Yes, I Am Aware That My Crop Top Wedding Dress Will Be Dated in Five Minutes


Don’t care.

Woman in fedora sitting on yellow and orange wall in crop top wedding dress

During my brief stint in the apocalyptic wedding planning hellscape, I’ve started to feel enormous pressure to make sure my wedding is “timeless” and “classy,” since those are easily the most common adjectives used on any mainstream wedding website.

But the really threatening words are the other ones. There is the vilified D word: “dated.” Or even more nauseating, the T words: “tasteless” and “tacky.” Why do these words terrify us so much? As if bad taste is a death sentence. As if it is somehow the ugly, hulking gatekeeper that stands between ourselves and an idyllic married life.

After many months of tortured reflection, here is the terrifying secret I’ve discovered: bad taste is almost entirely subjective. My aunt might find plastic cutlery at a picnic reception disgusting. My dad might think a yellow wedding dress is ugly. But I have an even scarier wedding secret to share with you: bad taste changes with fashion, which means it’s almost entirely unreliable.

When I decided I wanted a crop-top wedding dress and took to the Internet for inspiration, I discovered the venomous voices of Internet commenters: “TACKY!” they screamed. “CHEAP!” “YOU’LL REGRET IT!” Have a look at the comments section of this Buzzfeed post. One of the more atrocious ones read:

If I ever try to wear a crop top to my wedding, I believe that I do not really love the man I’m marrying, because I didn’t want to be as elegant and beautiful as I could have been.

My mother was married in the early nineties, when sleeves were big and skirts were bigger. My mother, however, wore a sexy, skintight minidress with a detachable mullet skirt that she could take off for dancing. She looked fierce, confident, and beautiful. She looked beautiful because she FELT beautiful, and from her I would have expected nothing less. I’m sure there were people who told her that her dress was tacky (or worse “not timeless”), but she wore it anyway. Yes, the skirt was appliquéd, shimmering, huge—and currently totally un-hip. But does she care? Nope. Absolutely not. She and my father have been married for more than twenty years now, and they have built a rich, full life together. My mom isn’t going to waste time worrying that her dress isn’t in fashion now, because she was happy THEN, and that is all that matters.

We can’t approach our wedding days with the intention of presenting ourselves as beautiful and stylish, not just for that day, but for every day afterwards. That’s just not how fashion works.

On my wedding day, I hope to look like nothing more or less than myself, whatever that may be at this time in my life. I will bare my scandalous sliver of midriff proudly, and I fully expect to look back on my photos and find one day that my dress is no longer trendy at all.

But you know what? I’m happy now. And that’s what matters.

Courtney Weakley

Courtney Weakley is a South African designer and writer. She’s a fan of wine, her husband, and raw, gritty authenticity.

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  • Ashlah

    Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary, and my wedding duds already look dated. Part of the joy of looking at old wedding photos is that they look old. My wedding should look like it happened in 2014 because it did happen in 2014. Timelessness is a lie, and even if it weren’t, who needs it? Rock your crop top proudly.

    • Abby

      Happy anniversary!

      • Ashlah

        Thanks! :)

    • Katharine Parker

      Weddings are a snapshot in time, absolutely. Happy anniversary!

    • ART

      Happy anniversary! We got married in 2014, too. I had hell of coffee filter garlands, no regrets!

    • Kelly

      Today is my 3 year anniversary,too! High five! And I was just looking at our photos thinking the same thing: “Wow, these already look kind of dated…2014 was awesome!!”

      • Ashlah

        Right?! Happy anniversary!

    • Lisa

      Happy belated anniversary! It’s difficult to believe it’s been that long already!

  • ManderGimlet

    And here I am trying to make my 2018 wedding look like it happened in 1978! I love this essay! The attitude of people like the one whose comment was mentioned is so sad to me, the idea that someone can only be “elegant and beautiful” in one specific way or that choosing to have fun and feel great on your wedding day means you don’t love your spouse (!?!?) (I mean, seriously, that comment is a tragedy, someone please find and hug that commenter)

  • sofar

    What I love most about my family’s old wedding photos is that the dresses reflect the style of the time.

