If you follow wedding trends like I do*, you'll notice a lot of attention paid to bouquet shapes, engagement ring settings, A-line vs. Fit-to-flare dresses, calligraphy, favors, paper straws (I still can't figure that one out), the proper way to use the color gold, the seasonality of peonies, and of course, large DIY signs made of reclaimed barn wood. The thing you won't see them talking about, though, is your guest list.
Who are all these details for, anyway? I think the guests deserve a little more thought than is often given them. The guests, after all, are the people who witness your commitment. Yeah, maybe they're also the people who you want to notice how gorgeous you look in that fit-to-flare, and how tastefully you've used gold calligraphy on your DIY reclaimed barn wood signs. All of that is ok, and part of the deal. Your wedding is likely the biggest, most elaborate party you'll ever throw in your life. Your friends and family should definitely take note of how well you pulled it off. What I have noticed, almost a decade after my own wedding, is that the the people who were with me on that day have been the biggest supporters of my relationship.
I think a wedding between two good people who are in love is one of the most special things you can possibly watch (Hello, I have the best job ever). The people you invite to your wedding are both privileged to get to see a thing so significant and singular in your lives. Witnesses to so great a promise are responsible to support it. This is the whole idea behind the tradition of getting married in front of witnesses down through the centuries. Those guests aren't just there to be impressed by your signature cocktail, they're there so they can remember your story and your love and remind you of it when the time comes that you need them.
What I love about Julie & Aaron's ceremony is that they never made any pretense of trying to impress anyone. (Although Julie's florals are certainly enviable, am I right?) The guests for the whole day numbered just twelve including me. Everyone there was involved in this lovely couple's life, and will continue to be involved, loving and supporting them in their commitment. I have a soft spot for this kind of ceremony, because it's similar to the one my husband and I had. (Our number was around 30, which I suspect is attributable only to our having larger families). Through the years we have been so lucky to have been supported by the people who were with us that day. Each of those people, especially the two best friends who stood up with me (Hi Christine! Hi Lori!) are still in our lives on a constant basis. They all recognize the wonderful thing they got to witness that day, and support us well because of it. I wish the same for Julie and Aaron...though I know it's already true.
*As a wedding professional, I'm always interested in observing, and borrowing great ideas from other photographers, because of this, I've read several wedding related articles a day for quite some time. I'm certain all the search engines spying on me are convinced I've been planning a wedding for the last 7 years. This gives me a chuckle because I've been married for 9 years, and my own wedding was planned without the vaguest knowledge of Style Me Pretty, Pinterest, or any other wedding-industry behemoth.