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I attended a wedding this past Saturday, and I have to admit I’m still feeling it today. (It’s Monday, oops.) Spoiler alert: I’m almost 30. At this point in my life, dancing in heels for hours is more painful than plucking a nose hair. Faux-nolo Blahniks really take a toll on my toes. (As does the champagne.) Being 29 also means that weddings are basically a bi-weekly occurrence for me all summer long. As a seasoned wedding guest, I have to be honest — I can be pretty judgemental about the weddings I attend.

Wait! Don’t go! I’m not a monster, I promise. I love love, and I love a party, so I obviously love attending a wedding. (Cue me being disinvited from my friends’ future weddings.) But it’s inevitable that I’m going to notice certain details of the wedding I’m attending, and thinking about whether I like them or not. Did I like that they did a two-hour cocktail hour, or did that feel way too long? Did the band start playing too late, or did that make sense with the flow of the evening?

Can I be even more real for a second? Everyone’s judging your wedding. Unmarried or married, we all judge the details of the weddings we attend. It’s actually pretty fun to consider what you would or would not have done differently — or maybe I just secretly wish I was an event planner.

But I’m not necessarily looking for things to judge negatively about a wedding. I’m often taking note about the things I love about it. (You know, in case I overcome my fears around commitment and get engaged one day.) The logistics involved with getting to a wedding can be a little exhausting, so when a couple goes the extra mile to take care of me and the other wedding guests, I really notice it.

The wedding I just attended was at Glen Manor House in Rhode Island, and it was extremely lovely. The bride is my friend from high school, and the groom is someone I went to college with. Here are the top five details that I loved about my friend’s wedding this weekend.

1. The Speeches Were Heartfelt, But Also Funny

This isn’t necessarily something a couple can control, but boy did great speeches make this wedding supremely fun. From the short-but-sweet ceremony to the welcome speech from the bride and groom to the maid of honor’s poignant toast, I really felt the love. The more personal, the better. I loved that we were reminded what we were all there to celebrate.

2. The Bride And Groom Were Totally In The Moment

I have never seen a bride look as deeply in love on her wedding day as my friend did. Throughout the evening, I didn’t see any stress from the couple. Instead, I saw them holding each other sweetly during the ceremony. It’s as simple as really listening and taking it all in!

3. The Dinner Was Separate From The Dancing

Rather than have the dinner and dancing in one room, the guests ate dinner first, and then moved to another room reserved entirely for dancing. This allowed for a great dance circle, and a chant of “Ten more songs!” from the crowd at the end of the night. Added bonus: no awkward slow songs for those of us without plus ones.

4. The Couple Came To The Impromptu After-Party

While there was no official after party, the young guests suggested the rooftop bar we had welcome drinks at for an after-party, and the bride and groom rode back on the buses with us and joined in the fun. I loved that vibe.

5. The Bride Arranged Lodging For Us

Because the wedding was in a town where lodging was limited, the bride arranged for an Airbnb for me and two good friends from childhood so that we could stay together in a comfortable location. We Venmo’d her the cost, and it couldn’t have been easier.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett

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