Ok, so I'm running into a bunch of little things that I thought were wedding planning staples, that people here in Utah have never heard of.
I'm unsure if it's just a cultural difference between CA and UT, or if it's something else.
For instance, favors. No one in Utah has really heard of these. We've decided not to do them, so there's not a lot of problems there, but it surprises me that a place where weddings happen all. the. time. wouldn't have something like this in place. Seriously, no one has heard of them. After hearing them described, FMIL (future-mother-in-law) K tried to convince us we wanted to do them, but I told her our reasons against them, and she acquiesced.
Another difference? Who gets invited to the ceremony/reception. They traditionally invite more people to the reception than the ceremony, and they do a separate meal for each, with the ceremony meal being much higher end than the reception meal. Which might be a product of the "Catholic Gap" that I've read about in the blog-o-sphere. FMIL K was raised Catholic, and M's parents were married in a Catholic church, so this isn't an unreasonable assumption (at least to my mind). However, in my experience, if you go this route you invite more people to the ceremony than the reception, because the ceremony is cheaper, and only those at the reception get a meal. Of course, I'm also used to the two being very close together, where everyone invited attends both, and M and I aren't really planning on having a Catholic ceremony, so the gap won't be an issue. But who knows? This one confuses me a little...
Slightly related to the last one: RSVP cards. No one here seems to do RSVP cards, which seems expensive. Of course, they're also sending their invites only 2 weeks (or less) before the ceremony. However, with this mentality, you don't know how many people you are feeding, and so you have to plan on feeding everyone you invite. Umm, yeah, can you say pricey? What if only half shows? If we have RSVPs then we can tell the caterer that we won't need food for 150, only 90 (or what-have-you). When I talked to M's parents about this, they both looked at me like I'd just had the best idea ever, and told me so, but they had never heard of them to this point.
Like I said, I don't know if I just happened to hit the cultural wall just right, or if some of what I consider expectations are just CA things (I suspect the former, especially since the blog-o-sphere seems to see things my way) but these are some weird things I've come across.