Thursday, February 7, 2019

Question for the Community: What have been some of the best weddings you have attended?

Photos by Salt Water New England
An amalgamated question for the community:
To give some readers ideas for their own events, as a guest, what have been some of the best weddings you have attended?   And why?  What were the details that made it interesting?  And with other weddings, what didn't you like?




28 comments:

  1. Some of the best wedding I have attended have been in the late winter to early spring. Happily wearing a navy blazer with shirt, tie, and British Khaki pant, the temperature is more suitable for me to enjoy myself. Other notable, are outdoor tents with refreshments for everyones liking. Some less enjoyable weddings are summer weddings in the southern heat, seersucker suits only take people so far.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The best weddings keep things going, not leaving the guests standing around waiting for the wedding party to show up. Includes kids, with a place (and baby sitters) for them to go and be entertained. Band not too loud so conversations can be had. Limited bar, drunk people are boring and embarrassing. Really good, fresh, but simple food that holds well. And a bride and groom who are socially aware, and inclusive, not just partying with their friends and ignoring the uncool folks. Not too huge, not too pretentious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I am saying, a wedding that is a true celebration of the union, rather than showing off anything to anyone.

      Delete
  3. My wife and I got married on New Years Eve, with a black tie optional invite. We were really surprised how many people not only made it, but dressed the part. The reception was at a hotel and we had a band to rock in the New year. Plus, it's a great date for an anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No long "funny" speeches or toasts. And no one remembers much about a "production", except that it was that, and sort of a hassle.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Best Weddibg: my own at the chapel if the UN in New York, just my wife and I with a small group of friends and family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. With a Mass and benediction by a proper priest and not imitation of a ritual by exchanging teary vows under an arch with sea/ruins/forest/fountain as a focal point. Sorry if offending. This message is coming from France and not from an older person... Oh and no dog bringing the rings, this is a job for a nice child who will remember all his/her life.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My daughter's wedding in Hawaii. She started to plan a big wedding and realizing the cost and complexities while trying to plan and work full-time, she decided instead to get married on the beach in Hawaii. It was beautiful. A simple but elegant long white dress, he in white shirt and pants, both with leis, about ten people in attendance, a magical ceremony with the sunset in the background, and a lovely dinner for all at a beautiful restaurant. Each person paid their own way and hotel to Hawaii and made a vacation out of the trip as well, and they paid for the restaurant for everyone, their own flowers, dress, etc. It was so simple but beautiful and elegant at the same time. Everyone was invited to attend, but most said no when they didn't want to pay for the trip. It made them realize how many people really cared about attending their wedding. They were happy with the results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely. One pushback on your claim that it helped them realize who "really cared"- attending a wedding like that can be very expensive in time off and in money. Of course, everyone should have they wedding they want, but one can't make assumptions about their friends' and families' commitment based on their willingness to make a major expenditure.

      Delete
    2. K, thanks for saying that. Destination weddings are often used as a presumtive way for people to try to decide who their "real" friends are. Unfortunately, it's a poor predictor.

      Delete
    3. I would think that the friends who didn't attend the wedding in Hawaii probably didn't feel very important to the bride and groom. A friend's daughter wanted to have her wedding at the Bahamas but her father paid for all of the guest's airline tickets and accommodations. I thought it was ridiculous to spend that kind of money on a wedding but they could afford to do that and I think it was the right thing to do under the circumstances.
      When I married, I contacted those most important to me and I made certain that they could attend before I set the date and place.
      My ideas about weddings are to keep them simple, meaningful and elegant but what is most important is don't begin a marriage in debt! I married in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. and my honeymoon was spent sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. It was truly lovely and unforgettable.

      Delete
    4. I agree with these replies to my comment, and perhaps I expressed myself poorly. There were some who truly couldn't afford to attend, and she understood that very well. But there were others whom she knew could afford it, her best friends since childhood, for instance. So, while I didn't express myself well, I hope this clarifies.

      Delete
  8. Although I was married in a kilt, which is also how the groomsmen were dressed (the bride wore the usual white outfit), the interesting part was that my wife was a schoolteacher and many of the children in her 6th grade class were there. It was a church wedding in downtown D.C., across the street from where both my wife and her father were born. Our 40th anniversary is this coming April.

