Year after year, we follow rules and don’t even think about whether they’re still relevant or not. Is it that scary to quit wearing wedding rings? What do bridesmaids and groomsmen mean now at the wedding? Most of us simply think that following these traditions is a must and don’t realize that some of them have become pretty old-fashioned for the modern world.
Bright Side has studied internet users’ opinions and found 10 traditions and stereotypes that we’re really not obligated to follow anymore.
He’s scared to propose her and she thinks that he doesn’t love her or he borrows money to buy a ring and pay for dinner at an expensive restaurant and she says, “No” because she’s not ready. There are many scenarios that people face and each of them could lead to a breakup.
“I bought my ex an expensive silver engagement ring. We’d been together for 5 years. Well, she was so mad, that she said really nasty things and because of that, I had to leave her.”
Many couples decide to discuss their plans in advance to avoid any awkward situations. They realize that everything can be resolved without the traditional attributes like a ring, a romantic atmosphere, and a restaurant. People care more about their needs and desires today, than they do about traditions.
9. Celebrating housewarming parties
As soon as you buy a house or an apartment, you start getting questions about housewarming parties. Some of us even have to celebrate this event several times: with family, friends, and colleagues. What can you do if you don’t want to celebrate at all?
“All in all, people have to understand that you don’t have time for housewarming parties. Many people have to borrow money from the bank to buy a house, so they try to save money and avoid the celebration.”
Most people who buy property have to take out a loan. Prices are high, so most of couples can’t afford to host celebrations. Some of them only have a mattress and 2 chairs inside, and some are working really hard to pay off their loan. Remember that those who appreciate you won’t insist.
8. Having bridesmaids and groomsmen at the wedding
This tradition is pretty old-fashioned today. It’s up to you whether you want to have bridesmaids and groomsmen at your wedding.
“I don’t want my friends to be obligated to buy certain outfits for my wedding. If a couple wants to organize everything this way, they order similar dresses and pay for the order.”
Modern couples prefer not to give any roles to their guests. Those who want to be surrounded by people in outfits in a unique style should have to pay for all expenses connected with this.
7. Having children right after the wedding
After getting married, some women face an annoying question from their relatives and friends: “So when are you going to have children?” And they hear it even more often than, “How are you doing?”
“We decided to have a baby 3 years after living together. And we were so tired of hearing that living just for yourself was such a huge problem. But we didn’t want to explain that we wanted my wife to graduate from college first. Some people’s indiscretion did leave us speechless.”
There are couples who want to postpone having children because of financial issues, some can’t have children due to health problems, and others just want to live some time by themselves. You can either explain everything patiently or abruptly stop all questions coming from other people, it’s up to you. Remember that no one is allowed to criticize you.
6. Organizing parties for relatives and friends
Relatives and friends dream about having fun at your wedding, birthday, or anniversary, and it’s so difficult to say, “No.”
“2 years ago, I just realized I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday and needed to be alone for a while. My relatives were so angry, ‘You’re turning 30! You have to celebrate!’ I just switched off my phone that day and felt really great. Why should we always have to be comfortable for our friends and relatives?”
Some people just want to be selfish and don’t want to orchestrate something just to please other people, and it’s completely OK. Some newlyweds prefer to not have a luxurious wedding, but instead to travel to different countries. Some people just want to spend their birthday all alone. Your celebrations are just that, “your” celebrations.
5. Having lots of photoshoots
In the past, people used to take professional photos to remember the most precious moments of their lives (proms, weddings, etc.). Today, more and more kinds of photoshoots have become popular: love stories, a photoshoot with friends, lifestyle, waiting for baby, newborn, Christmas, and so on…
“Photos preserve the memories of great events in our lives, and these photoshoots are an attempt to become someone else surrounded by weird decor. When people take pictures on a boat, they preserve that memory, when they take photos while hiking, it’s a memory. And when you have a studio photoshoot, you remember the moment you were having a photoshoot…”
Some people don’t like to take pictures. Others can’t find any sense in studio photos. Anyway, don’t force anyone to have a photo shoot with you. Otherwise, their bored face might spoil every picture.
4. Wearing wedding rings
Some couples don’t wear wedding rings. The reasons are varied: people might not be allowed to wear rings at work, the size isn’t comfortable, or their fingers get swollen. Others simply can’t get used to this accessory.
“By the way, we didn’t wear our rings after the wedding. We bought them for our relatives mostly. For us, trust is more important than the metal around our fingers.”
Happy couples all around the world go out without these accessories. Even tabloids are tired of guessing what the absence of rings means in Beyoncé and Jay Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and so on.
3. Showing newborn babies to relatives
As soon as a woman has her baby, her relatives start planning their visits.
“You don’t have to show your baby off if you don’t want to. You create your own rules for your family! If your relatives are wise, they’ll understand a mother who doesn’t want to show off her child right now.”
The first months are really important and it’s better to not disturb a mother while she’s taking care of her baby during this time. According to doctors, it’s also recommended to postpone family visits (at least during the first 3 months) since the risk for the baby to get sick is very high.
2. Remembering every significant date
Birthdays, engagement and wedding dates, a first kiss or trip… The list can be infinite. Studies show that we sometimes even forget those things that we try hard to keep in mind. And, by the way, a perfect memory doesn’t exist.
“I forgot our wedding day almost immediately and didn’t congratulate my wife. She was a little bit upset. Now, 6 years later, she also forgets the date. We remember it only when our relatives call us.”
Many couples don’t even try to remember every significant date. Those who find a date really important prefer to talk about the date in advance and don’t stay silent, waiting for a present.
1. Accommodating your relatives from different cities in your house
Everyone has the right to live in comfort and shouldn’t have to feel guilty. There are lots of hotels, hostels, and apartments out there that your relatives can rent.
“When I bought a small apartment, a huge amount of relatives who wanted to live with me ‘for a while’ appeared! Then my husband and I bought a 3 bedroom apartment, since it was impossible to live in my apartment with a baby. So we decided to rent the other one out to have money to pay off the loan for our new home. As a result: in our relatives’ eyes, we were ’greedy cheapskates.’”
Everyone is happy to welcome guests. But sometimes “for a while” can turn into “years” and you have to tolerate your relatives with all their habits and traits. To avoid any arguments, it’s better to let them know you have certain rules, and your relatives should understand that they’ll have to eventually find their own apartment if they want to stay long term.
Do you think we should have to follow all these traditions? Do you have anything you think should be added to this list?
Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for BrightSide.me