Until the internet became a thing we all know and love, themed weddings were kind of a rarity in the eyes of most people. Ten years ago, pictures from the occasional underground Star Wars wedding might have found their way on to eBaum's World or a clip show to be mocked. But these days, nary a July goes by without another crop of zombie-themed engagement pictures showing up in your Facebook newsfeed. Themed weddings are having a major renaissance right now—and I when I say "renaissance," I mean that people are having renaissance-themed weddings.
And that, of course, has inspired a backlash. As a person in her 30s who is a self-identified nerd, a stand-up comedian, and someone who spends a gross amount of time on the internet, I constantly see blogs and comedy shows criticizing the perceived stupidity of a themed wedding:
UGH, I had to dress up like a Disney princess! UGH, we had to drink mead and eat turkey legs with no forks! UGH, I had to watch the bride walk down the aisle to the theme of Legend of Zelda! UGH, we had to wear fake blood!
Dear boring person: How did you get an invite to a cool party? Also, I couldn't disagree more with your boring stance.
Up until two years ago, I, myself, had never had the privilege of attending any wedding with a theme other than "whoops, she's pregnant" or "might as well." Besides going to a lot of weddings, I've also been married twice. My first wedding was to a nice dude I met at 21 and married at 22. The wedding was themed "let's get married." In August of 2012, I planned on marrying for the second time. This time around I was 30 years old and marrying my partner of the previous five years. After the proposal, it took us maybe 20 minutes to decide on what sort of party to plan. We agreed upon the one thing that always brought us together as a couple, gave us great joy and happiness through the years, and defined us both as human beings. No, it wasn't a Bruno Mars song or a certain kind of flower. It was Star Trek. We both love THE FUCK out of Star Trek. And since I am from a Mexican family and there is no way I could get married without the inclusion of mariachi music and Mexican food, we decided to have a Mexican Star Trek wedding and call the theme "Trek Mex."
Our wedding day played out thusly: bride in black covered in Dax dots*, groom in found-online ceremonial TNG** captain's top, bridal party in red TNG captain colors and groom's party in TOS*** mustard. Our officiant was a fellow comedian who wore a Klingon-like furrowed brow and performed the ceremony word-for-word from the episode "You Are Cordially Invited" of DS9**** when Jadzia Dax and Worf were married. My husband Mark had bought a pair of bat'leths off the internet and made the "ritual maces" our parties were to beat us with from PVC pipe and Styrofoam. We handed out small maroon bottles of bubbles to the wedding guests with labels I made featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the phrase, "Make It Blow." Instead of a first dance, we fought with our bat'leths in front of family and friends as our mariachis in Star Fleet uniforms performed a weird-ass rendition of "Have You Ever Loved a Woman." We served cocktails called Cardassian Coolers and Warp Core Breaches along with a huge buffet of Mexican food. My mother, father, sister and brother-in-law made all the food, most of it from scratch, and it was delicious.
As far as the guests went, Star Trek-themed attire was suggested, but absolutely not required. The only rules were have a good time and if you are white and choose to come as a Klingon DO NOT DO SO IN BLACK FACE. More people than expected showed up in all sorts of costumes. My dad wore a Worf mask that he refused to take off for all of our family photos. Everyone had an amazing time. The night ended with the crowd on the dance floor joining in unison to shout, "BEST WEDDING EVER!"
I'm not going to say my wedding was the best wedding ever, but it was the best wedding for me and my roommate***** and that is the point of weddings in the first place. They are about celebrating love and stuff for sure, but they are also about celebrating who you are and what makes you and your partner happy. The thing about weddings is that although they are basically parties that people getting married have for their friends and family, they're also about the people getting married. So if your friends or family members want to recreate the Red Wedding on a December afternoon in front of their old college friends and your conservative aunt, why would you want to ruin that for everyone? That sounds AMAZING.
To people who hate themed weddings—look, I get it. Instead of swinging by your local Ross, you may have to go out of your way to a costume store or thrift shop to prepare for this thing. That's kind of annoying. Plus, themed weddings can be really dorky. Some themed weddings are going to be even cringe-inducing at times. I'm sure when we weirdly slashed back in forth in a non-choreographed "duel" with fake Klingon swords for an awkward amount of time, it made people uncomfortable.
But the thing is, wouldn't you much rather cringe at the hilarious absurdity of a person reciting dialogue from Doctor Who in their vows than some boring generic proclamations of love in between biblical passages followed by buckets of tears that only manage to make you more dehydrated in the summer heat?
Or maybe instead of dressing up as a pirate, you'd much rather wear a pastel dress or a khaki pants, be treated to an awkward garter toss, dine on lemon pepper cod, and then slowly fall asleep in your rented white picnic chair thanks to heat stroke, 30-minute-long champagne toasts courtesy of a large extended family, and the soothing sounds of DJ announcements over Bryan Adams******. Those parties are fun too.
But listen, if your friend's love of science fiction, medieval times, or video games is SO annoying that you can't handle having to sit through a couple of hours of Harry Potter references in exchange for FREE FOOD AND BOOZE, then don't. STAY THE FUCK HOME. Your fun friends don't want to party with you either.
If you are thinking about having a themed wedding, but are afraid your potential guests will not be down, DO IT ANYWAY. As a kid you didn't worry whether other kids coming to your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed pizza party were going to think it was stupid, did you? WHO DOESN'T WANT TO GO TO A TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES-THEMED PIZZA PARTY? I want to go to one of those right now. Can someone throw one of those right now?
If you and your partner love Ghostbusters, you go ahead and make your wedding party wear those goddamn proton packs. IT'S YOUR PARTY AND YOU CAN GHOSTBUST IF YOU WANT TO!!!
*Also known as Trill Spots.
**Trekkies call Star Trek: The Next Generation "TNG."
***Trekkies call Star Trek: The Original Series "TOS."
****Trekkies call Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "DS9."
*****Sometimes I call my husband my roommate.
******PEOPLE WILL NEVER STOP LOVING THAT BRYAN ADAMS SONG FROM THE ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES SOUNDTRACK. NO MATTER THE DECADE, IT WILL ALWAYS SPEAK TO THEM AND THEIR LURVE.