I've been thinking a lot about weddings lately mainly because we continue to be invited to so many of them. In 2008 we attended six weddings, the last of which was our own in December. I've learned a lot about what makes weddings good (or average. The goal is to leave thinking it didn't suck). But I really know what makes them bad. When I reflect back on all of these weddings there have been a lot of fun times, but the bad ones stand out the most.
Let me start by saying I love weddings. We have a lot of beautiful people in our lives, and if I didn't love them so much I wouldn't attend all of these blessed events. But when you've been so many of them you have very strong opinions about how weddings are supposed to go. To my friends getting married this year and beyond the number one most important thing that will kill your wedding, even more than food or booze, is timing. We left a wedding once that had great food, good booze, and I imagine a promising deejay. But when we didn't finish dinner until 9 pm I was over it. Keep it moving.
Obviously next on the list are food, booze and entertainment. I don't care how you serve your food (although I am partial to family style and it's a rarity), but make sure it's decent. In all honesty in 33 weddings I can think right this minute of one whose food stands out for being amazing. It was a casual outdoor wedding with a small reception at a delicious cajun restaurant in Northern Michigan. Perfection. I can think of the bad ones, but for the most part in my experience wedding food is average. Just make sure it doesn't suck.
Then there's booze. Go all out people. A cash bar is obviously verboten, and I don't think I've been to a wedding with one. Have an open bar with good booze and don't cheap out here.
I don't care if you have a deejay or band, but either way it's got to be good. I went to a wedding recently where the band was so out of tune it was laughable. They couldn't remember words to the songs. I think the wedding was fine otherwise, but the only thing I remember was that terrible band. It overshadowed all else.
Then there are the bad weddings. The worst ever was one we attended a few months after we'd been dating. It was a friend of my husband's who had a full mass ceremony at 10 am. We drove to Sandusky, Ohio for the wedding which ended promptly at 11 am. The "reception" was at a museum where there wasn't enough seating and the food was basically cheese and crackers. Oh and did I mention it was a dry wedding? Nothing says I hate my friends more than a dry wedding. Nothing.
|I'm not sure who took this at the worst wedding ever, but it's hilarious. I was so annoyed. And blonde. Also we were babies.|
We've had so many fun times at these weddings, but I don't remember details. It leads me to believe that again, unless the details are just awful, nobody really cares.
Some more memorable moments:
- 2006: my BFFs wedding reception on a boat in the Potomac River with the climax being fireworks over the river. Gorgeous.
|At my BFF's wedding in 2006. Holy eyeshadow and hair on both of us (also my most worn dress).|
- 2007: my husband and friends deciding to "ruin" a guy's wedding (they're jerks). We double fisted drinks and played "wedding bingo", checking off cliche wedding events. We got the deejay in on the game. I was in line for the dollar dance (check bingo square...also please don't do a dollar dance), and the deejay announces, "This one goes out to the troops". I proceeded to shout: "Bingo motherf#ckers!" and run around the room getting high fives. It was the most fun wedding ever despite its ridiculousness. This wedding was also the first of four consecutive wedding weekends. I hated life by the last one.
|My eyes are not even close to focused. Also wear #2 of the dress.|
- 2008: I married my great love in a Christmas wedding with snow on the ground and my heart exploding. Also my husband loves old music and I let him be in charge of the deejay. At one point nobody was dancing, and I told our deejay to ignore my husband and play whatever he wanted. Later I noticed the dance floor was packed, and everyone was dancing to Britney Spears' Womanizer. Whatever works.
- 2009: attending two weddings in one night in West Virginia. My cousin and old friend/college roommate got married in the same town on the same day. Fortuitous.
|With my family before my cousin's wedding|
- 2012: being a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding and drinking so much champagne I took of my shoes (I think taking off shoes at a wedding is a cardinal sin and have only ever done it after consuming copious amounts of alcohol). I may have also thrown up in my mother-in-law's yard. I'm not sure if she reads my blog, but if she does, I'm sorry.
|Before the wedding|
|After the shoes came off.|
- 2014: heading to Northern Michigan for a good friend's wedding. We rented a house with three couples and danced our tails off. Hands down best deejay of any wedding we've ever attended. Also my husband ran to the dance floor and grabbed my hand only for me to lose my footing at the same time. It appeared to all that he'd thrown me across the dance floor, and we still laugh about it.
Weddings can be super fun and momentous occasion. Keep the event moving, have at least decent food, good booze, and awesome tunes. I found photos from nearly every wedding we've attended, but I'm missing a few. Looking for the pictures has reminded me of what an amazing adventure this is: this life my husband and I share. Thank you friends for including us in your beautiful days and for letting us drink your booze. It should go without saying that we'll drink a lot of it. Cheers!
|Pontoni wedding 2007 in Northern Michigan. Best food ever. Also only time I've ever kissed the bride on the lips.|
|Bratney wedding 2007 in Plymouth, MI. This purple dress is also a repeat offender.|
|Raha wedding 2008 in Grand Rapids. Super fun dancing.|
|Curry wedding 2008 in Morgantown, WV. My husband may or may not have gotten into an argument at the bar during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.|
|Weishart wedding 2008 in Philippi, West Virginia.|
|Nobis wedding in 2008 in Southeast Michigan|
|Little/Johnson wedding in Las Vegas in 2009. Is it wrong to still refer to it as the "Little Johnson" wedding? I think not.|
|Herron wedding in Detroit, fall of 2009|
|Sweeney wedding, fall 2009 in Southeast Michigan|
|My brother's wedding in Norfolk, VA in June 2010|
|Chris as a groomsman in a college buddy's wedding, 2010 in Grosse Pointe, MI|
|Espinoza wedding, Howell, MI in July 2013. My husband's cousin. I was still hungover from a work conference and dance off the night before.|
|Mann/Perschetz reception in Detroit, 2014. I may have taken my shoes off on this night. I may have also walked barefoot on the streets in Detroit.|
|Awesome dancing at the Turco wedding. I may have just groped the bride in this shot.|
|Mulchay wedding, Detroit in May 2015. When I learned babies and weddings are a tough combo.|
|O'Meara wedding in July 2015. A Friday night reception at Spartan Stadium|
|Will's first wedding in Manistee. Also our first weddings on back to back days.|
|There are no photos of Chris and me from this wedding last summer, so this one of my girlfriend and me will substitute!|
|Before my sister-in-law's wedding last October|