Lately, I have spent many hours watching the hit show: Four Weddings. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that 4 brides compete to win the ultimate honeymoon by having the other 3 brides judge her wedding. Scoring is based on the venue, food, dress, and overall experience. The bride with the highest score is presented with a dream honeymoon, delivered by her husband arriving in a limo. So might this show cause us to question what and who is most important on your wedding day? Maybe!? What I find most interesting about Four Weddings, is the opportunity to listen to the other 3 judging brides comments about each phase of the wedding. In this age of the “personal and unique” weddings, I expected to see high marks for those that put together an affair, highlighting their individual tastes! But as I suspected all along, there is a fine line between “personal and unique” and just plan narcissistic! Guest comfort levels on this series seems to be all over the map. I’ve seen everything from guests standing in the heat of a public park while shirtless men walked by, to having to battle fire ants and gnats at the reception! Some cocktail hours were held in a cramped and tiny room, and some offered no food to their guests for a couple of hours! And yet other’s were sometimes over the top in providing too much of everything………so where’s the happy medium? Nearly all of the winning couples seemed to understand that while their wedding day was a celebration of their love and commitment to one another, whether it be “unique” or “traditional,” it was also very important to provide their guests with…………yes I’ll say it…………A Party! I wrongly assumed that a television series dedicated to “competing weddings,” so to speak, would be….well……balanced! I figured the spoils would probably go to those fortunate enough to spend the national debt on their wedding…..but happily……that doesn’t seem to be the case. The reality is, like I’ve said many times before, it isn’t about the money you’ve spent, it’s about the joy you project!
The highest scores given from each guest bride, seems to be centered around what happens at the reception. It appears as long as the guests are comfortable at the ceremony, ie……seated in shade in the heat…sheltered from bugs and bad weather……they are happy and give the appropriate score. But things get a bit more interesting at the reception. This is the time where guests feel it’s their time to be “rewarded” so to speak, for being a part of your big day! So what were the most important elements that garnered the highest or lowest scores?
Food, music, venue, and often in that order. Low scores are given to brides that make their guests wait WAY TOO LONG to get something to eat. Not that the hors d’oeuvres need to be elaborate….just available! Cocktail hour..if there is one…needs to accommodate guests comfortably and not be crowded or fussy. And while you might think the food is to be a reflection of your taste…..this is where you need to be a bit more flexible. Try and think about the average palette. You do not have to have your food catered by a 5 star French Chef to achieve satisfaction……a good balance of nicely prepared vegetarian and meat lover selections are perfect. The main objective is that the food be served on time, hot, and be tasty!
The music was a biggie….even more than I anticipated. If you can’t dance to it…..then most of the guest brides were very unhappy. So think about that when choosing your music…..can you dance to it? If you are a young couple, and say Hip Hop is your thing…great….make some selections that satisfy your taste, but remember the age range of your guest, and try to play some music that speaks to them. This is the party time of the day! Everyone should be able to dance!
And lastly, is your venue large enough or too large? Have you provided places for guests to sit and relax, or get out of the hot sun? The where doesn’t seem to be as important as the amenities provided for guest comfort. No one wants to spend $$$ on an outfit, hair, and makeup, just to feel like a wilted flower by 4pm!!
So brides and grooms….I ask you to sit down and watch this show before planning your special day. Get some ideas on how and what might make your guests fondly remembering your wedding for years to come. You will see that it isn’t necessarily about trying to achieve that dreaded word…”perfection,” or how little or expansive your budget is…..it’s about a realistic balance on what you want, and really what your guest’s expect. Trust me…with a little planning…it isn’t hard to achieve both! Have fun all!