occasion (noun)

A particular time, event, ceremony, celebration


may refer to party, festival, feast

Reflecting on the meaning of the word occasion I realise that I have only experienced three great occasions in my life.  My marriage and then the birth of my two boys.  We have, however, had many celebrations in our home - birthdays, christmas, school leaving, graduation etc.  These are always marked by good food, wine, friends and family which usually results in a party!

A wedding is a one-off (or should be).  A particular date and time is selected which creates an event, a ceremony takes place (religious or secular) to solemnise the moment and thereafter a celebration takes place.

I have often had a couple telling me they just want to have a party.  I quite understand the feeling that the day should be fun and enjoyed by all, but at the same time it is definitely not just a party.  It is an occasion where two people are making a life long commitment to eachother.  Serious stuff.  The guests are witnessing the promises that are being made and true friends and family should be present, not mere acquaintances.

I personally cannot get my head around having carnival and circus themes for a wedding.  Yes, it would create great decor opportunities and elements of fun but for me best suited to an engagement party or milestone birthday.  A wedding is a once off opportunity to do all things grand.

It is the opportunity to wear the most beautiful and stunning dress you can find, to compliment it with a beautiful hair style to have your groom looking ultra sexy in an immaculate suit, debonnaire with a boutonnaire!! When can you ever do this again?  Along with this goes a certain sophistication and good food, wine, dancing, flowers, soft lighting, candles, music, friends and family will be the formula for the celebration of the occasion.  Nothing needs to be over the top but what you choose should be done immaculately and befitting to the occasion.

By all means introduce something quirky, something fun and/or something unexpected but I say embrace the moment.  This special day is truly a once in a life time.  So special.

Whether you decide to have a breakfast or a lunch or a conventional dinner/dance just take the opportunity to make it an occasion.

With the cost of living escalating we are seeing the return of smaller more intimate weddings. Couples are being more discerning when compiling their guest lists and it is no longer acceptable for unmarried/single guests to expect to drag along partners.  When you consider that an average wedding is costing between R1,000.00 - R1,500.00 per person it is very ungracious to expect the couple to include long lost cousins, relatives and all work associates on their guest list.

When you receive a wedding invite in the post (it is wonderful receiving things in the post), it will give you a "taste" of what is to come.  Time, place, formal, informal.  Be polite and RSVP timeously and when the great day arrives guests put on your glad rags too!!

~Neva Ward~


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