By Rita M. Neri
The most common phrase that couples tell me in describing their wedding vision is “simple but elegant”. Very few have told me that they want a grand wedding. But what exactly is a grand wedding? Can a simple but elegant wedding be grand? Is it in the number of guests? The selection & cost of the menu & beverages? The wedding location or the principal sponsors? Is it in the styling or maybe the number of layers of the wedding cake? Or is it in the budget?
The simple answer is “yes” to all of the above and any combination of the elements related to a wedding. For example, we did a wedding in Amanpulo, which only had six people invited. We had more wedding suppliers (sixteen) than guests, and the menu cost per person was at P8,000. We all stayed for at least two days and the total cost reached 6M. Would that be considered a grand wedding? The answer, of course, is “yes.”
But more of us equate a grand wedding with one that has a fairy tale setting. Perhaps we have grown up watching too many Disney movies, where chandeliers flood down from the ceiling, flowers cascade from big vases, a mile-high cake towers over the tables, with a full orchestra playing in the background. The couple, of course, are in formal wear with the bride wearing an enormous ball gown.
Traditionally, this might hold true, but modern times are re-defining our perception of what it means to have a grand wedding. Nowadays, a lot more couples are rebelling against standard notions. For these innovators, “grand” can mean a wedding for just 60 people, with all expenses paid.
The key word is perception. People should see the affair as being grand from start to finish. Every element must be tastefully stylish and properly executed. No point out of place, no discordant note, no imperfect timing. Choosing your suppliers carefully will accomplish this, and browsing through their previous work will give you an idea of what each of them is capable of.
It goes without saying that whether we view a grand wedding in the traditional manner or not, the wedding budget plays a big part. It singularly determines how grand the wedding can and should be.
“The vision of grandness will be hard to realize if the budget doesn’t support it. You can’t have a tulip bouquet if you can only get daisies, so plan accordingly and leave a little room for additional expenses. This will help make sure that you get exactly what you want.”
Of course, meticulous planning is the hallmark of a grand wedding, and with very little elbow room during the main event, you also run the risk of taking the fun out of the whole affair. If you feel this is going to be the case, a more casual, after-dinner celebration can be held when the main event is finished.
Ultimately, any grand wedding should leave your guests wowed. There should be a sense of awe at how the wedding played out, creating some very positive feedback. Your guests might even want to copy some of the elements they experienced during the wedding. These weddings are often talked about, envied, emulated, and in certain cases, some people may even gatecrash, just so they don’t miss out. Many of these celebrations, after all, get featured in the major newspapers, with a who’s who printed out for everyone to read.
Naturally, grand weddings suit certain personalities, and you have to discuss what you and your fiancé want, your estimated budget, and your vision or style, before you even to commit to one. But at the end of the day, it’s best to remember that any wedding is a grand wedding because it was yours and nobody else’s.