    Plus, all styles are “timeless” in that they constantly come back. Your grandkids may giggle at your wedding dress, but your great-grandkids will probably find it hip. Hell, I’m pretty sure I saw a carbon copy of my great-grandmother’s wedding dress when I was shopping at BHLDN.

    • Katharine Parker

      Yes, everything comes back around. My mom and I were putting away family wedding photos last week when I realized my bouquet was extremely similar to both of my grandmothers’ whereas my sister’s bouquet was a lot like my mom’s. Wedding trends are cyclical!

  • Abby

    I used mason jars for centerpiece vases in 2015. Not 2 weeks before my wedding, I saw an article saying mason jars as wedding decor were SO out and I should be frantically gathering mismatched vintage vases instead. 2 years later, I am still over the moon looking inside my fridge and seeing all my food stored in beautifully simple and totally useful mason jars. Best wedding purchase ever. Who cares if anyone thought I was a year behind the times on my decor?

    And crop top wedding gowns are fabulous.

  • sofar

    Another annoying buzzword (in addition to “tasteless” and “tacky”) is “bridal.” As in “not ‘bridal’ enough.”

    My dress wasn’t “bridal enough” to certain people. There was a lot of, “But you only get one wedding day! You’ll never have the chance to wear something BRIDAL again! This is your one chance!”

    Um… I’m going to just wear a dress I like, how ‘bow dah?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      OH MY GOD YES. The friends who went dress shopping with me can attest to just how many times the word “bridal” was thrown around by the woman assisting us. Probably more than usual because I asked for a dress that wasn’t white (of blush, or ivory, or cream).

      • Gaby

        Same goes for the veil! I fell in love with a dress earlier than I expected and the woman assisting me insisted that I would officially feel bridal with the veil on. As soon as she put the veil on I was like “this confirms that I do not want to wear a veil at all,” haha.

        • penguin

          I had the exact same reaction. I felt like a kid playing dress-up, and not in a cute way. She put the veil on me and I was just like “oh no take it off now please”

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Yeah, they had me try one on. She said that 60% of the people who say they don’t want one end up with one after they try it on. Nope. I still don’t want one, and now I know.

      • penguin

        I ended up with an ivory ballgown, but somewhere an alternate me was able to find the long sleeved navy blue gown of her dreams. It wouldn’t have been “bridal” (blech) but it would have been FABULOUS

        • Stephanie B.

          I wore a 3/4-sleeved midnight blue gown for my wedding in 2013, and it was bridal as hell, because it was being worn by…me, the bride. Screw restrictive definitions of “bridal”!

    • ssha

      I just this morning read this older APW piece, and it pretty much says exactly that! https://apracticalwedding.com/beauty-expectations-weddings/

    • Jan

      Yis. I’m getting so annoyed by the people who keep saying to me, “Wow, it’s just not all that bridal, is it?” Like, trying to compliment me? Or something? But also, I’m the bride? So…?

  • savannnah

    We are having a gallery wall of family and bridal party wedding portraits at our reception. One unexpected benefit has been that besides collecting all of the pictures, and therefore reaching out and talking to family and friends about their own weddings which has been one of my fav parts about the wedding planning so far, the visual reminder that everyone’s wedding looks dated and also different. It’s really kept my choices grounded and also not worry about things like that fact that my reception only has mason jars for glasses- because guess what- they are a farm in VT and they’ve had them for 30 years.

    • Lisa

      We did this with our parents, grandparents, etc., and it was one of my favorite wedding projects. We put them in frames that went with our “guest book” wall hanging and now have what I call the “wedding wall” in our apartment with family photos going all the way back to my husband’s great-great-grandmother. Nobody’s wedding is timeless, but the love in the photos and the memories that come afterwards are!

  • Zoya

    The thing I love about my parents’ wedding photos is how quintessentially early 80’s my *father* looks. Brown tweed suit, long hair, mustache–check, check, check. Next to him, my mother in her long-sleeved white cocktail dress looks absolutely timeless.

