Last week I got trapped in a vortex of writer’s block struggling to figure out how to approach the negative implications of an emerging millennial wedding trend. My biggest hurdle was trying to figure out how to write this post without offending an entire generation, and secondly, how to write it without crushing the spirits of couples that have already made the mistake. Truth is, I don’t think I can slink by unscathed. Someone out there is going to be upset. In fact, there is probably already somebody furrowing their brows, middle-finger ready because I singled out "millennials." I am truly sorry to those that I may offend, but it is my duty to set you up for success and not failure.
With that said, I believe in traditions and am attached to quite a few, but I am also forward thinking and agree that unnecessary archaic customs should be put to pasture. There is one wedding tradition, however, that I feel should NEVER be squashed, and sadly I am seeing more and more young couples doing away with it. I don’t know when or why this new fad started, but it is an unnecessary travesty that is emotionally robbing your wedding guests.
Let’s take a step back and think about why we attend weddings… We all attend for different reasons, but for 90% of us, the agenda remains the same. We are there to eat, drink free booze, and shake our groove things. And, at the end of the night, we are all looking to get lucky- singletons and married folks alike. We all want the same things, and the fuel that feeds those desires isn’t just the booze, it is a drug called, dopamine.
If you don’t know what dopamine is, it is a very powerful chemical that is released in the brain when we are in love and/or are feeling love. Dopamine release is one of the greatest highs in the world, and that is why narcotics like heroin are so destructive and dangerous. But, that is a rant inappropriate for this platform, and so I digress. Nonetheless, it is one of the most sought after, delicious and natural feelings that we can experience as humans except for maybe the orgasm. (Which is also associated with dopamine, and another topic most likely inappropriate for this platform) The Beatles got it right though, "All you need is love."
There are many moments throughout your wedding event that will give you and your guests little bursts of this glorious drug, but the first and most powerful blast is released pre-ceremony when the bride and groom see each other from opposite ends of the aisle for the first time dressed up for their nuptials. And as the bride walks closer and closer to both of their destinies, it happens. The release. You feel it start in your belly, and then in your chest as it climbs up the strings of your heart looking for escape. (Which is typically through the tear duct) Yup. That’s the one.
So, what exactly is it that these new couples are doing that robs their guests of this joyful experience?
They’re opting to take their wedding pictures before their ceremony. Which means that they see each other before their vows, and we, as guests, do not get to share in that authentic and intimate “first peek” moment. But, but, but, but, but….. No. There are no buts- except for yours if you decide to make an ass of yourself and deprive your guests of this moment.
We are there to honor you, your relationship, and the tradition of marriage. We are there to share in your love, celebrate your union, and buy you unnecessary kitchen appliances. We are there for the dopamine. And we usually always arrive early. So, don’t fool yourselves into thinking that we won’t see you; because we will.
There is a reason that the “cocktail hour,” is scheduled post ceremony, and that is to give your guests something to do so that your photographer has a solid, uninterrupted hour to capture the bliss on your newly married faces. Don’t worry about your guests- they’re doing great, trust me. They’re making new friends, daydreaming about your dinner menu, taking side bets on speech lengths and trying to guess what song will be played during your first dance. And you know what? They’re happy. And they're buzzing on dopamine.
So, do us all a favor and respect this sacred wedding tradition by keeping it intact. There really is a science behind it, and your guests will thank you. They're there to get “get crunk,” not just on your booze, but also on your love.
Happy wedding day!