the years in a bubble of timeless class.
What you worry you will express: My grandkids are going to be seriously confused about how old Nanny and Pop-Pop are. Also, does it smell musty in here?
Budget-friendliness: Varies. Here, the era you’re shooting for can make or break your budget. As can your dedication to true-vintage pieces vs. “vintage inspired” items. Which isn’t to say that one is always more budget-friendly than the other… leading me to…
Sanity-friendliness: Low. Do you ever want to ask yourself “Is this border swirl more Edwardian than Art Nouveau?” Do you want to worry if your grandmother will recognize that your 40’s-style victory roll hairdo doesn’t really go with your 50’s style tea-length party dress? Do you want to add hours of library research to your wedding to-do list? If you answered YES to any of those questions, you might be a history dork like me. But if you answered NO, than you are a SANE PERSON, and you should NOT try to have a vintage wedding. Hint: swap in the buzzword “timeless,” which is like “vintage” minus any effort toward historical integrity.
So, fellow broke-asses: do you have wedding buzzwords? Have you found them budget- and/or sanity-friendly?