Traditional Stuff I Can’t Ever Imagine Rocking At My Wedding

See also: how to bust your budget and give your dear mama a heart attack at the same time. Frankly, I don’t understand half of the things modern brides spend their hard-earned $$$ on. Traditions with which I like to imagine I’d dispense at my own (very hypothetical) wedding:

Bridal Shoes: Why drop hundreds of dollars on shoes you might only wear once? I’m getting married in my trusty men’s size-medium Rainbows. (Oh stop clutching your heart, mom. I’ll slip on a throwaway pair of Payless pumps for the photos you’re in.)

Band or DJ. Look, guys, I don’t dance. Ergo, there will be no (formal) dancing at my wedding. iPod playlist of ambient music for the win. And maybe later, when everyone’s drunk, some enterprising young guest will pump the volume and get a little impromptu dance-off started.

Flowers: What better way to commemorate the immortal union of two loving souls than to commit ruthless and expensive genocide on a few hundred specimens of local flora? Oh wait. My wedding party’s going to be strolling down that aisle bearing bouquet and boutonniere arrangements of origami calla lilies folded from the pages of their favorite books.

Non-Edible Wedding Favors: I love you, dude, but you’re just giving us something to feel guilty when we throw away a few years later.

With all the money I save: the most earth-shattering cake and food ever. Most brides want guests to, as they leave, exclaim: “She looked so beautiful!” Screw that. I want ‘em to cry, “Who the frig catered that?!” What are or were your wedding corner-cuts and priorities?

Posted by TKOG from Not That Kind Of Girl.


Ronise said...

i had such a hard time finding shoes for my wedding! see, I don´t do heels. and i got married in the winter and apparently they don't sell flats in light colors during the winter (in Brazil, at least). then i ended up buying really fancy and expensive flats, with swarovsky crystals all over it. they were really amazing but no one could see them, because they were under layers and layers of fabric from my dress! haha.

Erin said...

I didn't have programs. Because the wedding was a half hour long, and if people couldn't pay attention without a list of what was going on, oh well. Also, my bridesmaids carried a single flower each.

Ashe Mischief said...

I'm totally the opposite about the shoes-- I figure, of everything you'll wear that day, shoes are probably the ONLY thing you'll get the opportunity to wear over and over again. (Except maybe your ring.) So why not buy a great pair that you love and that you can wear? My girl friend bought silver Manolos, because she'd always wanted a pair and found some she loved really cheap. Silver shoes-- she can wear them with any dress, to other's weddings, etc.

Andrea said...

Okay, I'm single and there's no wedding in my foreseeable future, but... what the heck is up with bridal tiaras? The whole "I'M A PRINCESS!!!" thing is so obnoxious and wearing a tiara is the most literal expression of this. If you actually are a princess, please disregard my comment.
I also find the sight of a line-up of friends all dressed and coiffed and posed identically to be kind of dehumanizing.

Katie Mae said...

I'm getting married at the end of July. Food and booze are definitely priorities; flowers are not (TKOG - check out what a friend did at; music is iPod; I got shoes I can wear again. I'm also trying to do whatever I can to keep things local and sustainable (aka Michigan microbrews and wine, seasonal produce, cloth napkins, borrowed/rented decorations). My dress, though from a local independent boutique, cost too much, and I probably won't be able to wear it again. :/ Anyone want a purple ball gown?

That Kind Of Girl said...

Oh, you dudes are right -- ain't nothing wrong with buying awesome shoes that you actually re-wear! I just had a problem with an old co-worker of mine who spent $800 on a pair of Jimmy Choos that she then put in her "wedding memory" box and never wore again. wtf, right?

@Katie Mae: Dude. Your wedding sounds awesome. Local and sustainable is both chic and completely fun. Also, for some reason when I read your description, my mental image of the catering was high-end barbecue, which made me swoon. DO NOT DISSUADE ME! (And your friend's bouquet is exactly what I want to do! Love it!)

Jen said...

I'm with you on the shoes and the non-edible favors. I think favors are one of the biggest wedding wastes of money! I might skip favors all together, or if the budget allows, do a donation to our favorite charity in lieu of favors.

For my shoes, I either want to wear flip-flops, or more likely white ballet slippers (I was a dancer for 16 years)...

Which brings me to the music, my absolute must. I want to dance, dance, dance at my wedding... hence the comfy shoes!

Food and booze are my other key priorities. I want the most delicious meal my guests have ever tasted.

Alana said...

Dude, totally agree. Last September when I got married I didn't even WEAR shoes! Walking down the stairs of our local, beautiful park/sanctuary thingy barefoot felt AWESOME because it had just rained minutes before the ceremony and the concrete steps felt so nice and warm on my feet. Also, totally did away with all the overpriced wedding hoo-hah I always thought of as unnecessary- no $10,000 Vera Wang dress for THIS gal- rocked an off-white sundress that I picked up at Ross for like $7, and-not to toot my own horn or anything- the overall effect was pretty bad-ass.

Melanie's Randomness said...

I agree with the wedding shoes. I will probably find an inexpensive ballet flat to wear because the dress will be so long no one will ever see my feet. hehe.

Anonymous said...

Totally with you!
I was thinking cheap ballet flats and who even needs wedding favors. Isn't food and drink payment enough? :)

Maureen said...

I agree on the shoes, I'm shopping now and would totally prefer to go barefoot. Flowers are also really low on my list, but apparently really high on my mom's list for some reason. I told her I wanted only baby's breath (it's a winter wedding) and she was appalled. We're also not doing wedding favors, we're getting Cuban food catered through a restaurant, my best friend and her dad are making the cake, my mom's cousin is donating the wine, my uncle is a priest and is officiating, I bought my dress off the rack at 70% off, and a friend is altering it, etc. It's all about who you know :)

That Kind Of Girl said...

