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Perfect Brides and Grooms

They really do exist!

2003 Archive
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 I think the most gracious bride and groom I have ever encountered were my cousin "Liz" and her now-husband "Barry."  Liz had converted to Judaism a few years before the wedding, and she and Barry planned a traditional Jewish ceremony.  Knowing that our family (and many of her friends) would be unfamiliar with all of the components of the ceremony, Barry and Liz set up a website with beautifully laid-out page after page of information, scheduling, etc.  They also included information for out-of-town guests, and arranged blocks of rooms at hotels close to the wedding site.   After receiving and RSVP-ing to our invitation, Liz called me on the phone to check on different things for our comfort.  We had a small baby daughter (who was mentioned on the invite by name, so there was no confusion as far as her being welcome) and Liz provided child care for the families who wanted it, but made it clear that the kids were welcomed throughout the afternoon and evening.   

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, and the reception was classy, yet very relaxed and comfortable.  We had to leave a bit early, but Liz made sure to tell us how happy she was that we had attended.  I received a thank-you note for our gift within ten days of the ceremony.    This graciousness extends into their everyday life as well.  I have had the opportunity to meet with Liz and Barry a few times since their wedding, and they always put my comfort and ease ahead of everything else.  What a wonderful example of a truly special couple on their "special day!"



A little over a year ago a friend of mine, M, married for the second time. My mom helped with planning the wedding since M's mom passed away several years ago. All throughout her planning her decisions were based on what would be best for her guests. M and J, the groom, had to be talked into doing a gift registry since "they didn't want people to think that they had to buy a gift." Helping with the wedding planning was actually fun because of her laid back attitude. At the wedding M gave my mom the corsage meant for the mother of the bride and seated her where M's mom would have sat. A couple weeks later my mom received a thank you note with two Visa gift cards worth $100 each. This was after my mom had already turned them down when they offered to pay her for her help. Since then M and J have proven over and over how thoughtfulness is second nature for them.



This perfect bride story involves a friend I met at a former job. After hearing she got engaged, I naturally inquired about wedding plan progress. She replied with a laugh, "I wish somebody else would plan it and just tell us when to show up." It's not that she didn't care; she just had her priorities in order.   Bride and Groom had just purchased a house, and shortly after getting engaged, learned that they were expecting a child. She therefore budgeted appropriately for the wedding. Her wedding budget allowed for super cheap (but lovely) invitations, a non-wedding white formal dress (under $100), moderate but tasteful decorations, and she got a deal on food and the reception site from a friend. 

Their one splurge was the band they really wanted, which was totally worth it because the dance floor was consistently packed throughout the reception. I fondly remember Bride's father, who I'd never met before, teaching me how to swing dance.   Bride and Groom took time to circulate and laugh with every guest. It was what a wedding really should be- a chance to celebrate a couple's new life together. Throughout the planning, it was clear Bride was focused more on creating a life for her new family. This story also shows that good taste and manners don't cost a thing.   

P.S. There was never any gift seeking or requests for cash gifts, never even a hint. I think she registered for a couple of things. However, the small gift table at the reception was filled with envelopes, no doubt monetary gifts. I was happy to give cash (for which I received a prompt and warm thank you note) to a pleasant, down to earth couple, and I know other guests felt the same. Learn it, greedy bridezillas!!        


I had the extreme pleasure of attending the most beautiful wedding I've ever been to in the summer of 2006.

I had recently broken off my own engagement, which had devastated me, and had decided that instead of moving back to my home town on the east coast, I was going to her (and most of my mother's family) hometown on the coast of Oregon until after the wedding. Though my arrival was a bit last minute, my cousin, Erin managed to find time to spend with me despite a hectic wedding planning and work schedule. Also, her MOH, Pam, made sure to include me in all the bridal shower and pre-wedding activity possible. She knew I did not know any of the other bridal party girls and made a point to introduce me and make me feel welcome among their ranks. When the bachelorette party rolled around, I was even extended an invite by the bride herself (which I declined with many thanks but I didn't feel I should intrude on what had been planned to be an intimate night with her 5 closest friends).

Through the whole time I was in Oregon, she never once had a moment of hysteria or even nastiness with ANYONE. This includes her FMIL when the woman kept trying to add people to the already 250+ guest list a month before the wedding. Erin was supremely (and impressively) gracious about it, allowing some leeway but informing her FMIL that anyone further that she or DH did not know personally could not be invited due to reception site constraints.

