The Charlottesville Wedding Blog

When it comes to tradition and superstition, the myths around the dos and don’ts of planning Charlottesville weddings could rival those of even the most devout sports fanatic. While the vows and ring exchange are probably traditions you will want to keep around, there are plenty of wedding myths that seem to cause more stress than anything else.

Do you have to include a plus-one for all your guests? Have your eye on a dress that isn’t white? Not sure about the expectations around your bridal party numbers?

We’ve got you covered, and we’re here to debunk some myths to take the worry out of Charlottesville weddings.

Wedding Invitation Myths

Myth One: Your invitations need an inner envelope, outer envelope, actual invitation, and response card.

Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter wedding invitations. These days, couples are getting creative and adding lots of personal flair to save-the-dates and invitations. So, no. Not only are you not obligated to have a four-piece vellum-filled wedding invite, you also have the freedom to do something all your own.

Myth Two: Your invitations should feature your parents’ names.

It is tradition to feature the names of the wedding hosts, or those paying for the wedding, at the top of the invitation. While still widely practiced, with more and more couples paying for, or at least helping pay for, the wedding, featuring the names of parents is no longer seen as a hard-and-fast rule.

Myth Three: All invited guests should have a plus-one.

Building a wedding guest list can be tricky sometimes, but the question of whether or not to give plus-ones to all your guests should not be. Plus-ones for all guests are no longer expected. Remember, this is your big day. If inviting everyone and a date doesn’t work with your budget, it isn’t anything to lose sleep over.

Money Myths

Myth Four: The bride’s family pays for the wedding and the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon.

There are all different traditions and myths around the “who-pays-for-what” question. Maybe you opt for an oyster roast instead of a formal rehearsal dinner, maybe you get married in a historic, well known church, or maybe the ceremony is in your backyard. No matter what, paying the wedding bills varies from couple to couple and family to family. Do what works for you and your budget and all those involved, including your wallet, will be happy.

Registry and Reception Myths

Myth Five: You have to register for housewares.

One of the more old-fashioned wedding myths is the idea that you can only register for housewares. Not only do most folks have at least half of the housewares they need before getting hitched, a lot of couples are co-habitating before tying the knot. Nowadays, couples are opting for more practical, adventurous, or even philanthropic gift registries.

Don’t want a third toaster as a wedding gift? The following can be great ideas for your wedding registry:

  • Resort points or credit for fun activities on your honeymoon like massages, snorkeling, or salsa lessons.
  • Donations to the charity of your choice.
  • Entertaining accessories like cocktail shakers, wine decanters, and cloth cocktail napkins.

Myth Six: Your reception should be a structured event.

While there might not be a dry eye during the ceremony, your reception is a time to let loose and celebrate your vows (not to mention all the planning that went into them). Planning the components of your wedding reception should be centered around just that – how you want to celebrate. If you want to cut the cake but throwing a bouquet isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. If you would rather everyone hit the dance floor at once instead of doing designated first dances, go right ahead.

While planning a general order of events for your reception can cut down on stress and confusion, the actual events you are planning should be whatever make you and your new husband happiest.

Bridal Party & Seating Arrangement Myths

Myth Seven: The bride and groom should always have an equal number of bridesmaids to groomsmen.

While this myth might not be of rain-on-your-wedding-day myth status, this is a common myth that people instinctually abide by. Yes, it does make it easier to take symmetrical wedding party pictures, but having the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is a rule that is more than okay to be broken. All you really need to consider when choosing your bridal party is which people you want standing beside you when you take your vows, not how many spots you need to fill.

Myth Eight: Ceremony seating should be split into the bride’s side and the groom’s side.

Much like the housewares registry, this wedding myth is considered a tad outdated. With folks typically getting married a little later in life, the bride and groom not only often know their spouse-to-be's family before the day of the wedding, but the bride and groom also often share many different groups of friends. So why split that up and overcomplicate things? Whatever seating feels most natural for you and your guests is what will make for the smoothest and most enjoyable ceremony.

The Honeymoon Myth

Myth Nine: You are supposed to go on your honeymoon right after the wedding.

Some couples like to tie the knot and take off, but if that’s not your style, that’s okay. Not having your honeymoon right after your wedding can actually be a much more relaxing and budget-friendly approach. Whether you wait a few days after the wedding to hit the road, or if you wait for a few months, having that extra time after your wedding day can give you and your new husband time to rest and reset.

Not going straight to your honeymoon, but looking to do something fun? Schedule a staycation! Book a nice hotel room with spa services, or go to a bed and breakfast in a nearby town to get away as a couple for a night or two without having to pack a passport.

The White Dress Myth

Myth Ten: You have to wear a white dress to your wedding.

It’s true that almost everyone who sees a long white gown immediately thinks of a wedding. A lot of people also really look forward to keeping with this tradition, which is totally cool. But, if you are one of those more adventurous brides looking to shake things up a bit, there’s nothing wrong with going with a dress that is a color other than white.

Maybe that means a cream-colored shift, or maybe you want to wear a floor-length floral stunner. Either way, white is no longer considered the end-all be-all of wedding dress colors.

The Seeing-the-Bride-Before-the-Wedding Myth

Myth Eleven: It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony.

This might be more of an obvious debunked myth since having a “first look” isn’t the newest trend on the block, but the first look has stuck around as a great option for couples for a reason. Having a first look offers the bride and groom a private moment before saying “I do” - Hey, maybe he doesn't want to bawl in front of everyone he knows when he sees his bride for the first time - and also gets some of the picture-taking out of the way so the couple can enjoy their guests after the ceremony. You might be a bride that prefers to see your future husband for the first time when walking down the aisle, but, if not, a first look is the way to go.

Taking all of these wedding traditions and myths into consideration, having the Charlottesville wedding of your dreams is all about doing what is best for you and your fiance. You don't want to look back on one of the best days of your life and realize you stuck to myths and conventions that didn't fit your style and needs.

Happy planning!

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