    I was thisclose to choosing rosé wine in a can as our “white wine” option for our wedding (this weekend!). It ended up being too pricey, but man. If I’m going to freeze our wedding in 2017, that’s the way I’d do it.

    • savannnah

      *raises hand*
      guilty- and my mom is less than pleased we swapped out the white wine for that

      • Zoya

        You are my hero.

      • Kat

        I’m hoping to attend a wedding this year that serves Frosé as dessert. So 2017.

        • Amanda

          I did attend one last month that had an artisinal ice cream truck!

    • Cleo

      Love this.

      My parents’ best friends’ wedding portrait is one of my favorite wedding pictures of all time. They got married in 1978 and he wore a powder blue tux with a frilly white shirt that was edged with blue embroidery.

      She had a very lacy gown that looks more Summer of Love than anything else, but their picture is frozen in time (even down to the soft focus filter on it).

      • Lisa

        Love it! My parents’ wedding photos feature my dad and the groomsmen in white tuxes with frilly white shirts and baby blue accents. My mother’s dress is beautiful in its simplicity with a lovely Queen Anne collar and long sleeves. Sometimes I wish I’d worn it instead!

    • Kat

      BF’s mother’s wedding photos cant be dated almost to the exact day by looking at the tinfoil-silver bridesmaids dresses, sideburns galore, and the bride’s beaded headband across her forehead and feathered updo. And tbh, it’s iconic AF

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Tell me about the hair, what was the hair like??

        • Kat

          Just like 100% teased and then piled on top of their head and then also bedazzled? It’s kind of breathtaking.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Amazing.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      My dad’s tux was brown and had bell bottom pants. He looks like a reject Beatle and I love it to bits and bits.

      • Zoya

        “reject Beatle” OMG dying.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          The hair man. You should see it.

      • sofar

        Epic. I wish I had a photo of my father in such an outfit.

      • Anon

        My dad wore brown tweed too! My favorite part is actually the ruffled off-white shirt he wore under it.

  • Violet

    I’m trying to imagine my response to seeing photos of a wedding where I wouldn’t be able to place when it happened, like at all. As in, truly timeless: “Hmmm, did this event happen in 1822 or 1973? I have NO idea!” If that were even possible, would my next reaction be, “How wonderful!”? No, I think it would be one of befuddlement. A context-less wedding, just floating out there in time. How odd. Someone explain to me why that’s the goal?
    My best guess is people want their marriage to last, and they then take that one step further to assume that means the wedding day itself must have some kind of enduring look. But it just makes no actual sense. Even if a timeless “look” were truly possible (and again, I question this deeply) your marriage is going to change over the years, just like hair and makeup and bouquet and dress trends will change. Trying to freeze-frame an entire marriage without addressing the various contexts it will go through (grad school, job loss, kids, moving, parents dying, etc.) does not seem to be a great way to go about things, either.

    • Aimee

      Totally agree that timelessness is impossible and just another thing to stress about, but I think the motivation comes more from just not wanting to look back on your wedding and cringe. People’s tastes change over time, and I think it’s a pretty common experience to look back at old photos of yourself or past choices you made and think “oh god what was I thinking”, and the fear is that that would happen for your wedding – hence the quest for regret minimization via “timelessness”. Like, certainly we think our parents’ wedding photos are sweet and a snapshot in time, but do our parents feel the same way about those photos? Maybe, maybe not.

      • Violet

        Oh, interesting. My own style doesn’t change all that radically, so the differences over the years are subtle enough that I’ve never really had that cringe experience. (Other than middle school pics, but let’s be honest, that’s about how I looked and not the style choices I made.) Thanks for pointing out another angle that might be at play.

      • TBH, I have to say the things I cringe most about looking back is when I really played it safe. I’m like “shit, why didn’t I get the dress I really wanted, instead of this one I thought would never make me cringe.”

        Someone once told me that nobody wants to look back and see pictures of a 20 something not reflecting the times they lived in, because that’s boring. Use your youth (and beyond) to lean into the wild trends you like at the time because WHY NOT. That comment actually changed the choices I was making in a way that made me much happier.

