11 Rules About Marriage That You Might Not Realize Aren't Important Anymore
Many a millennial is of the mind that marriage is an antiquated tradition, and are therefore simply not interested in pairing up in this way. And I totally get that. But there are folks from our generation who are tying the knot anyway. Traditions still abound, depending on the couple, but many are forgoing the old school marriage rules in favor of putting their own spin on things.
This more modern approach to weddings and whatnot applies to the ceremony itself, where many "rules" have completely gone out the window. Think along the lines of non-white wedding dresses, no cake cutting or bouquet toss, or a giant pizza party wedding in someone's backyard.
This is, at least, what I've seen going on among my friends who are partnering up. I love that they're celebrating an old tradition in a new way. And as relationship exert Mara Opperman tells me via email, this is 100 percent OK. "After all, it is your wedding," Opperman says. "Celebrate it in a way the suits both your personalities and makes you the happiest." (AKA, for me, a giant pizza party.)
The modern take on things extends to your marriage, too. Some couples are happy to stick with traditional roles, and that's just fine. But other couples are looking at things a bit differently. Read on for the marriage rules that many are totally forgetting.
1. Filling Your Registry With Household Items
Ah, the wedding registry. As a guest, it's traditionally been your job to sift through all the pots and pans and cutlery sets that your pals want to spend their lives with. But now that more and more couples are living together before marriage, these registry lists are taking on a different tone. "You can request upgraded versions of home items you already own, but nothing should stop you from creating a honeymoon or otherwise 'untraditional' registry," said wedding expert Meredith Bogdas on TheKnot.com. Sounds much more fun to me.
2. Insisting On Matching Bridemaids Dresses
One of the most horrific things about weddings, in my humble opinion, are the matchy-matchy bridesmaids dresses. If you've seen movies (cough, Bridesmaids) or been in a wedding, then you know the ladies traditionally all wear the same thing. As a bridesmaid, this often means shimmying into a dress that doesn't fit your body type, or donning a color that does not go well with your skin tone. So thank heavens times are a changin'. "Brides are now letting their bridesmaids individual personalities shine through and more importantly letting them wear a dress that fits their figure and their own taste," Opperman says.
3. Not Seeing Each Other Before The Ceremony
Since the dawn of time, weddings have been all about that big reveal moment. You know the one — the chapel doors swing open to reveal the bride, resplendent in all her white, lacy glory. This moment is sacred for some. But other couples prefer to hang out and take some pics before the ceremony. "This can give you time after the ceremony to enjoy your cocktail hour," Opperman says. Makes sense, right?
4. Waltzing On Down An Aisle
The walk down the aisle is a pretty big moment for most wedding ceremonies. And yet, if it's not your thing, you totally don't have to do it. Maybe you don't want all eyes on you, or there simply isn't an aisle at your backyard pizza party. "Whatever your rationale, it's your prerogative," said Bodgas.
5. Wearing A White Gown
White wedding dresses have been where it's at for forever. And yet brides of today are switching things up and wearing different colors (and sometimes all the colors). "As long as you feel fabulous in your outfit, it can be any color or style," Bodgas pointed out. "You can even skip the veil."
6. Reciting Traditional Wedding Vows
More religious ceremonies will probably follow the whole "'til death do us part" bit, and that's lovely. Other couples, on the other hand, often choose to ditch those traditional words and write their own vows to each other, according to wedding expert Jillian Kramer on Brides.com. This is the perfect opportunity to pepper in all the ways your marriage will be more modern, too.
7. Choosing Matching Wedding Bands
Of course you should wear whichever ring makes you happy. And if that means matching your SO, then go for it. Lots of couples, however, are showing off their own unique styles when it comes to choosing their jewels. "Since I work in the jewelry industry, I can tell you first hand that most couples are not wearing matching wedding bands anymore," Opperman says. "Since you are both going to be wearing these bands forever, it’s important to choose something you both are going to love to wear."
8. Cutting Into Giant Wedding Cakes
Huge, tiered wedding cakes are still quite popular and couples are cutting into them the world over. But there is a new tradition, and that's the dessert table. "Instead of the traditional cake and cake cutting ceremonies, couples are opting for sundaes, cheesecakes, pies, etc," Opperman says. Others go the cake route, but save money by having one of lesser proportions.
9. Going Into Crippling Wedding Debt
Some couples drop a huge amount of dough on their big deal, while others go the more frugal route. "You simply don’t need to bankrupt yourself or your parents to have a hip and affordable wedding," said financial expert Shannah L. Compton on HuffingtonPost.com. Skip the photographer, don't have flowers, or make it a smaller ceremony — then stash that dough or use it for an amazing vacation.
10. Dashing Off On A Honeymoon Right Away
We all know the image of the newlyweds climbing into a car bedecked with a "Just Married" sign as everyone waves them off on their honeymoon. It's so sweet, and it still happens. But some couples are choosing to wait a while before traveling. By waiting a year, couples can save up money for an extra amazing trip, according to lifestyle writer Nicole Ziza Bauer on TheEveryGirl.com. It also allows time to settle down, take a breather, and go on a trip sans stress.
11. Settling Into Your Lifelong Home
Your parents likely got married and moved right into a cute little house with a white picket fence. While that's adorable, the economy of today means that's not exactly feasible for young couples, according to Suzanne McGee on The Guardian. That's why many newlyweds are living that apartment life and skipping out on home ownership— at least for now. And that's totally OK.
After all, your priorities shouldn't be focused on what's "right" or what's "traditional." The rules of your wedding, and your marriage, are completely up to you. So do whatever makes you happy.
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