Many traditional weddings can get rather samey, so some people decide to go in the opposite direction in an attempt to entertain. Sadly, their quest for originality usually results in an ill-thought out theme, which achieves little in alleviating the dull proceedings, while making everyone worry if their faces will get stuck in a permanent cringe. It’s great to celebrate your uniqueness, be it nerdom or love of Arsenal – but places already exist for you to embrace these parts of your personality, like Comic Con or a football stadium.
Or the privacy of a poorly lit basement. But not at a wedding that people have showered, spent money, travelled, paid baby-sitters and got dressed up for. Is it really worth embarrassing all your nearest and dearest just for the sake of a few novelty photographs? By now, all your friends and family already know you’re weird and are thrilled that you’ve found someone to share said weirdness with – so please don’t make them sacrifice their dignity in the name of your eccentricities. The odd gimmick, like an unusual wedding cake or throwing a divorce lawyer voucher instead of a bouquet, is fine, but themes such as those you’re about to read should really forever hold their peace…
Movies and Superheroes
With great friendship comes great responsibility, but when you find out that being in the wedding party means you’ll be dressing up like a stormtrooper, that friendship really gets put to the test. Star Trek uniforms, X-Men latex, god help you …green Shrek bodypaint. Everybody has a roster of favourite movies, but is your wedding day really the best occasion to broadcast your fandom? And it’s one thing if everyone in attendance is a big fan of the movie, but not all films are everyone’s cup of tea, so forcing people to sit through a low budget awkward production of a film they hate at the best of times is just plain cruel. It’s actually tough to tell what makes such themes more embarrassing – if the whole wedding is littered with Ewoks and the guests are extras in this mad theatre, or if it’s just a normal boring wedding. But in velour.
The Role Playing Nerd-Fest
We all saw the role-playing society at university. The strange band of introverts that dressed up like medieval peasants and went off to make-believe in a nearby field. You may have giggled as the bedraggled grey capes casually strolled by, while internally hoping to heaven that they were just playing pretend and not going off to sacrifice a goat or something. Thankfully, they tend to be a passive lot and you can easily avoid them. Until they invite you to their chainmail, elf and dragon keep infested wedding. Worse still, when the invite insists that all the guests dress up accordingly as well. It’s bad enough that you’re forcing people to witness your desperation to abandon reality and live in fairyland, but when you demand the congregation get involved, it’s bordering on sadism.
The slightly more unhinged cousin of the film and fantasy themes is the recent obsession with zombie or vampire weddings. A gothic wedding dress can certainly look super badass, but when the bride and groom spasmodically creep down the aisle with fake blood dripping down their faces while some out of tune organ blasts My Chemical Romance in the background, you have to rethink your friendship choices a little bit. Not only will any invited children start screaming and have nightmares for weeks, but after you’ve sat through a Twilight or Walking Dead-styled ceremony, then having to face a wedding reception that serves congealed green cocktails and severed finger pigs in blankets brought to you by embarrassed Dracula replicants, you’ll start wishing you were really dead.
What bride sat down and thought “I know – for my wedding, I want to look like a grotesque cultural caricature!’ Well, quite a few apparently. Cowboys, Geishas, Native Americans, white trash – it’s all been done. And very badly. Not only is it insulting, if not utterly offensive, to weddings that are actually steeped in cultural traditions, but it never fails to look cheap, forced and utterly ridiculous. If your budget is tight, there are other ways to have a memorable wedding besides raiding a Halloween shop off-season and pretending like Mr and Mrs Just-Bought-A-Semi-Detached-in-Slough have some sort of connection to the frontier or indigenous cultures. Or, if this hideous theme occurred to you because you need to unload all the “I tried to sell home decor on Etsy and failed” materials, then just donate them. Or burn them. Faux feathers or denim short shorts belong in tacky musicals or tackier TV shows, not in front of a minister when you say your vows. And woe betide you if the couple decides to throw this calamity outdoors where sane people can witness this ill-bred horror.
Special Equipment Required
There’s always that couple, isn’t there. We met at the gym or back-packing through Western Europe and we spend our weekends jumping out of aeroplanes or running a casual marathon. Not even for charity, but like…. the fun of it. So naturally, when they decide to support each other through the inevitable knee surgeries and hip replacements, you just know that this isn’t going to be a normal wedding. The bride is coming in on a zip wire, or they’ll abseil off a hot air balloon, or the ceremony will be a scuba dive or some other ostentatious insanity that the average person avoids like the plague.
Ignoring the impracticality of such elaborate setups, it’s made all the worse if the couple actually want to look bridal… ie full poofy skirt, mile-long veil, three-piece tux, while getting strapped into a harness that they may or may not get stuck in, which the congregation has no choice but to watch in agony, just so they can shove their “look how much energy we have” down everyone’s throats. Your guests won’t be impressed, they’ll be exhaustedly lamenting that they’re losing their weekend that could have been spent on the sofa in front of the telly to feign enthusiasm for people with inhuman metabolisms or such bland personalities that all they can do is overcompensate with ridiculous stunts.
I suppose if you were forced to do the scuba diving one, a friendly shark or jellyfish could cut the proceedings short?