Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maawige is wat bwings us twogeva, twoday. Or: How Not to Totally Stuff Up a Wedding.

You may have picked up on the fact that I’m engaged, from my occasional mentions of a fiancé. In fact, I’m getting married exactly 5 months! It’s very exciting and something that I’ve been looking forward to a great deal.

So, I’ve decided to write a post about some of the mistakes I’ve seen made when planning weddings. This will be done in two parts, because it’s quite long. And yes, these are all real examples of things that I’ve seen at weddings I have been to (or very slightly altered so as to protect the guilty), having either been done right or done so very, very wrong:

Who are all those people??

DON’T invite everyone, including your cousin’s hair dresser’s mum’s friend's babysitter, and her boyfriend because everybody needs to bring a +1. I have been to weddings where there were 300-400 people, and it is horrible. It’s loud, it’s noisy, it’s crowded, and it’s very intimidating when you don’t know many people there. It’s actually harder to approach people you don’t know in a large crowd, because if there are fewer people then their choices for conversation are also limited and that makes talking to each other (rather than any one of the other 100 people in the immediate vicinity) far more acceptable.

have the ceremony take more than half an hour. People get bored. No matter how beautiful your musical interludes, or stirring your readings, or how supportive the laying-your-hands-on-the-kneeling-couple-to-bless-and-show-support thing (which I would find intrusive and claustrophobic so it freaks me out totally), the rest of your audience really doesn’t want to sit through that if it means sitting there for more than 30min. When you see the musicians who played during the bride’s entrance drooling or polishing their instruments or falling off their chairs with boredom, you know it’s gone on too long.

So, um... Now what?

DO consider the fact that the weather will not be perfect just because it’s your wedding day. The sun will not chase away the clouds and shine down on you just because that’s how you pictured it, or how it was on the day you looked at the park and fell in love with it. Have an indoor alternative, even if it’s just a marquee  to keep off the worst of the rain. Soggy canapés are not very appetising, and wine that's been diluted by rainwater is not considered a delicacy in our society. Also bear in mind that it can be hot and uncomfortable during some seasons (particularly in Australia), so having some shade available, if not an air conditioned alternative is also wise. Having your guests passing out from heat stroke is not the way to show your appreciation for their showing up.

DO check whether anything is happening near your wedding on the date you want to book. Having a military demonstration or ANZAC day marching band happening 10 metres away can completely change the mood of your wedding, even if it does provide free entertainment for your guests. There are some things that you just shouldn't be trying to save money on.

DON’T have the ceremony a long way away from the reception. Having to travel in your finest clothing is a PAIN, especially if you’re a woman and in heels. Having to find parking (again) is a PAIN and should not be inflicted on the people you supposedly care about most (even if you did only meet them a week earlier at your trial hair appointment).

DO think about what your guests will be doing while you and the bridal party are off having photos taken. Of course, having the reception and ceremony far apart and the former in an area where parking is hard to find may be part of your plan for keeping guests occupied while you get your photos taken, but it’s not a kind way of doing it. Have drinks and entrées prepared for those who get there before the party officially starts, at the very least.

These are just some of my tips for the Perfect Wedding.

To Be continued....


  1. I have to say I am somewhat dreading my ceremony. Not only do I have to stand throughout without falling over (rather trying for me in general. Something to do with low blood pressure) but so do all the guests! Silly orthodox church not believing in pews. Mum assures me that the priest cando the “short version” of the ceremony, but I'm unconvinced. My cpusin's wedding went for almost 2 hours because the (same) priest decided to explain all the symbolism, as though anyone cared.

    But on the bright side, I seem to only be breaking one of your rules: reception ~ half an hour drive from church *shrugs*

  2. I guess this is where I ask you: Do you *need* the orthodox wedding?