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Sara
Expert October 2020

What are "normal" weddings like where you're from?

Sara, on September 4, 2019 at 5:54 PM Posted in Community Conversations 0 48
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Just wondering what "normal" weddings are like for everyone. I always have to remind myself that not everyone is from the same area so I'm wondering what the norm is for everyone.

So shout out your state, country, region and what a traditional/normal wedding is like?

I'm from central New Jersey. I feel like wedding around here are massive weekend long events. Huge rehersal dinners on Fridays, outrageous receptions on Saturday, and brunch the Sunday after. In most of the weddings I've seen the bride tells the bridal party when and what to do and what to wear. And most weddings take place at ballroom type venues or golf courses. Almost everyone has a hotel room block with a shuttle and has and after party and guest list is 100 or more. Cocktail hour has enough food to feed everyone 3 times over, dinner is mediocre, and dessert is just as big as cocktail hour. There is always... always an open bar and every wedding has a photo booth.

I'm not saying every wedding around here is like that, but in general it's the overall feeling..

48 Comments

Latest activity by Tara, on September 19, 2019 at 12:40 PM
  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    From where I'm at it's a cultural thing where it's massive weddings and they don't do things like rehearsal dinners. And a lot of times people have multiple ceremonies as well on the same day.
    • Reply
  • Cyndy
    Rockstar May 2019
    Cyndy ·
    • Flag
    It’s so funny that you say that because I’ve been to 2 weddings in New Jersey in the last year and they were both exactly as you describe. They were both large Italian weddings but I was shocked by how over that top they were compared to where I live. I’m from MD and while it’s not that far away we are a bit more country so weddings here are a bit more rustic/barn, fun filled evenings without the crazy full weekend thing.
    • Reply
  • Paula
    Super September 2019
    Paula ·
    • Flag
    I don't know if it's our area or just our family and friends we surround ourselves with but all the weddings lean more to the traditional side of things for the ceremony and then a party when lots of food and alcohol
    • Reply
  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
    • Flag
    I haven’t been to a ton of weddings but every wedding I’ve been to in Michigan had donuts and cider. We have a lot of cider mills.
    • Reply
  • Alicia
    Just Said Yes December 2019
    Alicia ·
    • Flag

    Tampa, FL - On the water is pretty standard with lots of beach activities for your out of town guest. And they ARE NOT in the summer!! You plan a rehearsal for bridal party and family, a wedding to celebrate your marriage, and your guests enjoy the beautiful beaches!

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Super September 2020
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag
    Every wedding in my circle/area has been tons of guests, very expensive, and at a venue that is all inclusive as well as popular (meaning that I've been there before). I purposely wanted a venue I've never attended a wedding at and it was very important to me to not exceed 100 guests. Our list could easily be 300 and I'm just not interested in all that. I do feel many in my circle are in it for the show, which is cool if that's what they're into. However, some of the best weddings I've attended have been crafty, original, and more budget friendly. I also prefer intimacy in the sense that all the guests will know each other and we will know all the guests.
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Super September 2020
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag
    I should mention most venues selected are indoors with a ballroom setup.
    • Reply
  • Bella
    Dedicated October 2020
    Bella ·
    • Flag
    Most of my friends/family do things that don't even feel like weddings haha. Other then a few. My cousin had a wedding and reception was at the vfw. She didnt have enough food and it was cold. Wasnt too bad tho. A friend had her wedding themed blue(she wore a blue prom dress no joke) and everyone brought a covered dish and they provided buckets of kfc. Another friend had a very casual wedding everyone wore camo shirts and the girls wore cutoffs and the guys wore jeans. Backyard bbq type thing. Wasn't bad.

    I had a cousin who had her wedding at a barn but inside was a ballroom. She said she invited 200 but from the pictures looks like only 80 showed up.

    Okay I think thats all. Most people do a thrown together wedding with potlucks and such.
    • Reply
  • Molly
    Expert October 2020
    Molly ·
    • Flag
    This makes me laugh, I'm from Eastern Pennsylvania near the New Jersey line and I've been too many New Jersey weddings and I totally understand what you are talking about. All weekend event, crazy extravagant weddings, and much more.
    • Reply
  • Megan
    Dedicated August 2019
    Megan ·
    • Flag
    Wow!!! That sounds a but overwhelming. I’m from WA state. While I’m sure there are some big weddings like that, I feel as though this area tends to be very non traditional and “low key”.
    My wedding was at an outdoor garden. Our rehearsal dinner only included 30-40 people (close family and bridal party), where we served a taco bar at a local restaurant.
    My mom hosted a very small “brunch” the next day for gift opening. However, only her side of the family and my husband’s parents attended (parents are divorced which makes things awkward!).

    We did not offer a hotel block or shuttle and didn’t have an issue at all! We skipped cocktail hour by doing our photos before the ceremony (best idea ever!!). So guests drank *maybe* 15 minutes between the ceremony and reception.

