It's Wednesday, which means it's the day where I come to you complaining about how hard wedding planning is and how every day I become a little more open to the idea of eloping. Last week I wrote all about how difficult it's been finding a venue, and for those of you who are emotionally invested in this process you should know that we still haven't found a venue. It's super fun being in limbo like this.
Lately Keith and I have been talking about the ceremony and reception, and the things we want to do and the things we don't care about. Actually, it's been more of me telling him what we will not be doing. Like, "Keith, we aren't doing the garter. I don't want you sticking your head under my dress in front of 125 people," and, "Oh, when we feed each other cake you are NOT allowed to smash it in my face." Then he says stuff like, "Wow this will be such a fun day for me," and he's totally deadpan and makes it seem like he's being sarcastic but I'm sure he's probably not.
In discussing the things I don't want to do, I decided to check the origin (or supposed origin, in most cases) of some of what I think are the more strange traditions. Once I started Googling I couldn't stop, and I feel like this information really really really needs to be shared.
1. The garter. This is the tradition I'm the most opposed to. Maybe I'm a prude, but the idea of sitting on a chair and having Keith stick his head under my dress and remove the garter with his teeth while my parents and 99 year old grandmother and other people watch just makes me really itchy all over. And I know people usually remove the garter with their hands now but do you know Keith at all? He likes to do whatever is the most embarrassing option. Anyway, when I checked the origin of the garter tradition I became shocked and appalled and even more against the tradition than I was before.
Here's the story: apparently, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it was considered "good luck" to own a piece of the bride's wedding dress. Right after the ceremony was over and presumably while the bride and groom were still at the altar, the guests would rush the altar and rip her dress to shreds in order to keep a piece for themselves. There was also a think called "fingering the stocking" where the bride's undergarments would get checked the next day too make sure they consummated the marriage. Do not google "fingering the stocking." Just don't do it. Or do it and tell me what you find because I'm too afraid to do it myself.
2. Carrying a bouquet down the aisle. I'm not really opposed to this, but I was really curious about why we do it. One website said that one reason brides used to carry the bouquet was to make sure they smelled nice. Apparently Chanel fragrances didn't exist back in the Middle Ages (Chanel sounds pretty selfish to me), so they would use flowers as perfume. Not baby's breath, though, because I recently learned that baby's breath doesn't smell great for long periods of time. Another thing brides carried was spices, or dill and marigolds. Why? Oh, because it made people get filled with lust.
So obviously the people who fingered the stocking didn't go to weddings where the bride carried dill and marigold, because if they did their stockings wouldn't have needed to get fingered. Or at least, not in the way I mentioned above. LET'S JUST MOVE ON.
3. Matching bridesmaids dresses. I don't want my bridesmaids to wear matching dresses. Cassie pulled this off flawlessly and this post she wrote about mismatching dresses (and all her other wedding posts) is permanently bookmarked, and was even before I got engaged. So anyway, I decided to look up why people have bridesmaids and why they always wear matching dresses, and do you have any idea what I found out? Do you? Maybe I won't tell you.
Just kidding, I will. In the olden days the bridesmaids not only wore matching dresses, but they wore dresses that matched the BRIDE. Down to the veil. The idea was that a bride was prone to evil spirits, and if there were multiple women dressed the same, the evil spirit would get confused and not know which one he wanted to enter and infest or whatever. Also, the best man was to serve as armed backup for the groom in case he had to resort to kidnapping his intended bride away from disapproving parents. "Best" referred to his skill with a sword.
4. It's bad luck for the bride to see the groom before the ceremony. This goes back to arranged marriages, when the bride and groom often didn't meet before the wedding. The groom wasn't supposed to see the bride because what if he thought she was ugly and refused to marry her? Awkward for everybody, and also the reason for the veil over the face.
I won't be wearing a veil over the face, and I would love to do a first look instead of waiting to see each other until I walk down the aisle. Keith doesn't want to do a first look because it seems like too much pressure, and that doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't there be more pressure if 125 people are watching your reaction to seeing the bride for the first time? "Nobody looks at the groom," Keith says. To which I reply, "YES THEY DO!" And he fires back with, "Ok fine, only people who've seen 27 Dresses look at the groom." And that's the end of our conversation.
That's all for now because all of this is making me go crazy. Check back next Wednesday because I'm either going to complain about how everybody says the wedding is about you two but it's really NOT just about you two; how people are really bad at pretending they aren't judging you for wanting a buffet; or how I think I'm going to do my own nails and my own makeup because I'm low maintenance and super picky about my eyeliner.