The Most Meaningful Family Ocassions
A lot of times when I meet with a bride and groom to design their wedding, we talk about what their family special occasions look like. Personally, I think it is awkward for a family to typically have special occasions at a pizza restaurant or with paper plates to have a formal dinner at a wedding. I encourage couples to design their wedding to complement their family events. They can certainly be a few notches up – or have a formal feel about them. I believe the most meaningful family occasions are ones that are filled with love, laughter and memories. Sounds like a cheap wall plaque you could buy at a discount store, huh?
In reality, I’ve started asking some of the same questions for family and social events that I ask my corporate clients. I like to start planning meetings for all events with the question, “What is the purpose of your event?” Many times, the purpose is not as clear as it may seem. Sometimes, it is very different than what you might expect. Many times I will ask clients what do they want their guests to talk about on the way home or tell their friends or co-workers the next day.
One of my favorites was a groom who said he wanted his guests to get in the car and say “I never knew a wedding could be so much fun. That was the best wedding ever.” So we designed a day that was about laughter and was comfortable and didn’t have a lot of formality. Guests sat at tables and we had quotes around the room about marriage and weddings that were funny. We had fun foods like chips and salsa and cupcakes. We served lemonade when guests arrived and we didn’t worry too much about schedules or being “on time”. It turned out to be a great day and one of my favorite weddings ever.
We recently helped with a 50th wedding anniversary celebration and brought out the color of the bridesmaids dresses from the original wedding. We had large prints from their wedding day. It was very successful and a lot of fun. I personally love family events that have meaningful items that are a part of them. When we celebrated my parents 50th Anniversary, we prominently displayed family photos on their old wooden ironing board.
My dad loved to tell the story of their first big purchase as newlyweds was that ironing board and it had travelled across many states with them. It was a symbol of their commitment and longevity. It had a story to tell and it was a personal story that only fit my parents.