KISS. Not during the ceremony but Keep It Short & Simple. My own take on the acronym. The ceremony bit for last Sunday's wedding was fifteen minutes. It was brilliant. Not a lot of speaking by the officiant, nice succinct vows by the couple and then everyone is released to mingle and eat.
Good food is a must. Whether it's appetizers, a potluck or served courses, if the food is good everyone walks away with a smile on their face. Simple dishes but high quality. Don't over feed people because most have a propensity to keep eating as long as the food is there. It seems that the food is one of the first things that people comment on or ask about after.
You never need as much cake as you think you do. I've never been at a wedding where there wasn't cake left over. Again, go simple. Small slices but lots of them. A few even smaller kid-friendly/dieter-friendly plates too. Absolutely no smashing cake in each others faces for the bride and grooms.
While signature drinks seems like a good idea, I haven't had one I like at a wedding. Sure, it seemed like a nice drink when the bartender had you try a bourbon-gin-fizz-foo foo-whatever. The odds that most other folks are going to like it are slim to none. Open bar with a few beers/ciders, and options are the way to go. I'll take a simple gin and tonic or rum and coke over a foo-foo whatsy any day. Just keep it coming.
Champagne is overrated. This is a totally personal opinion partially based on the fact that champagne and I have a hate-hate relationship. I don't love the taste. It also seems to rush to my brain and start banging around with a hammer. If I have a toast (and that's a very big IF), it's going to be with the bevvie of one's choice.
No kids or animals in the wedding. Johnny Carson made the wise oberservation that one should never perform with children or animals let they upstage you. There is no surer way for things to not go as planned.
Take season and temperature into account. No one enjoys swealtering or freezing. If it's unavoidable, chose a venue with appropriate accomodations.
Less stuff makes life easier. Fewer acitvities on the wedding day. Less stuff to schlep around. Fewer people involved. Of course, I subscribe to those policies in my every day life.
I may not have a wedding, ever. I may not get married. The first time around I managed to end up married without a shower, a party, a wedding, an invitation, an anything. If I feel the need to say "I do" again, it will probably be with a small ceremony. I have friends from all over the place, living all over the place. I think that makes for the prefect opportunity for a destination wedding because even if I held it locally, people would have to fly in for it. Luckily I'm selective about my peeps, just like I am about my beer.
Most people have similar reactions to weddings as they do with babies. They ooohhh and ahhhhh and coo over them, the pictures, the process. I don't get it. I just don't. It a lot of time, a lot more money, stress, chaos, aggravation. I might meet Mr. Amazing and want all of that baloney, but I will never, NEVER spend thirty, forty, fifty thousand on a one day event. That's craziness people.
Family, friends, a beach somewhere. . . .Oh and Mr. Amazing! If it weren't for that bit, I'd be ready to schedule a wedding now.