        I mean, don’t you want to see your mom in her 70’s bellbottoms? Of course!

        • LisaG

          Yes! This! I had a super trendy undercut for a few years recently and that’s going to look super “dated” in the future. But, so what? It was cool then (I got it before it even hit peak trendiness) and it made me feel like a boss. I hope that in 10 or 20 years I can look back and remember how that haircut made me FEEL, even though the style will no longer be fashionable.

      • CMT

        I’m guessing that changes over time, too — like, 10 or 15 years down the road you might cringe, but then in 20 or 30 you realize it’s not a big deal.

        • Aimee

          So true! How do I feel about this decision now? How will I feel in 10 years? How will I feel in 20 years? It’s impossible to know and it’s making my head hurt just typing this. Maybe that’s why Meg’s suggestion of just leaning into what you like now and will enjoy in the moment is best – no one can know down the line what you’ll think and that will change as you change!

      • sofar

        I can totally see this point, too.

        When I was with the guy I THOUGHT I was going to marry at age 21, I was suuuuuper into the 1950s dress cuts that were “in” at the time (2006ish). My plan was to wear a white 1950s, tea-length A-line with a black sash (edgy!) and really “edgy” rockabilly make-up. Some people can pull that look off, as it’s a permanent, truthful part of their personal aesthetic. I was not (and never will be) that person.

        … also my ex was a dick.

        So, had this wedding happened, there would be cringing forever (for reasons including but not limited to the dress).

        So, I guess the only thing you can do is wait until you mature and your style solidifies a bit and your taste in partners improves? :) Anyway, that’s what I did.

        • Abs

          Yeah I think the “timeless” thing is a misguided way of trying to say you should be guided by your personal aesthetic, rather than by the current trend. Except that somehow the assumption is that everyone’s personal aesthetic is JCrew Bride.

        • jem

          Just sayin, BHLDN’s fall line has black sashes & accessories galore!

          • sofar

            Thanks for inspiring me to head over to BHLDN and stare at all the pretty dresses I will NEVER GET TO WEAR unless I get married again …

      • Katharine Parker

        I get not wanting to look back with regret. There are some wedding dresses (Carolyn Bessette Kennedy comes to mind) that, while not literally timeless, looked and continue to look super hot as time goes on.

        Being incredible beautiful definitely helps with that, but also, damn, that dress is amazing.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Be it in wedding planning, decorating, or just getting dressed for the day, my approach to avoiding this (as much as possible) is to stop and ask myself “Do I truly love this, or am I just loving this because it’s the hot trend right now?”
        There’s nothing wrong with following the hot trends, but I’ve found that 99% of my super cringe worthy decisions over the years have been the ones I made because that’s what everyone else was doing. (I’m looking at you, senior picture outfit that was obviously inspired by watching The O.C. too many times).
        Does that mean I always look timeless? Heck no! The current trends will always influence a person’s decisions, and that’s part of life. However, the things that I truly loved in 2003, or 2010, or 2016 are, for the most part, still things that I can appreciate the aesthetics of.

      • e.e.hersh

        Totally on the no-cringe factor. And I think a lot of that comes from the fashion advice people like to dole out about buying timeless, classy wardrobe pieces… you know, spend money on quality basics that will last rather than buying crap from Forever 21. So when I was dress shopping, I felt like going TOO trendy was somehow a cheap/tacky choice. I don’t think this is actually true, but that’s the mindset I went in with.

        Also, I knew a woman that got married in the late 80’s that wore a tiny little white tophat as part of her wedding day ensemble. I remember seeing her picture and thinking that I would never make such a cringe-worthy choice. But years later, I’ve mellowed and think she (and her hat) were cute. And good for her for doing something fun.

    • As in, truly timeless: “Hmmm, did this event happen in 1822 or 1973? I have NO idea!”

      LOLOLOL. Exactly.

  • Kat

    Would love to see pics of your mom’s wedding dress because it sounds like a PARTY.

