Monday, August 23, 2010

Excellent Wedding Ideas

I recently attended a wonderful wedding at Casa Real, located in Pleasanton, CA. So many couples seem to think they need a huge, expensive bash, but this couple managed to throw an excellent, fun wedding without breaking the bank. Here's how they did it:

1. Guests could get pictures taken in a photo booth at the reception. The booth would print out two sets of pictures--one for you, and the other for an album for the bride and groom. Guests could use props and accessories, such as an Afro wig or Elton-John-style sunglasses. On paper, I admit it sounds gauche, but everyone I saw had a great time using the booth. Plus, each guest had an instant souvenir.

2. The food was served family-style, which cut costs. Each table received plates or bowls with beef, salmon, mashed potatoes, and green peas. The food was simple but tasty.

3. Instead of having a big wedding cake, the bride and groom had a small wedding cake for themselves and cupcakes for guests. (See picture above.) In addition to cupcakes, guests could go to another table and get five different kinds of large gourmet cookies. Guests could also take cookies home in a small paper pouch.

4. There was an open bar, and most people ordered the suggested drink, which was a cranberry mojito.

5. The simplicity of the wedding allowed guests to focus on the speeches and the bride and groom. One of the best parts included a game between the bride and groom. They had to bring their chairs to the middle of the hall, sit with their backs against each other, and exchange one shoe. (Each person now has one shoe from the groom and one shoe from the bride, and neither person can see each other.)

The best man would then ask questions, and both the bride and groom would have to raise a shoe in response. For example, "Who controls the remote?" "Who hogs the bed?" "Who wears the pants in the relationship?" "Whose side of the room is messier?" And so on. (Some questions caused the groom to raise both shoes, much to the delight of the audience.)

6. Instead of having coffee delivered directly to the table, guests could go to a table and get their own coffee or tea. I found this arrangement more convenient than most weddings, where I would often want more coffee and would have to flag someone down to get a cup.

7. The DJ was great--he played mostly pop music, and I liked most of the songs he played. (It was a long time since I'd heard the Jackson Five's ABC.)

I had a great time, and I encourage more couples to ditch the fancy, cookie-cutter wedding bash and go with a simple, more creative experience.

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