In some cultures weddings are an extravaganza, like, say, in Lebanon where thousands of guests will sometimes attend the event and unleash countless fireworks that blaze and trail through the night sky. On the other hand Tibetan weddings are a lengthy yet less lively affair sometimes lasting thirty days. And yet, no matter where you are in the world, the focus always remains the same – it’s all about love.
This week we’ve compared our own experiences to find those quintessential ingredients that we think make a great wedding.
The Right Weather
Good weather doesn’t have to mean radiant sunlight. Sometimes the rain is a welcome surprise, depending on the sensibilities of those involved. If there’s a body of water nearby and everyone is running on champagne the downpour might encourage a spontaneous wild dip. The weather just has to comply with the plans. For example, if it’s an outdoor barn dance theme and everyone’s sitting around fire pits on hay bales then a clear, starry sky would surely be ideal.
A First Song That Encapsulates The Couple
We put it to one of our team that there was a right kind of first song, namely something sweet and classical. But of course the opening song can be anything. It just has to suit the couple and translate to them. For those few minutes they inhabit their own world together anyway. In fact it was our teammate who brought this home to us when they described their cousins wedding and the song ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar, which turned that first romantic slow dance into an ebullient jig. Looking back, our way would’ve also ruled out the weeping strings of Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’, so it’s safe to say we jumped the gun.
‘…they described their cousins wedding and the song ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar, which turned that first romantic slow dance into an ebullient jig.’
The Perfect Ring
Now, we don’t claim to be a great authority on music, nor do we possess (sadly) the power to control the weather. However something we can talk about with confidence is the perfect ring. Without the proposal there is no wedding and without a ring that captivates its wearer the joy of the occasion is somewhat lessened. We tend to think that the best approach is to start as you mean to go on. Choose a ring of superlative beauty and make sure everything you do thereafter conforms to that standard.
A Feast Fit For Royalty
Weddings offer a chance for anyone – no matter where they’ve come from – to eat like royalty and enjoy a variety of stacked courses and types of wine. Entrees are one of the many bonuses that come with a wedding party and the success of the event depends on the abundance of quality food, especially the iconic tiered cake.
A Generational Peace Negotiation
A lot of the most memorable moments from a wedding take place on the dance floor. If all goes well people of every age, from various walks of life, will unite in the revelry. Parents dance alongside their children, generations merge and thrown shapes collide, and all the while everyone is protected by the unspoken manifesto: there’s no bad dancing.
An Enchanting Venue
One of the most difficult things to arrange for a wedding – and undoubtedly one of the most important – is the venue. The type of celebration is, to some degree, dependent on the place where it takes place. So if, for example, you opt for a stately home with neat lawns and ornate stone fountains, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be throwing a wild knees-up. On the other hand, if you decide to hold your wedding party in a gazebo then you’re surely free to drink and barn dance to your heart’s content. The best venues are riddled with secrets, though, so bear in mind those hidden lakes or private rooms that might help to keep the night pedaling on surprises.
Stores of Liquid Courage
It goes without saying that many of the liveliest and most exciting weddings have one thing in common – alcohol. Let’s face it we’re not living under the prohibition anymore. Alcohol is an accepted loosener of unoiled gatherings and certainly an important aspect of a successful wedding (so long as you’re well clear of the church). Alcohol also doubles as a form of liquid courage that can be utilised by the groom, facing their welcoming speech, or the emotional parents as they mark the joyous union of their families.
The Beautiful Entrance
Great weddings are defined by an undercurrent of beauty and at the centre of that beauty there is, undoubtedly, the bride. Many women dream of that moment when the church doors part and all heads turn in their direction. The gleaming white appearance of the bride, backed by a light and elegant piece of music, symbolises the significance of the moment. It is paramount that she should know her worth and grace before the congregation.
An Inflammatory Best Man
It’s not uncommon for weddings to sometimes become quite tense, in so far as everything has to go to plan, upholding a general sense of decorum. In many cases it’s not until the after party that everyone finally puts their dancing shoes on and cuts loose. Generally it seems to be true that the formalities are supposed to be poignant while the party should simply be fun. Perhaps the most important indication of the divide between these two atmospheres is the best man and his (often) intoxicated speech. The best man brings the levity and, with it, the inside stories that suitably show up the groom.
All The Right People
After looking back at all the weddings we’ve attended over the years we decided that there was one vital ingredient that joined our fondest memories. In short, the thing that makes a great wedding is the people. You could be sitting in a rundown motel on the edge of a busy motorway; as long as the families there love and can lose themselves in each other then it’s going to be an event of royal significance. That’s the great thing about weddings, really, that bizarre mix of riotous reunited siblings, overenthusiastic and inelegant uncles, young cousins trying drink for the first time and emotional elders reminiscing. Without the right people the whole thing would feel deflated. Yet when they’re all there together the wedding floats like a huge balloon, buoyed by good feeling.