    • Jess

      TBH, I kind of want to own it?

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    It’s kinda like choosing a tattoo, yeah? The one you choose now because you love it might not be the one you would choose 10 years from now, but hopefully at that point you’ll look back an go, “Yep, that’s the one that ten-years-ago-me wanted, and it was perfect for her, so I still love it.”

    • My first engagement ring (that was stolen and later replaced), was the one I thought 10 years in the future me might want. Turns out future me thought that ring was SUPER boring. So I just got the one I loved best in the moment and have been MUCH happier with it ever since.

      • Alissa

        This! Though I haven’t really done any of the KonMari method of cleaning out, I have fully run with her “spark of joy” concept. Does this particular dress/haircut/ring/anything give me a spark of joy right now? Am I giddy with how pretty it is or how badass it makes me feel? Then I’m doing it! and future me will probably have different things that provoke those feelings–because, right, trends change–I will probably always have some kind of spark of joy. The way I still think wistfully about my j’nco jeans from the late 90s because I felt SO. FABULOUS. wearing them then. I don’t care that it’s dated, I remember how they made me *felt*. Today’s post totally nailed that concept, and I think it’s a fabulous way to approach a wedding.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          This is ultimately how I decided which dress to buy. I looked back at photos a couple weeks after trying them on, and remembered how I felt wearing them.

          • Ilora

            Yep, I had two dresses that I really liked. I bought the one I didn’t want to take off!

    • Jess

      Meanwhile, I’ve been sitting here wanting the same tattoo for 15 years…

      • CMT

        Do it!!

        • Jess

          I really should consult an artist – I really want it on my wrist, but my wrist is small and the tattoo would hopefully be not small.

          • CMT

            Totally worth consulting an artist. I’ve always been glad I listened to tattoo artists when they had size/placement suggestions.

          • Laurel

            YES! If you find a tattoo artist you click with and who gets your jam, they might have some ideas you hadn’t even thought of. My favorite tattoo artist is an art school graduate and is such a gifted artist (and she’s the loveliest human and listens and has great ideas).

      • Zoya

        Meeee toooo!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I think it might be time to pull the trigger on that one.

        • Jess

          Uggghhhhhh I know. I’m hung up because the only location I want it is on my wrist, and I will basically always work a corporate job.

          • Yael

            I have a wrist tattoo and it has never been a problem for me (I worked for a private research company for years, so not exactly corporate, but not quite as button-down as academia). If I’m worried about how it will be seen (or if it will be seen) I wear a bracelet and/or a watch. It is rarely visible as a result.

            One of the problems with wrist tattoos is that they can wear down faster than other tattoos because the bending skin helps break down the ink. My artist tried to talk me into placing my tattoo lower on my arm for this reason; when I refused (because if you’re going to do it, do it right!) she said she had me sign an extra waiver or something. I got mine 10 years ago and it has broken down a lot but it is still exactly what I wanted.

            Another problem with wrist tattoos is they HURT a lot. Mine took 45 minutes and it was a very long 45 minutes. Any tattoo placed near bone will hurt more than one placed over muscle. Still worth it.

          • Jess

            You’re right that the ink would break down faster – certainly something to think about. Also worth thinking about the pain, but that’s kind of one of those things that I’m willing to accept as part of the process.

            The size of what I’ve drawn out is about 3 1/2″ inches diameter which is not super hideable (and also possibly not able to fit on my wrist)!

            Love that the pain and the breaking down is still worth it, though. Very encouraging!

      • Lisa

        I feel you. I have a very specific idea of a tattoo that I’d like that I’ve been thinking about for 6 years, but the placement of it (palm of hand) is what makes it special, and that’s not a place most artists will tattoo since it wears down so quickly.

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  • penguin

    This article is making me extra glad that I’ll be rocking my undercut for the wedding. Still undecided on my hair style (trial is in a few weeks) but now I want to show it off à la Natalie Dormer style.

    • Alli

      Omg undercut wedding hair sounds awesome!

