Reflections on Benefit Street: The themed wedding dilemma

Themed weddings. A good idea? A bad idea? Or a really, really ohsweetbabyjesus-what-were-Mom-and-Dad-thinking bad idea? I’m not talking about your standard beach or country wedding here. I’m talking about your Lord of The Rings-, Star Wars-, Avatar-, “Hello Kitty”-, Renaissance-, and Harry Potter-themed ceremonies. Because really, what could be more romantic than dressing weird Uncle Steve up as Chewbacca and listening to him toast to the new couple in perfect wookie shyriiwook?

If you walked down Benefit Street last Saturday around 12 p.m., chances are that you probably saw quite the spectacle at the First Unitarian Church. Three WWII soldiers, one Viking, a spattering of colonial women, a knight, and what seemed to be a very short Dementor were just some of the cast members assembled outside the church. At first glance, it looked like an eight-year-old’s birthday party—albeit a weird eight-year-old with a really offbeat sense of humor. But there were no children present (other than one small boy dressed up as a chimney sweep). In the center of the action were a man and a woman dressed in medieval garb. They kissed, the crowd cheered, and it all suddenly made sense—this ragtag group was a wedding party.

What didn’t make as much sense was the “why.” What is the appeal of having—for lack of a better word—a kooky wedding ceremony? Granted, weddings are meant to special. Hopefully you’ll only have one in your life, so you better make it count. But is dressing up as Nemo, or Ursula from The Little Mermaid really going to accomplish that for you? Or will your wedding photos end up looking like those in your yearbook from junior high—a time capsule full of evidence that allows you to come to the cringing realization that you weren’t as cool as you thought you were? (Those frosted tips definitely didn’t make you look sporty.) And maybe making Grandma and the in-laws dress up as Disney villains is not going to stand the test of time in the family archives.

On the other hand, why conform to the traditional notion of weddings, or of marriage for that matter? Why not blaze the trail for the next generation of the nuptially bound—create a wedding renaissance, if you will. We’re halfway there with 14th-century outfits. All we need are a few more cornetts and lyres to get this movement started… or perhaps all we really need is a tad more foresight.

Images via.

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