Archive for May 9th, 2007

“Different” Isn’t Always “Better”

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Good News: The days of one-size-fits-all weddings and receptions are over. Feel free to be creative, original, and “different.”

Bad News: “Different” isn’t always “better.”

Ceremonies and receptions tend to follow a predictable pattern (with some variations by religion and ethnic background). From the exchange of rings to the tossing of the bouquet, each milestone cues the guests that the event has moved to its next phase. For your friends and family members, there is a certain comfort level associated with these familiar rites. They are somewhat akin to that sign at the mall entrance that says “you are here.” For example, cutting the cake signals the crowd that dinner is over, and the party portion of the evening has begun. They feel more free to dance or visit at other tables, rather than sit in their assigned seats.

For this reason, the wholesale shuffling of the usual order of events sometimes creates a sense of confusion among your guests. Instead of knowing “you are here,” they wonder “we are… where?”

This is why it is wise to personalize your event, without totally ignoring the usual conventions. So, how can you make your wedding “different” – but not “too different?” Here are a couple of simple suggestions:

1. Offer the bridal bouquet to the longest-married couple, rather than just tossing it to your single friends (or not tossing it at all.)

2. At many receptions, the ceremonial “first dance” is between the bride and groom. This is followed by the “Daddy dance.” For a creative change, dance first with your father, then have the groom cut in. Not only does this alter the typical flow of the special dances, it symbolically represents your transition from daughter to wife.

By balancing your desire to be “different” with your guests’ wish to know “where they are,” you can create an event that is both unique and yet comfortingly familar. And that’s the best “different” of all.