Brides and grooms spend months (or even years) preparing for their weddings – thinking through the details, planning out the agenda, and digging through inspiration boards on Pinterest. But after the wedding is all done and dusted it is not the cake design, centerpieces or ceremony readings you will remember… it is the people, humorous stories and emotional moments from the day. (Seriously: it’s seven months after our nuptials, and I couldn’t tell you what kinds of flowers were in my bouquet.) My groom and I absolutely loved our wedding: we didn’t want the night to end, and we spent most of the week afterwards gushing together over how well everything turned out and how much we enjoyed things. However, what we found was a recurring theme in our gushing was anecdotes from things that we didn’t spend months planning, but rather those little gems that just happened on the day.
So, in what I hope is a fitting article for my 50th post to the blog, here are the funny and meaningful stories from our Reflective wedding day. The things we’ll truly remember. I hope this post is a reminder to you and your fiance not to sweat the small stuff in the lead-up to your wedding… as it’s not what you’ll truly remember from the day anyway.
• I loved our post-ceremony receiving line! It gave us the opportunity to actually speak to each and every one of our guests early on in the day. (And it would have been really weird to then pose for group photos with having said hello to everyone.) What made the receiving line particularly amazing was meeting there two of my cousins (and their husbands) for the very first time, and seeing my aunt for the first time in 25 years. Our wedding photographer did not know any of this, but he happened to capture a close-up of me hugging one of these cousins, and the thrilled look on my face when I laid eyes on my aunt.
• My husband’s high school friends like to pretend it’s the birthday of one of the boys during social occasions, like suddenly adding a toast to him at the end of a New Year’s party speech, or breaking into “Happy Birthday to You” during a dinner on vacation. So during our reception one of the guys in that group quietly informed the MC that the fellow in question was celebrating his birthday today, and then the MC while doing schtick later in the evening announced the birthday in the room and asked everyone to toast the fellow, wish him a happy birthday and give a round of applause. I couldn’t stop laughing! The MC and all the guests to this day still don’t know that it wasn’t really his birthday. 😛
• My parents really surprised us with their speech. They have never done any public speaking, and my father had told us earlier that he would only speak for about two minutes and that he wasn’t going to write his speech in advance, and my mother said she was too frightened to be part of it and would stay away from the limelight. And then on the night, not only did my mother stand by my father’s side for the speech, she also jumped in to give a very heartfelt thank you to my new parents-in-law for welcoming me to the family and taking good care of me. My dad actually gave a really hilarious and clearly prepared speech, and then ended his words with a teary toast to his brother, who had passed away two months earlier. Several guests mentioned to me later what a great speech it was!
• At one point between speeches and courses, my groom popped out of the rec- eption room. A couple of the menfolk came up with the idea to sneak up to me at the bridal table to give me a kiss on the cheek while the groom was absent, and when the other guests saw what was happening a dozen or so fellows came up to follow suit! When everyone was back in the room, our MC took to the mic to update the groom on the goings-on. Then later, when I ducked out to the bath- room, every lady in the room lined up to give my groom a kiss on the cheek… as well as a few of the guys wanting a laugh! Wish I’d been there to see it. 😀
• A definite highlight was seeing my parents on the dancefloor! My parents are not very social or active people, so I was overjoyed to see them join in our wedding waltz and the opening 60s songs. We got a great picture of them dancing together. And when an ABBA medley came on, my mother was spinning about and clapping along. Loved it!
• There was only one child attending the reception (plus a few babies), so we wanted to make sure she felt included in the festivities. “The Twist” came on over the speakers, and I asked if she would twist with me. At first, she demurred, saying, “No, I’m too shy.” She changed her mind when she saw the fun everyone else was having, and soon we were trying out all kinds of moves, competing to twist all the way down to the floor (though she had an unfair advantage there!) and me twirling her around. She had a ball! And she was even more excited when the groom asked her to dance as well. 😀
• Later in the evening, a friend of ours – who happens to be a doctor – was on the dancefloor and felt that she had stepped on someone’s foot while busting a move. When she turned around to see who she had trodden on, she saw it was that same little girl, who looked up in shock and then ran away. A friend found her a few minutes later sitting on one of the couches and said to her gently, “How is your foot? I’m sorry I stepped on you. I’m a doctor, can I take a look at it for you and see if you’re injured?” Ha! She then proceeded to give the little girl a foot examination, and informed her that it looked just fine. So cute!
• When it reached the time to toss that bouquet, I was surprised to see the dancefloor fill with girls ready to catch it (I was worried that people would think it was cheesy and stay seated). And the girl who caught it – the doctor doing the foot examination – not only dived for the bouquet, but practically tackled it to the floor! What made it even more humorous was that afterwards she vehemently claimed that it “simply fell into my arms”.
• We wrapped up the reception with some great singalong numbers (think “Don’t Stop Believin'”), and this went far better than I thought! Literally everyone was up on the dancefloor, and even the guests who were 60+ years old were standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders belting out the tunes. It was so great to see everyone involved, and made such a fantastic atmosphere!
• Our wedding reception was slated to end at midnight, but my very conservative parents had informed us months before the big day that the planned to leave around 9pm, much to our disappointment. Even on the night itself, they came up me shortly after the dancing started and asked if we could move the grand finale forward so that they could participate, which left me feeling a little upset. Then, to our surprise, they actually stayed until the very end! They joined us on the dancefloor for the final songs, lit up the night in our sparkler send-off, and by all accounts seemed to have a blast!
• As my home country is so far away from where we live in my husband’s country, we only visit my country once every year and a half on average. At our farewell breakfast, I turned around to say goodbye to a local bridesmaid and suddenly saw that she was crying. “I just don’t know when I’ll see you again!”, she wailed. Unfortunately, she was holding her adorable eight-month-old at the time, and when he saw that his mother was crying, he started bawling as well. I hugged them both together! It was bittersweet and a little sad, but so very cute!
• Also, at our farewell breakfast, I met the five- month-old daughter of a friend for the first time. I asked if I could hold the baby, and she said “Of course you can!” and handed her to me for cuddles. Another friend at the table commented, “You know, there’s an old saying that the gender of the first baby the bride holds after your wedding will be the gender of your first child.” My new husband let out a loud, (mock) disappointed groan… and then the baby in my arms burst into tears. Methinks someone was a little insulted!
What are your favorite anecdotes and unplanned moments from your wedding, or other weddings that you have been part of?