10 Things We Love and Don't Love at Weddings

10 Things We Love and Don't Love at Weddings

It's not about the bride and groom. It's about the guests' experience.

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If you think that weddings are all about the bride and groom, then you haven't tried planning a wedding. If that was true, then the planning process wouldn't be rife with discussions, arguments, and family/friendship-altering decisions. But that's not a bad thing.

A wedding revolves around the bride and groom, and they care about their loved ones who have supported them through the lows and highs of a relationship and will continue to do so. Naturally, couples want a wedding that meets their personal desires and is a memorable party for their guests.

As someone who has been to a variety of weddings and in the throes of planning one, I'm in the perfect position to speak for the masses about what we want and don't want to see at a wedding. There's no way anyone feels differently than I do about the following:

1. Love - Personal Vows

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The dating world has been overcome with swiping, lewd pics, and group dates as traditionally romantic gestures such as flowers and an intimate dinner have taken a back seat. The world needs romance, and it can be found in personal vows. Hearing about the unique love shared between the bride and groom is sure to bring a tear to every eye.

2. Don't Love - Long Ceremonies

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We are not a patient generation. I'm not an expert, but it's safe to say our attention span, as a whole, is about 2 minutes long. Guests are there to witness a beautiful union, but they are really there to get drunk, eat, and dance – and I wouldn't test their patience during a long ceremony. From the beginning of the ceremony (walking down the aisle) to the conclusion (kiss the bride), keep it around 20 minutes. 30 tops. Any more and nobody cares. We are a fickle crowd.

3. Love - Ceremony, Reception, and Lodging in One Location

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I'm lazy. I think we all are. Does anyone want to go to a ceremony, then get in an Uber for 20 minutes to get to the reception, then get an uber back to your house, hotel, car, or whatever at the end of the night? That's a negative. The best weddings are the ones that are all-inclusive. Sure, walking a block or two is cool, but let's avoid completely separate locations.

4. Don't Love - A Selfish Officiant

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Holy mackerel, I can't stand this one. First of all, we are there to celebrate friends/family that are getting married, not to hear about how the officiant knows them or why Jesus is important. I don't want to hear your bad jokes, your familiarity with them, why they chose you, or your never-ending prayers. I want to hear the officiant speak about the bride and groom's love, their relationship, what makes them unique in this world, and celebrate their strength. Officiants shouldn't say "I" until they pronounce them Husband and Wife.

5. Love - Dancing

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Obviously. This will be discussed further down, but dancing is a blast when given a proper amount of time to boogie. Sometimes, the dance-portion of the evening can be stilted and we never can really get down they way we need to.

6. Don't Love - Frequent Stops in Dancing

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Per the last observation, a wedding has to let us get funky. By the time dancing occurs, we have quite a few people liquored up, and there's always a family member or friend that stops the dancing to give a gut-wrenching speech. Or the DJ keeps pausing the dancing for a stupid game. Or it's cake-cutting time. The point is, we like to see a wedding that is organized and has time carved out for at least 2 hours of uninterrupted bump'n'grind.

7. Don't Love - A Selfish DJ

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They suck, they suck, they are suck incarnate. They suck harder than a selfish officiant. There are DJs out there that don't realize they are a wedding DJ and think it's time to freestyle the mixing, explore outside the 90's and 2000's playlist, and use the microphone to add their own voice. If you are a wedding DJ, then all you do is make the appropriate announcements, play solid music, and occasionally get people clapping. You are one miniscule step away from being replaced by a well-seasoned Pandora – get it together.

8. Love - Personal Moment with Bride and Groom

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This one is particularly important to me as a guest, but I also understand if it can't happen. There is something truly special about getting a personal moment with the newlyweds. It's a reminder of why you're there – to support them in this special moment, and they wanted to share it with you. The reception is a blur for the bride and groom, but those who walk around and thank the guests really go the extra mile.

9. Love - Open Bar

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Duh.

10. Don't Love - Long Table Rehearsal Dinner

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This is definitely a personal thing. I can't stand birthdays, family events, friend groups, or anything involving eating at a long table. First of all, I rarely get to sit next to those I know or those I want to get to know. It feels like we all end up next to people we're not trying to meet. Yes, this is a great moment for people to get to know one another, but we aren't children that have to be squished together. I don't want to make a new connection with someone while battling with my spaghetti and trying to get dinner drunk to deal with the awkwardness. Put standing circular tables out with an open bar and dank hors d'oeuvre, and allow people to organically meet'n'greet.

