Already, I’m talking to people who are planning their wedding next spring, and even further down the road. Some are calm, some are stressed. I try to remind them that their actual wedding day will fly by, and what matters most, even in the time leading up to the event, is that the couple is having fun. But, I understand how hard it can be hard to not let the small details become overwhelming.
Earlier this summer, I attended the wedding of two of my dear friends. I was in awe [of the fact] that they didn’t let the wedding overtake their lives in the months leading up to their big day (They took their engagement photos two weeks prior to the wedding, and had the ceremony rehearsal the day of the wedding!). Their attitude and approach seemed to influence the general ambiance of the wedding day, and it was quite special.
Here are a few things I took note of during their wedding that created a casual and meaningful evening.
Time to Mingle Before the Ceremony
While lovely some wedding ceremonies can be quite long. What I loved about my friends’ wedding,–which took place in the lush backyard of family friend with Mt. Tam in full view–was that there was time for guests to mingle before the ceremony. Oftentimes, cocktails are served after the ceremony. Offering refreshments in advance was a nice touch, as it helped the guest interact and catch up before the festivities began.
No Assigned Seating!
Another thing I appreciated about my friends’ wedding was the open rather than assigned seating. This shift from a more formal sit-down dinner also alleviated the couple’s stress beforehand because they didn’t have to go through the cumbersome process of creating a seating arrangement.
The food was served buffet-style on the deck around a pool. Tables were also strategically placed on the deck as well as on the perimeter of the driveway-turned-dance floor. Tall bar tables added to the festive, casual atmosphere by allowing some people to stand if they preferred, rather than sit [down] for dinner. While I understand this style might not work for all weddings, it worked so well for this one and facilitated a casual, genial atmosphere.
A Non-Traditional Dessert
Instead of an elaborate cake, chocolate chip cookies were served for dessert. The backstory: The recipe came from the groom’s days as a flight attendant for United Airlines, when he baked cookies for his passengers during flights. He continued to bake cookies for his fiance throughout their courtship, which his partnered loved.
They decided to give the recipe to the caterer to make instead of a cake. It was a memorable touchpoint joked about throughout the evening, and also allowed the couple to share an endearing story with their guests. If you’re planning your wedding soon, remember to slow down and enjoy the process. Incorporate little things into the day, like nixing the formal seating, that help make your wedding day special and will take some pressure off the planning process.
Photos by Sonya Yruel Photography