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What Makes A Good Wedding?

August 20, 2010

When we set about planning our wedding, I sat down to make a list of the things that I felt were important to include. As I set about compiling it, I started thinking about weddings I’d been to and what aspects stuck in my head.  I also asked others including my parents, siblings and friends the same question and the two answers I received over and over were food and entertainment.

The meal is very important and nobody wants their guests to leave hungry or to be stuck with a menu they cannot decipher – in Ireland, beef or salmon are always a safe and popular choice.

When choosing our venue, the food quality and choices were one of the main considerations and our chosen venue offer a tasting session before we compile the final menu.

The entertainment usually comprises of a live band at the very least. Us Irish usually like a mixture of traditional numbers including some waltzes and ballads and more contemporary numbers. A lot of couples choose to hire a DJ to continue the party when the band finish.

A good band is vital to the atmosphere of the reception and we were really conscious of finding one that would keep everyone from our grandparents to our teenage cousins on the floor all night!

To encourage guests to dance, you could assign each table a song, and when the band plays that song the table then get up to dance, however only you know whether this would work or not with your crowd.

Many couples choose to entertain their guests at the drinks reception also – there are many options for example a jazz trio, a pianist, a caricaturist or Irish dancers.

If there are children at the wedding, it is important to keep them occupied as it can be a boring day for them otherwise. A children’s entertainer such as a clown or balloon artist will certainly amuse them and make them feel part of the day.

However, especially since I’ve gotten engaged, there are many other things that I note at weddings including:

  • Location – ensure that clear directions to both the ceremony and reception are given to guests who are not familiar with the area, you don’t want to raise their blood pressure before they’ve even reached the church!
  • Waiting times – whether it’s the time guests are kept waiting for the bride to arrive or the time between the ceremony and reception, bear in mind that people do not like to wait!
  • Seating arrangements – personally, when I go to a wedding I like to sit with family or friends that I know and feel I enjoy the meal more when I’m not trying to make small talk with those I’ve never met before.
  • Speeches – while I thoroughly enjoy the speech portion of the reception, there is nothing worse than those that seem to drag on and on and on. Let the wedding party know that while you’re looking forward to hear them say a few words but you’re happy that the speeches are just that – a few words!

I would love to hear what other aspects you remember from weddings and what you think makes a good wedding?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 11:52 am

    Great post again Emz. I think you have pretty much everything covered there. Church music is also an important consideration as it can set the tone for the day. We had a gospel choir and I swear they really set every one up for a fun day. We were bopping along on the altar and they just put everyone in the best mood. Food and a good band are the two key things to get right though. We received loads of compliments from our guests about the meal and we also had a band that had people on the floor all night, and a dj afterwards who played a great mix to suit his audience. Once you get those 2 elements right you are laughing. The final key point is a happy bride and groom on the day. If you are stressed your guests will be stressed. Relax and enjoy your day and everyone else will do too.

    • August 20, 2010 12:02 pm

      Thanks a mill for that – church music is definitely important, a gospel choir sounds amazing!
      I agree about relaxing and I think once the ceremony part is over you can really see couples start to unwind and enjoy themselves – afterall, there’s no going back at that stage!

      • August 20, 2010 2:54 pm

        Emz,
        I was a little on edge when it got close to the time of leaving the house. Promised Mr Boo I wouldn’t be late and was standing ready to leave half an hour before kick off time (the church is 2 minutes away) but the driver wouldn’t let me leave because he said guests would only be arriving and I would feck everything up. He was right so we waited until 1:55 and then I insisted on going. Once I saw Mr Boo I relaxed and so did he. We had a great day then. Once you remember to enjoy the day you will be fine. Pick somebody that you trust to be a point of contact for the day. Let everything go through them so that you & your new husband can relax and not be bothered with little things.

      • August 20, 2010 3:02 pm

        H2b insisted already that I make a deal that I won’t be any more than 10 minutes late which suits me but I can imagine myself being like you & almost waiting in the car!
        Will definitely take your advice on appointing a contact so we can sit back & relax – thanks girlie!

  2. August 23, 2010 9:54 am

    On the topic of table plans and seating arrangements – I am the same, want to let my hair down with the people I know and love, but I come from a big family and it’s mostly family weddings I get invited to.
    There’s an unwritten rule about having to invite ALL of the aunts and uncles, which means in general the budget doesn’t stretch to many cousins (i.e. me!). So I get put at the table of odds and ends in my age bracket, and it can be sooo hard to make conversation and once the meal is over it’s a beeline for the people I know.
    Which is why I don’t think we’ll be having one. Ok, rant over!

    For me the best weddings are where the couple look excited, happy and in love. It sets the mood for the day. Although I can empathise with those who aren’t used to the attention and look like rabbits in the headlights! 🙂

    • August 23, 2010 1:09 pm

      We have a similar unwritten rule in our family but it includes cousins!! Our venue & any of the others we looked at insist on seating plans.

      • August 23, 2010 7:22 pm

        It never dawned on me that venues may insist on them… must contact them and clear that.

      • August 24, 2010 12:40 pm

        It may not be the same everywhere but definitely worth checking!

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