I have just emerged back into the real world from a four-day wedding extravaganza at Solscape, Raglan, NZ. I am still on holiday but back into some kind of normality. For me the big themes of the event were simplicity and teamwork. This was not a decadent event, but one with simple fun and pleasures.
- Hen and stag parties were drinks and dinner at local venues with the two groups joining at the end. Sensibly two days before the main event.
- Yoga classes and surfing classes were available for all who wanted them on the pre-wedding day.
- The bride had made her own wedding dress; it suited her, and the setting, perfectly, and will most likely be worn again.
- Pre-wedding nibbles were picnic baskets on the lawn with chunks of cheese and boxes of crackers for everyone to help themselves to, and drinks were self-service.
- During the ceremony the wedding rings were passed around the whole group for guests to give their wishes or blessings.
- While the family photos took place post ceremony the rest of us split into groups and embarked on a group activity. This was spread around the site and included; a fancy dress box, making letters using the teams bodies, giant picture frames and writing messages to the bride and groom on a chalkboard. The aim was to take photos of the results and free the activity for the next group.
- Dinner was locally grown organic salads and free-range organic meat. There was no seating plan. The tasty cake had been made by one of the bride’s friends.
- Wedding favors were the napkins the bride had made.
- The post wedding day activity was a simple BBQ and home made pizzas organised by the brides work colleague.
- This wedding had no formal wedding planner and was very much a DIY event.
- The wedding party directed operations and were constantly being asked by willing helpers what they could do.
- Guests pitched in with everything; lifts to the event, decorations, flowers, gazebo building, furniture moving, getting drinks, clearing up, looking after the various children, lifts into town, collecting the booze, pizza making, barbequing and trying to stop the bride and groom doing too much.
- Having a four day wedding event meant that the guests got to know each other much better, and those that already knew each other got a more extended catch up, than at a normal wedding.
If you are organising an event (big or small) remember most people love to help and feel useful, especially at something as big as a wedding. It also helps reduce the burden on the main players and enables the guests to get to know each other. Use your friend’s skills and abilities so everyone is comfortable with their task. Keep it simple and have fun.