Our most precious memories contains a range of magical defining moments.
They are usually not about our greatest achievements as such, but the experience that accompanied it, and the little things that made it special.
Sometimes, yes, its about that magical wedding proposal, but sometimes its not, its about personal, unique experiences
Let me tell you about one, nothing to do with weddings, nothing really to do about money, and EVERYTHING to do with the experience.
It comes from Chip and Dan Heath’s book The Power of Moments, which I highly recommend.
Enter a hotel called The Magic Castle. You’re visiting because it has such amazing reviews. “Best Hotel Ever” kinda status. When you enter it and look around – you might consider it to be “average” in appearance, and possibly calling it a “hotel” is even a stretch. What gives it the outstanding reviews? Its the little unique and amazing experiences it offers. It has many unusual experiences, quirky magicians appearing around the place being just one of them.
But try this one on for size:
You’ve ventured out to the pool and are lying on a cabana. As you gaze around you spy a glossy, cherry red phone on the wall. Curious, you pick it up and call it. A voice answers: “Hello This is the Popsicle Hotline – what flavour would you like?”. You choose raspberry, your favourite, and within minutes a waiter with white gloves and a silver tray appears by your sunlounge. He lifts the lid of the tray to reveal your popsicle. And its all for free. And you can order as many as you want!
What a magical experience! Who wouldn’t enjoy this and re-tell the story to friends? Its different, unique and a personal touch to their service, that costs very little.
People will overlook outdated or minimal decor etc in lieu of poignant defining unique experiences. This is how special memories are made. When you organise an event, anything from a dinner party to a wedding, don’t you want it to be a special celebration that will be remembered as a magical moment in history? Something that your loved ones will remember with great fondness and passion?
It’s not about how much money you spend or how fancy it is, its about designing the special touches that make a difference. And when you arrived in this hotel, you were curious, almost expecting something to wow you. This is because the reviews prepared you. Before you even arrived you were getting ready for that unknown moment. That’s called guest preparation.
Chip and Dan Health believe there are four triggers to powerful moments
ELEVATION: They rise above the everyday experience – A wedding should always tick this box (and who would expect a Popsicle Hotline!)
INSIGHT: They may shift your point of view of yourself or the world – Setting the stage to help others look at things a little differently is easy to do and quite powerful. Think things like an Acknowledgement to Country, or a personalised message to each guest.
PRIDE: They capture moments of accomplishment or courage – There is nothing more courageous than publicly declaring your feelings for someone, but not everyone needs to do this – it depends on what signifies accomplishment or courage to each person.
CONNECTION: They are often social events that strengthen the bonds we share with others. – There are many ways to strengthen social bonds during a ceremony or reception, and leave you and your guests feeling connected and on a social high.
Priya Parker in The Art of Gathering (another book I’d highly recommend) talks about how important it is to prepare your guests for your gathering so that they are open to the experience you are about to provide. Sometimes this is about setting the stage before they arrive – eg the invitation says how much you value everyone being “in the moment” together and to leave phones in the box on the way in, or starting a ceremony with something that takes their thoughts from a “let’s go throught the motions, then move on to party” to a highly charged anticipation of the witnessing and contributing to something truly wonderful.
This may all sound a little overwhelming, but many of these things simply require a little forethought to really craft an event that you’ll be talking about for years. I can’t wait to offer you ideas that fit with who you are, and what you want your “best day ever” to look like.
Love the life you live, and may it be full of special memories.