For a great many years, weddings were small affairs that included immediate family and close friends. Couples rarely went to the expense of sending out invitations. They simply asked the people they were inviting to attend their wedding. There was often a small meal served to the guests. A cake was part of the meal and served as dessert. Music was not always part of the reception as bands were expensive. All of this has changed with modern weddings.
Couples begin by choosing a venue to get married and another for their reception. Guests are now asked to join the couple by invitation. While these were printed and snail mailed in years past, email has now become the modern way to invite wedding guests for smaller and more informal weddings. After that, the couple begins the journey to plan their big event.
Modern weddings have grown in size and complexity. No longer are they a small affair that lasts only a few hours. Couples have begun to see their wedding day as the event of their lifetime. They plan multiple affairs as part of the celebration. Dinners, makeup and hair sessions and small get togethers are now part of the wedding rituals. This is all done before the marriage day arrives. Once the sun rises on the wedding day, couples are prepared to present themselves to the world.
Wedding receptions have grown in complexity over the last few years. Dinners have become gourmet affairs, and cakes for even small weddings are specialty items. Even fireworks have become an important contribution to the day's event. Guests were mostly passive observers but not any longer. They now have disposable cameras and a pre-determined place to upload their cell phone video. Their video presentations have become a major part of the wedding celebration.