The dresses were absolutely beautiful knee length, black designs that flattered everyone from her rail thin college roommate to the voluptuous mother of three. I head from her ladies that they had been given the wedding colors and asked to each find a dress or two that they liked then, Erin picked one and put them all online for the girls to vote on. They chose hers as it was flattering to everyone and could be worn again and again. In addition, the bride's family paid for the dresses and any necessary alterations, which was an expense some of the girls may not have been able to handle. Erin made it very clear that it was their presence that was important.

When I met the groom, I could immediately see why my laidback, sweet cousin had fallen in love with him. Not only did he forgo a handshake to give me a bear hug (both our and his families are very physically affectionate), but he thanked me for coming and was constantly attentive to everyone around him. They NEVER had any kind of disagreement in public and would instead excuse themselves briefly and deal with it in private. They both come from large but close families so it would have been easy for them to fight in front of us and disregard how uncomfortable it made us but the thought never even crossed their minds. It was a stressful week and they both handled it with laughter and a grace that I only hope I have when I get married.

Through all of this, the beautiful bride kept in mind that I had just broken off my engagement 6 months before my own wedding and gently informed that she understood if I didn't want to participate in any of the pre-wedding events if it would be painful for me. She even took the time to sit down with me one night and have a real heart to heart, confessing that she was a bit scared and asked me to tell her all about my break up and my own wedding. Truly, what kind of bride does that 3 weeks before her own wedding?! I always knew my cousin was an amazing girl but I realized now what an amazing woman she had become.

The wedding itself was stunning and exquisite while remaining fun and carefree. Everyone looked beautiful, the reception hall was a three sided 'barn' with beautiful but rustic chandeliers and simple decorations that echoed the bride and grooms simple but elegant tastes. The food was amazing, the night sky was clear and the temperature was PERFECT. The bride made her rounds conveying smiles and joy without making it seem like it was her 'duty'. They made a toast to their guests and families, thanking them for everything they had done to make their day perfect, even if it was just RSVPing. (Which got a huge laugh.)

Two weeks later, I received a handwritten note thanking me for both of the bridal shower gifts (for which I had previously received thank yous for each) as well as the silver and velvet photo album I had given them as a wedding gift. Also was a note from Erin thanking me for helping "keep her sane and make laughter a daily part of life" while I was visiting as well as a sincere invitation from both to please visit them next time I was in Reno (where they now live). 

I think the crowning touch, however, was the picture that my cousin, the perfect bride, had included in the thank you note. It was of she, DH, her brother (my closest cousin) and I at the reception, taken by her MOH. It was a gorgeous picture and on the back, she wrote the simplest thing that brought tears to my eyes, "This is what family is."


I haven't been to many weddings held by Bridezillas, thankfully, but there was still one bride that stands out to me as the best of the bunch. Ironically, it's for a wedding I didn't even attend.

My dear cousin asked me to be a bridesmaid for her September wedding. I was a little surprised, but touched and thrilled, especially since I'd never been a bridesmaid before. We looked at shoes, picked out dresses, and went to the dressmaker to get measured. Then, in July, I got a call. I'd been offered a job halfway around the world, and it was starting in only three weeks. I was elated, but felt terrible about the wedding. It was much to far for me on my limited budget to fly back for the wedding weekend. So I called her and told her my exciting news, but then explained, overwhelmed with guilt, that I was going to be moving before the wedding and couldn't come back for it. Her reaction? "What? Oh, honey, don't be silly! Don't worry about it for a second - let's talk about this job! This is such exciting news!" Instead of stressing that I was going to make the wedding party uneven, this wonderful bride ignored the inconvenience to her "big day" to make me feel special about something big in my life.

I sent a message and gift to the wedding, and got detailed reports back from all my relatives. It was a beautiful ceremony, the bride and groom spoke to each and every person at the reception, all the guests were relaxed and having a wonderful time, and people danced till the band lost their voices. I couldn't have wished for anything better and expected nothing less from this wonderful couple.



Do you know a wonderful bride and groom who should be immortalized for their graciousness?  Send us the story and be sure to put "Perfect Bride" in the email subject line.  

Page Last Updated October 11, 2008