Post # 1
I have only been to about 3 weddings in my iifetime – 1 of which was my mother’s third marriage. They were held in a church and the reception was in a church basement with cake and punch. I didn’t even know about lavish weddings until quite recently. My family and friends are pretty nonchalant about my wedding and don’t really know much of anything about wedding etiquette.
I attribute this to a lack of black women in my area who have weddings. Most AA’s I know go to the courthouse or don’t get married at all.
AA Brides, How has your wedding experience been?
Post # 3
My family is from the western part of Africa, so large weddings are pretty much commonplace and we do more traditions than the African American community in general. Your wedding is what you make it. If you want something small, do something small. If you want to do it up, definitely do so, if you can afford it. Don’t go into debt just for a wedding.
If you’re looking for ideas, a good place to start would be these websites:
Brown and Bridal
African American Brides Blog
Post # 4
It is the same for me. My wedding will be the first local wedding in my family in 20 years. Despite the excitement, we are on a budget and we have a limited number of seats in our venue, so there’s bound to be some disappointment in the family. No one seems to know proper ways to do anything, so fortunately I’ve found lots of library books…
The etiquette thing is a really big issue because everyone just says do this, and it’s not the “correct” thing to do… For example, I didn’t really know how to explain to my mother that you do NOT mention the registries in your formal wedding invitations.
Lol my only other issue was trying to incorporate some Haitian wedding customs, of which I have been unable to find any that I can incorporate. Luckily one of our two officiants will be doing part of our ceremony in Haitian Creole!
Good luck all…
Post # 5
I have been to mutiple weddings in the past 5 or so years…at least 1 per year (actually have TWO to attend this year…3 counting mine). I am planning my little sister’s wedding, and planned my little brother’s wedding as well. What worked for me was taking the reigns and delegating. My family didn’t understand etiquette but I do…so instead of say..printing the gift registry info on the main invite, I would say…hey little sis/little bro…how does this registry info insert look? Or…how does this hotel sound for the out of town guests? You lead…and they will follow.
I will say that some people (not just AA) don’t realize the amount of money and manpower goes into planning a wedding. Sometimes explaining to your relatives in terms of dollar and cents will help them understand things like guest lists etc. When my sister’s FI started getting crazy with the guestlist I broke it down in dollars and cents. We will need X amt more for centerpieces, plates, glasses, food etc. and he understood and HELPED keep the guestlist in check b/c he saw the amt of extra money that would be coming out of his pockets.
Just think…after you pull off your fabulous event…your wedding will be the measuring stick that other weddings in your family are planned by =)
Post # 6
@msadreanna – Minus the Haitian wedding customs are we the same person?!?
@JamaicaBride – I guess your right! I didnt think of it like that.
Post # 7
i am in a very unique situation as well. this is the first wedding ever. sure, people have been married in my family, but they always did the justice of peace thing. i wanted to do that too, but my fiance really wanted a wedding. so, this is a learning experience for everyone. whatever i do, i will pass it on to my daughter. i will also start a college fund as well as a wedding fund. i feel like it’s very neccessary and we won’t have the same struggles like we did.
Post # 8
My mother has 8 brothers and sisters. My father has 4 brothers and sisters and out of all this family I have only had 1 uncle get married and have a formal wedding. My family does not understand at all. They are used to going to the justice of the peace and maybe having a back yard bbq reception. But just like Jamaica bride said I am hoping that my wedding will be the blue print for generations to come. Although it won’t be “lavish” by any means. We sent out save-the-dates, will have formal invitations, expect people to rsvp, have a dress code, ceremony and reception venue and bridal party and wedding planner. Its taking my mom some getting used to because we can only invite 120 family and friends and she doesn’t understand why we can’t just rent a hall and let our family “take care of the food” but its our wedding and we want our close family and friends to enjoy something nice for a change.
Post # 9
@tashawilson – I totally plan to do the same thing for my daughter. She’s 13 months now but I don’t want her to feel like she can’t have the wedding of her dreams because she can’t afford it. And I definitely want her to be able to go to college worry-free.
TyeJRN – I wonder if that’s how weddings used to be. I remember reading another Bee’s Comments where her mom asked why everyone couldn’t just bring food. Life sure would be much easier if they did! I also want our family to have something nice besides a family reunion.
Post # 10
My wedding planning has been very stressful! My fiance’s family is a bit crazy, but overall, most of the stress falls on my procrastination! The biggest thing I’m facing now is the RSVPs and final guest count! People don’t understand that in order to properly prepare for the reception there needs to be an accurate count!
Food, oh, the food! I’ve had some many conversations about why I can’t just have fried chicken! Well, first of all it’s MY wedding, and I don’t want fried chicken! LOL!
The other thing is that EVERYONE thinks I’m spending too much money…. Even my fiance! LOL! But it’s MY day and things are going to be the way I want them to be! PERIOD!
Post # 11
@Johnitta – People really don’t understand the final head count thing. My family keeps telling me….”Now you know people aren’t going to RSVP and will just show up or not.” WTH?! Lol I actually wanted fried chicken but my venue only has a warming kitchen and the caterer said that heated fried chicken won’t be the best quality.
Post # 12
I’m not planning a wedding at the moment, but my aunts and uncles, my parents included, didn’t have weddings, well not big ones, just family in their back yard, vows,etc.
My cousins have had weddings and they have all been quite boring to me, but I have a different style I think. We want to have a destination wedding, on a beach. We are looking at Disney (not the cornball thing you might think,LOL) but they have different packages and lots of different locations. HE actually thought of Disney. Kinda proactive isn’t he? LOL
I so agree with tashawilson and the college fund. I don’t have kids yet, but I have a CD for these not existant children’s college funds, even though there’s no telling how much college will cost by then.lol
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club
Hmm, I never thought of this! All the weddings in my family have been courthouse or very small weddings, with the exception of my mom who had a big formal wedding 40 years ago. It only now occurs to me that I am the second in 40 years to have a formal wedding (though it won’t be quite as big as my mom’s was!). Hm.
Post # 14
thanks for the links @ysqueen. I’ll have a look around. be interesting to see more chocolate weddings.. Make me jealous.. aggg.. I’ve been to weddings, not a lot. Not ones where the bride and groom pay for it. Been to ones where mom and dad did it. Now that I’m all grown up, it’s on me and him.
Post # 15
@Johnitta I’m over here dying about the fried chicken comment lol. My mother thinks all the food will go to waste because no one is going to eat “that white people food”. In terms of what I know people spend on weddings I’m not spending a lot 8-10k minus the honeymoon but if my mother or anybody else in my family knew they would have a heart attack.
Post # 16
i think there might be some truth to this. before my family, weddings while were big (our family is big) they werent huge expensive affairs. they were in a church with the reception in the church hall, etc. it was more religious than “party”
but once we moved into the more upscale neighborhoods, where basically my family and I were the “token” black people, alot changed.
my mom and aunt planned my sister’s wedding which was by far the most expensive of any wedding the family had ever had. over 350+ with two receptions, etc. more in the lines of what you would see on We TV or TLC or something.
ever since then people have been trying to “top” my sisters, but in the end most are just very “country” weddings which are nice, but they try too hard to be something they arent.
elegant affairs are all i know, so thats what i am planning, lots will be dissapointed since im cutting the guest list down to a bout 120 at the most, (shooting for 80) and people are still talking about my sister’s wedding so they are DYING to go to mine thinking it will be exactly the same.