Sometime in the middle of planning a $2,000 wedding, it occurred to me, “Why not think of it as a reunion instead of a wedding?” Weddings tend to focus on surface things like flowers, attire, and centerpieces. Reunions tend to be about fun.
When it was time to plan the reception, we focused on just that: Fun. We rented out an entire B&B in the mountains of Colorado. We set up tables in a grove of trees, and our guests feasted on homemade fajitas, tamales, guacamole, salsa, nachos, seven-layer dip, black bean and corn salad, frozen margaritas, and six different types of cakes.
After dinner, we gathered everyone on the flagstone patio for our first dance. Matt and I stood in the center of the dance floor, surrounded by a semi-circle of our wedding party. Our friend, Nick, announced that it was time for our first dance. Matt and I stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. The music started. It was “Kiss” by Prince. We immediately started scissoring our hands and gyrating our hips. The entire wedding party joined in and we performed a choreographed dance, complete with a semi-strip tease by Matt’s brother.
The dancing continued on the patio, while other guests traded their wedding finery for bathing suits. Some trekked to the campfire to tell ghost stories, while others broke out Scrabble and Uno. We also showed a video of our lives together.
The guests helped themselves to wedding favors: hand-made cilantro seed packets with directions on the front and our personal guacamole recipe on the back.
I danced and talked and cooked a S’more and played some games and talked some more. Late in the evening, I donned my bathing suit and got into the hot tub with my best friends from college.
It wasn’t about the dress, the flowers, the centerpieces. It was about community, connection, commitment, and old-fashioned fun.