Wedding Myth #1
“Here Comes the Bride” is the best wedding march ever. The truth is that many Catholic and Jewish officiants refuse to allow it as part of a wedding ceremony. In the case of the Jewish bride and groom, the answer is rather simple: Richard Wagner, who wrote the music, was an incorrigible anti-Semite. Many Catholic churches refuse to let it be played because it has no religious connotation whatsoever.
The real reason to avoid using this beautiful Wagnerian piece is because it’s from the opera Lohengrin, in which the marriage of Elsa and her mysterious knight is doomed. Elsa is engaged to a man who has forbidden her to ask who he is or where he has come from. Elsa’s enemies drive suspicion and worry into her heart, which she ponders as she walks down the aisle in another beautiful piece of music known simply as “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.” Elsa’s bridesmaids actually sing “Here Comes the Bride” as Elsa makes her way to the bridal chamber, and there she asks the knight who he is. This breaks the spell so that the knight must return to his homeland, and Elsa falls down and dies at the end.
Yes, I’d pick another processional if I were you.
Wedding Myth #2
The wedding gown must be white to signify purity. Good Heavens, no, that’s not true at all! Going back centuries, white symbolized mourning, and ladies of substance never wore it for their weddings. Wedding gowns were made of luxurious fabrics and rich colors to demonstrate their wealthy status and exalted social standing. Although Mary, Queen of Scots, holds the record for the first white wedding gown way back in 1559—because she liked the color white—it was beloved Queen Victoria who made it popular.
She chose a white gown to coordinate with a bit of lace that she wanted to wear on her wedding day, and judging by her diary (“I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!” she wrote of her wedding night) it was a good choice for her. Ladies everywhere began copying her style, but you can wear whatever color you wish.
Wedding Myth #3
The engagement ring must include a diamond. Diamonds became a favourite in engagement rings because they supposedly reflected the “fires of love.” However, whatever kind of ring has meaning for you works just fine as an engagement ring.
Wedding Myth #4
You can’t plan a wedding quickly. This is a much ballyhooed myth perpetuated by wedding supply vendors. The longer you take to plan your wedding, the more money you are likely to spend. It’s true that your top location choice might be booked months in advance, but what if you have your wedding on a Friday, for example, instead of the traditional Saturday ceremony? What if you go to the wedding boutique and ask to look only at those gowns you can buy off the rack? You do need a couple months if you’re sending out invitations the traditional way, a couple weeks to order them and the generally recommended six-week mailing in advance of the wedding day. But you can make the invitations yourself; some DIY kits at craft stores offer surprising elegance. You can also create a Facebook page for your event. There are many ways to arrange a beautiful wedding in just a few weeks’ time.
Wedding Myth #5
The bridal garter is tossed to determine which of the single male guests will be the next to marry. Well, that’s not exactly how this tradition began. Way back in the 1300s, weddings were rowdy affairs, and guests who had a little too much to drink felt free to push themselves on the bride and tear at her clothes. Often the groom would give a piece of her clothing to the best man, who would tear it up and toss it to the unruly guests. Eventually some enterprising groom thought of tossing the garter from his new wife’s leg, so that he was able to take his bride and duck away whilst the men fought over it.
Wedding Myth #6
You should always congratulate the bride and groom. This is only half correct. People must tell the groom congratulations, but to the bride they should say “Best wishes!” This practice comes from centuries ago when brides were captured. The groom was congratulated for his conquest, and the bride was wished to make the best of a harrowing experience. The tradition of marriage by capture, incidentally, also explains how the “best man” came about. When the groom went into battle to steal or capture his wife, he always took a close friend who would aid him in battle—the actual “best man” for the job.
Wedding Myth #7
You can’t afford a wedding planner. Many couples plan their wedding on a shoestring budget, and it just doesn’t make sense to dedicate a percentage of that “shoestring budget” to pay a wedding planner. You can, however, hire a “day-of” wedding planner generally for about a thousand bucks. With you and your fiancé booking your vendors, you meet with the planner a couple weeks before your event and provide copies of contracts. On the day-of, the wedding planner generally will coordinate and direct wedding-day events and argue with any vendors who aren’t providing according to contract. He or she can also take care of any last-minute emergencies. Why not consider this less-expensive wedding planning option to make your day special?
Frustrating? Just roll with it…
One of the most frustrating wedding myths is the belief that the two of you are free to plan your own wedding. Once you have announced your engagement and you are formulating plans, your two dear, sweet moms/mums will turn into project management monsters—true Momzillas—who want to make sure that everything goes their way. 😀
Relax! Just tell these two well-meaning moms,
“I really love your idea! I’ll include it on my list of things to consider.”
Good luck—and best wishes!