When it comes to your wedding you can, and should, question everything.
Back in 2010, I became a wedding planner, and almost instantaneously I became a wedding authority from my very first day on the job. But not because I was an expert by any means! Up until that point, I had only attended one wedding in my adult life… So for the first few months, I was, admittedly, winging it — but I knew one thing for sure, that I needed to be a point of support and unwavering confidence for the people I worked with.
Through the haze of extravagant floral arrangements and floor-length veils, I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around why such importance was laid out on things that didn’t seem to give back enough joy and purpose for all the stress that they caused, and so Bride Disrupted began.
I began to explore why these so-called traditions and expectations held such high importance for us as a society.
You could say that Bride Disrupted was born out of an exasperated cry, yelled from the tops of mountains, encouraging people to fly their freak-flags and honour their souls higher purpose. “Weddings shouldn’t all look the same!” Your wedding should be an intentional celebration, where the details are actually tailored to you and your partner, and not just simply a process of checking off someone else’s Wedding To-Do List. I am here to say that yes, yes you can (and should!) dare to say “to hell with what we’ve been told is the only right way to have a wedding” and plan a celebration with soul.
Now, don’t get me wrong—I love ritual and intention. The big question is, whose rituals are we using?
“There are so many traditions associated with modern weddings, and we’re simply too scared to leave them behind. When we consider disrupting these expected rituals in favour of something more relevant, we become intimidated because we know that the people in our lives (our family in particular) may be offended. Often, that teetering tightrope balancing act of not offending anyone holds us back from creating or adapting customs more symbolic of our lives today.
In order to give the modern wedding some (profitable) substance, the wedding industry just randomly resurrected a bunch of old traditions and doused them in new millennial-pink meaning. While we have developed a sentimental attachment to them, when you look into it, these customs have very little cultural meaning.”
When you start planning a wedding in today’s world, it becomes painstakingly clear that you simply must have bespoke paper invitations hand-addressed by a calligrapher, you absolutely have to have cute gifts for your guests to take home, and of course, you have to have a dress for the ceremony AND another for the reception. Don’t even think about not having an open bar! So, where exactly do you have the room to express what you really value when you are constantly busy fulfilling someone else’s ideal wedding plan? And, maybe you’re even convinced that if you don’t follow this exact blueprint, then it means you’re doing it wrong…
Let me be the one to break it to you: weddings should not be a test for how talented you are at pulling together a fabulously styled event.
“Forget the wedding rules!” you might cry, “That’s not really our style, we’re going to have an unconventional wedding, we’ll do it our way.” But what does it even mean to have an “unconventional” wedding?
You might turn to Pinterest or Google with these terms in hand to find out, and what you discover is that — according to the masses — a unique or unconventional wedding means including llamas in your ceremony, a bride wearing a jumpsuit instead of a ball gown, and booking a food truck to feed guests tacos at the reception… How do you even begin to untangle what is truly meaningful to you from what you are taught should be meaningful? Were llamas really what you had in mind when you decided that you would have an unconventional wedding? Sure, these elements add a level of quirkiness or whimsy to the event, but do they really add meaning?
That’s what we dive into in my new book, Wedding with Intention, we get into everything wedding-related — the cultural brainwashing (and how to liberate yourself from it), the sticky situations, the funny, and most importantly, the meaning of the whole dang thing.
Just to be clear, this movement is not about not conforming for the sake of not conforming.
I want every person getting married to be empowered to make whatever decisions they want to make! There’s no expectation that you should show up to your wedding celebration in bright red swimsuits just to say “To hell with tradition!”
It’s about taking the time to decide what’s really important to you and choosing your own path, rather than being influenced by what are perceived to be the “rules.”
The current version of a unique or unconventional wedding, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to its fullest potential. The wedding industry currently pressures us into making all the materialistic decisions first (hello, wedding colour palette) and saves the intentional stuff for the bottom of the barrel: your vows, ceremonies, and moments to share why you’re in this at all.
In Wedding with Intention, you will sculpt a celebration from your values. You will get clear on your priorities and your budget, and where the most value lies for you and your partner, based on what’s important to you — because you are wired entirely differently from the next couple. You will learn how to navigate tense conversations about your wedding decisions with important people in your life, and uber-importantly, we will explore the art of saying “no” to the things that don’t fully light you up when it comes to deciding how you will celebrate your marriage.
That is what it’s about after all. Taking a moment to honour your decision to build a family together — in whatever form that looks like to you — in a way that you can find meaning in.
And that’s not something you will EVER find in some pre-written wedding planning checklist from Pinterest.