You know exactly what I’m talking about! I’m sure you’ve seen a few pictures in your own mother’s wedding album that make you really glad you’re not getting married in the 1960s to 1980s. I’m talking about ruffled tuxedo shirts, big floppy bridesmaid hats, plaid (in any form), red velvet tux jackets, high collars, mutton leg sleeves, platform shoes, white belts and white shoes on men. Oh yeah, you’ve seen ’em in pictures and you probably laughed about them when you saw them. Those were the fashion fads when our parents got married. Eek! How hideous! But while you’re busy laughing at your mother’s wedding pictures, consider what your own children are going to think of yours 20 years from now.
Okay, now I mean no offense to anybody who is in love with any of the style trends I’m about to poke fun at — I know that some of you just love these things and are going to do them for your own wedding regardless of what I have to say. So take my opinion for the two cents that it’s worth. If I make you think twice about doing something (even if you decide to do it anyway), I’ve accomplished my mission. So where to start, where to start… so much tackiness and so little time.
Slutty, hooker-looking wedding gowns are out of control this year. I mean really — have you seen these “couture” mesh gowns with embroidered beaded flowers just barely covering the bride’s breasts? Sheer necklines can be lovely. Sheer fabric that allows a gown to have a dramatically low back are fabulous. But a wedding gown that basically amounts to a giant body stocking with beaded appliques over the naughty parts is not a wedding gown. And even if you can slide it by your mother and grandmother and assorted other opinionated family members, how will you feel when you show those pictures to your grandchildren in 40 years? And what is the groom’s family going to think of you? Just something to consider before making that fateful purchase. I’d hate to hear that the wedding was fabulous but it was as shame the bride is such a slut.
“Trash the Dress” is another new trend that I just can’t abide. I’ve facilitated a few of those wedding shoots because that’s my job, but it makes me feel sick to my stomach. We did that in high school with our graduation gowns. I went to a Catholic girls’ prep school where we all had to wear the exact same hideous white dress for graduation. Traditionally, the grads all meet up at the train trellis over the canal along the Potomac River after the ceremony is finished to jump in and destroy the dresses. For any of you unfamiliar with the C&O canal, it is nasty!!! I wouldn’t let my dog swim in there. But on one day of my life, nothing was more important! I couldn’t wait to ruin that dress. Nothing could have cleaned it after a dip in the greenish, scummy waters of the canal. About 75 percent of my class was there with me doing the same dastardly deed. Some parents knew what was up, others were totally confused when their daughters who had been perfectly coiffed and darling at their graduation hours before showed up at home wet and slimy. Anyway, back to “trash the dress.”
Some photographer somewhere came up with this concept. Basically, the bride gets all dressed up again (hair, makeup, jewelry, etc.), and then in a very staged manner, destroys her wedding gown. Often they involve the flower girls or ring bearers in the scene, having them smear chocolate all over the silk skirts of the dress while the bride feigns horror. I’ve also seen it done by the bridesmaids using squeeze bottles of brightly colored paints. Some just flop into the Caribbean and splash around — no, a silk gown worn in an ocean or pool will NEVER be the same or wearable again. Of course, trashing your dress guarantees that none of your daughters will have to worry about you expecting them to wear the dress. I know this has become popular because of the cool pictures it generates, but it’s such as waste of a beautiful and expensive wedding gown. You may be thinking that nobody else wants to wear your dress and that you don’t want to keep it, but there are two important things to remember here. 1) You don’t know that nobody wants to wear your gown — you may have a cousin, sister or friend who sees you on your wedding day and falls in love with it. And 2) Even if you don’t have somebody near and dear to you who wants the dress, there are thousands of brides the world over who have very limited wedding budgets and could never, ever afford to have a gown like the one you were privileged to wear. You can sell it on CraigsList or eBay, or you can even donate it to a worthy cause. There are lots of upscale charities who would make sure that gown went to a needy bride.
Turning the romantic first dance into a choreographed number involving the entire wedding party (whether or not they all have two left feet) is another new trend I just can’t wrap my arms around. I don’t have a problem (it’s tacky but it doesn’t make me gag) with the wedding party doing a special whacky dance at some point during the evening, but I don’t understand why anyone would want to mangle the romance of having your first dance as a married couple. My husband is a huge fan of that wedding dance down the aisle that one couple did to Chris Brown’s “Forever.” In fact, I had that song as my cell phone ringer for awhile just to humor Bill (he dances every time he hears it and it always makes me giggle). It was wild, it was whacky, and it got a million zillion hits on YouTube (Bill can single-handedly account for 500 of them), but it was ridiculous. Clearly the bride and groom were a goofy, zany couple and they had fun with it. Or did they? Did anybody else notice that the bride seemed significantly less excited about the whole thing than did the groom? Perhaps it’s because the act of going down the aisle is supposed to be the bride’s big moment — nobody else’s. And in the case of that wedding, sure they got a whole lot of publicity, but you saw more of the bridesmaids and groomsmen boogeying than you did of the bride coming down the aisle in her gown looking beautiful. Does any bride really want the pics of her going down the aisle to include dark sunglasses? Keep all of this in mind if you’re starting to get silly during the planning. I’m not saying you can’t choreograph some wild dance with your wedding party, I’m just saying that everything has a time and a place.
Pets participating in weddings is a relatively new thing. I know we’ve all seen pictures of it over the years — the bulldog in the tuxedo carrying the ring, etc. — but actually participating in or attending as a guest a wedding where little rat dogs were wearing silk and lace is a little bit out of control. There are actually entire online stores that sell wedding attire for chiwawas now, for God’s sake.
Color schemes have also gotten a little weird in recent years. It doesn’t mean that those colors don’t look fantastic in your decor, used properly, but sometimes carrying the colors you want to see in your centerpiece all the way through your wedding party attire and ceremony decor is a bitch much. Purple and platinum have their place, but it isn’t at a beach wedding ceremony. Need I say more?
Now those of you who read me often know that I am an opinionated bitch. But my clients also know that I will plan absolutely anything they ask me for — and I usually keep my opinion to myself at that point. Unless I’m asked. If you ask me, I will tell you the truth. I won’t sugarcoat it. Had the bride and groom who did a cupcake tower of emerald green and turquoise cupcakes asked my opinion, I’d have told them it would be hideous. But they didn’t ask, and they loved it. And yes, it was hideous. My only hope is that when they look at their wedding pictures in 20 years, they still love what they’re seeing. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if one of their children doesn’t ask them at some point “what the heck were you doing when you chose those colors?”
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!