Five Overhyped Wedding “Traditions”

by Sarah Macdougall on May 13, 2013

five overhyped wedding ideas to avoid - don't make these mistakes!Weddings are great. It’s fun to see people you care about getting married to people they care about, and it’s always fun to place bets (why yes, I am a horrible person, and no, it’s not a problem, I can quit whenever I want). That said, there are some things that might make your guests leave with a bad taste in their mouths.

1. Some Like It Hot

Outdoor weddings can be really sweet. Depending on where you live, they can also be really unpredictable. I have the fantastic fortune of living in an incredibly humid state. While I love the idea of a wedding in which everyone is surrounded by nature and the light breeze ruffles your crinoline and doesn’t mess up your hair (because it’s not just wind, it’s MAGIC wind, filled with the dust kicked up by unicorns), I am not quite as in love with the idea of sweat running down my thighs and leaving a butt print on a plastic chair. I know I’m not the only one with this problem, but I feel like everyone who passes the chair after I leave it looks down and is like, ew, what do you HAVE in there, a rainforest? I know this isn’t the case but it always has me making a beeline for the nearest restroom so I can check for any other embarrassing things, just in case. I can’t do it in a sundress, so it’s hard for me to fathom how you can do it in layers of tulle.

2. Choreographed Perfection

I know a young couple who was engaged for four years. FOUR. YEEEAAARRRSSSSuh. And their wedding was cute. A little too cute. I’ve mentioned this couple before because of their complete lack of stationery (mortal sin in my eyes), but their wedding was full of inside jokes and musical numbers. Which would’ve been dandy, but they invited literally everyone they knew, which meant they then had to EXPLAIN the jokes and references. I’m not exaggerating here. They had bridesmaids singing in the ceremony. They sang to each other during the ceremony. They exited clutching each other’s arms and wielding light sabers. Their first dance was a choreographed swing number, and the groom then swagged himself up to the mic to serenade his blushing bride, while she gazed on adoringly. One of the bridesmaids mentioned that they kept referring to it as “the show”. And that’s what it felt like. It didn’t feel like a celebration of the love between two people and the union of their families, it felt like a (kind of bad) off-Broadway musical.

3. Traditions for the Sake of Tradition

If tradition is up your alley or you know it would mean a lot to your family, by all means, skip this paragraph. There’s a photo that’s been going around Pinterest of a guy throwing the garter wrapped around a football as a new and conventional garter toss, and the caption is always some variation of “OMG this is sooooo perfect!” I think that that PICTURE is perfect. But I imagine that trying to shove a garter around a football might just lead to kind of an awkward pause. I can’t even put on tights, and this is something I have to do at least once a year. And what happens next? To me it’s like, you removed that with your teeth, gross, and what straight male is going to keep a garter? Do you give it BACK? Where do you keep the football the whole night? What’s the protocol for this kind of thing? Personally, I’m also not a huge fan of bouquet tosses. This might be because I’m short and I tend to get smothered by the large estrogen mob, or because I can’t catch, but I also feel that if I were in a situation where I had to launch flowers toward a bunch of women clawing at each other, I’d feel really bad for the flowers. This is not a lie. My mom used to make me feel bad for my vegetables so I’d eat them when I was little. True story. Point is, do it if you want, but make sure that’s why you’re doing it. If you find yourself exasperatedly huffing about how you’d rather not do this but how you have to “because it’s just what you DO”, you’re allowed to not.

4. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Apparently there’s such a thing as a wedding with like 12 bridesmaids. I’ve always had trouble picking a “best” friend, to me they’re all pretty swell, if not necessarily at the same thing… But if I made every female friend I have part of the wedding party, no one would be sitting in the chairs. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out, so it’s very possible that I would just stand up there alone, rather than lose sleep over who got to stand up there too, but that’s just me. And maybe this is an issue with girls more than it is with guys, but I can say fairly certainly that if I got all my girlfriends in one room, fireworks would ensue. Rather quickly, I might add.

5. Events For Every City

A lot of people choose to have events in a few different cities for personal reasons or to accommodate family, and that’s awesome. The issue arises when EVERY member of the bridal party is expected to attend EVERY event and pay for EVERY round-trip airfare. There was a fairly viral email about this that circulated a few months ago, and it was hilarious. By all means, celebrate with everyone you can, but don’t expect everyone in your wedding party to travel across the world because you want your bachelorette party in Vegas but your bridal shower in Hong Kong. You can have just as much fun (and save a ton of money) by finding cool things to do around your town, which is appropriate if everyone you know is also located there.

What wedding “must-haves” do you think are overhyped?


Hayley May 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Definitely agree about the bouquet toss. I feel like it singles out women for relatives to gossip about. “She’s STILL single? tsk tsk.” or just me… haha

Margaritak May 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Funny – I always hated the bouquet toss, didn’t like the forced participation as a single lady and didn’t want to pressure anyone at my own wedding. I did it only because my best friend insisted, since she wanted to catch it. I figured she and my nieces would be the only ones out there and was pleasantly surprised to see how many ladies lined up for a shot. It ended up being fun but I have to say, don’t force “traditions”. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Your mother may remind you forever that she didn’t see you cut a cake but it’s bearable, at least for the first year or so.

jaime June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I’m honestly not doing the bouquet toss – I can see how it’d be fun, but I don’t need anything else that brings attention to my clumsy nature!

Vanessa May 14, 2013 at 4:37 am

My grandmother insists that my groom and I serve all 150 of our guests cake at the wedding reception! Apparently, this was a Thing many, many moons ago (and to be fair, it’s a great way to have a moment with each guest). But seriously? I’m doing this once; we’re paying for everything, including the catering staff. After all of the work that’s going in to the wedding, I think I should be able to sit back and enjoy it instead of handing out 150 pieces of cake.

Sarah Macdougall May 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hayley – I totally agree.

Vanessa – Whoa! I agree that it is a nice thing to do, but there are a lot of nice things to do… and that’s a lot of cake. Weddings and etiquette have definitely changed since our grandparents went to them. Best of luck to you!

Jordan May 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I was the MOH at a wedding where they did the football garter toss so I know the story and why people are doing it now. They put the garter on the football because more guys are willing to catch a football than a garter. And the football gets taken back. It’s signed by the groom, groomsmen & the man that caught the garter. It’s the grooms momento from the wedding. Something manly he can display and show off.

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