#weddingplanning

Wedding Ceremony Traditions that can GTFO

 

These dogs have had their day.

It’s Friday and I thought I'd take aim at some wedding ‘traditions’ that can in my opinion just die already. There’s so few legally required things to include in your wedding ceremony so it’s really free reign! I love to cobble together a bangin’ personal celebration for my couples and they’re often surprised not only at what we can include but what can totally be left out. 

Ceremonies should be 20-25 minute affairs that totally hum- lots of fun and laughter/ some personal tunes and a few tear jerking moments during the vows before finishing with a big bang of joy and massive vibes.

And none of the below:

Readings for the sake of having them. Only include them if they’re going to enhance the ceremony and add to the personal vibe of it ie your favourite poem/ novel/ song lyrics/ quote etc. Can be amazing if relevant but if it’s not what’s the point?

Old school lame arse rituals like unity candles and sand ceremonies. Ugh. Why?

There’s so many modern ways to honour people in the ceremony or make a statement about the togetherness of a family etc that do not require these things. A good celebrant will know exactly what’s right for you and give you options.

Releasing doves/ balloons/ butterflies. Just no. Totally lame. Plus butterflies don’t live long and spend probs half their lives in a box for you to release them. Just leave them alone to flutter free for their short pretty life. I’ve heard stories of doves being snapped up by hawks on their release (not ideal) or shitting on guests (hilarious and I’m gutted to have not seen it). Again- leave em be. Please. Balloons I shouldn’t have to explain. This is an unequivocal NO. Basically a statement that you are completely bereft of environmental consideration. No sea turtle is going to be eating a piece of glitter latex on my shift, ever.

Bonbonierre. I know I’ll upset some traditional teacups saying this but honestly: save yourself the trouble. Every time I MC a wedding there’s literally tens of them left on the tables. Left alone and unloved. Two things: people will be pretty sauced so they’ll just kinda forget to take them or they have no bag/ an evening bag and they don’t want to put a mini potted succulent in it. The sentiment is lovely but why not donate to a charity for each guest and have that printed on their menus- or just be happy that you providing an awesome day/ evening of free meals and drinks plus entertainment is all the gift you need to give. Peace!

Giving away of the bride. Where the celebrant asks ‘Who gives this bride to be wed?’ Lots of my brides tell me straight up there’ll be none of that because you know- they’re adult women who are not owned by their parents. I concur. Not necessary. Traditional. Naff.

Feeling compelled to walk the aisle with your Dad. This can be lovely if you love the shit out of your Dad and he’s a stand up dude. If yours is a dick like mine, leave it out. You don’t have to walk with anyone- you can walk in on your own. If you’re nervous it’s nice to have someone with you though- and even one on either side. Your Mum, your Mum and Dad, auntie, bestie, sister, dog- or walk in with your partner if you want. No rules people.

An Asking that includes words like ‘cherish’ or ‘obey’. Fuck that. A modern Asking where you’re asked questions and then answer with I do/ I will, Hell yeah etc can be a brilliant segue to vows but do it well. Keep it this century yeh?

Signing after the rings. Celebrants be divided on this one but I’m a big after the ceremony advocate. Why? Because it’s pretty boring, no one is that interested in it and is the biggest energy sucker ever. After the rings and kiss I want that vibe heading north allll the way to the after party. I’ll let your feet touch the ground first, get you a drink and sign 15 minutes after the ceremony with just your witnesses and parents. Don’t even start me on those little signing tables with the white tablecloth on them. Not. A Fan. Let’s just do it on the bar, on a wine barrel, a car bonnet or on a clipboard on each other’s backs. Or make that table eclectic/ funky/ vintage with some personality.Cool yeh?  Make those shots the photographer hates taking a little interesting.

Bouquet Toss. Sorry, I just cringe at this. A gaggle of drunk girls desperately going after a bunch of flowers you pay $100 for. Up there Cazaly. No

Removing of a bridal garter. Ugh. That’s all I got. I don’t want to see your partner deep diving for polyester lace whilst I’m eating my dessert. Sing a song together/ do a funny dance together/ have a shot/ do a cheeky quiz but please leave the under skirt biz for the bedroom.

