The best wedding I ever attended was high atop the East Hill of the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
The memories of that day begin with me completely losing cell phone reception about 10 miles before the destination. Three times asking for directions, two dirt roads, and one anxiety attack later, I found myself at the wedding and reception destination. And surprise! No indoor plumbing.
Wait, I thought this was supposed to be the best wedding experience ever. Stay with me, it is.
Wedding Ceremony: Most wedding ceremonies are – if we’re honest with ourselves here – downright boring. This wedding, however, threw all that out the window. There was just something about watching two people getting married outdoors on a ledge high atop a mountain that was, well, the opposite of every church wedding in all the best ways. Even if you weren’t interested in what the people were saying, you could still get lost staring into the mountains.
Wedding Reception: Perhaps it was the staff serving miniature grilled cheese sandwiches floating in shot glasses of smoked tomato soup, perhaps it was the batch of microbrew beer custom-brewed specifically for this wedding, or perhaps it was the live six-piece band that drove up all the way from Boston just to play this wedding… whatever it was, the reception was perfect. All too often, you go to a wedding reception and it’s the same thing: a crappy buffet, forced conversation with someone you were assigned to sit next to, and three hours of the lamest DJ playing songs you’ve heard a thousand times before. But if you want people to enjoy your reception, ditch whatever preconceived notions you have of what one ‘should’ be, and make it something they’ve never experienced before.
Post-Reception: Weddings usually end one of two ways – with them simply fizzling out, or you experiencing dinner for a second time after over-consuming alcohol. What also made this night stand out was the post-reception: a bonfire, guitar playing, and more microbrews. It all basically boils down to one thing: Creating quality time with meaningful conversation.
What set this wedding apart from all the others is that it was truly memorable. Maybe it was not having a cell phone with reception, maybe it was being outside, probably some combination there of, but if you can create a wedding that forces people to live in the moment, I promise you that not only will it be a memorable day for you, but a memorable day for them as well.