The most fun I had as a wedding guest was in 1987 in Michigan City, Ind.
Two college friends were marrying in the bride's hometown, and had invited former classmates from both coasts to come for a long weekend. It promised to be both a wedding and a reunion.
The groom was a fun-loving Californian with a fondness for '50s kitsch; the bride was a small-town Midwesterner who played flute and liked to laugh.
The couple had planned a late-summer weekend of activities around a theme of California dreamin'. Guests played putt-putt golf, cooked out, took trips to the (Lake Michigan) beach, hit a tennis ball around, and hung out.
The ceremony, which was short, capped an entire weekend of cheerful camaraderie.
The bride and groom were too busy with preparations to join us for all the pre- and post-wedding festivities, but they made certain we had a blast. (It helped that most of us knew one another.)
I've also been to weddings where I knew no one. One would think that guests would unite behind their affection for the couple, but that doesn't always happen. It takes a person or an activity to help the guests bond.
In the cover story (right) one couple found a way to bring family and friends together before the wedding, via e-mail. Guests could tell stories, learn about the couple's likes and dislikes, and become acquainted in advance.
Wisdom holds that a bride should be the center of attention on her big day. But happy is the wedding in which the guests share some of the limelight.
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