Finally.. those bloody horseshoe things people give brides to hang off their arms. Couldnnnnnn’t!! I know older people think it’s the done thing but straight up get the word out before your wedding that you don’t want any of them. Those polyester and plastic lace numbers have been ruining wedding shots for like ever. I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve taken off brides and hidden in the bride’s mums bag. Just don’t even on the horsehoe. Wanna wish good luck? How about a toast? Or just say it. Be gone with shitty horseshoes hanging off arms and being dropped on the ground, getting tangled in beautiful bouquets and ruining the vibe of your very expensive dress. Bye bye.

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My Wedding

Image: Oliver Yip

Image: Oliver Yip

I get asked a lot about my wedding. We were married back in 2012 in Summer at my in laws in Surrey Hills. It was all about our fave people, amazing food and drinks and mad tunes.

WHAT I WORE: Gave not many f#cks about my dress to be honest. Bought it off the rack at DJs. Charlie Brown. $500. Simple, long, big split, strapless with origami folding. Dry cleaned it and sold it two weeks after my wedding for half what I paid. Happy days. Wore some dark blue satin heels that lasted on my feet for about 31 minutes before being discarded for bare feet. Had my hair up with a rock vibe. Makeup minimal. It’s terrible but I have no idea who I used as vendors.

WHAT NIK WORE: A navy suit from Calibre and Cons. Boutonnierre was handmade- a timber guitar pick and various feathers. Was cool as hell.

GUESTS: 50. This was hard but we were brutal. We wanted our closest people there and I didn’t want to spend my whole time making my way around to 150 guests making small talk. That was wasted d floor time in my opinion. The result: an intimate, relaxed and warm vibe with a strong party crew. Perfect.

BRIDAL PARTY: My two sisters were my bridesmaids and wore strapless pleated crepe dresses in dark blue. Hair up because hot AF. We had three little flowergirls in navy and pink tulle skirts and a page boy in mini version of what Nik wore- navy and Cons. It was fun and relaxed. Nik had his bro as Best Man and he wore what he wanted which ended up being pants and a waistcoat.

CEREMONY: Took place out the front. Business in the front, party in the back. We served heaps of bubbles and cold beers pre. I arrived in a Mustang and walked in to the XX ‘VCR’. Music is massive in our lives and was a big focus.

RINGS: Matt Wynne, Carlton. Support local guys. We had the rings in a vintage tape case- Talking Heads Stop Making Sense: one of our fave albums of all time.

AFTER PARTY: In the backyard. The garden was lush and green and we had a marquee housing one long table. We sat amidst our friends and family. I didn’t want a bridal table. It was either thongs or barefoot. Tunes, lots of good booze and massively chilled vibes.

FOOD: Totally self catered. My entire fam is basically in food and wine and we’re massive foodies so this was a pivotal decision in choosing to have it at home- being able to quality control everything. My father in law ran the kitchen with some hired staff. My brother in law, who is a winemaker chose all our wine. Everything was abundant and top shelf. Incredible bread and cheese, local organic meats, most served cold, whole baked snapper, quiche and tonnes of amazing salads that everyone pitched in to make.

BOOZE: We did Spanish bubbles, three whites, two beers and two reds. At 10pm we had trays of G + T’s come out. When everyone was sweating their bollocks off on the outdoor d floor and that icy blue glow in tall glasses materialised, a cheer went up. Master stroke. We also divided our guest list into ‘Normal Drinkers’, ‘Pissheads’ and ‘Total Units’ to guide the volume we needed. For the record we had 5 total units and got them t shirts printed with that on them which they were pretty proud of haha.

