Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday – The Bride of March

Joe and Ande's engagement picture

Happy Ides of March to you.  (Joe, that title pun was for you.)  Did you know that General George Washington quelled a mutiny of his officers on this day in 1783?  Well, you do now.

It’s also three days before Ande and Joe get married.  I have had several people ask me why the kids’ receptions are like they are, so I thought I’d answer that today:

Their weddings take place in a Mormon temple.  Each one has chosen a different one:  Cali and Ray – Columbia River Washington, Abe and Grace – Salt Lake City Utah, Ande and Joe – Seattle Washington, Ty and Michelle – Denver ColoradoTemple sealings, as we call them, are private affairs with less than 30 or 40 close family and friends in attendance.  After the temple sealing, the kids host a reception and/or open house for all friends and family.

Each of the kids has chosen to have a dinner and program in Moses Lake as part of their wedding celebration.  There are three reasons for this:

  1. Remember when Tzeitel and Motel got married in Fiddler on the Roof and all the Jews joined in for the celebration with food and song?  Well, that’s the premise for their reception dinner and program.  The kids have wanted a place and time to celebrate with family and friends.  As a new couple they mingle with the guests and walk from table to table to greet them rather than stand in a line while the guests file by. 
Reason number one why the kids host a dinner and program is to have a celebration with friends and family that lasts the evening, and where they can mingle among them.

  1. To thank the community.  Each of the people that come to the receptions/open house has somehow and in some way helped our kids on the road to adulthood.  Some provided employment, be it babysitting, waitressing, field work, yard work, house work, clerical work.  Some have been their school teachers; others have been their teachers at church.  Still others have been their mentors and friends.  Many have fed and clothed them, and invited them to game nights and parties.  By hosting a dinner and short program, the kids have a way to thank all of those people for investing in them.  They also have a chance (through the short program) to tell everyone where they are now and what their plans are for the near future. 
Reason number two is to thank those who have helped them.

  1. It’s less expensive.  I hate to include costs as one of the top three reasons, but it is.  Several years ago my friend Mary and I did re-sets in drug stores together – someone besides the store employees organize all of those foot products.  During one of our resets Mary and I were talking about her daughter’s upcoming wedding.  Mary had done her research and told me how much money to expect to spend when it was our turn.  By the time our kids began to marry, Mary’s advice was still accurate.  (Mary is very creative and parsimonious, so her advice was bound to carry through economic bounces.)  When the kids became engaged we told them how much we had for their weddings and then said they were free to allocate it any way they chose.  When it came to budgeting refreshments, we found that it was less expensive (by far) to cook and serve a meal than it was to serve a fancy drink, hor’dourves, or even a personalized wedding cake (excepting sheet cakes from Costco or the grocery bakery).  By cooking ourselves (or having friends help), a meal was the most affordable option.  Serving a meal was important enough to each of the kids that they have forgone other traditional wedding expenses (like lots of floral bouquets or large wedding cakes [though Grace and Michelle both have wedding cake connections and could do both!]).  
Reason number three is because it fits the budget.

If you didn't get an invitation and you feel overlooked, you probably were but it doesn't mean you aren’t wanted or welcome!  Tom and Gail E. didn't get an invitation to Cali and Ray’s wedding (we weren't in the same ward at church, their kids were older and younger than Cali, etc. so we didn't send them an invitation).  I was so glad that Tom announced a month later that they didn't get an invitation and they didn’t plan on missing another reception of ours!  Now that’s a friend – someone who doesn't take offense and lets you know they want to celebrate with you.  So, if we overlooked you, it wasn't intentional so please don’t feel slighted.  Just come.

I’m off to fill the cookie jar for guests coming into town, and make a pan of toffee for the wedding.  We need it for the dessert.  I’ll tell you about that later.

If you could redo something about your wedding reception, what would it be?  


Lucy said...

They are a beautiful couple. Good luck in the next coming days. Those receptions, as budget friendly as I'm sure you make them, are still a lot of work and come with pressure and stress. I sincerely hope you are able to relax and little and enjoy the celebration of your beautiful daughter and new son-in law.

Barb said...

That is a gorgeous photo, the shadows and colours are so rich.
My reception was the reception of my mom's dreams (I wasn't that interested) so I wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe the ridiculous wedding cake.

Lyle and Mary: said...

You have a much better memory than me on those re-set conversations... so glad my opinion (whatever it was???) turned out to be correct for you.
You also have a much better vocabulary. Parsimonious. Hmm, if that describes me, I better look it up!
Enjoy your daughters wedding with all the smiles, tears (of joy), and memories it will provide.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

I wish I would have done more ahead of time! I wish I would have paid more attention to MY details.

Good luck with the next wedding! You are going to be a seasoned pro!!

onebeauty said...

Great looking couple. Good luck on everything. Wedding planning is very stressful. I have been planning for 2 years and I feel like i still have so much that i am missing.

michelle said...

Gorgeous photo! I like the idea of allowing your children to choose what they want to spend the money on - what is most important to them. My mom declared that our reception was her party and she mostly did things the way she wanted them. It was beautiful, but there was also a lot of work and expense for things that I didn't really care about.

The one thing I would change would be that I would get a manicure and a pedicure! We were so busy leading up to the wedding that I ended up having chipped nail polish on my wedding day. And if that's my biggest regret, I guess it was a big success!

Deidra said...

I loved our reception. It was low-key in my parents' beautiful yard. But the end of August is hot, especially in the setting sun. Good thing Dad rigged up a fan in the bushes to blow on us! :) It was such a fun evening, since we know so many of the same people, it was like one big party with 2x the people that we would ordinarily have at a reception.

Hope everything is going well with the preparations. I'll be looking forward to pictures and a recap. Enjoy this special experience!

tina said...

Maybe a better photographer. The disposable cameras on the tables were cute, but some of my nephews went a little crazy on themselves. Love those guys. :-)

Maybe, maybe, maybe I might have done a ring ceremony for my non-member family . . . maybe. :)

Emma J said...

I had assumed it was more expensive and had sighed because your last reception was so wonderfully warm and celebratory and someday I will be helping with weddings here. But now I'm thinking - hmmm, maybe we could pull it off? Maybe you could a write a book with recipes and timetables for the less-domestically gifted?

Marie said...

Barb's comment strikes me as funny because I remember being ten years old and thinking that her cake was the most magnificent thing I'd ever seen.

I wasn't really interested in my reception either. I chose the colour scheme and asked for my mom to keep it simple. She consulted me about things, but it wasn't my big concern. And it turns out, that I ended up loving my reception. The food, the program, the decorations, all of it. Every time I look back on it, I can't help but think, "Wow, that was a fun party!"

Mike and Lisa said...

If I could have a do-over at my reception it would be to pay the extra $$ and have the photographer take pictures at the reception instead of JUST at the temple. I can honestly say I don't have a single picture of my reception and it makes me sad. (Not even a non professional one!) How it got missed I don't know. Anyways, I loved seeing Ande and Joe's announcement by way of my parents ;) they look sooo good!

Anonymous said...

I love the dinners that your children have when they are married! And I love the last minute phone call that the invitation went to the wrong adress.
If I could change something about my wedding day....I don't really remember it! Guess I should have slowed things down and enjoyed it more!!!