      This article is making me extra happy we had references to our cats at the wedding. A snapshot of our life in 2017 is our complete obsession with our two kitties and I’m so happy we’ll have that in the pictures.

      • Lexipedia

        Can I ask how you did this? We’re trying to figure out how to incorporate our kitties into our day without overdoing it.

        • Alli

          Sure! We incorporated them in a few ways:

          The invitation said “Together with their cats” at the top. I don’t recommend this, people got really confused, and then a little upset that the cats wouldn’t actually be at the wedding. We just thought it was funny.
          For signature drinks we had his choice (dirty cherry vanilla coke), her choice (whiskey extra sour), and the cats’ choice (ice water).
          The ring bearers carried stuffed animals that looked just like the cats, and I put a ribbon and a fake ring around the necks.
          We bought cardboard cutouts of the cats’ faces for the photo booth. Definitely worth it as our cats are in nearly every photo booth strip we got from the night.

          And there were 2 things I had wanted to do but they just didn’t happen, if you wanted more ideas:
          Cat cake toppers
          Cat pins instead of boutonnieres for husband and his groomsmen

          • CMT

            OMG, I love all of this so much! Especially “Together with their cats” !!

          • Violet

            Okay, the cats’ signature drink is pretty clever.

          • Lexipedia

            AMAZING.

            We were going to name our signature drinks after our babies (Franklin and Eleanor/Ellie) but we hadn’t gotten any further than that.

          • Mjh

            All of this is wonderful, but I absolutely love “together with their cats”! <3

            I made a bowtie for my niece's guinea pig (reception was at my brother's house/yard) using the same ribbons I used for my bouquet (for the bow) and the boutonnieres (for the part that went around his neck). It was adorable. Sadly, he has since passed away, but we're glad to have the photos of him in his wedding finery and nice pro pics of him period, which definitely wouldn't have happened without the wedding. Snapshot in time, indeed.

        • GCDC

          So, our pet is a dog but same thing? We also wanted to incorporate him into our wedding, so we took a bunch of pictures of our dog around town with numbers in front of him (actually, we got a chalk board and wrote the different numbers on it because we are lazy and didn’t want to have to cut out a bunch of different numbers). Then we framed those pictures of him and those were our table numbers. We still have all the photos hanging around our house and love them.

          • Jane

            Love this idea!!

    • Jess

      Yes! Undercut wedding hair! Do it!

  • JenC

    My dress was dated when I bought it. I once saw a dress similar to mine described as the “safe choice for fat or plain brides”. Work gave us an old fashioned card for our wedding and my dress is exactly like the one on our card from them. However, that dress was the one that looked best on me. It’s the one that gave me a waist, made my boobs look fantastic and smoothed out my lumpy bumps. I look at my favourite wedding photo and I somehow look like I’ve stepped from a fairytale. I know it’s only been 18 months since we got married but I’m not thinking about my dated dress just how much I love that photo.

    I also love looking at wedding photos. My mum has some old wedding photos in her hallway. She’s got her great-grandparents, grandparents, her parents, her sister and at some point ours will go up too. Each photo is the quintessential image of a wedding from that time. I love look at the progression through time. It’s a shame that her and my dad divorced because a late 80s wedding would be the crowing glory in that collection.

    • penguin

      I think my dress is going to be like this, and I’m OK with it. It’s a relatively common strapless ivory ballgown with some beading, but it took me from “I bet I’ll look nice” to “DAYUM”, so I’m sticking with it. Going to wear some type of little bolero/jacket thing with it and call it a day.

  • I really like the sentiment of this piece, and I’m loving the discussion it’s provoking, but I just want to check the editors are aware it also appeared on Offbeat Bride?

    • NolaJael

      @apwdisqus-a87ff679a2f3e71d9181a67b7542122c:disqus

    • jem

      I thought I’d read it before!

    • Alli

      Is this a normal thing with sites that accept writer submissions? Is it bad/plagiarism if the author submitted to multiple sites? Just curious!

