It’s been a while (a good three and a half years), so many of you may not remember me. Mr. Elephant and I had an amazing blue and green, travel themed wedding in Texas back in April 2011. We found our creative sides and added several DIY touches to our ceremony and reception.
My mother and I have two completely different ideas of what a wedding is. But before I tell you her thoughts on weddings in the new millennium, let me rewind to July 23, 1977. This is when Mama and Papa Walrus got married. This is 37 years ago. They had a pretty extravagant affair for the ’70s. (My dad has his afro to prove it. I would show you guys, but after their divorce, who knows what happened to those wedding albums.) They had a guest count of about 300 people at the church that is still my church home (just in a different location), followed by a reception and dinner and dancing. Sounds pretty typical right?
Now fast forward to present day, 2014. The problem is that my mother (mainly being the one in sticker shock over the price inflation of weddings over the past 30+ years) INSISTS that wedding receptions are simply: A receiving line after the ceremony, and you serve your guests cake and punch and the wedding is done. *blank stare*
There are so many details that never occurred to me before I became a bride. Among them are all of the considerations that go into building the bridal party. Of course, the overall approach is simple—choose some of your nearest and dearest and ask them to stand with you on your wedding day—but in practice, I found that there were many things we needed to consider when we were building our bridal party.
One of the first discussions we had after getting engaged was about our bridal party. Mr. Crab has a group of absolute best friends from college. They were housemates their senior year in college and have been in almost daily contact since then. Their friendship and group dynamic is really great, and they truly love each other. Mr. Crab will be the sixth of their group of seven to get married; he thought it would be cool to have all of his friends participate as groomsmen. OK, six people seems reasonable, but of course, he also wanted to include his best friend growing up and his siblings. This made for a grand total of 10.
Since we got engaged in April, we’ve been lucky enough to celebrate with four other couples on their wedding days. We’ve each been to weddings in the past and have enjoyed them, but you notice different things at a wedding when you’re planning your own. For instance, say that you notice that the couple has gone with a photo album guestbook to sign when you walk in. Before you’re engaged, you just walk up and sign a page in the book. After you’re engaged, you walk up and may say, “Hmm, not traditional, but a lot of people do this. I want to do something different.”
Going to weddings now has become about determining what we like and don’t like for our own wedding. But also, determining that you “don’t like” something doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually don’t like it. It just may mean that it isn’t your style or doesn’t go with the theme that you were going for. Everyone’s wedding is completely different and you have to determine your own style early in the process of planning your wedding and work around that. But you can take in your surroundings at weddings you attend and copy that idea, tweak it, or eliminate it.
Let’s take a wedding we went to recently. It was in a beautiful location by a lake, much like our venue that will be on the water. It was more formal than our wedding will be as it was in a ballroom with chandeliers and a plated dinner. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful, because it was.