Medieval knights of the round table.
Just what you think of as the perfect wedding theme, right?
Yeah, maybe it wasn’t your first or 50th idea. But my husband and I were never a conventional couple to begin with, and we knew we wanted our wedding to be as quirky, crazy, and light-hearted as our relationship.
We got engaged in downtown New Orleans at a French cafe. The muggy March night was moody, and old cobblestone streets were dimly illuminated by antique gas lamps on the sides of French Quarter townhouses.
There was no path of rose petals leading to my nervous then-boyfriend on a bent knee — just the distant sound of jazz and a mess of glorious old streets before us.
It was on the drive back from this trip that we started planning our wedding. We shuffled through many unique and crazy ideas:
A cabin in Canada with fur pelts, and vows by a roaring fire.
A geological theme with gems and geodes.
A Cinderella reenactment with a castle and a carriage.
While we decided on a theme in the end — in case you’re wondering, our final choice was “Enchanted Fairy Forest” — what really stands out now, looking back at the pictures and Polaroids, is that we didn’t care what people thought.
Weddings today are $30,000 performances where the bride and groom endlessly satisfy the demands of loved ones, never have fun themselves, and wish for the event to be “just be over already.”
Heck, most couples claim to never have touched the food served at the reception! With all the planning that I know goes into food, this is just a shame.
Josh and I proposed to have fun at our wedding, to only listen to our preferences over traditions, and to laugh at anything that went wrong.
Essentially, we broke all the wedding rules. We clung fearlessly to this goal, and it truly was a wedding to remember:
1. We Walked Down the Aisle to Nerd Music
Josh loves League of Legends and basically any fantasy video game where you can play as a mage. We wanted to give tribute to his interest by having the wedding party walk down to a video game soundtrack.
You know what? The music was glorious and swelling; all the groomsmen felt as though they were marching into battle for their friend. You better believe they strutted.
2. The Entire Wedding Event Only Lasted 5 Hours
We didn’t want to bore anyone — so we kept it short and sweet. If you’ve ever been the victim of an all-day wedding affair, you know how the waiting can feel like a thousand tiny needles slowly impaling your skull. Just skip the torture! It’s not a law to have a long wedding.
3. We Didn’t Serve a Meal
We were on a smaller budget (we were both graduate students at the time), so we opted for finger sandwiches and pie. Didn’t hear a peep about it either. Dinner obligations: obliterated.
4. My Bridesmaids Held Lanterns
Again, because of our “graduate assistant budgets,” my only choice was to have the bridesmaids carry fake flowers. But something didn’t sit right with me about the flower dupes — there is nothing enchanted about synthetic petals.
So I had my bridesmaids carry lanterns with bits of moss and tea-lights inside. It was the talk of the ceremony!
FYI — Lanterns do rattle . . . at important, quiet parts of a wedding. Okay, so they rattled a bit during my vows. Still worth it.
5. I Was Barefoot
I broke plenty of wedding rules, but I actually physically broke one thing.
The day of my bridal shower, in one epic sweeping motion, I greeted my guests by falling down my mother’s stairs. True story. Now, when does my movie come out?
So instead of my original shoes (they didn’t fit over my swollen right foot), I went barefoot the entire wedding. My dress covered my toes, and I was darn comfy. Highly recommended for brides — broken foot or not.
6. I Actually Ate My Own Food
We told the wedding coordinator to put leftover sandwiches and three large slices of cake in our getaway limo. This was hands down the best thing we’ve ever done. It was a top priority.
7. It Was Days before Christmas
We could have rescheduled the wedding to avoid awkward timing with the holiday, but we had a dream, knew what we wanted, and were not willing to sacrifice. Of course, some people couldn’t come, but that’s the cool thing about weddings.
Everyone who’s supposed to be there will be.
8. I Sang to My Husband…in French
Sure, couples sing to each other at weddings all the time. But most people don’t attempt to sing in a very foreign, beyond-rusty language.
But my husband, raised in Quebec, Canada, speaks French fluently. I wanted to touch his soul in this most intimate way. So regardless of the cringe and the certainly awful footage to follow, I sang in my terrible accent with tears running down my face.
Always do things that will impress your spouse, not the crowd.
9. We Departed to Bells, not Sparklers
I’m whatever the opposite of a pyromaniac is. So the idea of walking through mini, hand-held fireworks didn’t exactly entice me (although this would have encouraged me to run towards the limo fast).
Instead, we gave guests little bells to ring us to our newly-wed escape car. It had a beautiful, old-world charm.
#10-Our Honeymoon Was Not a Cruise
Nothing wrong with sailing away to the sunny Caribbean. But in a sweet throwback to our engagement, we went to Savannah, Georgia to wander around more old homes, just like those spooky townhouses of New Orleans, and do some amateur ghost-busting of our own.
Our wedding was not traditional; however, Josh and I still remember it as the best day of our lives.
My advice is to simply ignore the people who say, “Yeah the planning is a hassle. You just have to get through the wedding day to get to the good stuff. You won’t remember the details anyway. That day will be a blur.”
Whether or not your wedding becomes a faded memory or a loved fantasy is your choice. And if these crazy times have taught brides and grooms anything, it’s that love is what is being celebrated first and foremost — and shouldn’t that be a really fun thing?
And sometimes to have fun, you break some wedding rules.
This article was originally published on P.S. I Love You. Relationships Now.