I went to two weddings recently. While both were perfectly lovely, they both just reinforced in my head why I am glad I am not having a traditional wedding.
For those who do not know, I am doing a destination wedding. My fiancee and I are going to go to Italy to get married. This excludes a lot of people who might otherwise come to our wedding from coming to the wedding since the cost can be prohibitive. While we would love everyone to come that we invited, we know that in reality, the number of people coming will be quite small. But this has its own advantages.
The weddings I went to were very traditional weddings in churches. There was a priest presiding over the wedding and he did most of the talking. The bride and groom had very little to do during the whole thing other than saying, "I do". In one of the weddings, even that did not happen because the bride and groom simply had to raise their right hand to affirm that they took their spouse. The ceremonies lasted about 20-30 minutes each and the total time that involved the bride or groom lasted about 2 minutes.
In most traditional religious ceremonies that I have attended, the wedding is more focused on God than it is the couple. I fully realize that I do not have the same relationship that others do with God but it always seem strange to me that the majority of the ceremony is focused on this rather general topic than the specific event at hand.
After the ceremonies were over, we did not get to speak to either the bride or groom very much. This is the natural course of events as pictures must be taken and they have to greet literally hundreds of people. I normally think of it as family time for the bride and groom, so I always feel uncomfortable taking too much of the married couples' time at any part of the day.
Going to these weddings makes me appreciate what I'm doing in my wedding all the more. Not only will it be inexpensive for me to do what I'm planning to do but it will be much more personal. It won't be religious at all, neither I nor my fiancee are religious, and it will be very focused on us. I plan on writing my own vows and I think this will make it extremely personal for the people there. Since there will be so few people there, and I know they are only there for the wedding, I plan on spending plenty of time with them.
There are the obvious other reasons why simple weddings are advantageous, the money I will save will be significant. But I think I'm much more excited about the intimacy of the event more than anything else. What do you think? What do you like most about weddings? What are some of the best weddings you ever went to and what made them so great?