The Generic Wedding…the dreaded fate of far too many nuptial fetes. The greatest enemy of wedding lovers.

What Makes a Wedding Generic?

Okay, so maybe that question isn’t fair. The PC thing to say is “No wedding is generic, it’s about the two people getting married, it’s always beautiful, etc. etc.”

Yeah…not so much. Recently, an old college girlfriend of mine got married to her college sweetheart. We – my other college girlfriends and I – knew it was coming, and we were thrilled when we heard through some facebook stalking about the engagement.

Finally. Someone we knew and cared about was getting married…and she was loaded. The girl’s family has serious money.  I remember Prada bags draped over desk chairs, Marc Jacobs shoes left on the vacuumed-once-in-a-semester floor and Chanel blazers crammed into the closet of our tiny, shared triple dorm room.

If anyone we knew was going to have the most awesome, cool and new wedding, it was this girl.

We – and I’m using it in the royal sense, because I really mean “I” – speculated and traded opinions and placed friendly bets. I had not maintained much contact with the bride-to-be, so we were going to have to wait for Facebook to again give us a glimpse into the Biggest Day of Her Life.

So…a year later, the big day came. At the time, I was on a cruise with my boyfriend, but when we got back to land my first call went to my best friend Dancer*.

“So, you know why I’m calling, right?”

“…um…”
“The wedding! Are pictures up yet?”

“There are a few…”

And that was when I knew. Dancer’s tone gave it away completely. All our hopes, dreams of the wedding to top all weddings, were dashed.

My college roommate, who is young, attractive and wealthy, had not been able to avoid The Generic Wedding.

So, with that lengthy intro, I give you my list for things that create TGW.

Five Signs of TGW

  • Total lack of anything that personally identifies with the bride and groom. If the décor, location, or anything else doesn’t tell you who is getting married…it’s a TGW. 
  • A menu that makes you wish you ate before the event. Oh, how often I’ve opened an invitation and skipped ahead to the menu card and seen the same choices of filet mignon, tilapia, and risotto. Right then and there, my hopes for the wedding deflate.
  • Pachelbel’s cannon in D. This one is on the fence, because to a lot of people it’s as synonymous with nuptials as a white dress and veil. But really, it just makes me think of Christmas. And I’m not alone. Remember this video from last summer? It would not have gone viral if people didn’t flippin’ love it. So, rethink your wedding processional. You have personalities, and we’d like your wedding to have one too.
  • A painfully awkward first dance. Okay, if you guys aren’t dancers and the very idea makes you so uncomfortable that you run to your nearest ballroom studio to choreograph something for the occasion…skip it. Just skip that first dance.  Or do your own dance; you know, the kind you do when you’re cleaning the bathroom, jammin’ to your favorite tunes. Your grandmother might scowl for the rest of the night and bring it up every time you see her for the rest of her life…but for the rest of us, it’s just as awkward watching you get through that first dance as it is for you to perform it. So skip it entirely, or do it your way. You’ll have more fun, and we’ll remember that instead.
  • Bad favors. I don’t need to go on…but I will. If you’re going to bother giving out favors, make them something that won’t get tossed in the trash on our way out the door. No pictures of the newly-bonded couple – save those for your thank you cards, no keychains. Stick with things that are actually useful  or edible. Some chocolate? Great. A box of matches? Perfect! Personalized M&Ms? I’ll feel a little weird about consuming your grainy images, but  I’ll eat them. Just no plastic swans. Or Jordan almonds. Those suckers are worse than gobstoppers.

So, there you have it. If these five elements are avoided, TGW is far less likely. Woohoo! Let’s have some cake and party down!