Personalize your wedding without future embarrassment

| July 20, 2011

I try to write each installment of this column based on a discussion point or piece of counsel that’s relevant to me or someone in my life.

Unfortunately, this summer has left me with a case of déjà vu as every weekend seems to begin with a rehearsal dinner and end with an extended trip back to Louisville after celebrating someone’s wedding the night before.

Luckily, each occasion has been unique in its own right and brought fresh insights into the do’s and don’ts of wedding decorum.

This week’s topic comes from a friend who’s in a wedding in which the bridal party will make their grand entrance into the reception performing a choreographed dance to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”

As someone who couldn’t clap on beat during the obligatory sorority songs at the last wedding I attended, the thought of executing an actual dance routine makes me want to peel my skin off.

Aside from the level of skill and guts (eh, alcohol) it would take to make this idea even remotely easy to swallow for all involved, the concept is so specific to a 2011 trend that it makes me wonder what the bride will have to say about this 10 or 20 years from now.

According to Wikipedia, the lyrics to “Poker Face” are about bisexuality and gambling. Chances are, anyone in attendance over 50 is going to have no idea what’s going on.

Weddings should be personalized yet forever registered as a day of timeless beauty. So how do you put your stamp on the big day with a nod to the now and not embarrass yourself for years to come?

The key to working in flair from current trends is in the placement. Staples like the dress and floral arrangements are something you have to live with from now until eternity and should not be a platform for an overly creative license.

Leave any sweeping gestures free from fads that will be grounds for future judgment – by your guests and possibly yourself. It’s the supporting details that can truly individualize your wedding.


Food is an easy vehicle for innovation. No one is going to reflect back on your wedding years later and laugh because sliders were on the buffet, yet a smorgasbord of assorted mini-burgers might be creative and something that guests find refreshing over the traditional sit-down dinner of meat and potatoes.

Wedding menus are becoming more personalized and less formal than in year’s past. Often it’s a collection of the bride and groom’s favorite dishes – some of which might not necessarily go together – and that’s OK.


If Lady Gaga is No. 1 on your iPod then by all means she should be played at your wedding later in the evening. And so should any other radio favorite. These songs will be enjoyed by guests and undoubtedly keep the dance floor hopping.
Just don’t center your first dance or any other signature element of the wedding on a meaningless trendy tune for shock value.


Any of the bonus touches that are included in your wedding package are up for grabs when it comes to modernization.

Photo booths can be stocked with over-the-top costumes or the signature cocktail could be infused with the latest liqueur. These concepts are uncustomary, so there are no predetermined expectations.

There’s a reason Vera Wang doesn’t make a romper version of the wedding gown and engagements aren’t sealed with a mood ring. Trends come and go, and it’s important to recognize their place.

While everyone will remember the main characters, the supporting cast is just as imperative to the success of the show. Save yourself the humiliation and shy away from a 2011-themed wedding.

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Category: Dating and Relating

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  1. This article is absolutely on target. As a wedding calligrapher, I also see many fads come and go. Traditional will never go out of style, however, and spicing the sidelines up with a few trendy things as Anita suggests, is a better way to add the ‘bonus touches’ she mentions.