Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rules? What Rules?

It's not surprising that weddings are a big topic of conversation around our family these days, both at home and among friends.  Recently, I've noticed that people have been talking quite a bit about what people planning a wedding "have" to do.

Apparently, all mothers of the bride must wear long dresses to the wedding.  Only people attending the wedding should be invited to the bridal showers. All out of town guests must be invited to the rehearsal dinner. There must be an open bar, at least during the cocktail hour.  The list goes on and on. . .

I remember when my mother and I were planning my wedding, twenty-three years ago.  My mom was a stickler for certain rules.  She believed invitations should be simple, white or cream.  Small raised design was allowed, but no modern or whimsical prints. There was a way to address the invitations.  There were people who had to be invited and others who should not.

I didn't have any problem with those rules. I'm a traditional girl, and I was grateful for the guidance. My husband and I had a beautiful, meaningful wedding.

But now as the MOB, I'm trying to be more open-minded.  Things have changed quite a bit in the last twenty years, and those rules that seemed so important really don't matter so much to us.

I'm not talking about tradition.  Devyn's gown is very bridal; Greg won't see it until she walks down the aisle.  We adhere to the customs that are important to us.  But we're trying to be smart about what works and what doesn't.

For instance, Dev is adamantly against the whole garter toss routine.  So we won't be doing that.  She'll toss her bouquet, and we'll have the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance. Just no garter toss.

And our family is very specific about the cake cutting.  There is no smearing the cake in each others' faces, no stuffing the cake into the mouths.  My dad had some very clear thoughts about that. That's one of those important rules.

But I get a little obstinate when someone says that if we're having the wedding in the late afternoon, I have to wear a floor-length gown.  It's going to be June in central Florida.  In other words--HOT. If I find a very pretty short dress, that's what I'm wearing.  As long as Devyn is okay with it, I am, too.

What we're learning is that it's important to discern the difference between a rule that works and one that doesn't.  If it serves to make the day smoother and happier for Devyn and Greg, we'll do it.  If it doesn't, we won't.

And if Devyn and Greg want flowers and brightly colored invitations, I'm all right with that.  I think my mom would understand.