I’ve been to a couple of fairly ‘fancy’ wedding reception at exclusive places that only well-to-do people frequent and can book weddings at. And they were wonderful!
But mostly there were the others. One was the wedding of my brother and sister-in-law. After the wedding ceremony itself, everyone spilled into the church basement to a feast poured out of Tupperware that had been brought in prior to the ceremony by all the brides farming and small town relatives. A potluck wedding Reception. There was chopped ham, pies, all the usual country fare. No music, no dancing, (No Booze either!) and yet great conversation. It was just as joyful and fun as the posh ones.
Another wedding was scheduled in the morning and afterwards the guests went to the couples home for a reception of breakfast, champaign, coffee and cake. It was wonderful, warm, intimate, and simple.
When my (headstrong) sister got married, she requested no reception after the ceremony. (Don’t ask me why). Well, her Mother-In-Law, (who is just as headstrong), held a reception at her home anyway. There were appetizers, drinks, and a very beautiful cake. Not a dinner, but a nice place to socialize. (My sister ended up really appreciating it!)
After my neighbor’s son got married, everyone went down to the church basement for cake, coffee and punch. Simple as that!
I follow the blog of a guy who recently got married in a very simple wedding (In the U.K. somewhere) with just immediate family. His father-in-law brought the wedding cake which happened to be 24 Krispy Kremes of all flavors and frostings. The Bride and Groom were thrilled with it, and he posted a picture of it on his blog!
(This is an actual picture of his cake, I thought I’d put you in the proper mood. See the Bride and Groom there?
He gave me permission, see comments below! Made my day!!!)
I won’t comment much on my own wedding, which was nice and paid for by my parents. It was at a supper club in the country, on the night of the worst blizzard in 10 years, January 7th in Minnesota.
What really made it memorable was the wicked snow storm. On their way home, one couple (who was in dire straights financially at the time) went off the road in the snowstorm. The insurance company later said the car was totaled and gave them a check for $2,900. The husband took the money, fixed the car himself for $900 and kept the rest for much needed income! To them my wedding was a VERY joyful event!
One guest flew in from Mexico. He happened to be totally unprepared for a Minnesota Winter Snow Storm. He is someone who has never forgotten that day! The warmest thing he had was the suit coat from his rented tux. Poor guy got a taste of the Arctic. But he LOVED it and still laughs when he tells the story of how he nearly froze to death, of how the snow was blowing horizontally and not falling vertically, of how you couldn’t see the road in front of you. No one remembers the band at the reception, or the pretty music at my ceremony. But people still remember the storm!
One out-of-town guest said her hair froze when she went outside after her shower and hadn’t properly dried her hair!
Those are some of the things people remember about my wedding. I love that!
When my sister lost her baby at 8 months, in utero, her good friend called her and said she’d arrange the funeral. When this friend asked my sister who she’d want to cater the reception after the funeral, my sister sighed, “No caterers. Just tell everyone it’s a potluck” Her friend acted a little shocked, “No one goes to a funeral and expects it to be a potluck.”
My sister insisted.
To make a long story short, people went wonderfully crazy with the potluck. Everyone, knowing that the grief of my sister was enormous, that she’d waited a long time to find the man she would marry, and had been so thrilled at finally being pregnant at 40 years of age, and then lost the baby tragically a month before it was to be born, EVERYONE rallied. Everyone went all out and brought the most wonderful dishes, drinks, desserts etc. My sister’s friend was so surprised at the quantity and quality of the food, that she ended up making her daughters bridal shower a potluck event! Hey, I just state the facts. I’m not recommending anything!
(Much to her and her husbands joy, my sister ended up successfully having 2 children after this loss…)
Point being, I love big and fancy weddings, for them that can afford it. (Many can’t afford it and have one anyway!)
I think whats interesting is that while the food, and dishes, and location can all be wonderful , just as wonderful and impressive are the more simple affairs!
My own daughters have told me that if they get married, they would want a small affair of family and a few close friends. I’m certainly all for it! And after sending them all off to college, so is my wallet!