Our daughter got married last month. Having had an ultra simple wedding myself, this event was not without some worry and trepidation on my part. I am happy to report that every thing I worried about, in fact, contributed to the success of this event. And now that I am living happily on great memories and candid phone photos – I declare myself an expert and am pleased to offer the secrets to a perfect wedding.
1. Have it at the point in a pandemic where everyone is vaccinated but nobody has had a chance to socialize with anyone. Sally and Rob were engaged in the innocent days of November of 2019. They decided on a June 2021 date and began planning. On March 7 of 2020, we shopped for a wedding dress. The next week, the lockdown began. The next year was spent debating whether to cancel, postpone or stay the course. We watched case numbers and vaccine doses as though we were CDC staff. Thank you, science. We ended up with 117 vaccinated guests who were absolutely delighted to spend time with others. Relatives and friends were reunited. New friends were made. The general mood was elation.
2. Schedule some perfect weather, warm enough that jackets and ties have to be removed. Everyone knows that you can’t control the weather. The weekend prior to this wedding, it was in the 40’s with torrential rain. We had delightful, sunny weather. I concede that it mayhave been slightly too warm, especially after I saw a late-night photo of one overheated guest clad only in the college banner.
3. Add in some little children, not too many, and make sure they are extra cute. Small children can be tricky. They are unpredictable, have delicate sleep patterns and cry ever single day. We had 5 wedding children, ranging from 1 to 5. We had our moments, but Lo was all in for this event. She attended the hair and makeup event and made friends with all the bridesmaids. She took her flower girl duties very seriously and was, in fact, the only flower girl to make it down the aisle. Or at least part way, as she decided mid-way to rest in an open seat on the groom’s side. During the dinner, on her own, she visited every table to ask perfect strangers if the would like to see her perform ballet. (side note: she has not had ballet lessons). With an enthusiastic response, she proceeded to the yet empty, music-free dance floor and performed an interpretive dance to rave reviews. She ultimately amassed more dance partners than the bride.
4. Have 2 spectacular venues – a rehearsal dinner with a classic Maine bay view and a wedding at an antique inn and cider house. I cannot say enough about these locations. The rehearsal dinner @pepperrellcove had stunning views, the best seafood bar ever and glowing fireplaces. The flower arrangements were jaw-dropping. Our wedding venue, @thetompsoninn, was rustic with modern amenities. The expansive grounds included a perfect canopy of centuries-old maples under which to hold the ceremony.
5. Choose lovely bridesmaids and handsome groomsmen – I think they were chosen for how good they looked in tuxedos or in shades of green.
6. The ceremony should be just long enough to make you laugh a little and cry a little. And, if you have the opportunity to have a bagpiper play during the recessional, do so.
7. The food should be good and the beverages plentiful. I know the drinks were indeed plentiful because this wedding broke the Inn’s bar record. Not by a little.
8. Don’t underestimate the power of a 9-piece soul band with a horn section. This band was so cool that the leader’s name is Apollo. That once people started dancing, they never left the dance floor. That an extra 1/2 hour was negotiated at the 11th hour. @soulofbostonband
9.Get to know your new son-in-laws family and discover that they are people you will be happy know for the rest of your life. (We already knew this about our new son-in-law)
10. Embrace the fancy clothes, hairdos and uncomfortable shoes. In our house, someone was grumbling about having to buy a new suit and wear dress shoes. Let’s just say that once those dress shoes hit the dance floor, all was forgotten. And, when will I ever again have a chance to wear sequins and professional makeup and have my hair in a French twist?
11. Be brave and give a small speech – the only advice you need is to keep it short, light and practice it a lot.
12. End the reception with a sing-along. I didn’t see this one coming, but Robbie’s talented family led us in Loch Lomen and it was just the moment we needed.
13. Be filled with joy knowing that your beautiful daughter has selected a husband you love
14. This might be hard to pull off, but before you leave your beautiful weekend at your beautiful venue, warmed by wonderful memories, close the event with the Sunday morning spontaneity of your granddaughters, stripped naked, running through the Inn’s industrial sprinkler.