I think as I’m getting older, I’m enjoying Halloween less and less. So this year when my friend and co-worker asked me if I would join him as his +1 to a wedding on Halloween, I jumped at the opportunity! First off, I’ve always wanted to go to a wedding on a holiday. There’s a huge faux-pas around weddings on holidays because people like to complain that they are being taken away from their own personal holiday to celebrate a couple’s big day, but let’s just be real here for a second – whatever you would’ve been doing instead of that wedding still probably could’ve been just as lame. You want to throw a wedding on New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, or Halloween? Sign me up! That’s booze, food, entertainment, and a dance party provided for you. What more could you want?
It’s not a secret. I love going to weddings. Each one that I’ve been to is very different and I think there’s something that can be learned from every experience. So of course I shared everything that I observed with Mandi the next day after, but thought that some of you might enjoy this as well.
I sometimes hate pros and cons lists, but this seemed like the easiest way to organize.
What I Loved:
- The theme – I’ve never really heard of a wedding that wasn’t themed and happened to be on Halloween. This one in particular wasn’t even Halloween themed though. The dress code ended up being a little bit of steampunk – a style of dress that the groom normally wears and nearly every guest dressed on par. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! Since I didn’t know the couple, I played it safe by wearing a dress and the tiniest little top hat hair clip atop my head. There were 6 other people wearing the same small hat so I felt like I was nailing it.
- Personalized wedding – I had heard from other guests that the couple loved decorating, making things, and of course Pinterest. The personality of the couple shined through in every aspect of the big day. This is a bold statement as I’ve been to quite a few weddings, but this one felt the most personalized weddings I’ve ever attended. You could tell that there was a lot of love and heart that went into every piece. Even when we arrived to the venue two hours early, the bride, groom, and wedding party were still running around trying to get things done. It didn’t matter, it all looked great anyways!
- Bridesmaids in colors – The bridesmaids all wore dresses in similar fabric, but in bold colors like red, yellow, blue, pink, orange. You may think that the rainbow look is a bit much at the front of the alter, but they all looked stunning.
- The venue – I had never been to a wedding on a ranch before and I sometimes find the whole idea to be a little bit risky for a lot of reasons. However, the couple did their best to really spruce things up. There were lots of decorations everywhere and they were able to transform the venue into a very beautiful space. The major downside though? Poop smells everywhere and lots and lots of bugs.
- The bride and groom’s speech – I found it really sweet that the bride and groom took some time at the end of dinner to thank their guests in their own personalized way. Instead of reading their own words though the bride ended up writing a speech for the groom to say and vice versa. It ended up being one of the funniest parts of the evening and really enjoyable for the guests regardless of how well you knew them or not.
- Personalized vows – The ceremony itself was about 15 minutes, which was awesome because the heat was so unforgiving that day. I especially love the trend of personalized vows at weddings though. Nearly everyone is doing it and I hope it squashes out all those boring traditional ones that people still continue to do. I’m not sure why anyone is still choosing to do their vows like this.
Not so much love:
- Cocktail Hour – The best part of this was the cheese and crackers. I don’t know why or what was happening, but the cheese was exquisite. I even tried to go back for seconds right before dinner, but it was all gone. What I didn’t love though? No other appetizers except for chips and salsa. This was one of my biggest negatives because I just don’t believe that this is appropriate as an appetizer for a cocktail hour or a wedding.
- Dinner – This is probably the thing that wedding guests care about most at any wedding. My coworker was a vegetarian and the dinner was BBQ from a food truck, however, he let me know that the couple had asked for dietary restrictions when he RSVP’ed so I wasn’t worried early on. However, the worry set in when we were the last table called up to get food and by the time we got there a lot of the food had already run out including the rice, which was one of the few vegetarian dishes served in the buffet line. Also, the best part of dinner was the garlic bread, which is a side so dinner was a flop overall.
- Bathrooms – A wedding venue can’t always be 100% perfect. The venue was beautiful and rustic, but there were some parts that were REAL rustic – like the fact that there were porter pottys instead of real bathrooms. They were the nicest that I’ve ever come across (not saying a whole lot), but it still wasn’t great. My coworker and I didn’t have a bathroom to change in when we arrived to the venue so the two of us had to take turns changing outfits in the back of my car!
- Timing – It’s one of those things that people overlook as being important, but as someone who used to do quite a bit of event planning, this is something that I pay close attention to. Since the wedding itself was kind of carnival themed – there was an hour and a half after dinner that was set aside for dessert (pie!) and a bunch of carnival games that the couple had set up in a separate space. This was really cute and included a ton of homemade games like Skeeball, balloon darts, shooting games, corn hole, etc. but it turned out that the 90 minutes of time was too long. The dance party was happening right after this, but I was starting to get a bit restless and didn’t want to spend that entire time eating pie so I wanted to dance party to start sooner. If I could’ve done things differently, I think I would’ve had both things going at the same time to give guests options. By the time the dance party had started, more than half of the guests had already left.
- Photobooth – The backdrop was cute. The props were there. The only thing that wasn’t present was an actual photographer. If you don’t have someone taking photos, you should give your guests a way to take the photos themselves with a clicker. Everyone that went through the photobooth had to awkwardly ask other guests to take pictures of them and it just disturbed the flow.
- No hard alcohol – This was the first time I’ve ever been to a wedding where there was zero hard alcohol! In the past, I used to think that it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but I started to notice that it did more and more as we went further into the night. As much as I love my beer, wine, and cider, I really wanted a signature cocktail of some sort. Someone recently let me know though that these are actually really expensive. I think my reaction was something like, “Really?! Even if it’s just two signature cocktails?!”
- Open Mic speeches – So the award for the most awkward part of the evening goes to the moment when the bride and the groom opened up the reception floor the rest of the guests for open mic speeches. There’s a couple reasons why this is a huge no-no. This can go on for much longer than you want it to and secondly, #nofilter. As in #nofilter from the guests’ mouths. There were a number of guests from the groom’s side that came up kind of saying the same thing “Hey so-and-so, we don’t really know you so well, but congratulations!” “We never get to see you very much and the last time we met you and etc, was last Thanksgiving and you seemed really happy…we wish we got to see you more!” “We’re so happy for you, but we wish you would come visit us more so we can get to know you better.” AGH! Trainwreck! Just a tip – if you’re going to have people do speeches at your wedding, make sure you approve everything.