Family · Wedding

On having a wedding reception. You should.

Can anyone say the main goal of a wedding day isn’t to walk away married? Weddings, strictly speaking, only need a bride, a groom, and an officiant. Not all states even require witnesses. So what is the point of a reception? As long as we are man and wife at the end of the day there is no point to anything else. I’ll challenge you – there is a point, a very important point to celebrate your marriage. Family.

Traditionally, a bride’s parents would foot the bill for the bulk of the party. Today this is simply not the case. Parents have shrinking retirement funds, our dad’s can’t rely on a pension, and like many millennial kids we’ve dried their savings on our pricey college.

So, it falls to you, and your husband-to-be, to throw yourself a wedding. A lot of friends have told me they can’t afford a big celebration. And I get that, truly, I would never advise you to go into debt when you could save that money for the all-important marriage. But this isn’t about why you should have a lavish expensive party, it’s why you should have a party at all.

There is a very good likely-hood your grandparents lived and died in the same state. The opportunity to move across the country wasn’t as great as it is now. I could have had my pick of any college in any state. My parents have more or less stayed in the Great Lakes Region their entire lives. My siblings and I though – we move, we travel, we have friends world wide. So the reality is your family is more spread out today then they were 100 years ago. You may have cousins 4 states away, or college buddies on the west coast while you take a job in New York.

Weddings are family reunions a time for friends who may not have seen each other in years get together. While we can all stay connected on social media there is nothing better than actually getting together. What better reason then to celebrate such a monumental moment?

Receptions do not have to be expensive – there are lots of areas you can cut cost, blogs upon blogs dedicated to cutting cost and having inexpensive weddings. I’ve been to some really classy events that were easily financed by the couple. They all had a similar theme though – family. Family felt wanted, and welcome, at these events.

When you invite family and friends to fly, or drive, they are spending a lot of money to celebrate you. You must keep this in mind. When you are planning your big day don’t forget this isn’t just about you. You’re the bride, sure, but he’s the groom, and his parents and your parents, and everyone coming to celebrate you matters, too.

Our guests have said to us time and time again how wonderful our wedding was put together. From the gift bags at the hotel, to the convenience of not having a 3 hour gap between the ceremony and reception. The guests loved that our DJ played low, soft, music all during dinner and they didn’t have to shout at each-other. One women even complimented us that our center pieces were small and she could actually see across the room to everyone, including those at her own table. Everything we did we thought about our guests. We wanted our guests there, we wanted them to feel welcome.

Making someone feel wanted shouldn’t be expensive. Focus on putting together a day that celebrates family and no one will notice your flowers were silk, or you didn’t have chair covers. Who cares if you only serve beer and wine at your bar because the guests are too busy noticing you greeted everyone at their tables.  What’s it matter if you don’t have fancy escort cards because everyone was mingling and playing yard games at your backyard wedding anyway.

Just remember, the things you decorate your wedding with with never compare to the people you celebrate your marriage with.

Until next time,
Follow me on twitter IrisAndOleander, and don’t forget to subscribe if you like what you read.
Photo Credit:Sarah Ross photography

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