Last weekend I attended the wedding of one of my nieces and it got me thinking about all the other weddings I have attended over my sixty odd years. More weddings than I can remember at this point. I have been involved in weddings and attended them from almost every side of the event.
I have been the bride, the wedding guest, the wedding planner, the photographer, and even the caterer. But never the bridesmaid. I have seen and heard all the good, the bad, the ugly and the OMG what were they thinking moments of those weddings. As a result, I formed some strong opinions about how I think both the ceremony and the reception should be carried out.
One bride wanted a rustic old west 1880’s wedding. She found a long unused and partly dilapidated wooden chapel hidden in the middle of a thicket of trees some distance from a roadway; cleaned it up best as she could and installed a hitching post and other western accents (that had to be removed later.) Since there was no access road or parking the wedding guests met at the reception hall parking lot and were bussed a mile or so to where they could walk the remaining distance to the chapel. Once there they were kept waiting on a hot summer day (without water or restroom facilities) for the bride (while the groom paced up and down the walking path) who was two hours late arriving by horse and buggy with her bridesmaids.
At another wedding, held at a beautiful location miles from the nearest town, there was to be a three-hour wait between the ceremony and the reception. The guests were given the option of leaving and returning later or waiting in a nicely decorated pavilion where refreshments and games of all types were provided, while the wedding party went off in a limo-bus to have photos taken. The refreshments ran out before everyone could be served. It was a late October afternoon that turned very chilly as the sun set. Eventually, fire bits were lit but did nothing to warm the guests. The caterers came and set up for dinner but still the wedding party had not returned. Frozen guests began to give up and leave and the caterer announced that they would soon not be able to keep the food hot, and still no wedding party. The frantic parents were calling with no response. Unknown to the family and waiting guest the bridal party had decided on going to a local wine festival to meet up with their college friends for a few drinks. Just as my husband and I were leaving to take my elderly hypothermic mother home, the drunken bridal party began to stumble into the pavilion to start the reception. I heard the parents had enough leftovers in their freezer to serve a couple dozen Sunday dinners and the photographer doubled his cost to cover the extra hours he spent trapped with the wedding party.
Then there was the wedding where the bride and her new mother-in-law got into a heated argument with name calling because the bride refused to pose for all the group photos the MIL expected.
Now we come to my niece’s wedding. It was also one for the record books but in a good way. The entire affair ran like a Swiss watch. The church was packed to standing room only. The weather was wonderful. The reception hall was beautiful and roomy. The temperature was pleasant and the bridal party arrived at the reception right on time. The dinner and dancing both started at the times stated in the invitation as well. From what I could see the entire event was all happiness, love, and enjoyment.
This affair left nothing for me to criticize, I was delighted that I did not see a single tee shirt or baseball cap among the guests and only one pair of jeans and they were worn with a dress shirt, tie and sports coat. Only one young woman wore an outfit I would call inappropriate. It was a one-piece jumpsuit that had hot pants for the bottom. Had it been a skirt the whole room would have had a show when she bent over. I normally dislike seeing strapless gowns worn in church because the wearers are so often adjusting their tops, but those worn at this wedding were tastefully fitted and did not give the impression we would be viewing a fashion malfunction.
I must give Kudos to all involved. This was the best wedding I have attended in quite some time.