"Helping people who help people"

I do not see a lot of discussion on what I consider an important wedding planning topic. At what point does a wedding go from “unique” to meaningless? Or from trendy to laughable (not at the moment, but in a few years.) How much should you strive for specialness, potentially making your wedding quite meaningless for guests? How much should you follow tradition – allowing guests to relate to your wedding as it reminds them of their own?

What is the goal of your wedding? Is it to “represent your couplehood?” Is it to celebrate the beginning of your marriage? Is it to share the journey countless relatives have taken before you or to mark your wedding as a hallmark “you” moment?

I remember one bride wanted hockey pucks for favors. Her mother was flipping out and the bride didn’t understand why. I think this is actually one of the best examples of “uniquely you” going too far. Why? Well for starters, how many guests actually play hockey? Two, of that small minority, how many really want another hockey puck? It feels like giving your friends your favorite perfume when most don’t wear perfume and those who do really don’t want YOUR favorite.

My husband and I had many conversations about this topic. We strove for a classic, timelessness while at the same time marking the event as ours through our live music choice (live jazz band but also church members), our unique wedding invitations, and a very unique wedding reception set of moments… where we collected marital wisdom from our guests and where we also invited everyone to stand up based on “who they were” – family on husbands side, my family, college friends, guests by state. It was fun and did not detract from a standard wedding reception but really enhanced the sense of community.

I don’t think there is any right or wrong. I just think it’s important to always ask yourself once or twice whether your latest wedding planning idea is something only YOU would find meaningful, or whether it’s something that lets your guests feel a part of your day.

Learn more about what we’re up to at our premarital counseling and wedding relationships website, The First Dance.

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