July 20, 2008

Five Tips For A Perfect Wedding

Well would they ever look so happy again
The handsome groom and his bride
As they stepped into that long black limousine
For their mystery ride
--- Bruce Springsteen, Walk Like A Man

"You don't know much about marriage," my wife Sharmila tells me. After 20 anniversaries, she'd know. I know a bit about weddings though, having seen many over the years.

We just got back from a wonderful wedding a few hours ago. What made it so special? First, the newlyweds were perfect for each other. Their faces and movements clearly showed the chemistry between them. Each alone was incomplete. Together they are finished. Both families were in harmony too. The pleasant atmosphere radiated through the event.
Me and you and you and me.
No matter how they toss the dice,
it had to be.
--- The Turtles,
Happy Together
What Weddings Need
While weddings are great for the weddees, they can drag on for the guests --- especially for guests who don't know them. This one worked very well for everyone. Here's why.
  1. Momentum: keeping on schedule kept the celebration from stalling. The wedding only took 20 minutes and set the snappy but unrushed pace.
  2. Short speeches: even better, they were interspersed during the evening. This worked much better than lumping all the talking together.
  3. Great food: even for vegetarians and others requiring special diets
  4. Assigned seating: each spot had the handwritten name of a guest. This counteracted guests who dashed to grab the best seats for themselves.
  5. Personal touch: little things showed rare care. The invitations looked handwritten (probably a special font) and were assembled by hand. This made them extra special and saved money.
Interesting Twists
This wedding benefited from an exceptional location, the enclosed, grassy courtyard of Hart House on the campus of The University of Toronto. Two guests commented that the setting looked like Hogwarts out of the Harry Potter movies --- but pleasant. The dining hall also exuded history (but no air conditioning).

Rather than signing a guest book, guests wrote their sentiments on pieces of blank picture puzzles (roughly one puzzle per table). The newlyweds then assemble the puzzles. Probably after the honeymoon.


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