I have attended a few weddings as a child; almost all of these were as a flower girl. There was one wedding I remember every bit of detail—shiny, puffy-sleeved bridal gown with colorful trimmings, teased bridal hair, and the grand entrance of the couple with swords and flames and, uh, a marching band? My flower girl attire was a beautiful satin gown with semi-puffed sleeves and little flowers on my chest, and oh boy that dress made me itch so much!
That’s ’90s wedding for you, from a six-year-old flower girl’s perspective.
Flower girl circa 1993.
I never thought about how my wedding will look, how I want my wedding dress, or what decors to have until I opened a Pinterest account in 2011. All I knew about weddings back then were the traditions that came with it and its significance in legally binding a relationship between a man and a woman, and more recently, between two individuals regardless of gender.
It would be fitting to call our wedding a millennial wedding. I would like to define it as a wedding custom-fit for the couple, cutting out “unnecessary” traditions and keeping ones that matter, and adding a touch of technology, current trends, and the personalities of the bride and groom.
Wedding planning is crazy, and it’s more cray to arrange a millennial wedding around Filipino wedding traditions most people are accustomed to. Sure, there will always be couples who will opt for a cookie-cutter type of wedding, but there are a number of couples who will veer away from traditions, or at the very least, will only pick the relevant ones to respect the culture they are in as homage to history and tradition, whether it’s a family or a cultural thing. Some couples may even describe it as a tug-of-war between them and their very traditional parents and/or relatives who may insist on doing things the way they did it in the past because it worked for them and it should work for the couple as well.
What makes a millennial wedding? Is it really required nowadays to subscribe to the modern way of planning a wedding, or do we just go the traditional way of doing things? Let’s break it down, shall we?
Traditional Invites vs. E-Invites
It is customary that couple who are planning to wed to send our invites at least three weeks before the wedding. Those who have been invited to weddings in the past years may have received physical invitations with embossed flowers and actual ribbons on shiny, scented paper, with quotes from the bride and groom printed somewhere on the invite. That would be enough back then, but nowadays, engaged couples have the option to send out save-the-date cards a year before the wedding, followed by the formal invite. The formal invite, depending on the couple’s preference or budget, may be printed out or sent digitally through e-mail or posted on the couple’s preferred events page platform. Some couples, on the other hand, opt to just send soft copies of their wedding invites online, saving on printing and mailing costs.
Phone calls and broadsheet publications are still the best way to announce a couple’s engagement. I still remember when I was younger, I would check my parents’ favorite newspaper for newly-married and affianced couples and I thought it was cool to have your wedding announced through that medium. But you know, as I grew older, my plans changed with what’s #trending, so I announced our engagement on Facebook and Instagram just hours after I was given the ring—well, that’s because both our families knew my then-boyfriend-now-husband was going to propose on that day!
Apart from our Facebook event page, we also made a website that contained maps, venue information, and some more details that will help them get around and be comfortable on our wedding. Digital media is a very effective tool to communicate with guests, entourage, and even suppliers, and relay important messages that may be useful on the wedding day.
Because of technological advancements, couples will not have a hard time collecting photos from friends and family post-event. Couples can get extra creative by utilizing hashtags for their event. Say, if a couple named Joey and Doris are getting married this year, they may use the hashtags #JoeyMayNowKissDoris2017, or something more witty or catchy. Hashtags included in the caption make it easy for newlyweds to see moments captured on their special day by friends.
My husband and I made do with very few traditions. We made sure that we had the pamamanhikan before everything was cast in stone. I followed the customary something blue, something new, something borrowed, and something old, no pearl earrings on wedding day, and to have flowers in church no matter how bloody expensive it was to get from the lone accredited supplier! Despite those, we did not have a dove release ceremony because we thought it was cheesy. No bouquet and garter throwing because we don’t want only the single guests to have fun; instead, we had a Minute-to-Win-it inspired game so that everyone, including married and very young guests can enjoy! I also wore a champagne-colored gown instead of a labang-Tide white because I feel that it doesn’t fit my personality and body type!
Some people may say that you won’t lose anything if you follow traditions or superstitions, but if practicality or your personal values reigns over it, by all means, go against it. For example, brides are told not to wear their wedding gown prior to their wedding. What if the bride booked a couturier with zero professional background and receives a gown that doesn’t fit? What if the bride suddenly contracts an illness that may cause her to bloat or lose a tremendous amount of weight? Consider the risks you will be taking should you decide to follow such pamahiins, and know your options before submitting yourself to or against it.
But in every wedding–be it a very traditional one or a modern-day millennial wedding–we should not forget the love between us and our respective partners, and the beautiful lives we are to live together, for better and for worse, forever and ever.