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Weddings are so ingrained in media and culture that the majority of people will have a similar vision when asked to describe a wedding: a beautiful ceremony, a white bridal gown, plenty of fresh flower bouquets and a tiered wedding cake. Further, with the rise of social media and everyone being able to show off their extravagant weddings with the click of a button, it becomes a common sentiment for brides-to-be to assume that their weddings have to be just like everyone else’s. There’s plenty of so-called wedding traditions that have plenty of history and meaning, but don’t have to be included in your big day. These are 12 of the most common wedding planning myths that you can start ignoring – today!
1. You have to wear a white dress
Most brides start dreaming about their fairytale wedding dress from a young age. Usually, this dream dress is a long, white gown that is reminiscent of a princess’s ball gown. Today, the fashion industry has created a world of bridal gowns with an amazing variety of styles, lengths, fabrics, silhouettes and even colors. Although the traditional wedding dress is white, there is no rule that dictates that your gown has to be white! Choose a wedding gown that feels right for you and your style, whether it’s a shade of pastel or a bold color. There’s plenty of trendy bridal gowns this year that embrace the idea of a non-white wedding dress, so if white isn’t really your style, then we encourage you to try a different color.
Photo Credit: Brides
2. DIY is a great way to save money
Since the rise of Pinterest and other crafting-related websites, the idea of a DIY wedding has become hugely popular. There’s no denying that there are certain projects that will save you hundreds of dollars if you go the DIY route, but there’s also no denying that these things take lots of time and effort. Depending on the DIY project, you could actually end up spending more money on the materials and supplies needed to make your paper floral arrangements, stationery, invitations or whatever you’ve decided to try your hand at. Before you commit to DIYing a specific aspect of your wedding, calculate the time and cost needed to achieve your goals. Sometimes it’ll be more worthwhile to buy whatever you’re trying to make yourself, or just hire someone else to do it.
Photo Credit: Amy Atlas
3. Talented friends are suitable replacements for professionals
Some couples are lucky enough to have talented friends who have picked up photography, videography, gardening or DJing as a hobby – and are actually pretty good at it. However, a talented friend should not be used as a substitute for an experienced professional. A professional wedding photographer not only has the talent and skill to create beautiful images, but the knowledge and knowhow of the ins and outs of a wedding day. She’ll know when and where to take the best photos, which photos are must-haves and more that a professional hobbyist does not. The same applies to your friends who want to provide your wedding flowers, reception music or wedding video; experienced professionals will be able to help make sure your wedding day goes smoothly. When looking for your wedding vendors, be open and honest about your budget from the start so if they aren’t able to work with you, they can at least recommend other professionals that may be less expensive.
Photo Credit: Digital Camera World
4. If they invited you to their wedding, you have to invite them to yours
Creating a wedding guest list is tricky, because you not only have to invite all of your friends and family members, but also your partner’s friends and family. The guest list is something that can easily spiral out of control, and when it comes down to it, you and your partner will only want to have those who are closest to you there on your special day. Don’t feel obligated to invite someone to your wedding just because you were invited to or attended theirs. Keep the guest list only to those who you truly want at your wedding. If anyone assumes they’re invited but actually are not, let them know directly that you had to limit the guest list due to budget or space concerns.
Photo Credit: SwaLaRue Events
5. You must have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen
The wedding party consists of you and your partner’s closest circle of friends and family. In a perfect world, you would each select the exact same number of people to serve in the bridal party. However, this is usually not the case. Don’t worry! You don’t have to have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. In fact, you don’t even have to have numbers that are close – if he has 8 groomsmen and you only have 4 bridesmaids, that’s perfectly fine. There are plenty of ways to arrange an odd number in your wedding party for the ceremony and photos. Choose those who you truly want to be a part of your big day.
