Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Lifetime of Parties

I really believe that weddings would be a little less stressful if we would commit to hosting a lifetime of parties rather than attempting to a host a single, "Once-in-a-Lifetime" event.

And yet I find it can be difficult to do. Entire months can go by and I look back at my calendar and realize I haven't planned very many social events at all.

2010 is the Year O' Parties for Matt and me. We host a monthly get-together for the Houston Heights Time Bank, and this year we decided to make them a little more fun.

Here's the line-up:
  • January = Fondue and board games
  • February = Bowling
  • March = Bocce ball
  • April = Backyard movie (projector + screen + popcorn + blankets = fun)
  • May = Cinco de Mayo (with pinata, of course!)
  • June = Putt-putt
  • July = Bingo
  • August = Night at the movie theater
  • September = ?
  • October = Halloween party
  • November = Campfire with s'mores
  • December = Ice-skating

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Sarah said...

We host a monthly movie night-- I have a movie popcorn maker (don't ask) and we have a sizable TV. So every month, we pick a movie and play it. We invite a huge group of people with two things in mind (a) we know not everyone will come because (b) we have them every month. So if folks can't make one (or don't like the movie), they always know they can come to the next one. It's been a lot of fun and very low-key; we used to order pizza and all that but instead, we just pushed the time back and have just popcorn and soda with the intention that folks have already eaten dinner. Or will be eating popcorn as their dinner and there is nothing wrong with that!

Cupcake Wedding said...

This is a fun idea- but I dont know if it dampens wedding stress. What other party is going to see your college budies, stuck-up cousins, estranged father, high school friends, etc? The combination of so many different groups is what makes for a stressful gathering. In contract, you wouldn't likely invite so many fractions to your bowling party or sundae party (an awesome idea, by the way.) Thoughts?

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Cupcake Wedding: For sure. There are many, many things that make weddings more stressful than a typical party (how about the fact that it signifies a major life commitment?). I didn't mean to sound so naive ("Throw more parties and your wedding will be stress free!"). I meant to address one aspect of wedding planning that creates stress for some of us, namely this idea that a wedding is our one chance to throw a party with a pretty dress and flowers and invitations. For people who like to pick out dresses and flowers and invitations, they should rest assured that their wedding is not their only chance to do it. If it's your "only" chance, then there's a lot of stress around picking the PERFECT dress and the PERFECT invitations, etc. Does that make sense?

@ Sarah: I love your monthly movie night idea! How do you pick out the movie?

miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

I think you make a good point. There is way too much focus on the "once in a lifetime" aspect of weddings and while the commitment might be for a lifetime, it doesn't mean you can't have other parties. Moreover, if you really dig wedding planning specifically, you could always have a vow renewal ceremony every 10 years, 5 years or I even heard of one couple who'd thrown a vow renewal party every year of their marriage.

Kelsey said...

Sara - tell me more about the projector in the backyard! I've been thinking that this summer I want to host a series of "classic movies in the backyard" but projectors are expensive. Do you own one or did you come by one cheaply?

Karuna said...

I love this idea! I think "local harvest party" is an idea for September. At lest here in Oregon, there is a ton of yummy fall food and the weather is perfect for an outdoor evening with a harvest theme.

A Los Angeles Love said...

I just wrote about this last week (along with a massive brainstorm.) It really is liberating to put aside the "Biggest Best Party EVER," take the wedding ideas that were unfeasible for the wedding, and make it into a different party altogether. Yes all around.

Carolyn said...

We, too host backyard movie nights in the summer! While I can't comment on the projector (we happened upon one that a business was replacing), I can offer a simple and cheap suggestion for the screen.

We use a vinyl shower curtain liner and are uber-happy. It's nice and opaque, and to hang it, we just had to attach two nails to the back of the garage (the curtain itself obviously comes with reinforced holes across the top). We later added extra holes to weight down the bottom, but all in all we have a waterproof (when we're too lazy to take it down between movies) and cheap ($5.00) movie screen.

Sarah said...

Basically it's whatever we want :) My fiance works in film and video, and we have a pretty wide span of taste. We've show stuff from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the new Star Trek movie to a movie we found at Goodwill (that was terrible). Sometimes it's tied to holidays and events (we showed Mr. Smith around the election last year) but usually it's not.

@Cupcake Wedding-- I totally see your point-- that is the one stress factor of my wedding (divorced parents, different views on things...) One thing that I would say is that for many people, wedding drama doesn't stem from the different folks who will be there but from food or napkins or music or the dress, etc etc etc. I agree- I won't invite my dad to any of my movie nights, for example, but I do invite most other folks I know. I might think my cousins are stuck-up (they are!) but who knows-- one of my other friends might think they are the bees' knees. :)

Stina Marie said...

You should have a disco themed party in September, with the Earth Wind & Fire song, "September".

Can't get any more groovy!!

C Mallory

Maura said...

I am the activities coordinator at a swanky residential community, so I am constantly having to come up with new and exciting activities for my residents.
I noticed your September slot was open. You may want to consider looking into Tree Climbers International. They offer classes on climbing trees using ropes and harnesses. It's way fun and anyone can do it! :)

Tessa said...

I recommend apple picking for September. It's always lots of fun picking apples straight off the tree, plus there's usually tractor rides, caramel apples, and other yummy treats.

Sophie said...

I am planning my St. Patrick's day dinner party and remembering what you said. I'm having a blast planning it, scouring the Internet for the best lamb & Guinness stew recipe (sorry, I know you are vegetarian... at least the meat is local and organic), taking out my green dishes, etc. What makes me smile is that I am using the celtic music playlist that I had originally built on my Ipod for my wedding. A lifetime of parties indeed!

Rachael Eisner said...

So I really feel that backyard movie night would be the only way to get me to sit still for an entire movie WILLINGLY. A lifetime of parties is a great thing to keep in mind, to keep yourself from the wedding industrial complex. I have an idea for September: a leaf jumping party. Get the leaves in piles and jump in them like 12 year olds. Drink cider, eat caramel apples, sugar cookies, and turkey sandwiches with cranberries (veggie version can be eggplants since they are pretty good in the fall) butternut squash soup.....and jump in leaves.

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