I can’t think of a better way to talk about this tactic than to talk about my own wedding.
Every single good memory I have of my wedding involves people.
The center of it all, of course, is Sarah. There were so many little things with her and about her that I cherish from that day, from the stop by the river on the way to the reception to watching her smile as her sister gave a stellar speech at the reception.
The other memories all involve people, too.
I remember going into the reception hall the day before the wedding to set things up. Everyone there was someone very close to Sarah and myself, and we all worked together to make the room wonderful. Every little touch came from the mind and the hands of someone I love.
I remember standing in the small room just behind the church where the wedding was to take place. My four groomspeople were there and there was a lot of joking and levity, which really helped with my nerves at that moment.
I remember Sarah’s aunts doing countless little things throughout the entire day to make the wedding and the reception work. They will always have a strong place in my heart for their efforts.
I remember that one of my oldest friends, one that I hadn’t seen or heard from in almost a decade, appeared unexpectedly at the back of the wedding. He had driven all night at the last moment to make it to the wedding.
I remember dancing with so many people – my cousin who was my babysitter as a young child, my mother’s friend who could not stop crying, my two new sisters-in-law.
I remember my best man, who spent pretty much every moment those two days doing anything I asked of him. He said that if I needed anything at all, I should just mention it, and he made many little things just simply happen.
It did not matter in the least where our wedding and reception took place. It did not matter that the catering was handled by family friends and that the decorations were off-the-cuff. None of that mattered.
Everything that mattered about our wedding was the fact that the room was filled with family and friends. The people make the day, not the location and the stuff.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “,” which is available and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of , the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.