Photo Credit: Clark Walker
6. You shouldn’t go with the first thing you find
A common misconception is that you should never go with the first wedding dress, the first photographer, the first venue – the first anything – when you are planning your wedding. The idea is that you might be missing out on another great option, but it’ll be too late since you’ve already committed to this one. Trust your instincts – if you absolutely fall in love with the first wedding dress you try on, don’t hesitate to go with that one. Of course, if you prefer to shop around you can certainly do so, but sometimes your initial gut instinct is correct. Before you start meeting with vendors and making bridal gown appointments, do your homework and research local vendors to determine typical prices, services and packages in the area so that you’ll feel good about making a decision on the spot.
Photo Credit: Pixshark
7. The wedding cake will taste bad
Dry, gross wedding cake is a thing of the past. In the same vein, wedding food has slowly become a niche market for gourmet cuisines and tasty snacks. The wedding cake gets a bad reputation because of all the tiers and frosting that typically come with it; by the time you’re serving the cake, it’s possible that it’s several days old. However, you choose a reputable bakery, tasteless cake should be a thing of the past. If you’re still not sold on a traditional wedding cake, go the non-traditional route and serve a dessert bar of your favorite sweets instead. Fill your wedding reception menu with items that you have tasted and enjoyed. After all, you’re feeding a crowd of people – the last thing you want is for the food and desserts to be bad.
Photo Credit: Couture Cakery
8. You have to have all the elements of a “traditional” wedding
The bouquet toss, the garter toss, the father-daughter dance, something old, new, borrowed and blue – these are all wedding traditions that most people are aware of and think they must include in their wedding day timelines. Sure, these traditions are fun and can be very meaningful, but there’s no rule that says that you have to include any, if not all, of them in your special day. Choose the ones that mean something to you, even if you’re doing it just for the sheer fun of it. Feel free to skip the ones that you don’t like and replace them with unique traditions of your own.
Photo Credit: Bored Bug
9. Wedding planners are too expensive
Hiring a wedding planner is something that a lot of couples debate about when they start their wedding planning journey. A wedding planner helps you stay organized, find vendors, negotiate contracts and so much more. If you’re not the most organized person in the world, hiring a wedding planner will help alleviate the pressure and stress of planning your big day. Wedding planners often have a hefty fee, but if you allocate their fee into your budget ahead of time, you’ll be thanking yourself later. Plus, wedding planners often have industry connections that will help you get great deals with other vendors. If a wedding planner is still out of your budget, you can consider hiring a day-of-coordinator to help manage everything on the wedding day.
Photo Credit: Tuckertainment
10. An open seating plan makes things easy for your guests
A popular trend floating around these days is having an open seating plan for your guests at both the ceremony and reception. It makes things easy for you, and you think it creates a good situation for your guests since they’ll be able to sit with whoever they like. What this really causes is potential chaos and stress on your guests to find seats for their groups. If the thought of creating a seating plan is scary, at the very least, assign tables to your guests so they can choose their seats within the table.
Photo Credit: Kristyn Hogan
11. You should have a one-year engagement
There’s a wedding myth that your engagement should last for one whole year. For some reason this was the magic number deemed to be long enough to plan your wedding and prepare for marriage. Every relationship is different and there is no set amount of time that you should be engaged for. Whether you choose to be engaged for a couple of months or for a few years, your engagement is entirely up to you and your partner. Don’t let this myth fool you.
Photo Credit: StyleList
12. You have to spend $X amount on your wedding
When planning a wedding, it’s easy to get swept up in the notion of “what others did.” Seeing how much others spent on their weddings is a good way to get a general idea of how much things cost, but there’s absolutely no reason to base your decisions and budget off other weddings. Set your own priorities – for example, if you know you want a designer wedding dress or an amazing venue, splurge on these items and stick to your budget everywhere else. Don’t start your marriage with debt just because you think you need to spend this amount on an extravagant wedding.
Photo Credit: Tie the Knot
There are plenty of myths surrounding the world of wedding planning, and the vast majority of them are not true. Your wedding day is special and unique, and it’s absolutely what you choose to make of it. Don’t let these rumors deter you from planning your big day.