A sure sign of spring isn’t resetting the clocks ahead an hour, leaving us wandering around like jet-lagged zombies for a few days; it isn’t the sudden appearance of gophers in the form of road kill; it isn’t even the arrival of warm weather, since “Southern Alberta” and “appropriate season weather patterns” aren’t exactly synonymous. No, the surest sign of spring is the arrival of that dreaded magical time of year known as “Wedding Season”.
Oh sure, just like the weather in Southern Alberta can bring snow in July or forgo spring completely, some people buck the trend by having their wedding at some strange time. Like the middle of winter. But statistically, spring is wedding season, either planning or having. And it’s a strange season indeed.
I find myself, for the first time in years, invited to a wedding this June. It’s unusual, as I’m at that point in life where all my friends are either long since married, have wisely determined the single life is for them and they will never get married, or are finished with their starter marriage and have sworn never to do something that ridiculous again. And my kids, or my friends’ kids, aren’t old enough to require me to break out the Mother-of-the-Groom attire. Okay, technically some of them are, but gratefully none of them seem particularly inclined.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against getting married, per se. I’m just against the insanity that seems to result between the proposal and the first arrival home as the new Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So. I have no idea what happens in that time frame to turn normally rationale people into insane creatures while planning a wedding. So with that in mind, I offer the following insanity saving tips from the perspective of one who has been there, done that and, more importantly, is cheap:
1) Bridesmaid dresses #1 – unless you’re going with the classic LBD, there isn’t a bridesmaid’s dress out there that will look good on more than two different women simultaneously. And even LBD’s are style dependent. Be kind to your friends when picking dresses. Or just have one bridesmaid (cheaper!).
2) Bridesmaid dresses #2 – further to point 1) there are virtually no bridesmaid’s dresses that your besties will actually wear again. Ever. So if you want to keep them as besties, don’t insist that they break the bank buying the horror dress that some celebrity with a huge budget used at their wedding.
3) Destination weddings – suck. For everyone but the happy couple and maybe a couple of close friends. Just remember, you’re asking people to burn a lot of cash and time coming with you and then you’re stuck with them for what should be your honeymoon. Do you really want your mom coming on your honeymoon?? If you do, your betrothed and I need to have a quick chat before the happy day. For the rest of you, save money and just have sand all over the floor of the community hall* you rent for the reception; no one will notice the difference!
4) Reception locations – community halls are cheap. ‘Nuff said.
5) Dance performances – there’s a trend to have the happy couple do some crazy dance performance, ala “Flash Mob”, or maybe drag the whole bridal party into the performance at the reception. Cute, but remember - rehearsals = scheduling nightmare. And someone has to pay for those dance lessons…
6) Wedding cakes – what’s up with the mashing of cakes into faces? I don’t get that trend – besides seeming like an oddly passive aggressive way to start your life together, it seems like a waste of expensive wedding cake.
7) Guest list – short and sweet. And only those actually paying for a portion of the wedding get to have any influence, re: the content of said guest list.
8) Open bar or not – as an organizer/payer – NO OPEN BAR!!! As a guest? Open that sucker up… don’t be so cheap all the time!!!
Now, where’s the best place to buy a non-mother of anyone type dress, that won’t break the bank, to go to a June wedding??
*check your rental contract before spreading sand all over the community hall floor; some venues have no sense of whimsy. And withheld damage deposits are not cheap at all.