Weddings

4 traditional rules I broke that left me with the perfect wedding

Not walking down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" was the best decision I could have made.

Wedding traditions around the world are special in that they highlight different values we hold in our cultures around marriage, love, and family. Everything from the color of the dress we wear, to the Maid of Honor we choose, holds incredible significance on one of the most important days of our lives. Don’t kid yourself; choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone is a huge deal.

But for some of us, traditional weddings are not that important. In fact, some of their values completely go against what we want representing us on our wedding day.

[bctt tweet=”For some of us, traditional weddings are not that important.” username=”wearethetempest”]

My partner and I were so happy to get married that we wanted to make the day our own. There were so many so-called “rules” that we discarded simply because they did not equal our values. And even though our wedding ended up looking and feeling far from traditional, it was so uniquely ours that looking back we have no regrets.

Here are some of the rules we (happily) broke.

1. I didn’t wear a white dress.

[Image description: a photograph of Ariana, the author, standing in a heavily beaded green and purple lengha. There are two trellises on either side of her that are covered in jasmine creepers.]
[Image description: a photograph of Ariana, the author, standing in a heavily beaded green and purple lengha. There are two trellises on either side of her that are covered in jasmine creepers.]
Considering that I’ve never looked good in white, and I am (ahem) not a virgin, I had never even considered white as an option. Of course, red would have been the next best option since we were having a Hindu/Christian wedding, but again, it just didn’t occur to me. Instead, I picked one of the first outfits I saw; a heavily beaded, purple and green lengha that I knew would be perfect as soon as I tried it on. Everyone commented on how unique and vibrant it was, and I couldn’t agree more. The colors and style made me feel like myself on one of the happiest days of my life; a feeling I will never forget.

2. We didn’t have a registry.

[Image description: A table with presents, some wrapped and some in bags, lie on a table covered with a brown tablecloth. A woman is leaning down to write a message on a piece of paper. At the center of the table is a heart-shaped chalkboard that reads, "Dear Guests, Please write a little message to the bride and groom and place in the jars. Thank you."]
[Image description: A table with presents, some wrapped and some in bags, lie on a table covered with a brown tablecloth. A woman is leaning down to write a message on a piece of paper. At the center of the table is a heart-shaped chalkboard that reads, “Dear Guests, Please write a little message to the bride and groom and place in the jars. Thank you.”]
There were so many factors going against us having a registry, including that we didn’t know where or how we would be living for the next few years. My partner and I are young, and the possibilities of where we will end up settling down (if we settle down) are endless. So instead of setting up a registry of items we might not be able to take with us wherever we relocate, we decided to let family choose whether they wanted to get us presents, and what presents those were. The results were a few unique, hilarious, and endearing gifts, one of them being a tiny set of glass teacups from close friends of ours that are easy to carry around. We didn’t know how much we’d enjoy using them every day!

[bctt tweet=”The results of our wedding presents were unique, hilarious, and endearing.” username=”wearethetempest”]

3. I didn’t have bridesmaids.

[Image description: a photography of the author with her bridesmaids. The author is wearing a purple and green lengha and her bridesmaids are wearing sarees in different shades of pink. There is an expansive garden in the background and the light is hazy from the sunset. Everyone is smiling.]
[Image description: a photograph of the author with her bridesmaids. The author is wearing a purple and green lengha and her bridesmaids are wearing sarees in different shades of pink. There is an expansive garden in the background and the light is hazy from the sunset. Everyone is smiling.]
Well, technically I did have bridesmaids, but they weren’t given the typical bridesmaids’ duties. No one was expected to help out with the wedding details, or plan a bridal shower. It could have been down to the fact that most of my bridesmaids were out of the city (and country) during the wedding preparations, but I also didn’t feel like it was right to ask them to help out. We were planning a small wedding in one month, and my mom, my partner and I had everything covered. All we needed was for people to rock up, dressed in what made them comfortable, and pose for photos!

4. I didn’t walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride.”

I saved the best for last. Although I believe that certain renditions of “Here Comes the Bride” are romantic, the song didn’t make sense for the kind of relationship my partner and I had. Instead, we chose a song that brought tears to our eyes and made everyone in the audience coo with appreciation. Being avid Star Wars fans, we knew that the original score of Han Solo and The Princess by John Williams would be the most romantic gesture we could have made for one another on that day. Walking down the aisle towards my partner with thoughts of Empire Strikes Back on my mind let me know that I was making the best decision ever.

[bctt tweet=”I walked down the aisle with thoughts of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ on my mind.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Although we broke so many more wedding rules, these were the cherry on top of a perfect, alternative wedding. When we look back on our special day we feel overwhelmed with joy at how perfectly everything went. I mean, it was everything we could have ever wanted.