Alternative weddings are all the rage, but some still opt for tradition.
Men and women of my generation seem to be terrified of conformity and tradition, almost to a fault. In today's world, we're expected to express our individuality in every way possible. Everything has to 'say something' about who we are and what we stand for, from the clothes on our back to the car we drive to the coffee we drink.
Maybe it's the anonymity of the internet, the culture of independence, or something more ineffable, but it's undeniable. We take every opportunity to prove we're something new and creative. Same is bad. Different is good.
It shouldn't be surprising, then, that unusual weddings have become increasingly popular. Sometimes I think I've seen them all. Las Vegas chapels. A black and purple wedding cake, perfectly matched to the bride's dress. Wild, forest hilltop settings. Robin Hood groomsmen, complete with tights. Vows exchanged barefoot on Oahu sands. And that's just my college friends. The ceremonies were certainly memorable, and the bride and groom were happy with their choices. Yet as my fiancé and I finalize a date, I can't help but think that I'm going to plan my own wedding very differently.
I'm not normally what you'd call old-fashioned, as a 24-year-old feminist, agnostic video game developer. But when it comes to my wedding, I want to be the princess from the storybook. Despite hunting down the latest fashions in fusion recipes, high-end laptops, and nightclubs, I just don't have the need to make my wedding "modern."
I see a silk-and-lace ivory gown trailing behind me gracefully as a string quartet plays. My niece scatters rose-petals. My nephew carries a ring, carefully, on a velvet pillow. Family members dab their eyes, and the photographs are classic. My prince lifts the filmy white veil to look into my eyes.
I want my wedding, like my marriage, to be timeless, not trendy. I don't want the decorations to distract from a ceremony of once-in-a-lifetime joy and beauty. I honestly don't mind if my friends forget my wedding invitations or flower arrangements. After all, I'm not doing this for them. The love of my life and I don't need to prove who we are or how unique we are. We're getting married to declare our eternal devotion to the world—one that has seen millions of lifetimes come and go. If I had to choose one thing for guests to remember about our wedding, I hope it's the look in our eyes and the sincerity in our vows.
Although I suppose I'm a member of my generation after all, since I can't help breaking a tradition or two. I already have a toaster, so I might just slip an HD-TV onto the bridal gift registry. It's not a storybook gift, but it'll do.