Wedding Basics Part I: What You Don’t Have To Do

When it comes to wedding planning, everyone has an opinion. It can be really easy to get bogged down in traditions, obligations, opinions, and offers for help and services. As you take the first steps of planning, sit down with your partner and give some good thought to what you want your wedding day to look like, and more importantly, how you want your day to feel.

To get you started, check out this list of things that you do NOT have to do. Hopefully, following this list will make your planning process easier, and will encourage you to plan a wedding that is more “you,” because whatever that means to you and your partner, it’s a wonderful thing!

You Do Not Have To:

  • Have any pre-wedding parties. Engagement parties, showers, bachelor/ette parties, and the rehearsal dinner are all optional!
  • Invite anyone you don’t want present. The caveat to this is if someone else is paying for the wedding, they do get a vote on who gets invited. Talk it out until you are comfortable with your guest list.
  • Invite anyone at all! You can always elope.
  • Accept demands or advice from family, friends, or acquaintances.
  • Accept financial/non-financial help from anyone.
  • Accept offers from friends or family to provide services.
  • Wear white or a veil. Wear whatever you feel beautiful/yourself in.
  • Look perfect. Looking like yourself can feel much better than wearing a lot of makeup to look “flawless.” Shoot for looking like your best self!
  • Have matching bridesmaid’s dresses.
  • Have bridesmaids at all! It is perfectly acceptable to forgo a bridal party or have bridesmen/groomswomen.
  • Walk down the aisle or be “given away.”
  • Get married in a church.
  • Have an altar or aisle. You can always have your guests encircle you and your partner.
  • Have a sit-down dinner. In fact, you can serve whatever you like as long as your guests will still be comfortable and it is appropriate for the time of day. For example, you shouldn’t host your wedding and reception from 4-11pm without serving dinner, unless you want unhappy guests!
  • Have an open bar or even serve alcohol at all! There is nothing wrong with a sparkling cider toast!
  • Have a live band or a DJ. If you aren’t the “dance the night away” types, it’s perfectly acceptable to forgo these traditions.
  • Toss your bouquet or garter. These traditions, while fun, can be awkward for single guests.
  • Have flowers or expensive decor.
  • Have a receiving line.
  • Do anything “traditional” if it isn’t reflective of you as a couple, or feel ashamed for wanting your day to be traditional, either.
  • Finally, you definitely don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful and meaningful wedding day!

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