Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stop "Shoulding" on the Bride!

While awaiting service in a local department store today, I couldn't help but overhear a conversation taking place between who I can only assume were a bride-to-be and her mother. It went something like this;

b-2-b; "Really, I can't wear white?"
mob; "Of course not, in fact your dress really shouldn't look all that bridey, and you shouldn't wear a veil either, this isn't your first time after all."
b-2-b; "Really? wow, I had no idea, are you sure?"
mob; "Darling, I've been there and done that, and I can tell you it's a big mistake. Listen to your mother and choose the ivory cocktail dress, you can't go wrong with ivory."

Now as much as I'm sure that mom often does know best, this is one time I really wanted to butt into a conversation with a big loud "WHOA!" What's with all this "shoulding" over second (even third or fourth) time brides?

Okay, I know as well as the next Wedding Planner that there are "guidelines" and "common practices" and certain schools of thought about what's generally considered as acceptable for second, third, even fourth time brides. But with polite apologies to Emily Post, I say it's time to take a big leap into the 21st century and shake loose those old rules. At least a few of them.

Color: White's right if it feels right. So's ivory, lilac, silver, even red or black.
Veils: There's nothing wrong with a short veil, but even I'd encourage a little moderation here.
Attendants: Hey, it's a celebration! And what's a celebration without friends and family?
Showers: Even if you're combining two households, a lingerie or bar shower can be lots of fun.
Tradition: Nothing at all wrong with toting out traditional vows, the boquet toss, garters, etc.

Basically what I'm advocating here is that we stop all this nonsense of "Shouldn't because you already did." SO WHAT if you already did? When you know better you do better, so cut loose whether it's your second, third, even fourth time down the aisle. Have fun. Express yourself. Live a little. "Shoulda, coulda, woulda" has no place in your planning. Do what feels right and you'll pull off a wedding without regrets. Moderation in all things is always a good guideline, and by all means, steer clear of an exact repeat of previous vows, gown styles, cakes ... you get the drift. A wedding is a time of joy, it's a celebration of love. It's a time to shake off the dust of doubt and dig into your new life with both hands wide open.

And if you need someone to speak with mom about it, call me, I'll kick those shoulds to the curb!