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What Thanksgiving Can Teach Us About Wedding Celebrations

Because there are more similarities than you realize.

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Photography by: Ashleigh Coleman Photography

With pop culture seeing an upswing towards mindfulness and meditation, being thankful is one of the many things at the top of all our lists. And while Thanksgiving is a wonderful annual reminder of this mentality, we think weddings carry a similar weight. Gathering all your friends and family, introducing people from all the different phases of your lives, sharing a gorgeous meal on a well-planned table, and having everyone contribute a little something—this is the recipe for a successful Thanksgiving as much as it is a recipe for a wonderful wedding.

 

Non-Cheesy Ways to Incorporate Thanksgiving Into Your Wedding

The Gathering

Much like a Thanksgiving dinner, the gathering of folks of all walks of life to share a meal is paramount to a wedding celebration. While you're not likely to invite total strangers to either, there's something really fulfilling about seeing all your loved ones in one place along with a few of their plus-ones who you may not yet know.

 

There's often a sense of dread about allowing single guests to bring along a plus-one (commonly due to budget restrictions), but if we look at the tradition of Thanksgiving and the idea that there's plenty to share, it only makes sense to invite a few strangers to the table, too. When you're starting a life with the person you love, it's important to recognize that new folks will always be entering your shared community, so why not kick off your life together by including a few of them as well?

 

The Table

It would be impossible to ignore the importance of a beautiful spread on Thanksgiving Day. Even the hosts who don't usually go over the top with table settings tend to break out the China and real silver, or at the very least, set the feast out on a nice tablecloth.

 

We often think the way to set a wedding table is with formal plates, linens, and candles. But, if Thanksgiving teaches us anything about the beauty of bounty, it's that a smorgasbord can be just as gorgeous as floral centerpieces. If you're planning a formal sit-down dinner for your wedding reception, you might consider adding some food spreads into the centerpiece mix. Guests go crazy when they sit down to share a charcuterie board before the main meal comes out. This also buys you a bit of time getting all the guests seated, as guests can nosh and drink wine while they wait for the meal to begin.

 

The Team Effort

From Aunt Jackie's homemade pies to Uncle Tom's case of wine, Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without everyone contributing a little something to the feast. Weddings work much in the same way, with friends throwing in a hand here and there to help coordinate the celebration you always dreamed of. Sometimes it's a matter of helping with a DIY project, or maybe it's helping distribute welcome bags. Even coordinating a shower or bachelorette party can be a big team effort. The general idea of Thanksgiving is to let guests contribute so they feel like they've helped a bit along the way, and we think weddings should be similar for the nearest and dearest in your lives.

 

The Big Picture

Thanksgiving is about the big picture. It's not just a celebration of the incredible mix of people who make up our great country, it's a celebration of community, generosity, and good fortune. A thoughtful wedding can mimic this mentality without even planning to. It's all about the gathering, sharing a meal, and a joyful dance among friends, family, and even a few strangers. It's the ultimate expression of gratitude for the people who have supported you getting to this place of launching your family together.

 

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