      • Violet

        I don’t know about OBB, but APW doesn’t give you a yea or nay after you submit. So it’s possible the author submitted to APW, didn’t hear back, assumed it was a no, and subsequently submitted to OBB. Who (it would appear) got around to publishing it first.

      • I can’t speak for wedding magazines, but in fiction it’s something writers need to be up front about because reprints have lower value, especially to markets in direct competition. As a reader, I don’t really care to read the same article twice, but the difference between a fiction magazine and a wedding site is that the comments the article generates have equal value to me. As long as the writer is up front with the publications involved it’s up to them to decide whether to acknowledge it’s a reprint. If the writer doesn’t let on, then it’s disingenuous because one magazine is getting more value from the piece than the other despite having to spend equal time and costs editing and publishing it.

      • Courtkay

        Typically it’s considered ok to submit a piece to multiple publications, but if one of them accepts the piece, it’s on the writer to notify all the editors who are still considering it. So even if APW didn’t contact the writer before publishing this (which, in my experience, they definitely do), the author should have notified them when OBB published it back in February.

        That said, reprints are also a thing, and it’s entirely possible that APW’s editors knew it was previously published and published it anyway.

    • Jane

      Thank you! I was having some major deja vu and thought maybe I’d read it here first and APW had reposted it or something.

  • angela

    One of my favorite “my crazy MIL” stories is about the time she cornered me in her kitchen over Christmas, six months before our wedding, and asked what I wanted the rest of her sons to wear for our wedding. (We weren’t having a wedding party, and we had told everyone, many many times, to please just wear whatever they wanted. My MIL was NOT having that.) I reiterated, “Oh whatever they wear will be great. They always look nice at weddings!” to which she replied, “But don’t you think your daughter will want to look at your photos and see them all in matching outfits?” This is a hypothetical daughter, who doesn’t exist. (a) We aren’t planning to have children, (b) even if we did, who knows if we would have a daughter (my MIL has four sons and no daughters), (c) would she actually care about them being in matching suits and ties? (d) Even if she did care, would that make me care? It was such a ridiculous hypothetical that it actually made it a lot easier for me to ignore her more outlandish suggestions and just do our thing. (She bought my BIL’s all matching ties, which are the most ridiculous part of all of our photos, since everyone else is wearing a wide variety of colors and styles. I mostly makes me shake my head and laugh at this point.)

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Did she buy the brothers matching outfits in their childhood? Maybe it’s her thing, and now that they are adults she was like, “I get one more chance!!” Either way, pretty ridiculous.

    • Jess

      SO now, your hypothetical non-existing daughter can look at your photos and see them in strangely matched ties in and among other guests. Interesting.

    • Anne

      If it makes you feel any better, my mom was so excited to buy coordinating suits for my 3 brothers for my upcoming wedding (they are not in the wedding party, and even the party is relaxed and mismatched attire), for the sake of “nice family photos”. I’m definitely glad no future offspring were invoked though…I accepted a while ago that it’s just one of my parents’ love languages to inexplicably buy unnecessary formalwear for their children.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Have you had other issues with her being weirdly controlling?

  • Max

    I’ve always planned to wear my mothers wedding dress since I was tiny and used to parade around in it any chance I got. So I guess it’s already dated; pink floral Laura Ashley, very poofy sleeves Anne Shirley would be proud of, a very 80’s prairie nostalgia. I am now considering if I could rework it (I sew my own clothes) and keep the skirt but redo the bodice to a style that would fit and flatter me better but I don’t want it to not look anything like the original when all is said and done. Being on trend or off trend or of the moment or whatever seems so stressful but as our rings are currently being made like right now ( as-I-type-this-omg-I’m-ridiculously-excited-ok-just-breath ) it’s becoming a real thing that’s gonna happen which means I guess I’ve got to actually figure all this out?!
    Of course maybe reworked family dresses could be a trend too, I wouldn’t really know but I suppose now I’m about to find out that and so so much more.

    • Ilora

      That dress sounds fantastic and I totally wanna see, sounds like the type of thing I would have idolized as a kid as well. Congrats on the rings!!

