When we built our Big FUN Chair a year ago I envisioned it going to Family Weekends, Spring Weeks, Fall Fests and Summer Outings, but never thought we’d use it for Weddings. Nonetheless, there I was watching a bride, in a gorgeous dress complete with her bouquet, sliding back in the seat of our giant Adirondack chair. Not only did the bride avail herself of this unique photo opportunity, but so did the parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and most of the bridal party. As a matter of fact, almost all of the fancily dressed wedding guests took their turn hopping into the chair and getting their photo snapped. Hardly something I thought I would ever witness when I first envisioned the uses for this chair. At the same wedding, while waiting to get their Big FUN Chair photo, some of the guests played checkers on a giant checker board, challenged one another to a spirited cornhole game or tried to master the Giant Connect 4 game that were also set up on the lawn. Food during the cocktail hour was also less than traditional with pizza, veggie sliders, pot stickers, meatballs and curried chicken salad in Phyllo cups; while not very “frou-frou” the food looked delicious and the guests raved about it all night.
This past week, I was lucky enough to be part of another wedding celebration. At this wedding, we provided Airbrush Koozies and Photo Bottle Openers, not Wine Charms or a Photo Booth. Not typical wedding favors, but this was not a staid or boring group. There were lines at both programs for a good portion of the night and even though there were only 120 guests we went through more than 150 bottle openers. People wrapped the Koozies around their drinks as soon as the airbrush paint was dry and I saw several being used to decorate some of the ladies handbags as they departed. Clearly the bride and groom knew their crowd.
During a family dinner the other night, my son and his girlfriend were talking about a wedding in Arizona where they were going to have a Beer Burro. Yes, that is a real thing. What, you might ask, is a Beer Burro? Believe it or not, it’s exactly what you are probably imagining; a burro, with a cooler on its back, walking through the crowd with a licensed bartender serving beer to the guests. One of our staff members is getting married in the Fall and the reception is going to be held in a barn in Tennessee, not a four-star hotel with white linens. Another family friend has a daughter tying the knot in a few weeks in Baltimore and her theme is a zero environmental footprint wedding. Everything being used can either be recycled or composted. Her catering choice? Food trucks serving a wide range of vegetarian and meat filled delights.
Regardless of the time in history, the cultural or religious heritage of the participants, weddings have always been signature events that are intended to make a statement about the participants and /or their families. For some, that hasn’t changed. For others, it’s changed quite a bit. There are still those that will opt for a traditional black-tie event with a band or DJ. Hosted in a luxury hotel or function facility where smoked salmon and rack of lamb still grace the appetizer table. For others though, they are looking for a more unique experience that is more comfortable. Remember that a wedding is the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and for the couple to say their vows and make that public commitment in a loving, supportive environment. As for the party, it really can take the shape of whatever the newly married duo wants it to look like.
So, the moral of the story, if there is one, is to celebrate however YOU want to. Forget what was “normal” for your parents and grandparents’ generations and do what you are comfortable with; do what makes you happy. For many people, a wedding only happens once so, it should be what you want it to be. Remember though, don’t go crazy, it is but one day in what I hope will be a very, very, long and happy life. If you need help in planning the big day please give us a call. As that one insurance company says “we know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two”.