Bonjour, mes amis! Today I’m talking about traditions and wedding “etiquette” because as you’re all probably well too aware by now, people love to tell you what you SHOULD be doing when getting married. As a bit of a rebel without a cause, generally being told what to do, or what not to do, makes me want to do the opposite, so some wedding “rules” are getting thrown right out of the window.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to traditions… I think it is important and beautiful to have ties to the past, but only if they are meaningful to you.
It’s a bit of a headache thinking of all things etiquette: your groom asking your father’s permission to marry you, the brides’ family extending the invitation to guests (and that general guest list headache as a whole), the bride’s father footing the whole bill (ouch, soz Dads), not seeing your fiancé the night/morning of the wedding, a white dress, wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, being “given away” by your father, a long (and timely) receiving line, posed group shots, a (potentially dysfunctional) top table made up of the wedding party, speeches, cutting of the cake, first dance, tossing of the bouquet (no way will I…I’ll be clutching mine in my sleep Miss Havisham style until I die), driving off into the sunshine in a car trailing tin cans…
All of these are lovely if they are lovely to you, but Scott and I are only doing the ones which we love, or think are fun, namely spending the night apart before our wedding and keeping the dress a big secret, having my daddy walk me down the aisle (not “giving me away”, supporting me and standing by my side on one of the most important days of my life), speeches (because they are always my favourite part!) and most likely a first dance, only because we love music so very much that picking a song that is “ours” is rather a delight.
A wedding is a wedding when you have the legal part done, in my mind, there is absolutely nothing else that you have to do, other than what YOU want. Scott and I want to have an abundance of fun & joy and a great party with our loved ones. We’re positive even without all the things that traditionally make up a wedding, our guests will still know they are deep in the middle of one!
Oh, and there’s another thing I’m not doing: changing my surname. THAT is certainly an interesting thing to tell people because it seems to be a tradition which is very much expected still. I find it very difficult to express to you what my name means to me, other than my name IS me, and giving that up makes me feel like I’d be giving up a part of myself. It’s not that I don’t want to share a name with Scott, it’s just that I feel like part of who I am is my name, it’s my identity and it’s unimaginable to me to change that.
When Scott and I first discussed this, he was taken aback, he did assume that I would be taking his surname, however when I asked him, “well, would you take mine?”, he started to understand. I have a cool name: Danielle Tennant Silvestro, it’s who I am, and who I always want to be. It’s interesting, unique and has a story behind it. All of my life it has been a conversation starter, and for all of my life, it has been me. Yes, one day we might be lucky enough to have kids, and when that time comes, we’ll obviously have another discussion about what those little tykes will be called, maybe Boardman-Silvestro or Silvestro-Boardman, (soz kids)…but they will be taught the pride behind each, and if my future daughter has the same issue as I do over changing her name, then all I can do is tell her to stay true to what makes her happy.
When I was home recently (inspired by a conversation with the rest of the RMW real brides) I scanned some old family wedding pictures to share with you. I absolutely love them and have been gazing at them adoringly ever since. Look how beautiful my mum is! Not to mention my determined and awesome aunty, who got pregnant out of wedlock (the scandal!) and when she finally got round to marrying the father of her child, wore pink. It’s makes me so proud to see parts of my gutsy, stubborn, wonderful aunty in myself, and oh so very sad that she isn’t around today to see me get married in my own way, too.
Will you share with me your tradition/etiquette stories? Surely this must be the part of wedding planning which gives the most headaches and inspires the most thought, so anything that you care to share, I would be glad to read.
And any advice for preparing people that I’m not changing my last name? Should I get Ellie (ellieday_illustration on instagram) to design a badge to wear on the day stating “Danielle Tennant Silvestro 4evz!” (maybe that could be the favours haha). I am really am at a loss as to how to communicate this to people in a casual way without causing too much of a fuss. Also, any coping strategies for when someone tells me that I SHOULD be changing my name?! It may be irrational, but it is a sure fire way to send this (normally very calm) girl right over the edge…
Until next time my lovelies,