@Maureen! DUDE. You were already my imaginary bff when you said your wedding would be catered with Cuban food. Then I clicked your Blogger link and saw that you live in Portland, my fantasy city. Stop living the life of my dreams right now! Just stop it! (Alternately: Keep it up, 'cause you seem to be doing an exceptional job.)

Caiti said...

shoes?!? no way...not wearing them...but then again, i'm getting married at my aunt's house overlooking the ocean....probably not even going to wear a wedding dress....

NatalieCottrell said...

Love this post!

Though I do think it's important for the bride to feel gorgeous on her big day, I also think it's a sin how much some ladies spend on their wedding dresses. Very few turn around and sell them (as they usually promise they will to offset the elevated cost), and some of the most beautiful looks I've seen have been assembled for about $700. Oh, and the $500 bridesmaid dresses?! Brides, lock it up. ;)

Happy summer wedding season, all!

Friday After Lunch said...

My perfect wedding would be elopment. Followed by a monthlong stay in Italy. Screw the expensive wedding, I want a rockin destination honeymoon.

If I couldn't elope, I am totally with you on the dancing! I do not dance, and will not be encouraging it. Maybe we'll have a huge foodfight or a game marathon instead. Board games as centerpieces? Twister in a wedding dress? I could get into that.

Carolina said...

I got married in the snow in Tahoma, CA at a beautiful state park with just my (now) husband and I, an officiator and a witness. One and a half minutes of ceremony, and then we walked along Lake Tahoe throwing snow at each other. Cost? A couple hundred dollars, not including the most delicious sandwiches we had for lunch afterward. I'd say everything was with the thought that it was our feelings that mattered and what we wore, ate, and whatever else were just side notes. I wouldn't change anything about it, it was my "dream" wedding no doubt.

I think the best weddings are the ones where the bride and groom do exactly what matters most to them; whether it's the food or the dress or the shoes. It's a dream day - and it's not how much money you spend that makes it a dream. I'd argue sometimes that's what makes it a nightmare.

All my best,

Nikki said...

I didn't have edible bonboniere but since we got married in a rainforest in the middle of summer the fans we laid out of everyone's seats were extremely well liked.. it was hot!

I wore my converse sneakers under my dress, I don't do heels, and besides who wants to spend their wedding day will sore feet?

We didn't do speeches or dances or wedding cake, really it was just a freaking delicious meal with 20 of our closest friends in the Daintree rainforest. Everyone came up for the week before the wedding and we spent our days scuba diving and white water rafting and lazing on the beach.

kahlia said...

Our wedding is this summer, too (July 24th in Union Lake, MI--what up @Katie Mae! Where will yours be?).
My mom insisted on favors, so I insisted on edible favors. We're making my favorite cookies: Earl Grey icebox cookies. yum!
Dessert will be a mountain of Funfetti (not local/organic, but we love it!) cupcakes made by sister, who makes the best buttercream icing in the world, and a couple of cheesecakes my mom's friends are bringing. Oh! And the "wedding cake" will be 2 half-cakes (you know, like people sometimes do for kids' half-birthdays?), one side chocolate with chocolate frosting, and the other side white cake with buttercream, stuck together. That way we both get our favorite flavors!
I found my dress (JCrew Sophia, which is long and flowy, not cream-puff-y), new with tags, on eBay for 65 dollars. Score!
My aunt who works in a greenhouse is growing our flowers from seeds, which we'll leave--alive--in the pots, which people can then take home if they want. I'll carry a bouquet made of local, organic flowers (whichever ones we can get at the Farmers' Market that morning).
We are having a rockin' band, because my whole family is big on dancing, but they'll local and awesome, too!
Also, shoes? I'm weak and can only wear Danskos, for some reason, which are expensive, so I'll be wearing a pair I already own. But they make me happy, even if they're not silver (which would have made me even happier!).
As Meg on says, having a "practical" wedding is not about how much you spend, or having magazine-quality photos, it's HOW you spend your money (in line with what's important to you, of course). So the fact that the band costs almost as much as the (local, organic) food? Not a problem, because that was my dad's #1 priority (and he's paying for that part) + my partner and I really like that band!

And I highly recommend even to those who are not getting married, especially the "Reclaiming Wife" tag, in which we talk about marriage+feminism+re-defining "traditional" roles into something each of us is more comfortable with (among many other great things).

Katie Mae said...

@Kahlia: Ann Arbor, the Friday after yours! Must be a lucky week. :D Your wedding sounds awesome. Thanks for the link - I love it already, especially the philosophical posts! I've been reading for a while. Wanna chat about wedding stuff? If yes, email me at katiesfoodblog at gmail dot com (if no, no sweat).

Danielle said...

Totally with you on pretty much everything on your list, and wish I'd thought of origami flowers! My mom couldn't make it to my wedding so my mum-in-law helped me with everything. Luckily she's as down to earth as I am, so we made all the food ourselves (NZ style afternoon tea anyone?), she made the cake - we got it professionally iced which cut down on costs significantly, we both made the bridesmaid (singular) outfit and guy's waistcoats, and my wedding dress was made from scratch by my amazing godmother! More great stuff? Ipod music, homemade chocolates as wedding favours, local chapel used as the venue which required zero decorating, local equivalent of Payless shoes. Cheapest. Wedding. Ever.

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