Traditions can play a big part in weddings, especially when it involves family. This can be a wonderful addition to ceremonies or receptions, but when does it all become too much? When traditions start to take over the wedding preparations and become the main focus, it is time to re think. There are family traditions, cultural traditions, and religious traditions, all of them are wonderful. If they are important to you as a bride or groom then you should incorporate them however you see fit. Unfortunately there are times when instead of making your day more special and symbolic, traditions can become the main focus for family drama and negativity. Each side of the family brings with them a past and a culture; most parents want to see them incorporated into their child’s wedding day. The underlying problem with traditions is when they are placed heavily on a bride and groom as a priority before the happiness of the couple.
A big part of the wedding day is the unity of the bride and groom, the separation from each individual family to create your own. This requires the bride and groom to enter into this day on their own terms. There are certain things that may be more or less important to the wedded couple than it would be to the parents. As a parent you must come to the understanding that not all of your traditions and wishes will be present on the wedding day. This is not always the case, but it rings true in my situation.
The dilemma I have repeatedly faced while planning my wedding is the religious and cultural traditions from each family and the overwhelming pressure to incorporate them. While planning a wedding the bride and groom should never feel as though they are being backed into a corner and forced to plan around certain demands. As unpleasant as it is, it can happen to anyone and puts a large amount of stress on the couple as they battle to keep everyone happy and satisfied. I want every couple to know that you won’t always please everyone and nor should you try. If you are happy and satisfied with the way things have been laid out, then that is all that should matter. This is not easy and in fact can be extremely difficult when it involves family.
When I first set out to plan my wedding I did not realise the troublesome journey that was laid ahead. I started out with welcoming arms trying to accommodate both families and their traditions but was immediately confronted by a brick wall. The trouble began when we were picking our ceremony location; both set of parents had their own visions of where and how this would take place. The metaphorical brick wall was built when each side of the family refused to remain open to other possibilities other than their own. For my family it was centred on a religious tradition and for my significant other it was about cultural tradition. This was the beginning of a battle that we would not win; we learned that we had to evaluate what was most important to us over what was more important to our families.
The pressure was applied when our beloved parents found out we had not chosen their specific ceremony locations nor would it play out in the desired way they had so adamantly requested. The stress was turned on when we realised our families would not accept this change easily. We had upset our parents and were told things such as “I will not be happy at your wedding because…” over traditions that weren’t specifically met. This pressure has continued through the whole planning process, even when we have tried to meet the traditional expectations set before us, if it was not exact then they were not happy. No one, not even family, should be able to put something before your happiness when it comes to your wedding day. This day belongs to the bride and groom, everyone else is a welcomed guest. When traditions or requests by the family are not precisely met, there should not be a backwind of pressure to follow. My fiancé and I had to make a conscious decision to choose between the happiness of our families and happiness for each other. This is a decision that a bride and groom should never have to make. It becomes necessary when family decides to push the importance of traditions over the importance and significance of the wedding day. I have said this before and I will say it again, your wedding day is based on a union between you and your partner, not your families. Of course your families are absolutely important in this union, but you must put your bond first. You must decide what is significant to you and make that a priority before you fulfill everyone else’s desires. Families, remember that as important as you think your traditions are, they all circulate around one thing, love. The love of two people coming together to form a new family, this is the centerfold of importance.