Image via My Movie BannersNo, I'm saying that if you have a friend or family member getting married during your engagement, you've pretty much hit the wedding planning jackpot.
Recently, Mr. Snow Cone and I had the good fortune to attend his cousin's wedding here in Pittsburgh. Aside from being a rockin' good time, it was a fantastic exercise in wedding planning and observation. You can watch all the wedding shows you want, but there's definitely something to be said for going to a wedding in person -- you get the chance to see all the details come together in a total package, no reality TV editing or splicing, and if you know either of the bride or the groom (which, come on, you should, since you're at their wedding and everything), over the past few months, you likely got an insider's glimpse into what it took to pull off all those details in the main event.
I was pretty much set on scoping out every possible detail during the ceremony and reception, eagerly donning my "bride-to-be" glasses. I guess you could say I was attending this wedding partially as a guest and partially as a researcher. The entire day, I was kind of keeping a running tally of three mental lists: yes, no, and maybe. The best part of the whole day? Mr. Snow Cone had no problem talking weddings. Instead of me bombarding him with all of these different websites and ideas that he's never seen in person before, we could legitimately discuss how we both felt about one specific detail, like a table runner, that was sitting a mere 6 inches in front of us. I think it also helped both of us (especially him) to see not just a table runner, but how the table runner looked with the centerpieces and the place settings on each individual table and how they added to the look of the room on a whole. We both were seeing things with a fresh set of eyes, for sure.
Mr. Snow Cone and I are wedding newbies, too, having hardly attended any beyond the age of diapers. So, this wedding was an awesome opportunity for us to witness how a wedding reception can flow from focus area to focus area, like dinner to toasts to father-daughter dance. It was also fun to see how his side of the family does the whole wedding thing... their traditions, their favorite parts, their feedback, and, maybe most importantly of all, their excitement to hit the dance floor! This wedding gave me a chance to see weddings from the future in-law family's perspective, and I think that's going to be very influential in the rest of my planning... I now know what trips that family's wedding trigger, so I'll be making every effort to include those own elements in our wedding, too.
Mr. Snow Cone's entire extended family at the wedding. Can you find me?
All in all, this whole event definitely opened up some good channels of communication about the wedding on a whole, and we were able to do some really focused research to determine what we want for our own celebration. So get out there and pressure your own friends and family to get engaged ASAP so they can serve as a good (or bad!) role model wedding for you!
Image via The Adventure of a Lifetime: Probably a bad wedding to use as a role model.
Did you ever attend a wedding as part-researcher, part-guest? Pick up any good ideas or tips?