The Unconventional Wedding

Jennifer Loehding

8/18/20214 min read

gold wedding band on white textile
gold wedding band on white textile

When I think of weddings, dresses, family, flowers, food, and venues comes to my mind. At some point or another, I am guessing most of us have been part of a wedding or, at the very least, attended one. We have seen the extravagance of them and partaken in the festivities, but have you ever been part of a wedding that took place over the Zoom platform? Yes, it's a thing. This past week, my oldest of three became a new bride, and it was all done over the internet: the unconventional wedding.

It was a relatively short ceremony. I think it lasted no more than a couple of minutes, and I thought that was easy at the end of it. No dresses, no formality, no extra finances, no people arranging, etc., to make decisions over. My oldest shared with me previously that they were planning a trip in lieu, and I thought to myself, how brilliant is this idea? They can save their money for what matters. Her decision to go this route reminded me to ask myself if a wedding is for the bride and groom or the family and people attending. Have you ever thought about it like that? I have…..

I would be lying if I didn't say that I also wondered if she would miss later not having a traditional wedding. That was a fleeting thought, I must admit, though. I am not one to concern myself with the ideas others have for me or my family. We sort of beat to our drums. If anything, this brought me an awareness that we don't always have to follow the traditional path that society places upon us, and comparing ourselves to others is of no help to us. We have the right to choose the best approach for ourselves.

I have talked about this many times on the Starter Girlz podcast: how we go to school to get an education and choose a career path because we think this is the direction we should go. Now, hear me out. I am not at all suggesting we don't get an education. Education is power. We need it. However, we often rely on others' feedback to influence us because we don't know the direction we want to go. We later realize we have no desire to pursue the path we chose. Hence, you see people later in life make career switches. They recognize no matter how diligent they are at overcoming obstacles, they can't get ahead. They feel unfulfilled. Sometimes, through personal development, they will realize they are not using their talents properly, or their priorities change. But sometimes. they don't enjoy what they are doing, and they probably never have enjoyed it.

Why do we need to make decisions that don't always support us? Is it out of societal expectations? Our parents? Do we feel compelled to follow societal norms? I don't know. I think it's different for everyone, and that is what we must figure out in life. We often play the comparison game when deciding on issues rather than considering what is important to us and how that affects those immediately around us. We work from emotion rather than logic. If I do this, what will so and so think? Am I going to measure up and follow along with what everyone else is doing?

I think it takes a certain amount of confidence to stand firm in your beliefs, ideas, and, foremost, the direction you choose to take for your life or any decision for that matter. No set date determines when you become more knowledgeable or better at picking and choosing the direction you go on an issue. Still, when we continually work on our well-being, we become more grounded and comfortable with our decisions. We take accountability for our choices, knowing that whatever the outcome occurs, we own it. That gives us power rather than weakens us.

When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we are free to make mistakes. We are open to trying something new. We can learn what works and what doesn't work. We make room for people to come into our lives that can teach us valuable lessons. We can create a sense of peace in our lives and impact others when we choose things that support us. Why? Because when we are at peace, we show up differently.

As a parent, I want to think that I have played some role in helping my children form their values and have also given them the space to do what they feel is best for them. Conventional wedding or unconventional wedding, I honestly don't care which route any of my children go. I support them regardless. More importantly, I think having the grounds to do what is right for them is more important than my desire to control them by what I think they should be doing. We all must decide what is suitable for us, and when we eradicate the worry of judgment from others, we can learn to live our best lives and choose what works best for us.

Cheers to my daughter Cara and her new groom, Tom. I am proud of them both and hope they have a beautiful life together. They are a reminder that it's okay to do things that are a bit different. #beyoudoyou