My wife and I breathed a sigh of relief as this year, for the first time in six years, we have less than five weddings to attend this summer. We have been to a lot of weddings, seen a lot of things at weddings we like, and many things we have not cared for. So, as not to toot our own wedding, I will say that the best wedding I have attended beside my own was my twin brother’s wedding on July 9, 2011.
All great weddings have a few things in common, and I will say that my brother’s wedding accomplished all of them.
1) A short, personal, and meaningful ceremony
Wedding ceremonies can often make or break someone’s wedding. Now, I will say that a wedding ceremony should reflect the couple’s personality, beliefs, and goals for their marriage. Whether or not the couple is religious, the ceremony should be a reflection of their personality, be meaningful enough for both them and their family, and also be short so as not to drag on.
My brother and his wife had a beautiful ceremony where lots of funny and meaningful stories were told, it was only about 30 minutes, and it was meaningful for both them and their families. The mark of a great ceremony is when it is over you look at your watch and say, “Wow, it’s over already!”
2) There is not a long time between the ceremony and reception.
Nothing can really dampen people’s opinion of a wedding than by waiting for an extended period of time for the reception to start. Now, there will need to be time to travel to the reception, have the wedding party take family pictures, and for the banquet hall to finish setting up the reception. However, most people expect to wait about an hour and a half after the ceremony for the reception to begin, and much longer wait times can cause people to become restless, antsy, and even a tad cranky.
My brother and his were very organized, prompt, and courteous after the ceremony ended and were walking into the reception about an hour and a half later.
3) There is something for everyone in the food and music at the reception.
Nothing turns me off at a wedding reception when the food is too fancy, too similar, or there isn’t a dish that I find palatable. I will eat quite a lot, so having dishes I don’t like is quite impressive. At my brother’s wedding they had the option of soup or salad, rosemary garlic chicken, red potatoes, a vegetarian option, and a carving station. There was something for everyone.
People expect on the dance floor there will be music that the bride and groom like, but receptions are well remembered and wonderful when there is a variety of music played. We danced to the YMCA, Miley Cyrus, Jon Bon Jovi, and even Celine Dion at my brother’s wedding.
4) There are no major controversies.
Families can be messy. Weddings aren’t the time or place to err grievances or rip the bandages off wounds. There are not any major controversies in my family, and my brother’s wedding was a great celebration of new life, love, and we had a great blast as no controversies took place.
Weddings are a time that everyone should enjoy and remember with fondness. This list is no way exhaustive, but it is a good start making your wedding the very best it can be.