Not every wedding choice has to “mean something”

Guest post by ohrachael

CelesteSteve92311sm-62Almost as soon as I got engaged, my mother showed me a small collection of assorted milk glass vases she had at her house. “Do you want to use these for decoration at your wedding? Because I can start collecting more if you do. They're usually like two dollars each.” I took a picture and, when I got home, showed it to my fiancé. “Sure, why not,” he said. I texted my mom. “Milk glass sounds good let's do it.”

Milk glass doesn't have any personal significance to us. I have no idea if it's something a lot of people like or not. It was available and inexpensive and I thought it would look cute with some giant brightly colored paper flowers.

I see this attitude a lot, about weddings, where everything is “supposed to mean something.” Though, really, I'm sure we Offbeat Brides do this too, without necessarily meaning to. Example: “I see everyone else doing [wedding trend], but I'm doing it for [REASONS OF PERSONAL SIGNIFICANCE], so my use of [trendy item] is like SOOO much more valid than that wedding on [traditional wedding blog].”

Like I said, probably reading too much between lines. And… okay, yeah, exaggerating a bit. But here on Offbeat Bride, where everyone is doing their own thing, doing what they love, and not giving a flying fuck about trends, it can feel like, “But what if I just… like something?” And, yes, that something can be trendy. And that's okay.

The other day I was at a restaurant where water was placed in frosted clear wine bottles all over the table. I liked it. I thought, “I should start saving clear wine bottles! This is cute!” Not meaningful. Just cute.

Before we got engaged, I had this grand notion that every little choice that we made about our wedding was going to be somehow representative of us. Now I can't imagine doing that without going crazy from the stress.

“Wait, but Mike, these lavender vases are about two shades off from the exact color that represents my love for you! Are they two shades off in the other direction from your love for me? Because then they'll be PERFECT.”

I understand now that what's going to best represent us as a couple will be to not actually care all that much about our centerpieces, the silverware, or chair covers. What will better represent us will be to say, “Hey, does this work for you?” “Sure, why not?” “Okay great done.” And we can save our energy for the things that we do care about, like how many dinosaurs I can fit into our décor and having amazing food and a venue where we feel comfortable.

If some of the easy “Sure, why not?” decisions along the way happen to take us in a trendy direction, I'm okay with that.

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Comments on Not every wedding choice has to “mean something”

  1. Yep. You can stay true to yourself without every choice being deeply meaningful.

    Most of my wedding choices came down to, “Ooh, this is on clearance for 80% off, and it’s pretty!” which is how I buy/choose most things. Most of my fiance’s choices came down to “what is the simplest possible solution to this problem.”

    The end result totally reflected both of us, and did not stress us out.

  2. So true!! My guy and I were trying to keep the party vibe in our somewhat traditional, slightly offbeat wedding but I kept finding myself being sucked into “must-haves” and “statement” pieces, of being obsessed with choosing a theme and conveying it properly. Then I worried my choices would be viewed as “trendy” and I would have to accept my part in contributing to the great WIC. Eventually I realized, it didn’t matter. Wedding can be a theme and the more relaxed “We like it, it fits our budget and it works with what we’ve got” attitude is more accurate and truthful representation of who we are as a couple than any place card or centerpiece ever could be.

  3. And honestly, years later, you will not remember most of those “special details” of the wedding day anyhow. I recall that we had a great party with lots of dancing & my sweetie & I wore awesome outfits (that we’ve worn several times since). The stuff on the tables, the favors, the flowers, what our attendants wore (other than it was black), blah blah blah, it’s all a blur unless I go dig out the photo albums.

  4. The answer to the question of dinosaurs is “quite a few.” They play a central role in our own wedding thematic hodge-podge, which is best described as “stuff probably one or both of us likes or at least it’s easy and neutral.” Dinosaur invitations and dino toys on the tables? Check. Pinwheels that will stand in for flowers if we can’t get our DIY s*** together the day before the wedding? Check. Our outfits and rings don’t match each other’s or have any correlation to the color scheme(s). None of the above is laden with personal or familial significance. We just liked what we liked. Maybe few guests will judge, but whatever. We’re going to have a really fun party and also be married.

  5. Ok, so Janny liked this on facebook so I clicked on the article to read seeing the milk glass. I think OMG this is exactly what happened with Rachael. I read further, Duh, it is Rachael. Your wedding will be beautiful and fun. It will all be meaningful just because you and Mike are getting married because you love each other and want to share your lives with each other. And Um well, I’ve collected a few dinosaurs for you, I can’t help myself, I have no idea if you can use them but the little boy at the yard sale was thrilled with the $5.00 for his old dinosaurs. Love, Mom

    • “I have no idea if you can use them”–when have you known me to NOT be able to use a dinosaur?

      Thanks Mom!

  6. Haha this is a very spot-on article. Our grooms cake was a tree trunk…because we liked it. and it was easy to make out of chocolate. But this particular thing, out of everything at the wedding, had people so anxious about WHAT IT MEANT. It means…we like trees? Trees are brown? I don’t know, just shut up and eat the damn cake! There are other things here that are meaningful, ask about those!

  7. “And we can save our energy for the things that we do care about, like how many dinosaurs I can fit into our décor and having amazing food and a venue where we feel comfortable.”

    Really, these are the things you should put your effort toward. Dinosaurs, like in the wedding favors that we gave out, and the dinosaur pinata with the adult treats (plastic liquor bottles, condoms, glow sticks, candy, stick on tattoos…I think there were other things but I didn’t get to witness that part of my wedding), and the dinosaur figures with rings in their mouths…….. That’s what’s important, IF it’s important to you.

    • There’s an adorable little dinosaur piñata at Target that I’ve been eyeing, AND I saw this super cute photo shoot on Pinterest last night that was a couple all dressed up in their wedding clothes beating up an piñata and having CONFETTI fall all over them! I thought, yes, a use for the dino piñata! I don’t know where I’d find one big enough for liquor bottles.

  8. I’ve found this a bit with some people’s reactions to our theme (birds). It generally goes like this:
    “So what’s your theme? ”
    “oh why birds?”
    “Because they are cool”
    “Oh… *weird look*

    • Our theme is 90s music and movies. I’m gonna have a hard time explaining why I’m walking down the aisle to the Forrest Gump theme song.

  9. We’re in the same boat on this one, totally. If every little thing has meaning, I would be out of spoons so fast I’d never be able to wake up from a long night’s sleep again.

    Some decisions we’ve made are because we just LIKE them. We put “meaning” significance into some aspects, but not others. To be able to make just dry decisions using logic and some harsh reasoning has saved us many stupid fights over petty crap that, in the end, won’t matter.

    I think that what’s really come through for me, though, is that even in these decisions it’s really shown me what I feel to be important about even those “unimportant” things. Like, for decor, I want everything to be reuseable. Whether that means we’re repurposing something for the tablescape (did I just say tablescape? oh, totally did.) or buying a lot of our decor second hand, I want to make sure that whatever we consume for the wedding, as much as I can, will be able to live on in some way — whether in our home or someone else’s.

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