5 Wedding Controversies that Aren't

Marta Block


If you read a lot of wedding boards and blogs the same discussions and points of contention tend to come up over and over again. There are certain hot button issues that are guaranteed to stir debate in the comments section and thus page views. We're all in favor of page views, but we think it's time to retire some of these discussions.

1. Should you ask her father's permission?

People point to the groom asking his bride's father's permission before proposing as a time honored tradition, and it is. Sort of. Obviously, when marriage was arranged by families, you would need the parents' permission before getting married. Later, when brides were still pretty young, you still needed permission. The tradition pretty much died out in the United States in the 1930s. It wasn't until the 1980s and 1990s that it started popping back up, along with divorce rates. So, there's no real "traditional" reason you have to do this.

What it comes down to is this. Will your bride and her family find it charming and sweet or weird and creepy? Will they consider it disrespectful of her family not to ask or disrespectful of your bride's autonomy to ask?

There's no right answer, but if you don't know your bride and her family well enough to answer this, you probably shouldn't be getting married! Also, if you really, literally need to ask permission, because she isn't old enough or mature enough to give it ... you shouldn't be getting married.

2. Should you have children at your wedding?

Are you having a formal night time wedding? Don't have kids. Are you having a relaxed day time wedding? Have them if you want. Problem solved. Seriously, this is all about the vibe you want at your wedding, there's no right or wrong answer.

3. Is it rude/presumptuous  to have a destination wedding?

No. What is rude and/or presumptuous is assuming that everyone wants to spend their vacation time/money attending your destination wedding. If you want to have a destination wedding, that's great. But you have to understand that not everyone who might otherwise be at your wedding will be able to attend. No pouting or guilt tripping if people don't come. Likewise, if you get an invitation for a destination wedding you need to understand that it is not a command performance, it's an invitation. If you can't or don't want to go, don't. But, no pouting or guilt tripping about the bride's decision.

4. Is it tacky to have a money dance or money tree?

If you're not familiar with these terms, a money dance is a tradition where people pay to dance with the bride and sometimes the groom. Sometimes, the bride and groom wear an apron and guests stuff money in to the pockets. A money tree sits at a reception site and people put bills or checks on the branches. If these traditions sound odd to you, then yes, it's tacky. Why? Because they aren't your traditions, they don't follow your social norms. If you adopted them, you would just be trying to get money, which is tacky. If however, you read this and you think "Gosh, who doesn't know that, I've never been to a wedding without a money tree," then it isn't tacky.  It's part of your culture.

5. Who pays for what?

The tradition of the bride's family paying for the wedding comes out of the idea of a bride bringing a dowry to her wedding. It carried over past the time of dowries because there was still an assumption that the contribution of the wedding was the last financial contribution the bride or her family would be making to the couple and that since the bride was only 18-22 years old, she didn't have her own money. Today though, none of that is true. The only people obligated to pay for the wedding are the bride and groom. If your families are capable of and want to make a contribution, great. Just keep in mind that they may also want to voice some opinions!

Do you have wedding questions? You can have them answered personally by our wedding expert.

What  wedding "controversies" are you sick of hearing about? What wedding controversies do you think are real? Tell us in the comments!