Different but Same

Wedding receptions are different but same as…well, maybe like many other dinner parties…right? Just more expensive…there are hosts, guests, a meal – if you’re lucky, amazing dessert and a venue where the ambiance just changes with the occasion and the theme. 

When my husband and I were getting married, we knew we didn’t want to waste money on a single day. At least not when we didn’t yet own a house and we definitely wanted to buy one after paying off our large outstanding student loans. (Ha! What we wouldn’t give for those projected loan amounts for our own three children today! How niave we were.)

We decided that we would not have a big wedding reception. In the perfect plan (other than a fleeting thought of elopement when my mother suggested a double wedding with my younger sister and her groom) we would have a short ceremony in the backyard of the new home we would buy. We would toast champagne and eat really delicious pound cake with luscious butter cream frosting. We would all drink and be merry and in the end, we would be married, our family and friends would be a part of it and we would own a house…all for the same price of a 5 hour event in some stupid banquet hall.

Then, we started talking about who we would invite and the whole idea got complicated. 

  • My mom’s cousins had not come to my sister’s wedding – could they come? 
  • His cousins came to everything and invited us, yup, you guessed it, to everything. They should definitely come.
  • My grandparents had friends from NYC whom they hadn’t seen in ages – could they come, too? 
  • Our bridal party would be ten…twelve would be too many.
  • Oh, and then the other grandparent’s siblings would be hurt if they found out the out-law cousins came – couldn’t invite those people without them…

All of a sudden, the idea of our new house, and over a hundred family members and friends and just champagne and cake would be a bit overwhelming, and not quite enough…space.

This brilliant plan of ours wasn’t just a casual thought, we’d planned it all out and then suddenly, we had to start some serious alternative research wedding venues for 100 to 150 guests. 

Sometimes, just to have fun…we’d start out the conversation as if we were hosting a family reunion, say on a vineyard. Of course, it was literally one price…and as we casually mentioned that one of us would be wearing a white dress and the other a tuxedo, the price miraculously changed – for the worse. 

We’d gone from a small affair, just champagne and cocktails, to a full blown traditional wedding mass and reception complete with 125 guests, dollar dances with the bride…it was more wonderful, memorable and we wouldn’t go back and do it any other way. It was one amazing day that started off our long marriage relationship and yes, it was different, but same as a family reunion posing as a fancy dinner party.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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