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Monday, December 22, 2008

Subcultural Weddings for Eternal Teenagers

When we were discussing wedding plans with our wonderful parents, one of their concerns was the lack of 'timelessness' about our wedding. Would we, in ten, twenty or fifty years time, look back on our wedding photos and think - yep, I'm glad we did it like that. Would we look at the red dress, viking cloak, air-guitar photos, haunted asylum and wedding sword and think, 'oh dear, can you believe we were ever into that stuff?'

If you're planning a subcultural wedding, especially one that subverts normal wedding tropes like Goth, Punk, Heavy Metal or Steampink weddings, you'll probably also have to deal with the assumption of regret - from friends, family or vendors.

"You don't want a white wedding dress?' One shop lady asked me as I flicked with disdain through the racks. 'But it won't feel like a wedding without one!"

Urgh.

Subcultures - especially the ones I'm familiar with - tend to attract teenagers. A large number of teens experiment with various subculture, but eventually outgrow their own experiment, perhaps because the mood of the experience, the rebellian, the asserting of individuality, meant more than the culture itself. They might break out their Iron Maiden records every once in awhile, but otherwise, they remove themselves from the scene and assimilate into modern adult life.

But the ones who don't...they're the people like me and CDF - metalheads for life! They're the people for whom subcultural weddings exist.

When you become ingrained in a subculture - it becomes you. Our friends are metal, our music is metal, our hobbies are metal, our morals and attitudes are metal, our lives are metal. We are heavy fucking metal.

The people worrying that you'll 'outgrow' your subculture wedding are the people who don't understand subculture. And that's okey. I'll totally accept that when some people just don't get heavy metal, and they look at CDH and his ripped jeans and black shirts and just can't concieve why he would dress like that when there's perfectly good jeans and non-black, non-sinister-artwork-splattered t-shirts. There are people all over the internet who cannot comprehend why I would wear a red wedding dress.

And all the explaining in the world won't make it make sense to them. I have a well-rehearsed speech that compares heavy metal to classical music, but my workmates still roll their eyes and nod and smile when I talk about what gigs I went to in the weekend. 'Why doesn't she just do normal things?' they think.

People kept asking me where I was getting married and I'd say 'In an old mental asylum that's been converted into a haunted house' and...there was never a need to say much else. You could see the thoughts ticking over in their heads - 'what a stupid idea', 'why would you WANT that?', 'how tacky and horrible are their photos going to be!'

My advice for dealing with the impression of the eternal teenager is to just get on with your life and your wedding plans. You could explain a million times and it wouldn't be enough, so save your breath for more important things, like kissing or, you know, breathing. Just get on with it and bugger everyone else - that's the metal way to do it.

Readers, I throw this out to you - discuss! Have you had any negative feedback about your subcultural wedding plans? Do you feel you'll 'outgrow' your own wedding? How do you deal with others' impressions of you as an eternal teenager? Can you offer any advice to other subcultural brides?

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