    It still felt quite exhausting after it was all said and done, so good luck to you!!
    • Reply
  • Mary
    Expert July 2019
    Mary ·
    • Flag
    From the weddings that I've attended, the vast majority are of a medium size (~125 guests) and at a country club (to get the green backdrop for photos). Ceremonies are outdoors, non-religious, and officiated by either a family member or friend. The bride and groom recite custom vows to each other and all the guests tear up. Food is quite good - passed appetizers, and plated dinner with a salad starter. More often than not a cash bar (with hosted beer and wine or signature drinks). There is always a wedding cake. I don't think I've seen live music outside of the single church ceremony I've attended as a guest; it's almost always a DJ for both the ceremony and reception. There are all the "standard" dances (mother/son, father/daughter, first dance) but most skip the garter and bouquet toss. Dancing goes until late, but most guests leave quite early. Hotel blocks are always available but almost all guests are local and drive themselves. No after parties.
    • Reply
  • Karla
    Dedicated July 2021
    Karla ·
    • Flag
    From California & a typical wedding is either courthouse or grandmas backyard 😭 also very cultural
    • Reply
  • L. Thomson
    Expert October 2020
    L. Thomson ·
    • Flag
    I'm from Iowa, and in my part of the state and my circle - you see a lot of diy, lower budget with a relaxed atmosphere. Majority of the money goes towards good food, lots of cake, and lots of booze. Some are traditional, some are unconventional, but always a good time. I've rarely gone to a boring wedding, and if I did it was the ceremony only.

    My wedding is going to be an unconventional, diy, lower budget as well. I'm making a lot of things, including my wedding cake and cupcakes, so we can focus our spending on food and booze.
    • Reply
  • L. Thomson
    Expert October 2020
    L. Thomson ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    We have apple orchards nearby with wonderful apple cider. Our wedding is Oct. 2020, so we are making a custom boozy harvest punch made with apple cider.
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    I'm from Central NJ and weddings I've been to (and held) are similar as described. However, I did skip out on the morning after wedding brunch.
    • Reply
  • Alyssa
    Devoted October 2019
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag
    I’m from south texas and I haven’t been to too many weddings but rehearsal dinners aren’t real common. Weddings consist of ceremony, dinner, then dance. Cocktail hour isn’t common down here. Morning weddings aren’t a thing either. Most weddings start between 4-6 and the dance is as late as 1AM which I may add that weddings during the week aren’t a thing down here either. They almost always fall on Saturday’s. I’ve never attended an open bar wedding. We always have to purchase our own beer from the bar and since that’s a norm for us we don’t think it’s rude like in other places. Also I may add RSVP is definitely something people ain’t used to down here which is probably why I was given such a hard time about it when I decided I wanted to do it to avoid over buying food.
    • Reply
  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yum! I would’ve had cider too but my SiL had it at her wedding and is kind of territorial over ideas. We go cider mill hopping every fall!
    • Reply
  • Devoted June 2020
    ·
    • Flag
    I'm from California, and there isn't necessarily
    traditional. I've been to many as well as been
    a Bridesmaid. Most are doing what they can afford and or what makes them happy.
    I've only been to one potluck kinda of a disaster they ran out of food. Not a good idea
    If large group.
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    LOL! We're from So Cal, but have awesome Jersey family and OP's initial description makes it sound like she was a guest at the last family wedding we went to. By our standards, it was SO over-the-top! Cocktail hour alone would have served a small country, dinner was a filet and stuffed giant shrimp duet, and then dessert was like 15 courses. Dj, tons of uplighting, lots of traditions. After we took the shuttle back to the hotel, pretty much everyone was drinking and eating -- heavily -- at a post party.... Then, everyone was back together for brunch 4-5 hours later in the hotel restaurant. SO MUCH FOOD! Smiley winking (Unfortunately, that marriage didn't last 9 months and her parents are still paying it off a few years later, so that was really sad.) In our experience, So Cal weddings are fairly expensive just because it's such a high cost of living area, but much more low key. Weddings are typically around 100 guests, lovely country club type venue, but more relaxed than formal or stuffy. Usually an outdoor ceremony (and maybe the reception as well). Full open bar, nice appetizers, plated dinner. Guests are treated well, but it's not crazy-over-the-top. Most WW "etiquette" is completely consistent with what I've experienced in So Cal. Now, H's family on the Southside of Chicago? That's a completely different story.... LOL! Catholic ceremony that only 20% of the guests bother to attend, huge "Catholic Gap," reception in a "wedding hall" usually located in a suburban strip mall. Cash bars are super common, food is usually "eh" catered food -- but there is TONS of it and often kind of an odd mishmash of cultural/ethnic dishes. However, everyone has a great time and loves to party! So much of what's "normal" really is regional. Great post!

    • Reply
  • L. Thomson
    Expert October 2020
    L. Thomson ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Ha! Sounds like my sister. My fiance suggested a Halloween wedding, but since my sister wanted to be married on Halloween (she had to settle for Oct. 24th) it would cause a fight. But I love that we chose 10/10/2020 😊
    • Reply

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