TUNES: Recorded for ceremony. DJ for after party. We had DJ Obliveus from Black Caesar Events and he was the first vendor I booked. I’ve know him forever and he is the business. He just totally got it and rolled out funk, hip hop and 90’s R + B all night. I can still remember him starting up and dropping Close to Me by The Cure and the d floor was pretty much rammed from then on. I still recommend Eric regularly to my couples now.

CAKE: My sister in law made a chocolate cake with textured buttercream and topped it with gorgeous hand made felted birds. It was delish. I ate it in the cab on the way home, extremely drunk. I have a talented fam.

BONBONIERRE: Hate that word. Meaning stuff you give to your guests to take home. We mixed a CD for them of our fave tunes. It’s still a banger to listen to today and was well received. Otherwise I think this B word is kinda a waste of money tbh (Controversial!)

Image: Oliver Yip

Image: Oliver Yip

What I’d do differently knowing what I know now:

Hire an amazing professional photographer: You cannot take it back people. Find your person- love their pics and love their vibe? Lock em in. I’d be all over one of my three fave photogs these days.

Acoustic Duo: For pre ceremony/ ceremony and that interim part before the DJ kicks off. Nothing better than rolling up to a wedding and there’s live tunes and great drinks. Instant vibe. Fidel and Sarah would def be getting a guernsey.

No cake: Look, our cake was beautiful but it was hot at hell and honestly- no one wants to eat cake in that kind of weather. They just don’t. Don’t ever do dessert and cake either. Complete waste of time. If I did it now in January- gelati cart or alcoholic icy pole cart alllll the way. People LOVE that shit and these are the little touches that they remember as being awesome.

Pay for the pack down: If you’re doing your own gig, when they ask you if you want them to dissemble the marquee- say yes. Just pay it. I tell you what- waking up the day after my wedding, boiling hot, extremely hung over- taking down a marquee and cleaning up was the last thing I felt like doing. Pay an event planner to deal with all the shit you don’t want to do.

Our kinda ring receptacle!

Our kinda ring receptacle!

Is your wedding guest list stressing you out? Cut the chaff!

I am asked all the time about guest lists. Usually along the lines of- ‘we wanted 50 people tops but it’s blown out to 92 already’

This happens when partners have to come, whether you like them or not and particularly when you start grudgingly adding people you feel like you should. Parents are great for driving this. ‘Oh, you have to invite your grandma’s neighbour- we’ve known her for years’ or ‘you can’t not invite Uncle Joe etc.

What if Uncle Joe is a creep and you haven’t seen him for ten years? What if the neighbour is just someone you say hello to when you visit your Nan once a quarter?

If you want a small guest list I say stand your ground. Cut the chaff.

What makes this difficult is if the parents are paying for your wedding. They then feel they have some say into your guest list. I’ll leave that to you to figure out but I will say this- there’s two good reasons why small guest lists are awesome:

1. They create a warm and intimate vibe

2. You have less people to ‘get around to’ at your wedding- and this is a stress. Actually a pain in the ass and I see so many brides rolling their eyes and over it by the time they’re halfway through the group photos. They just want to get a drink and have fun. Instead they then spend the evening ensuring they speak to everyone and getting pulled this way and that, which is not fun at all.

Think about who’s on your list- you want people you genuinely want to jump on and hug as you’re so damn happy they’re there- your inner sanctum. You need to be on that d floor, not looking guiltily at old Mavis in the corner thinking you should go and thank her for coming and get stuck in another 20 minute convo. Or hiding from Uncle Joe’s sweaty embrace.

Fuck that.

Keep it tight peeps. Do what is going to make you happy and your day awesome.

Who says you have to invite your entire extended family? Just be clear- it’s a small wedding of close family and friends. The end.

They’ll get over it. And if they don’t well… too bad.

Divide your list into people you are genuinely thrilled to be there and the rest- those you’re kinda ambivalent about, those you feel obligated to invite plus all the random people from the gym, work etc. Do you really want to pay $150+ a head for all these extras?

Be brutal. The other upside is you can have a much better quality wedding with a smaller crew.

And that shit is golden.