Sometimes traditions have to be broken to make room for new ones.
Written by Devin Lacy
Nobody really warns you about how quickly the time between getting engaged and getting married passes. My fiance proposed in July of 2021 at a u-pick flower field in Pennsylvania. I was about to start the last year of my master’s program, and, despite everything we had going on at the time, I was sure a year would be more than enough time to get things planned.
Wow, was I wrong.
Now that I’ve blinked, we’re about 4 months out from our October wedding, and we are scrambling to finalize the last few details. To share our woes and triumphs, I’m going to bring you along as I get closer and closer to saying “I do.” I’ll share monthly updates on what we’re working on, some reasoning behind our decisions, and tips for your own big day.
When it comes to our big day, my fiancé and I both decided two things: We want it to reflect who we are as individuals and as a couple, and we want to include our families and friends as much as possible.
Overall, our preferences when it comes to weddings fall into two general categories: traditional and non-traditional, and we don’t skew either way, really. There are elements of wedding tradition that we like and are including. Other traditions don’t really suit us. It varies, and we have differing opinions on different things. So, we talk, we research, we compromise, and then we plan.
There are a few traditions that we like but that don’t quite work for us in their standard forms, so we found new solutions. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the small things can make everything else click right into place and feel like your own.
While my fiancé and I love the meaning behind some of the more traditional ceremonies, something different called out to us. After a lot of research, we landed on the perfect thing: a ring warming. Not only will this moment of passing our wedding bands to friends and family to be warmed by their love and support take some of the attention off of us, but we found it to be a unique and sentimental way to incorporate those dearest to us into our ceremony.
If you’ve ever been an attendant in a wedding, you know that it can be not only a bit stressful, but also costly to dress to impress. Rather than have bridesmaids in traditional dress—more formal gowns in set colors or styles—I gave them total freedom outside of a few requests. Other than being floor length and in our color scheme, my bridesmaids are free to pick any dress they like. They were shocked at first, but then genuinely excited. It gives them the chance to find a dress in the style, fabric, and fit that suits them, and they get to decide how much they want to spend.
While it varies depending on location, figuring out seating for a wedding can be difficult. My fiancé and I decided rather quickly that we did not want a sweetheart table or even a head table. Our family and friends mean the world to us, and one of the things we are most looking forward to is having them all in the same room for the very first time in our 8-plus-year relationship. While the moment of peace on a hectic day may be nice, we have a lifetime of dinners together ahead of us and only one night to have dinner with everyone we love. We plan on enjoying it for as long as we can, right in the middle of it all.
These decisions work for us. It makes sense for who we are and the goals we have for our wedding day. It doesn’t have to work for you! All traditions, trends, and customs exist for a reason, but don’t be afraid to say “no” to stressful elements of the planning process or typical wedding conventions. You’re allowed to make the day what you want. Make it personal. Put small pieces of yourself into your decisions, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the process and each other a little more.