Busman’s Holiday

September 28th, 2011
Nice spot for a wedding, huh?

Nice spot for a wedding, huh?

I traveled to the East Coast last week for my cousin’s wedding.  I had offered a little advice to him and his bride while they were planning the wedding, but I was not their planner and did not co-ordinate their wedding for them.  This gave me the opportunity to sit back and look at their wedding as a guest.

The nicest, sweetest, most surprising thing they did was when the groom picked up his violin (carefully concealed by his sister, his attendant of honor) to play the portion of the processional that was for his bride.  She didn’t know this was going to happen, and she was visibly surprised and moved by this gesture, as was everyone else there.

The groom had two female friends and two male friends as his attendants.  The bride had four female friends as bridesmaids.  I’ve had people ask me if it would be “weird” to have attendants of the “wrong” gender.  I found this arrangement appropriate and normal for this wedding.  The groom and his sister are very close friends.  No one else would have been right for the job.  His other female friend who stood up with him is practically a member of the family.  It would have been wrong to exclude her.  Choosing honor attendants should be a matter of personal choice, not just custom.

The thing that really surprised me was how little I noticed the decor as a guest.  As a professional, I made a point of looking at their decor choices and how they were executed.  (Everything was beautifully done and with excellent taste.)  Once I was done with my observations, though, I went back to being a guest and discovered that I barely saw any of the things that had been done with so much care.  I was too interested in talking to people, in eating the delicious food, and in dancing to notice whether the flowers all matched or what kind of decorations had been provided.  Some of this was due to the fact that the wedding was in a historic house with a view of the Atlantic Ocean that was magnificent even unadorned.  But it makes me think that your average wedding guest does not pay much attention to all the decorative things that brides and grooms spend so much energy on.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t decorate.  It’s just a reminder to keep it all in perspective.

Perspective was what it was all about last weekend for me.  I got to go to a wonderful wedding.  I got to see what a wedding looks like from a guest’s point of view.  And I got that view of the Atlantic!