It’s been wedding season in our world. We’ve been at multiple weddings this year so far, but it seems like the frequency has notched up a bit over the last couple of months. It is always great to get to celebrate with friends and family as they enter into the next stage of their relationship, but there’s something you have to know about me.
I love weddings. I love the venues. I love the music. I love the lighting. I love the creativity. I love the ceremonies, the receptions, and the food. I love watching the groom when the bride enters. I love all the little miscues that make each wedding unique. I just enjoy being at weddings.
And, I think we can learn from weddings. Rather, I think we need to learn from weddings. We need to learn to celebrate. We need to learn to celebrate better.
Here are three lessons about celebration I’ve learned from weddings over the years.
Create Reminder Ceremonies
My favorite part of weddings are the vows. I just love the moment where two people make that commitment to one another. The vows are a celebration of that commitment. My wife and I try to hold hands during the vows at every wedding we attend. It’s a great moment to celebrate with the bride and groom, but it is also a great moment to celebrate us. When we hear others take their vows, it reminds us of our own vows. Their celebration is a reminder of our celebration.
The celebrations we create would do well to create celebration moments. Moments where reflection is either implicitly or explicitly encouraged. We want those who gather with us during our great moments to remember their own great moments. Most of the time, we are tempted to make our celebrations about us. However, celebrations that touch the heart of the participants are more likely to foster truly joyful moments.
Capture Great Moments
One of my favorite pictures from my own wedding makes me laugh every time I see it. It’s not from the ceremony or group pictures. It’s a moment that the photographer caught during the reception. My bride and I were out on the dance floor with our friends, and the photographer snapped a shot of me doing the robot. Now, listen, I’m not much of a dancer, so my wife was doubled over laughing. Truthfully, that’s a great moment we would likely have forgotten a long time ago if not for the picture.
Whether it’s a designated photographer, a photo booth, or a hired professional, make sure you capture some of the great moments in your celebrations. Pin them. Post them. Display them. Let the great memories linger.
Just Have Fun
Stuffy weddings are no fun. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. Sometimes it’s the people. Sometimes it’s the location. Sometimes it’s the tradition. But in most of those moments, everyone wishes someone would given the participants permission to enjoy themselves. I don’t think any of the people who planned stuffy weddings really wanted them to end up like that. They just never gave others the permission to have fun (and likely never gave themselves the permission to have fun). On the other hand, I’ve been to weddings that embraced the importance of the moment, but they were able to infuse the event with a permission to enjoy.
That’s what we want for our celebrations. We want to create meaningful celebration moments where everyone feels free to enjoy themselves. We want our moments to be infused with the permission to have fun. We want, simply, to celebrate.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from weddings about celebration?