    The most interesting, however, was the weddings of one of my nephews. His wife is Korean with a Jewish stepfather. There were actually two weddings. The first, at a hotel, was a traditional Korean wedding with all the trimmings (chestnuts). There was even a young woman playing a zither-like instrument. The next day, there was an equally traditional American wedding with a good dose of Jewish traditions thrown in for good measure. Not only prayers and breaking glass but people carried around on chairs. It lasted until well after dark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our whole class was invited to my third grade teacher's wedding (ceremony only). I still remember what a great time we had! Your wife's students will have a life-long memory :)

      Delete
  9. Two small affairs, less than 60 guests each, in 2002 and 2006. Quiet, fairly traditional, not a lot of silly/loud/tacky extra hoopla or conspicuous spending, and most people dressed fairly conservatively for the occasions. Very pleasant occasions. Just about everyone seemed to have a nice time as far as I remember. In stark contrast to two overblown hollywood productions (intentional lowercase 'h') with a cast of hundreds, and one very sad destination wedding of a family member, to which almost no one else came because not only was it outside the U.S. but also the week between Christmas and New Year's.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

    ReplyDelete
  10. My favorite was certainly not the best. The bride was from a broken family, and was clearly far along in her pregnancy. The wedding was at a tiny country church, very conservative, and the groomsmen included two loud and ethnic city young men, one with obvious traces of cocaine like snow on his bushy mustache. The groom was sweating profusely, and the curious mix of guests did not quite know how to accommodate this unusual scene. One bridesmaid was clearly nonplussed that she was asked to participate in this wedding as the bride was only a casual acquaintance, not a close friend, but she was too kind to refuse.

    The reception followed in a tacky chain hotel thirty miles away, with an open bar. The groom and best man after drinking heavily got into a loud argument that resulted in fisticuffs. While we all looked on in horror at this raucous squabble, the glass punchbowl proceeded to shatter into pieces spontaneously, despite nobody being within fifteen feet of the table at the time. Punch ran out across the snacks surrounding the bowl and onto the floor, making quite a mess. This spontaneous disaster seemed to sum up the whole day's proceedings.

    The marriage resulted in three children, followed by an acrimonious divorce about ten years later.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The question makes me nostalgic and I start remembering the wedding of a dear friend in August 1968.

    The setting: the bride's childhood home....a saltwater farm on a Maine cove. A rambling Victorian yellow farmhouse with white trim. A breezeway between the house and barn with a brick terrace and beyond a grassy area with stone steps to a path toward the beach and cove beyond. Sailboats of friends of the family (the father of the bride was a well-known yacht designer) anchored in the cove and, since some guests arrived by sea, their cruising sailboats were all decked out with code flags flying—aka “dress ship.”.

    The wedding party: the bride's maids of honor in off-white dresses with blue satin sashes. The groom's party in black slacks and off-white jackets with blue bachelor buttons in their lapels.

    The ceremony: a simple one at the little local non-denominational “Union Church”

    The reception: in the late afternoon on the terrace. Tables were covered with crisp white tablecloths trimmed with the thematic blue satin sashes and on them were placed trays of tea sandwiches and a variety of hors d'oeuvres. The multi-tiered wedding cake was made by a dear friend of the mother of the bride. A large punch bowl held fish house punch for the adults and another fruit punch for the younger set.

    Missing conspicuously: a hired photographer, a hired videographer, a hired caterer, a sit-down dinner, a professional florist, favors for the guests to take home, monogrammed matchbooks, napkins and glasses, an open bar, a band, music and dancing. By five or so the newly weds made their way to their secret getaway for their wedding night and the remaining guests all went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant.

    Weddings were reasonable then; now you have to mortgage your house and pay for it for years after. Oh, for the simpler days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weddings at home are my favorite. My wedding was at my husband's childhood home in Rockport, MA. We had a reception in the side yard and the wedding cake in the dining room and used his grandmother's linen. My sisters were the bridal party and they wore simple dresses of their own choosing. Our friend made my wedding dress as a gift. We had about 100 guests and it was catered, but simply. My husband and I stayed at an inn down the street that overlooked the ocean. Long after the guests left we went back to the house and ate leftover wedding cake with our parents and siblings.

      Delete
  12. My little sister got married (for a second time)a year and a half ago in Marblehead, MA. A beautiful, small affair that began with her daughter and I and some nieces making the bouquet and some tall vases for the steps of the Old Towne House where they held a champagne reception and the wedding ceremony performed by a dear friend from Newport. Then we all walked down to the King Hooper Mansion for a lovely, September afternoon cocktail reception and catered (a friend of the couple) buffet outside and in. After that, whoever was left, all headed, on foot once again, over to the Boston Yacht Club for more storytelling and cocktails. Out of town guests stayed at the BYC so no need for cars the whole weekend!!! It was just lovely!!! Very intimate and casual yet graceful all at the some time. I would do the same even for a first marriage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a perfect wedding! :) The bride and groom both have excellent taste!

