Please Make It Stop!

If there’s one thing pretty much everyone can agree on it’s that there are wedding traditions (not to mention ‘traditions’) that are better left unobserved. The problem is that so few of us agree on precisely which ones should be ditched and which kept.

There are just so many potential annoyances to choose from.

On person would forever ban throwing anything into a crowd of unmarried people, while another would outlaw the use of bells or clinking glasses to force the bridal couple to kiss on command, yet another would be in favor of a prolonged prison term for any couple who forces guests to wait around bored for two or three hours sans appetizers or entertainment while they get their pictures taken ad nauseum.

Most of these are pet peeves of mine, though I’m actually pretty neutral on bouquet and garter tossing. Do it, don’t do it, I’m down with your decision, whatever your reasons may be. But smash each other in the face with cake or have a cash bar and I’m Not a Happy Camper.

But I’m curious about the rest of you. If you could end forever just one bridal custom, ‘custom’, or faux pas, what would it be?

9 Responses to “Please Make It Stop!”

  1. Rosanna April 3, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    The tossing of the garter is a BIG pet-peeve of mine… I consider it to be voyeuristic (at best) and plain old rude at worst).

  2. Blue Penguin April 3, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I love this post – think challenging the ideas of “supposed to” is so important (hopefully nor to the point of bolshie cow-ness, though). This may be a very glass-half-full / glass-half-empty way of looking at it, but I have found it impossible to think of just one tradition to part with. My fiancé and I are going for the approach of starting with an empty box as far as “wedding traditions” go, and just putting in the elements we love and feel an affinity for. Anything else is fair game!

  3. Giggles April 3, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Throwing things and smashing food. Just don’t, k?

    Also, receiving lines with 20 people in them who I don’t know and who don’t want to be standing there. If you must do a receiving line (and even that’s not a given), keep it at small as possible. And make sure you don’t need Disneyland style signs (30 minutes from this point) for those waiting to congratulate you.

  4. Christa Terry April 3, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    The myth of “cover your plate!” I haaaaate that people still think that’s an etiquette rule!

  5. Melissa B. April 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    The clinky-glass forced kiss!! I hate that so much! I rarely see my husband get worked up about anything wedding-related, but he *loathes* the forced kiss and informed me several times that we would be ignoring any glass-clinking that happened during our reception.

  6. Tasha April 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    I agree with banning the forced kissing. It’s tacky and obnoxious, and always abused by some distant, leering relative. I will pass out plastic cups at my wedding reception to keep guests in line, if necessary!

  7. La Petite Acadienne April 4, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    I definitely hate the forced kiss, the garter toss, the bouquet toss, the long receiving line, and the common occurrence of making your guests cool their heels for two hours while you go get your wedding photos taken.

    The best weddings to which I’ve been have had none of these. Instead, they had the wedding and reception at the same site, lovely, meaningful ceremonies, followed by a brief photo session, and then a relaxed dinner with only a few short, meaningful speeches, and a fun dance afterwards.

  8. Kristin April 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    A lot of the uber-traditional baggage bothers me–there’s such a strong sense of paternalistic ownership: the father gives the bride away, there’s a father-daughter dance, the parents pay, the groom essentially purchases the bride with a big shiny rock, the bridesmaids have their individuality stripped away by dresses they don’t get a say in–but the one that gets on my nerves the absolute worst is the veil. Pretty? Yes. But perpetuating the myth that virginity is either probable (with a first-wedding mean age of 25 for women and 27 for men, varying based on geographic location and education level), or desirable, is just plain hooey. Not to mention dangerous. Individuals can make the choice to wait until marriage to have sex, if that’s what’s right for them, but the myth that it’s a good thing for everyone contributes to the stigmatization of women’s sexuality, and the shaming of women who do engage in sexual (particularly aggressively sexual) behavior. And when we can’t talk openly and honestly about sex, STD and unwanted pregnancy rates rise, regular as clockwork.

    My face is my own. I’ve earned this face–all its lines, every gray hair–with a life of which I am, justifiably, proud. I will not hide it. I am not a delicate flower who needs to be protected from the gaze of men; I will meet their eyes as an equal. The connotation, the subtext, of the veil is that I am not a “good woman” if I do that; I should be bashful, virginal, protected, cherished, weak.

    And I just KNOW Nana’s going to have a fit when I tell her I’m not wearing the heirloom family veil. I take symbolism seriously, though. Like those awful “unity candles” where the bride’s candle is just extinguished–what kind of message is that? Ugh.

  9. Christine April 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    My number one pet peeve is the groom asking for the hand of the bride from her father. I have been married about 26 years and I would have shot both fiance and father if that “talk” had happened. I was not property to be passed from one man to another.

    We did have some of the old stupid things, but we were very young and it was a great time. If I were getting married today, though, I’d do things differently but I don’t regret a thing.