Hey, went to a wedding last night, so here are a few thoughts on weddings!
- The wedding ceremony should not be too formal. There is a formality-spectrum at play here and its always a little painful when things are taken too seriously - like mom or God or the government are keeping track of every mistake. Laugh a little!
- I like the ceremony to be a time of encouragement, teaching, prayer, and worship. God is a good God who blesses, and its right to honor Him in a wedding ceremony.
- But no matter what the ceremony has to be 'short and sweet'. Six songs, too many. Twenty-minute sermon, way too long.
- Don't go nuts on wedding party pictures. I went to a wedding earlier this year where there was almost a 3-hour break between the ceremony and the reception. I know the bride, groom, & co are all dressed up but how many pictures of the same people in the same clothes do you need? Plus it is inconvenient for everybody else.
- Do go nuts on wedding pictures. Have a photographer taking pictures of all the attendees casually as the night goes on.
- Mingling. Another wedding I went to this summer did one thing very right. While the wedding party was off taking pictures, appetizers and some drinks (alcoholic and non) were provided for the guests as they stood and mingled. Food. Drink. Talk. Not complicated but well done. Can't talk during the ceremony and you're somewhat stuck at your table during the reception, but during this mingling time, you're free!
- Booze is a good call. Cost is a consideration, but have something - its a celebration, darn it! Put a couple bottles of wine at each table during the reception at least. If people at your wedding are bashful, politely request that the bottles be empty by the end of the evening. A toonie bar can also be considered.
- Stories. I can't believe people used to just tap their glasses for a kiss between the bride and groom. I like storytelling for kisses. Thankfully this seems to be pretty common these days.
- Slideshows. Most of this stuff is pretty common - but whatever - its still good to do. Just make sure you have the slideshow going at the appropriate pace. Being able to get the timing right on those things is an under-appreciated skill.
- Something creative. Whether its something planned or spontaneous, something at least a little out of the ordinary should be part of the evening. Something... story-worthy, or a memory people can share. A friend and I created and performed a parodied version of "Hotel California" at our friend's wedding this summer. The groom really appreciated it and and probably everybody will remember that highlight when they look back on the wedding.
- Dancing? Yes. You gotta! Remember to provide some drinks though...
So those are some thoughts on weddings. Clearly though, the most important part of a good wedding is going to be the people. If the bride and groom are happy, loved, and respected people, if their parents are good people (and generous - bonus!), if they are blessed with good friends - then it'll be a great time for all involved.