There's No Right Way to Have a Wedding

It's a lie that there's a "right" way to have a wedding. Rather, what we have is a mishmash of traditions that often don’t carry the weight we assume they do. Consider this:

  • We want diamond engagement rings... because of an ad agency. Their "A Diamond Is Forever" ad campaign attempted to foster "a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring." These days, 75 percent of brides have a diamond ring so I'd say it worked.

  • We wear white dresses... because of a 19th-century British monarch. It wasn't about virginity either. Queen Victoria just liked white.

  • We order big wedding cakes... because of ego. An archaic tradition had couples stack cakes to see how high they could go before the couple could no longer kiss each other over it.

  • We hold a bouquet... because of the plague. Brides used to clutch herbs to fend off disease on their way to the altar.

  • We have grooms stand on the right... because of swords. The right arm used to equal the "fighting" arm, and the groom needed access to his sword so he could fend off anyone coming to save the woman he'd (probably) kidnapped.

  • We suffer garters... because of the Dark Ages. A medieval tradition had guests literally attack the bride to "check" for signs of consummation.

The point: We're making it up as we go along. Why not make it up in a way we actually like?

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