My wedding in revolt

BY ASHLEIGH BROWN
BROWNA@MTMARY.EDU

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Ashleigh Brown, bride-to-be, pictured with husband-to-be.

If you’re anything like me, as the mercury rises during April, you’re probably welcoming spring with open arms.There’s another season gearing up that’s perhaps not as welcome but cycles like clockwork nonetheless: wedding season.

This year is an entirely different experience for me; not only do I get to marry my best male friend, but I will be MOH (that’s maid of honor to you) for my best female friend.

My fiancé Sean and I have been together for eight years and engaged for two, so it’s far from a whirlwind romance. We want a wedding that matches our personalities and our relationship: laid back and low maintenance.

I began searching for venues with few criteria in mind, but found the $10,000+ price tags a little jolting.

I’ve been to my fair share of weddings and I thought I had a pretty solid understanding of what’s what, but after reading one bridal magazine, I realized I had no idea what the bridal event could entail. For instance, I never would have thought to buy Sean a wedding gift, nor did I know that my dad was supposed to be the last one out of the reception.

It wouldn’t have occurred to me to arrange separate meals for the photographer or the deejay, or to create a wedding hashtag as recommended by theknot.com.

Who made all of these rules? I just want to get married.

Ours, therefore, is a wedding in revolt. There will be no sit-down dinner or late night pizza delivery. No cocktail hour, no processional. In fact, no bridal party.

We’re just inviting our nearest and dearest to watch us exchange vows at the Waukesha County Courthouse, after which we will hop on a plane for a much-needed honeymoon (the one bit of wedding protocol I don’t mind keeping). When we return, our friends and family are invited to celebrate with us in an Über-casual outdoor reception, complete with a pig roast and bags tournament.

I’m not exactly off the hook because even if I don’t want to follow the rules myself, I’m still obligated to other brides. My best friend is taking the opposite approach in the form of a black tie affair at a four-star resort in the Rocky Mountains.

As her maid of honor, I’ve coordinated a bridal shower and a bachelorette party, and have logged some time thinking about that all-important toast. It goes without saying that her wedding will be absolutely beautiful, but at the same time I can’t help feeling like this is a lot of work!

In addition to this summer’s main events, we will be attending the weddings of two other couples who are also taking their own spin on “I do.”

One, a traditional ceremony and reception at a hotel in Illinois; the other, an intimate outdoor gathering in the north woods of Wisconsin. The calendar fills up, the bank account dips down and two more families begin their lives together.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to get married. For some that may be the little white chapel, for others, a church.

Some will spend $100K, some will hire a wedding planner, some will make it a destination and some will do it in mom and dad’s backyard. The important thing is that a couple is becoming a team. The true heart of a wedding is the life-changing commitment that two people are making to each other, #marriage.

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