Wedding don’ts that make Never teh Bride crazy

Driving me crazy!

Now, I’m not one to push anyone to have their wedding a certain way. Or to wear a certain dress or style their hair in a certain fashion. I’m just here to offer subtle suggestions as to what is probably right and what is probably wrong. A wedding, being the highly personal affair that it is, should always reflect the tastes and traditions of the individuals getting married. However, those individuals should know that their tastes and traditions are going to say a lot about who they are.

That said, the Manolo’s Carnivale of the Couture for this week is “Fashion Don’ts that Make You Crazy.” I’m going to take liberties today and talk about both the wedding fashion and etiquette don’ts that drive me crazy.

  • Cash bars. I understand the necessity of frugality. I employ money-saving tactics every day of my life. But if you can’t afford a full bar, wine and soft drinks will suffice. A wedding does not need to be a frat party.
  • The dollar dance. Is there anything more tacky? If you didn’t already know, a dollar dance is a period during the reception wherein guests pay to dance with the new bride or groom.
  • Brides that go so crazy with shimmery makeup that it’s hard to see them through the glare. Yes, I understand, you feel all dewy and glowy and innocent inside. That’s still no excuse to make yourself look like a female impersonator in a mermaid show on your big day.
  • Wedding gowns that look more like cakes than clothing. Unless you’re a real, honest-to-goodness princess or having a Dynasty themed wedding, please exercise some discretion when it comes to pearls, lace, embroidery, and bows bigger than your head.
  • Future grooms telling their future brides to “just tell me when and where to show up.” Yuck. Um, sure, it’s likely that her family is paying, but don’t you think she might just want a little bit of help?
  • Horrible favors and table treats. Many a time have I asked myself just when the bride thought her guests would use a tiny ceramic basket with tiny ceramic flowers stuck on. Or whether her family thought we’d enjoy breaking our teeth on six-year-old Jordan almonds. If there are going to be favors at the reception tables, please, please, please make them something useful. Or at least not eye-blinkingly bad.
  • And, of course, warp speed celebrity weddings!

15 Responses to “Wedding don’ts that make Never teh Bride crazy”

  1. Amy says:

    I grew up in the South, where the dollar dance is pretty standard, so I’ve contributed my fair share of money for the honor of dancing with the groom. I don’t mind it so much when the couple is young and just starting out. Of course, I dream of having the dance at my wedding in March because I think it would be horribly tacky for two 30-somethings to extort money from their guests!

  2. Amy says:

    Whoops…that should read, “Wouldn’t dream of having the dance…!”

  3. Never teh Bride says:

    As far as I know there is also a cultural context for the dollar dance, at least for Polish couples. It still weirds me out, though. I’ve also heard of people doing, um, dollar holds (?) at post-birth baby showers…where people pay a buck or more to hold the baby.

  4. gidget bananas says:

    Aha! I KNEW I was the only one in the world who liked Jordan Almonds! Although to be fair, I think they’re meant to be symbolic (as reminders of the old country and emblems of fertility) rather than edible. If the bride really intends them to be eaten, she should search out those sugared almonds with the papery-thin sugar coating. At least those are a little kinder to the teeth!

  5. Never teh Bride says:

    Well, to be fair gidget b, I do like nice fresh Jordan almonds from the candy store. The ones in wedding favors just always seem so….old. Petrified, really.

  6. So, you know the whole “When and Where to show up” mentality. I kind of forced that on my husband on the day of our wedding. The Wedding wasn’t until four, I already had a cadre of people doing stuff for the wedding so he didn’t need to do anything the day of the wedding, so he went golfing. It’s not that I didn’t want or need his help. He had helped extra-ordinarily well. It’s just the day of, all he really needed to do was get dressed and show up. It worked out well, so no complaints…

  7. Sandra says:

    I went to my second Canadian wedding in September (I’m from N. Ireland) and was amazed that the bar was open all night…cash bars are standard at UK weddings and a free bar would be seen as a big extravagance. I remember a Scottish girl telling me her Dad had a free bar at her (small) wedding, as she was the only daughter. The bar bill alone (10 years ago) was over £6000 (US$10,500). As I said to my chap at the wedding, I can’t imagine a free bar at an Irish wedding. It would be carnage. *grin*

  8. Never teh Bride says:

    It’s highly interesting to note how customs differ from place to place, Sandra. Thanks for the tidbit!

  9. JaneC says:

    I recently went to a wedding where the favors were two gourmet chocolate candies in an adorable, tiny gift bag, and a tube of mint chapstick rolled in a piece of paper with statistics on kissing.

  10. Motormouth says:

    My wedding favors were little stainless-steel heart-shaped pictureholders, which we used in the place settings to hold namecards. Sweet and functional!

  11. Never teh Bride says:

    Hi JaneC and Motormouth! Both your ideas sound awesome!

  12. Dee G says:

    Re party favors – THANK YOU! My husband is the sentimental one, and we have more love coasters, heart picture frames, blah blah blah from friends’ prior weddings that I would much prefer to banish. Best party favors ever? (1) Bottle of wine from wedding reception held at vineyard; (2) CD of groom’s band. I liked ours at our wedding too – Chinese food boxes filled with fortune cookies and lottery tickets. (And yes, people actually won – though one guest very drunk started pulling them out of others’ gift boxes when she lost…)

  13. Wacky Hermit says:

    My husband is Filipino and his relatives were all totally shocked when we didn’t have a money dance at our wedding. I was afraid of what my relatives would do with a money dance– some of them would probably be drunk (whether or not I served alcohol) and would have very different ideas about where to put the money than the Filipino relatives. My husband’s sister, though, did have a money dance, and they actually got more money than the cost of the wedding, so it was a money-making venture for them.

    I came to realize that people in cultures where money dances are traditional don’t see it as paying for the privilege of dancing with the bride or groom, or as some sort of extortion or prostitution. They see it as a way to give them gifts.

  14. alice says:

    Here in the Philippines it is not uncommon for a version of the money dance to be held, especially in certain provinces. It is a bit unusual in big weddings in Manila unless the couple hail from one of these provinces.

    Instead of paying for the privilege of dancing with the bride or groom, the couple dance and other folks come over and pin money on them. I have actually gone to a wedding where money pledges were announced over a loudspeaker to my family’s embarassment (we’re old school and prefer discreet gifts).

    There is some social pressure to not look stingy, but the idea of the whole thing is to give the couple some cash with which to start off their life as a couple. It is rarely done where the newlyweds come from rich families — they do not need the money!

  15. Sarah says:

    In Polish Custom, the “Dollar Dance” is called the “Apron Dance.” The godmother of the bride wears an apron while the whole family crowds in a circle around the bride. Each member of the family throws a dollar in the apron and dances with the bride, usually spinning her around and around faster and faster. The whole time, the groom is supposed to be trying to break into the circle to get to his bride, but the family is shutting him out. Finally, the second it seems like things are winding down or less boisterous, the groom bursts through the crowd, throws his whole wallet in the apron, and carries the bride out.

    It’s supposed to be lighthearted and fun, and it is when people know the tradition and are spirited. It’s horribly tacky though, when the bride and groom don’t know the tradition and just have people line up and dance with the bride. Then it’s uncomfortable for everyone. I suggest that if a Polish family chooses to use the custom, they explain it briefly in the wedding program so the non-Polish guests know what to expect and know how to play along.