Here is something I hear a lot of brides say: “I want my wedding to be timeless…” I get what they mean, really. But I don’t believe anything in a wedding is timeless, not in the way that brides want it to be. What I think most people really want is to look back on their wedding pictures and not think “what was I thinking?” I think weddings can be classically beautiful, but in 50 years, your wedding pictures will look 50 years old.
The only thing that is relatively timeless about weddings is the act of getting married. And even that has changed shape and style many times over in the recent past. We are people who grow and change with the times—it is only expected that our traditions and customs change with them (i.e. first looks, self uniting ceremonies, even interfaith weddings).
Here is a photo of my grandmother from her engagement photos back in 1944
|Photo by Gimbels Department Store|
Beautiful? Yes. Timeless? No.
Nature is timeless (mostly). I can take a picture of a mountain or a forest, and in 10, 20, 30 years even—save any natural disasters or people—the landscape will look relatively the same. People are not timeless, nor should we put the expectation on our wedding to be.
|My grandparents (on the right) at a family wedding in the 1950s|
|I couldn’t find any family wedding photos from the 1960s, but here’s one of my grandparents going out on the town!|
|My parents’ wedding, 1973, with her bridesmaids in mismatched dresses|
|My aunt’s wedding in 1983|
I’m sure you see where I am going with this. Here is a span of five decades of pictures, and are all these photos beautiful? To me, yes. Is there anything inherently awful about any of these photos? I don’t think so. Maybe the 70’s were too casual or the 80’s too glam, but I love how these photos have shaped my vision of what history looks like in my family. I don’t want to emulate any of these photos in my own wedding. I want my wedding to be beautiful and of it’s time and the photos will capture that. I love the way each photo stands on it’s own—and trust me no one looks at any of these photos and thinks, “wow, that could have been just last year.”
You might want your wedding to be classic or traditional or modern or rustic or elegant or glamorous or retro—any of these things. But timeless is something that none of these things are. My wedding will look like 2013, and whatever weddings look like in 50 years, it won’t look like mine.
Who agrees that there is nothing timeless about a wedding, save the very act of marriage itself, and we should just embrace the styles of our time? What do you think our kids will look back on today and think, “OMG (or whatever kids will say then) that was so 2010s?”