      Delete
  13. My preferences are laced through in the entries above. Keep it moving along, don't get wrapped around the axle over "perfect" details, make it a serious event, no cutesy touches, hold it in a comfortable venue & time of year so people dressed formally aren't sweating to death, good food, reasonable amount of drink, and it all ends when B & G leave before everybody is totally worn out.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A friend of mine married on top of Shortoff Mountain in Linville Gorge, NC, in the early 1970s. We took a van filled with adult guests up the mountain as far as the logging road would take us and then we hiked the rest of the way.

    The bride and groom sat under a beautiful sky on the edge of a cliff overlooking the pretty gorge while a relative officiated. All were in jeans and t-shirts and it felt very real. After the "ceremony," we hiked down to the van and went to their house for a Southern-style barbecue.

    A great time was had by all ~ except for the poor guy we accidentally left behind. (He was eventually rescued.) Oh, and the couple is still married!

    ReplyDelete
  15. At the risk of being too clever by half, my wedding was the best wedding I've attended.

    After that, however, my wife and I attended our very dear friends' wedding when we lived in Nevada. They were married by Elvis in Las Vegas to make it "official". The next year we attended their family wedding in the bride's home country in Scandinavia. It was a formal event in a 14th century cathedral. Both events were wonderful.

    Recently, we attended a family member's wedding where the bride's father's bluegrass band got back together to perform the live music for the reception. My wife taught our pre-teen son to two-step. I'm still listening to the playlist.

    In retrospect, I don't think I've ever been to a bad wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mine of course! My fiancé and I enjoyed a friends wedding in 1990, when we heard what they spent 30k! (a lot of the time) I said, let's buy a house instead! We had a simple church wedding (my father a Lutheran minister married us) and then a party at our new house with about 60 friends and family. A local restaurant catered and we had a five cd disc changer for music, it was lovely. We raised two sons in that house, and it appreciated so nicely that it provided a substantial down payment on the seaside home we live in now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I used to do wedding photography. I got a call one day about a wedding not far from where I lived, it was a referral from a friend. I took the job, but then I started getting information that concerned me--young bride, just out of high school. Outdoor wedding with a church contingency plan. July. And a heat wave.

    Then I got there and all of my concerns went out the window. I found out that the bride's father had been seriously injured in a car accident several years before and was not only in a wheelchair, but completely unable to care for himself. Because of this, even though the bride was very young, she was very mature for 18. Her mother told me herself how much she was going to miss having her there to help, but that she realized it was time for her to have her own life. And the family and friends had all rallied together to be sure her day was very special. Yeah, it was hot as hell, I thought I was going to melt. And we had to hurry up the cake cutting because it literally was melting. But it was one of the most heartfelt weddings and receptions I've ever been to. ALL of the food had been made by individuals as their contribution to the wedding and it was some of the best I've ever had at a wedding. Everyone had a great time as well.

    That was in the mid 90's. I recently looked the couple up on social media and I'm happy to report that they are still together 20+ years later. I don't think too many people can say that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Classic weddings in a church or cathedral are always the best. The setting underscores the import decisions the bride and groom are making. (A wedding in a park or backyard seems as monumental as a picnic or a birthday party.) Invite the kids – they lighten the mood and are so much fun on the dance floor at the reception. Overdo the flowers, they are always memorable. Don’t overthink the food – we guests are there to celebrate you, the meal is secondary. Limit the bar selections. Even the best of us can get carried away at a good party with strong drinks, and we don’t want our memories of your wedding dampened by a hangover. Include champagne. Say no to favors. Make space for a few little surprises – we played the first dance songs of our wedding guests during dinner and included floral arrangements in the bathrooms. Don’t let your families pressure you into adding things they aren’t paying for. At the end of the day, be sure to end the party with a little flourish rather than allow tired guests to sheepishly trickle out.

    That being said, one of the favorite weddings I attended was at a construction site – the front lawn of a beautiful historic building under repair. The groom was the architect. After so many years together, we friends assumed the couple would never officially marry. But they threw a wedding together in just a couple of weeks with a potluck at a mutual friend’s house and the bride’s family in from Europe to celebrate. They were so much in love. They couldn’t stop smiling. Love, I think, is the most important part.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I loved our wedding. Reception was on a beautiful Broward, cruising Boston Harbor in the late afternoon. No limos, no band, no seating chart...we left the photographer at the dock.

    The only bad moment I recall at a wedding, was a college friend's. One of the other members at the country club reported to the manager that there were 2 men in a stall in the men's room - he thought they were engaged in behavior best left in private....turns out they were just snorting cocaine. Ah, the 80s.

    ReplyDelete