A Truly Memorable Wedding Experience

What makes a wedding truly memorable? Is it the food, the music, the atmosphere? Is it the good times had with family and friends? When you look back at your own wedding, what do you want people to remember the most?

I came across a blog post called “Power of Purchases” at 59 Seconds that got me thinking about creating a wedding people will always remember. Here’s what he has to say:

Psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich examined whether increased happiness is associated more with spending your money on goods (that latest dress or impressive new smartphone) or an experience (going out for a meal, buying a ticket for a concert, or booking a vacation). The results clearly indicated that buying experiences made people feel better than buying products. Why? Goods tend to lose their appeal by becoming worn-out and out of date. In contrast, our memory of experiences easily becomes distorted over time (you edit out the terrible trip on the airplane and just remember those blissful moments relaxing on the beach), and also promote one of the most effective happiness-inducing behaviors – spending time with others.

59 Seconds tip: Buy experiences not goods. Go to a concert, movie, unusual place or strange restaurant: Anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others or tell people about it afterwards.

The way I’m applying this to wedding planning is as follows: You have a budget and you want to make every penny count.  Instead of spending it exclusively on THINGS (not that I’m knocking dresses and flowers and good wine) you can spend it on creating an EXPERIENCE for yourselves and your guests. It doesn’t need to be super expensive or exotic, like a cruise or skydiving or a ceremony in a medieval castle… just something creative that your guests will enjoy.

For example… which wedding memory sounds more fun:

“That was the best roast chicken I ever tasted!” OR “Remember when we ate Indian food with our hands at Ally’s wedding?”

“Rick’s wedding DJ was great, I sure danced up a storm.” OR “I never laughed so hard watching Great-Aunt Lea Salsa dancing! It was the first time I’d ever Salsa danced too, actually.”

“Barbara was such a lovely bride. She really glowed.” OR “A masquerade wedding… what a brilliant idea! The bride made a breathtaking masked lady.”

OK. You get the idea. Buy experiences, not goods. I like it! Please leave a comment below if you’ve got any great wedding memories that illustrate this concept!

skydiving photo from scribbler