  • Lawyer_Chef

    This advice was so helpful to me as I planned my wedding last year. I got married in 2016 and I decided it was OK for it to be the 2016-est wedding ever — rose gold! succulents! When we look back on it we can laugh and say wow, naked cakes were having a moment, huh? And it will all be fine.

  • Tina

    word. We love you.

  • Kate

    I feel like I’m struggling with this from the other end as well. There are things I want in my wedding that would definitely date it, but there are also things that are extremely trendy that I DON’T want in the wedding, but everyone around me seems to have amnesia and think these trends are things that have always been A Thing or somehow are now miraculously a tradition despite not existing five years ago.

    I give a lot of credit to APW for helping me let go of the feeling that I had to include things in the wedding because of tradition or because the Wedding Industrial Complex tries to make us think we have to (i.e. we both don’t like eating cake and therefore decided to have donuts instead, which we love), but trying to convince my MOH that, no, we are not going to suspend the wedding donuts on a donut wall, we’re just going to set them out on cake stands, has been a battle I didn’t think I was going to have. I also vetoed the “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” gifts, and got some pretty big pushback from my mom, of all places.

    At the end of the day, you just gotta do you and not let anyone convince you that you should wear converse during the ceremony or that your wedding will be incomplete without a photo booth.

    • Jane

      Can’t believe you had to defend not hanging donuts on the wall. I mean, those walls do look cute, but come on!! How is that possibly a necessity?

      My sister had donuts on platters and it was totally great and a lot easier to take the leftovers home.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I attended a brunch wedding last year that had donuts instead of cake, and this is the first time I’ve ever even heard of a donut wall.

        • Jane

          I’ve never seen one in the wild. Just on websites.

          • Kate

            Same, I’ve never seen one in real life but Pinterest is going bananas for them right now.

      • Kate

        RIGHT?! What do I do with it after?! What if I like hefty decorated donuts and the decorations will fall off or pull the donut in half? No donut left behind!

        • Jane

          And then you can only have donuts with holes. What about fritters? Custard filled? Donuts that aren’t round, like maple bars? A lot of my favorite donuts would be excluded for aesthetics. Which is fine – but wouldn’t be my choice.

  • Ajw06

    Our wedding photographer’s tagline is “I make time machines for your heart,” which I think sums up how we feel about all the wedding decor choices we’ve made.

    These are things and folks we love right this very second. Becoming an important part of an important transition. And the photos will remind us we really loved brightly colored hexagons and college friends and hot pink bow ties and each other.

    I cannot wait to look back in twenty years and feel it again. Something I don’t think you get with a “timeless” wedding

    • ssha

      “I make time machines for your heart”- how sweet is this?!

  • Notreallytrevor

    Sorry to hijack but I’m currently trying to find a top to go over my very ‘classic’? dress to make sure as hell date it! I want something fierce and pretty (possible?). If you guys come across anything I can actually buy that is something like or thematically similar to the below images I wou https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29f6f13bfb1df45ea71d396eea6d364c1bab5acc26ac5c57e07f56f140df6eda.jpg ld love to hear about it. I dont want to go with rip offs (artists deserve the money for their work and all that) but can afford bespoke.
    Dhttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29f6f13bfb1df45ea71d396eea6d364c1bab5acc26ac5c57e07f56f140df6eda.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a27b7704863f4f92a901b1f37f8e8a7b2a7045c89126f740987347df776495f4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6661134ecc334e82efd199230c55c04850761a8371cbe7126d421e75dcaaa653.jpg

  • Pterodactyl111

    I love Buzzfeed, but their commenters are … not the greatest part of the internet. You do you, lady. Rock it.

  • Leah

    Amen! I am wearing a gold mullet dress to my wedding. White isn’t me- people know me for my eccentric style and that is who I am. I hope as an old lady I will be equally as old-lady eccentric and my grand children will know exactly what I was doing when I chose my gold mullet dress!

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  • Amanda

    My mom is proud that she wore a floral prarie-style dress to her 1970’s wedding. She likes to point out that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a similar one for her wedding. If HRC can be in the moment, so can you!