Archive for January 14th, 2008

Is A BIG Reception Wrong For You?

Monday, January 14th, 2008

As a musician, I love big wedding receptions with hundreds of guests, a huge dance floor, and – of course – my band. Not only are such lavish gatherings good for the local economy in general, but they are vital for the Tanner family’s financial well-being.

But let’s face it: some brides just aren’t cut out for the additional stresses and strains that a full-scale reception entails – from the first dance to the four additional hours in high heels and wedding dress, with smile fixed firmly in place. For any number of reasons, many brides count simply surviving the wedding ceremony as challenge enough. All they want and need by way of a reception is 60 minutes in the fellowship hall to shake a few hands, cut the cake, toss the bouquet, and then get out of Dodge.

My bride this past weekend struck me as just such a person. Her one and only appearance on the dance floor was for a ceremonial first waltz with her new husband. Since she didn’t dance, nobody else did either. The band and dance floor (and the moneys which paid for both) were thus wasted. Nor did she bask in the spotlight’s glow all night. In fact, she seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by all the folderol – a sweet young lady whose ambition had only been to get married, not to be the center of the universe all night long. This may be an overstatement, but a few times, I got the impression that she’d have been much happier being married by a Justice of the Peace at the county courthouse. Such a wedding would have been quicker and cheaper, too – and much less torture for an essentially shy bride.

So why didn’t she elope? Why did she put herself through the physical and emotional exhaution of a “big” wedding?

I don’t know the answer in this case. Certainly sometimes, the big parties appear to be more Mom or Dad’s idea than the bride’s, and to say much more about parental personalities and likes than their daughter’s.

My advice to any such daughters is – when Mom or Dad suggests a bigger wedding than you are up for – just say “No.” If they persist and insist, stay firm. Never forget that it is your wedding, not theirs. If they’re so dead-set on spending your inheritance, let them make a big fat downpayment on your first house. But if you are a “one hour and out” gal who dreads the very thought of a long reception, stand your ground. Tell the folks to have their own party if they want to plan one so badly.

And please, tell them my band is available.