Plotting the perfect, no frills wedding – Metro

I am fortunate enough to have many friends and an impossibly huge extended family. As a result, I have been to a LOT of weddings.

Every wedding I’ve attended has been special in its own way. But some stand out more than others.
If there were Olympics-style scoring in place for weddings, they would be ranked using the following criteria:

1. Company
2. Emotion
3. Quality of food
4. Overall memorability
5. A distinct lack of “The Chicken Dance”

I went to a wedding that scored off the charts this past weekend. The best part was that I didn’t even know it was happening.

My dear friend, Lindsay, invited family and close friends to celebrate her boyfriend Lee’s birthday at a French bistro. The couple are expecting a baby next month and were making a big deal out of this particular birthday because, in Lee’s words, it would be the last time they’d ever be seen in public.

Before the main course, Lee stood up to make a speech. He thanked everyone for coming and casually announced that he and Lindsay had gotten married earlier that day.

The birthday celebration suddenly became something else.

It’s a wedding that I will remember much more vividly than all of the evenings featuring taffeta, extravagant floral arrangements, smoke machines and cheesy DJs playing Kool and the Gang.

There was no cake. No dance floor. No ice sculptures. No bridesmaids. But none of these trappings were missed.

Because this low-key affair had everything that makes a wedding great: The wine flowed. The food was gorgeous. The bride looked beautiful in a black maternity dress that she scored for 50 per cent off and a string of pearls with sentimental value. The speeches were tearful and sincere. And most importantly, the couple were surrounded by 25 people who love them.

Days later, I still well up whenever I think about it. It was perfectly imperfect. It was the best wedding I have ever attended and I will remember it for as long as I live.

Those of you planning weddings might fall into the trap of mistaking frills for needs. It’s not a competition. It’s about doing it in a way that makes you happy and reflects your personalities. Get married the way you want (if you choose to get married at all) and it can’t be anything but wonderful.