To be honest, the last one does apply to weddings, but I just really wanted to get my feelings out there about 10 person 1-table evenings. They are like a selfish officiant and a selfish DJ made love and produced an awkward evening.

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Many people think that spending too much time with your significant other is a bad thing. I think that wanting to spend time with them is a blessing. Don't get me wrong, we do not spend every waking minute together. We make sure that we save time for our friends and family, but in the end, we cherish our time together.

He brings out the best in me. When I first met my boyfriend, I knew he was something special. I didn't know what it was, but I knew that it would be important someday. I found out that when I am with him, I am an all-around happier person. I look at things in different ways, and I now know a whole new world of people. He has helped me overcome obstacles that have been holding me back for quite some time.

We enjoy each others company. I can't even begin to tell you how many times we have just sat in silence simply knowing that you are in the company of someone who loves you is comforting. He makes things that would usually be boring a lot more fun. When we do homework together, he makes the work seem like it's not work, and things like a simple trip to Walmart ends up being a comedy show.

We are best friends. Many people say that they are best friends with their significant other. For us, it's true. I can tell him anything. There is no hiding things in our relationship; we come right out and say what we want to say.

He pushes me to succeed. Whether it is with weight loss or homework, he holds me accountable. When I start a new workout, he keeps me on track to be whom I want to be. We make sure that we put homework before going out and that helps us in the long run. Giving up that pizza can be easy when you are spending time with someone you love.

He makes life seem not so hard. College can be hard and make life difficult. It seems that I always have something new happening or another meeting to attend. When I get stressed or overwhelmed, he makes sure that I take the time to put into perspective what really matters and focus on that. And when that fails, we go get McDonald's.

He supports me. He has never once told me that one of my ideas was stupid or out of reach. Whenever something new comes up that I think would be exciting, he is the first one to rally behind me and let me know that it is a good idea (even if it's not).

I love him. Love is a strong word, but I can honestly say I have never felt like this before. Between everything that he does for me, I do just as much for him simply because I love seeing him happy. Spending so much time together isn't hard to do because we love each other. If somewhere down the road we decide to split ways, I will still love him and he will still love me. That will never go away.

Cover Image Credit: Hanna Hartman

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Is Social Media Killing Romance?

In a modern era filled with technology, are the communication outlets we rely on destroying our ability to connect?

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I have always been a girl that has been stereotypically obsessed with romance novels and movies. Honestly, I enjoy the concept of romance in and of itself. I have always dreamed of a passionate, deep romance of my own complete with a meet-cute, dates, and affection. However, it seems as though the concept of romance has skewed dramatically as social media continues to flourish.

So many romance movies are shifting to acknowledge how time-consuming social media is in teenagers lives. Even so, social media seems to be such a minuscule part of the relationships while, in reality, social media outlets tend to be a major form of communication in our society.

It seems as though our entire lives are digital and relationships are no exceptions. Meeting people the "old fashioned way" is almost obsolete now thanks to dating apps and other mediums of communication. We seem to be taking away the basis of relationships; intimacy and connection.

Additionally, social media has been detrimental, especially pertaining to self-esteem and self-image. Social media allow self-scrutinization to become the norm. Comparison is almost a reflex while scrolling through social media so why would romance and relationships be any different? Social media can create ridiculous expectations for relationships. Apps like Instagram are a media for sharing the best of your life, so everyone seems to have a perfect life on there. These expectations and comparisons seem to be a deteriorating factor for relationships.

Another phenomenon that I have noticed, thanks to social media, is that meeting people is easier than ever. This is not a bad thing per se. However, since it is so easy, it seems that all the effort is gone. Flirting with someone who "slid into your DMs" is exponentially easier than flirting with someone in real life. Apps like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram are simple methods to communicate and therefore, our communication has become simple.

Hookup culture is another thing that has become increasingly popular with the rise of social media. According to statistics, correlation does not imply causation but, at least to me, it seems that there are entirely too many aspects in common for them to not be related. Since communication is exponentially easier, so have "booty calls." Late night texts. or "snaps" have diminished the chase and allowed for actual relationships to be foreign to our generation.

In conclusion, social media has provided us with an unbelievable amount of benefits. However, it also may be draining our generation of connection and emotion. It seems as though social media has driven us into an age of simplicity and complacency.

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