Top 5 joys of attending a wedding after yours is over

September 16 2015 | Guest post by Ginny Bartolone
Photo by Sara Smile Photography
Photo by Sara Smile Photography

When our own wedding was approaching, and I was wrapped up in a pile of contracts, hot glue guns, and stress, my husband and I got some wonderful words of wisdom…

"The weddings you attend after your wedding are SO much fun."

It sounded nice at the time, but I had no idea what she was talking about. How could anyone else's wedding live up to the feeling of your own personal celebration? I was wrong. Attending a wedding after your own is the best, and here's why:

1. You didn't plan a damn thing

Compared to overseeing travel, gifts, food, decorations, tips, and the general well-being of 150 people, every other wedding seems like pie. Easy, delicious pie. On the days leading up to the wedding, all you need to worry about is where you're going to sleep, how you're going to get there, and what you're putting on your body. That's it. Yes, you can buy a card and gift beforehand, and the financial planning of all this can be stressful at times. But the only main requirement on the wedding day itself? Remember the invitation so that you know where you're going and what time to get there. Otherwise, day-drink all you like, just make sure you look like a presentable person come ceremony time.

2. You are done at the end of the night

A lot of people don't realize how much certain newlywed couples need to take care of at the end of their evening. This is not the same for everyone, but we were responsible for removing all of our personal things from the dining room before heading out for the night. It isn't always about shipping off and driving into the sunset.

Especially with smaller DIY weddings, you might have a pile of gifts (with cash and checks) sitting out somewhere that needs to be looked after, several vendors that need tips, and most likely a collection of rental equipment that can't just be tossed in a closet. As a guest? Just make sure you don't lose your room key. And whatever state you choose to end your evening in is completely acceptable. Unless of course, you're a hot mess — please never be one of those guests.

Custom cocktails by Mint & Mirth
Custom cocktails by Mint & Mirth

3. You appreciate every detail

As odd as this sounds, I have found myself more emotionally open at other people's weddings than I was at my own. During our day, I went into theatre mode (since I work as an actor). "I can't fall apart right now, there's a show going on. There are props to be checked, costumes and makeup to put on, groups of people to guide…"

But as a guest? Heck, I cry when I see the programs. I cry when I see the centerpieces, the tablecloth overlays, the signature cocktail. Because I know that that one drink may have required hours of Pinterest organization, tastings and trial runs, five emails to the wedding planner and venue, and the purchasing of little doodads to go on top of the glasses. It's not just a cocktail; it's several months of loving effort.

4. You get to dance as a married couple

If the wedding includes the tradition of inviting married couples up to the floor, you finally get to join in. And, yet again, here come all the feels. You then get to sit and watch the couples that have been together for ten, twenty, and thirty years. A lovely couple we know told us that each new wedding is a reminder of their own vows. Experiencing the ceremony often acts as a renewal for their own reasons for getting married. I love this idea and completely agree.

No matter which traditions you choose to follow or not follow, there is something extraordinary about witnessing two people celebrating their love for one another in this way. And the post-wedding mindset enhances this appreciation even more.

Kimmy and Erik's party rocked
Photo by Oliver Blarth

5. You get to welcome the newlyweds into the club

On our first anniversary, we visited our wedding venue, which has an attached bar open to the public during their large events. We knew there was a wedding going on, and at best, we hoped to catch a glimpse of our new anniversary buddies and wish them well. When the couple came out in the bar during the final hour, my charming husband approached the groom to quickly say hi and tell them we were married a year before.

Now perhaps it was luck, or just the vibe of a good wedding party, but these two exploded with excitement. Not only did they invite us into the ballroom, but the four of us decided to come back next year to welcome the new May 2nd couple into the club.

If your wedding is approaching, and you are starting to feel that pang of sadness with the end in sight, don't fret. There is a lot to look forward to (other than the wonderful marriage of course). My husband and I are soon attending a wedding of two dear friends we've known since college. And if you need to find me at that wedding, I will be dancing with my husband, crying into my signature cocktail.

  1. Aww, what a lovely article.

    We haven't been to a Wedding since we got married – since most of our friends are already married, but I get all of these references.

  2. I love the mental image of two couples going to their wedding venue on May 2 to meet the new May 2nd couple and then it growing and becoming a Thing. That's adorable, and I would be delighted if someone did that at my wedding. Our venue doesn't do too many weddings, so in all likelihood we'll be the only Jan. 2 couple there for several years, but I did recently find out that some acquaintances of ours who are becoming closer friends also got married there!

    3 agree
    • Thanks so much! It really was a special night; we had no idea we would end up meeting and hanging out with the couple! I think whether you run into another wedding or not, there is something so special about being able to go back to the venue. I'm so glad you found out that you have friends with the same one!!

  3. Omg I love this post!! I had a big cheesy grin on my face while reading it, and I'm now super excited for not only my wedding but those to follow! My sister is getting married in December and then my cousin in January.. so I've already got 2 weddings to attend after ours 🙂 I guess it's like having a baby in the way that when I see parents having their first child it's SUPE EXCITING because I know exactly what they're going through and all the joys to come!

    • Thanks, Becky!! It really is just one of the wonderful things to look forward to after the wedding. I was definitely afraid I would go into a post-wedding-planning slump but having the other weddings really helped with that. I'm so glad you have two following yours, we were in the same boat. And what a great comparison, very true!!

  4. I've been to two weddings since we got married last year and the most profound thing for me is being at the wedding and knowing just how much love, work, and stress went into planning it. Both weddings were lovely, but were not at all what we would have ever done for our wedding. But they made our friends happy, and it was a joy to be there to witness that.

    It also made me a lot more forgiving when things ran late. 🙂

    • That's very similar to the ones we went to immediately afterwards as well! They were both very different from one another, and from ours, which was really cool to see. And yes, I always tell people- the couple is pretty distracted; I know I definitely didn't notice anyone getting there late. Haha. Thanks for reading!

  5. I had a married friend tell me that they chose to use the traditional "for better or worse, for richer or poorer" vows, and at every wedding they had attended since when they heard those words they were reminded of their own vows to each other. Thought that was pretty awwww.

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