Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why Your Wedding Reception is Just the After-Party - Part of the What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married Series

Ahhh, your wedding day. The most important day in your life!! All of your friends and family are gathered, and the day that you spent months - or maybe even a year or more! - planning is finally here.

Plus a thousand opportunities for things to go wrong.

The florist could show up with the wrong flowers. The wedding singer might get sick. The best man might split open his tuxedo pants. The dj might be late, the food bad, the dance floor empty, the weather rainy, the wedding coordinator downright mean.

And of course, some of the guests might get into a bar fight after the reception and end up in the hospital. Ahem.

Some of those things did happen to us. Not all of them, but some of them. (Ok, definitely that last one.)

But here's the thing - it's all ok and none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

All of those things you spent planning for months are just the supporting act. Even your beautiful wedding dress doesn't make the ceremony. Your wedding is about - and only about - two people vowing to give themselves to one another, till death. The readings and music you chose enhance the ceremony. Your guests and wedding party support you. Your outfits portray your recognition of this day's importance. Your pastor officiates - but you say the vows and marry each other. Everything else is an add-on to celebrate.

When we neared our wedding date, I'll admit, the stress of organizing everything was really getting to us. We didn't finalize the wedding music until the week before the wedding, I was making the brochures, seating cards, sign-in book, and half of the centerpieces myself, and was finishing up the lace on my veil. We were exhausted, and worried about orchestrating everything in a city where we didn't live.

So we decided that once we arrived at the church, we didn't need to worry about anything. We got married at Notre Dame, where they are very strict about starting on time - so as long as we got there, we knew that we would be married. And that was enough! That is what we had been waiting for, and that is what made the day special.

The focus of weddings these days is the reception - but really, that's just the after-party. Everything there could go wrong, but it wouldn't truly matter, because you got married today. So we made a pact - after we said our vows, we would let go of anything that went awry. Best decision ever.

Hi there, I'm Amy! I'm a stay at home mom of three young boys. I hate doing the dishes, love painting the walls, and live in a messy house. Join me at Go Forth and Mother as I share my journey of mothering, living with less, and mixing awesome drinks.


  1. Amy, the church is magnificent. So beautiful. You are right on all your points, it is a party, a great party, but it is only the icing on the cake. I think every couple (especially brides) need to let go of some of the "what ifs" and truly enjoy themselves. Sometimes even the things that go wrong, make the best memories - you can add it to "your story."

  2. I totally agree I spent the last week before my wedding so anxious over little details I couldn't eat. I got into a fight with my mom over chair covers and I waited until the last minute doing the seating chart for a large wedding. I was able to relax just in time for our rehearsal. I think being at the Church with my now husband and our family and friends and the anticipation for the next day finally calmed me down. Great advice!


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