Because it was a holiday weekend -- and guests were coming from both coasts -- Jackie and Tyler wanted to provide them with an unforgettable experience. Which I understand.
In the unlikely event I'll be involved in planning anything like this in the future, though, I'd emphasize the "optional" attendance status. Even my sister-in-law, Susan (mother of the bride), admitted it was a bit overwhelming.
However, family members and friends were eager to "sponsor" various events as gifts to the couple, and things just grew and grew. If, as the old saying goes, "The joy is in the journey," all of us should have been feeling very joyful (although it was hard to tell among the yawns).
All in all, though, the reason we were there was not overshadowed by the fun. The ceremony was touching, and our "little" niece looked beautiful in her sleek ivory gown -- that is, until someone accidentally spilled red wine all over it during a toast to the couple.
Oh well, every event has to have some glitches. It's just that they preferably take place behind the scenes. The mother of the groom came to the rescue, whisking Jackie off to the restroom to attempt to remove the stain.
Back to the overall purpose of the gathering. Jackie and Tyler are serious and committed about their relationship and future plans. And the marriage could easily have taken place without all this hoopla. Maybe there was too much media influence from shows like "Say Yes to the Dress" and "Cake Boss" (but, thankfully, not "Bridezilla").
John says I packed too many shoes and, in hindsight, I agree. But as a novice to the destination wedding concept, I wanted to put my best foot forward. And this definitely required variation. I mean, beach volleyball, concerts, private shopping and rehearsal dinners call for different footwear. And what does one wear to a waffle bar brunch?
I'm definitely one who believes in the journey. And I usually think of our life's journeys in more philosophical terms. This time, though, the journey was all about getting from Friday to Sunday -- haunted by that burning existential question -- "Are we there yet?"
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.