One year ago today, my fiance and I got engaged, and I remember that for a few hours after, we didn't tell anyone. We wanted to enjoy the glow on our own. In retrospect, I actually wish I'd taken even more time to keep the news to ourselves. Because it seems like as soon as one person knows, the advice (solicited or not) starts rollin' in -- from wedding magazines to websites, vendors to friends, and, of course, well-meaning family. Then, you start feeling like you have to learn the "rules" of the wedding planning road you're inevitably going to be navigating. Like the "proper" way to do this or the "right" way to do that.
But let's face it -- some wedding rules were made to be broken. Because they're annoying, pedantic, antiquated, or just don't fit you and the person you're about to marry, etc. Here, 12 wedding rules a bride should feel free to break or make her own ...
- Using "formal" wording on the invitations - This is one I was grappling with recently. Who says the invite being sent to your best friend Sally -- who just happened to marry Joe Smith -- has to be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith"? As a good friend told me, there are no etiquette police at the post office! Trying to follow proper etiquette is one thing, but feeling like you have to address your closest friends in an impersonal, outdated way is another.
- Wearing a veil - Hey, it's not for everyone.
- Wearing a blusher - It's really not for everyone. I'm still not sure what to do ... (But because the unveiling can be an especially emotional part of a Jewish ceremony, I think I'm gonna go for it.)
- Having an equal bridesmaids to groomsmen ratio - No one's really going to notice or care if you have a gaggle of besties, and your guy only has his three bros. And a good photog can arrange the bridal party so your pics look awesome.
- Putting the carriage before the marriage - It's not just celebs like Kim Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari, or Jessica Simpson doing it these days. Sometimes it just happens that you get pregnant before becoming a bride -- or you find yourself a pregnant bride!
- Sleeping apart the night before - In this day and age of most couples living together for years before they say "I do," no one says you have to spend your last night as a Miss without your Mister. If you're more comfortable being together, consider what my friend said she and her hubby did: "We slept together the night before our wedding, woke up, and said, 'Let's do this!'"
- Having "photogenic," designer shoes - Some brides totally freak out over having the right Louboutins, because someone's going to see them -- even if it's just the photographer! But every bride's priority should be comfort -- whether they're walking down the aisle in Jimmy Choos, Toms, or flip-flops!
- Wearing a white dress - Who say it has to be white? Or long? Or anything other than what you want to wear on your wedding day ...
- Writing separate vows or writing your own vows at all - You may want to write them together or stick to the traditional and/or religious ones.
- Skipping the "cheesy" traditions - Some brides get hung up on being unique and different that they actually pass on doing some of the things they would have liked to do. Do what you want!
- Going on the honeymoon right away - Sometimes, airfare is cheaper a week or 10 days after your wedding. Sometimes, you have to do a mini-moon instead. Or wait a year for your big trip.
- Having what most would consider a traditional wedding at all - If eloping or pulling a Zuckerberg or going to town hall is more your thing, do it!
What wedding rule did you break or do you feel was meant to be broken?