I’m surprised at many of the comments on this thread. The wedding is about the couple getting married and not about the guests. To be invited to a wedding at all is an honour. This doesn’t mean that guests shouldn’t be treated well but honestly if the most important thing to you about enjoying a wedding is the food, drink, music or atmosphere then you maybe really shouldn’t be there.
So here goes – the best things from my perspective.
1. The wedding ceremony itself. It’s a massive commitment by two people who love each other. (My husband always looks pleased and approving at this point, which considering that we’ve been married almost 32 years means that I must have done something right.)
2. The fun of greeting the couple as Mr and Mrs for the first time.
3. The speeches, especially if they are deeply proud and affectionate as well as funny.
4. The dress. (Yes, I do have a shallow side.) I enjoy seeing the bride’s dress and everyone else dressed up. I enjoy dressing up too. Out with the jeans and in with an elegant frock.
5. The chat. It’s fun to talk to the couple’s friends and relations.
6. Champagne to toast the couple.
7. Food, drink, music, atmosphere, decor, cake.
It’s interesting that, as some have pointed out, the cost of a wedding does not directly correlate to a great day. It’s the personal bits that count. I’d definitely agree.
It’s hard not to get sucked into the commercial side of a wedding and other people’s expectations, but if you are getting married then spend a little time in thinking how you can make your wedding both personal and meaningful. And, if you are a guest then your role is to be gracious and to ensure that the marrying couple have as wonderful a day as is humanly possible. It isn’t just to dance your socks off and stuff yourself with wedding cake while critcising the decor.
As for destination weddings – bring them on.
Wedding + travel adventure? A perfect combination!