We attended a massive Passover seder last night. Each year, our friend is generous/crazy enough to invite over a giant 30-person mix of Jews and non-Jews to participate in the seder rituals, wine drinking, and general dinner party merriment. When we arrived at his house, he had two long banquet tables set with pretty plastic dinnerware, a few votive candles, and wine. Within moments of sitting down, the room and tables were overflowing with elbows, conversation, food and joy.
And that was all we needed. Obviously, Passover isn't about the pretty tablescapes and I generally don't expect to see fancy china at our friends' apartment parties (especially when serving 30 people). But the point was that the centerpieces and fancy china and everything else we can easily obsess over for our weddings wouldn't even have fit on that table, because the elbows, conversation, food and joy took clear precedence, making centerpieces a moot point. An inconvenience and distraction, even.
And so, last night was simply another reminder of the things that really matter when planning our celebrations: making space for those conversations and joy.