Q: We’ve just started planning our wedding for next fall and I’m incredibly excited! We’ve barely started our brainstorming yet, haven’t even laid down the budget, but one MAJOR insecurity of mine keeps rearing its ugly head.
We just aren’t Super Cool Party People.
I have two friends I still speak with on a regular basis. One of them lives across the country and simply will not be able to afford a trip out for our wedding. My fiancé is super introverted. He has a few more close friends than I do, but not many, and they are not reliable. We are both close to our parents and our brothers, but are more on an acquaintance level with the rest of our families (including my sister). When we throw “parties” in our everyday life they don’t go terribly well. We love our lives and the people in them on a one-on-one basis, but our small community is not conducive to partying in general. My practical side is thinking that the wedding that best suits us is going to be an intimate ceremony, followed by a family meal and roasting marshmallows around a fire pit or some such. My paranoid insecure side remembers my graduation “party.” My partner, best friend, mother, grandmother, and I stood around way too much food awkwardly making small talk while my father and brother watched something stupid on TV. I still remember my graduation with shame. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t a celebration. The situation on his side is the similar, but we’ll have the added tension of extreme fake politeness between opposites on the political spectrum.
I want my wedding to be a celebration! These are the people I love, who will want to be there to support me, so elopement really isn’t an option without hurting them. What do you suggest to avoid the awkward silence and boredom? I’ve considered inviting more people. The WIC answer seems to be making it a bigger wedding with our Super Cool Party People acquaintances and extended family members, but that won’t really be US, and it will involve a bigger budget too. I could do a plan-out-every-minute-with-activities type wedding, but it sounds exhausting and just begging for everything to go wrong. Should I be trying to entertain my wedding guests? Or just leave it up to them as adults and risk crying on the way to the hotel because nobody enjoyed my wedding?
Super Cool Quiet Person
A: Dear SCQP,
You’re not wild party people. Own it.
And it sounds like your people are Super Cool Quiet People, too, so don’t worry about trying to entertain them. I’m guessing they’ll enjoy whatever kind of party you enjoy most. Some weddings are raucous wild parties, and some aren’t. And for each of those raucous wild parties, there’s probably one or two Super Cool Quiet People in the crowd sitting meekly at their table with a cup of punch wondering when is too soon to leave.
There are all sorts of definitions of “fun time” not just from person to person, but just from day to day. Sometimes, my idea of a fun time is going out for drinks and dancing to Boyz II Men with some old friends from high school. Sometimes it’s a night in with pizza and a Disney flick and my son. Just because your party won’t be X kind of fun doesn’t mean that it won’t be ANY kind of fun.
Not to sound like an after school special, but don’t try to be something you’re not. This is basically a life lesson, lady. Work with what you’ve got. It’s ridiculous for me to save Pinterest beauty tips and inspiration photos of tan ladies, I’m just going to end up frustrated. If instead, I pin pictures of really gorgeous super pale and freckled ladies—well, I’m giving myself a shot, at least. I’m not guaranteeing your party will for sure be excellent (just like I can’t guarantee that I’ll ever look like Emma Watson), but if you highlight and expand on what makes you unique rather than squash it, you’ll have a much higher rate of success.
So when do you guys click? When do you feel relaxed and comfortable and enjoy yourself? What’s a memory of the best party you’ve ever been to? Your idea with the small family dinner followed by marshmallows over a fire sounds excellent. I’m picturing a reception with less dance floor and more armchair, what do you think?
There’s a chance people will be bored, but ya know, that risk comes with planning every wedding (and party, and get-together). Instead of seeing what makes you unique as an obstacle, try to see it as an advantage and have a kickass, though maybe quiet, wedding (with marshmallows).
Team Practical, how can SCQP make a fun time for her friends who aren’t wild about parties?
If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off!