Most of us have been to our fair share of weddings. We know the routines of traditional vows, the “I do’s,” the dinner, and the dancing. While all weddings are fun and special, wanting yours to stand out is natural. After all, you have spent endless time and effort planning the biggest day of your life! You’ll never forget your big day, and you won’t want your guests to either. So, how do you plan a wedding that will be talked about for years? Our biggest piece of advice is to keep your wedding your own. Allow the personality of your relationship to shine through for the guests to see. Here are a few ways you can achieve this!
Most likely, the first thing your guests will see when they arrive at your wedding is a table with your guest book for them to sign. Traditionally, a guest book has been just that—a book for guests to sign and leave messages of well wishes and congratulations. The book is for you to keep and read over, remembering who was there to celebrate your big day.
One way to make an impression on your guests upon their arrival is to have a unique guest book. Did you meet in Nashville? Make your guest book could be a wooden outline in the shape of Tennessee that your guests can sign and you can display on your wall. Do you love sports? Have your guests sign a golf ball and drop it into a shadowbox. Did you meet your spouse sitting next to them on a flight? Blow up a seating map of an airplane and have each guest sign a seat. Think about how you met, what is important to you both, and how you’d like to eventually display your guest book in your home, and devise a creative twist on a traditional guest book.
The wedding ceremony is by far the most important part of your day. It is the moment when you and your husband say, “I do,” and commit to each other forever. Your guests are there to support you, cheer you on, and celebrate your relationship. You can leave an impression on your guests by adding some extra touches to your ceremony.
The traditional chair setup for a wedding ceremony is two sections of chairs in rows, with an aisle down the middle. You can make your wedding memorable by playing with the chair arrangement. One way to arrange the chairs is in a half-dome, so everyone has a great view of the ceremony. If you have a large wedding with hundreds of people, consider getting married in a round–putting four sections of chairs in a circular pattern–so people are not set up dozens of rows back.
When your wedding party enters, there are many ways to add fun and flair to your wedding. Rather than having your bridesmaids and groomsmen walk in slowly, you could have them dance down the aisle to an upbeat song. If you and your fiance are fun-loving party animals, you could replace the traditional “flower girl” with a “beer bro,” who hands out cans of beer as he walks down the aisle. If you have a fur baby, your dog could act as the ring bearer. There are endless ideas for how to spice up the processional of your ceremony!
Once the processional is done, your guests will anxiously await the moment they stand, turn their heads, and see you at the end of the aisle. This moment alone is special for the guests! You can add some flair to this moment in a few different ways. The guests will first notice how stunningly gorgeous you look in your wedding dress. You can catch their attention even more by having a non-traditional wedding dress, be it in a different style or color than the norm. Another option is to select beautiful jewelry and accessories that will add the finishing touches to your gorgeous wedding day attire.
You could make an entrance to the back of the aisle by having some sort of ride, be it a horse, carriage, dirt bike, or fancy car. You could choose non-traditional processional music that fits your personality and relationship. As you begin your walk, your guests will smile, tear up, and happily watch you greet your spouse.
Your officiant is the person who helps you legally tie the knot. When selecting your officiant, keep in mind that they will be speaking in front of all your guests. You want to select someone who is important to both you and your husband, but keep their personality in mind. To make your ceremony memorable, choose an officiant who is a confident public speaker. Someone who is naturally funny, draws in crowds, and is good with words. Some of the best weddings we’ve been to are ones that have us laughing, crying, and feeling like we are a part of the couple’s relationship. Choose your officiant wisely!
Aside from the ceremony, the food might be the second most important part of the wedding. Your guests will be hungry, and providing food and drinks to a large crowd of people is no small feat. Here are some ideas on how to make your food stand out.
While it is not necessary to serve a fancy, five-star meal, your guests will want to have a nice meal. Here are a few ideas for how to serve food that is not a traditional buffet or plated dinner.
- If you have a theme, or motif, for your wedding, you could have the food fit with that. For example, if you are getting married around the 4th of July, having a backyard barbeque as your dinner would be a great idea!
- Rather than a traditional caterer, you could have multiple food trucks show up to feed your guests.
- You could have food served family-style at each table.
- Get creative with the order of events! Imagine arriving to a wedding and being greeted with a slice of pizza before the ceremony even starts.
Food brings people together, and we guarantee that if you have fun with your wedding meal, your guests are sure to remember it!
One consideration when planning a wedding is the drink situation. Will you serve alcohol? Will it be an open bar, a cash-only bar, or will you designate drink tickets? Will it be beer and wine only, or will you have liquor? Whether you are planning to serve alcohol or not, one fun way to make your wedding memorable is to have a signature drink. It could be a “his and hers” favorite, where the only two liquor drinks served are his favorite and your favorite. Or, you could have your bartender create a drink named after both of you.
At a traditional wedding, one of the staples is the cake. Picture a tall, white, multi-tiered, flower-covered masterpiece. An idea to spice up your wedding is to add a fun twist to a traditional cake, especially if cake is not your favorite dessert. Rather than sticking with tradition, think about your favorite desserts. One popular idea is to have a donut wall in place of a cake. Other couples go with a candy bar that matches their wedding colors. You could have a dessert tower, such as a cupcake tower or a chocolate-covered strawberry tower. Some couples avoid sweets altogether and go with a “cake” made of spreadable cheese. If you do love cake, you can decorate it in a way that your personality shines through, rather than sticking with the typical white, flowered wedding cake. Whatever you choose, be sure it reflects your taste.
Entertain the Kids
If your friends and relatives have young children, it is important to communicate with your guests whether or not kids will be invited to your wedding. If you decide to include kids, it would go a long way with the parents to have some activities for their children to partake in. Parents all love their children, but their ideal night at your wedding probably does not include having their child in toe all night. Parents will want to let their hair down and have a good time, so if you plan some activities to keep the kids entertained, your wedding will definitely stand out.
One idea would be to have coloring pages and crayons available for kids. You could even create a custom coloring sheet that has to do with your wedding! If you have a larger venue, you could create a “Kid’s Corner” with age-appropriate activities to keep the children occupied. If it’s in your budget, you could even hire someone to provide childcare and planned games. If you’re wanting to give your bestie a night off from motherhood, take a step to make sure their children are taken care of, so mama can dance the night away!
Some couples decide to give a small gift to each of their guests. This is the perfect opportunity to give each person who attends your wedding a small token of your appreciation. It’s also a great way to help them remember your special day each time they look at or use that gift! Try to think of something unique, that will stand out in their minds, or something practical that they will use on a daily or weekly basis. Customized items are a great way to achieve both. You could give each guest a customized wine stopper with your name, theme, or wedding date on it. Come up with a creative wedding saying and put it on a koozie for each guest to use that night. You could have customized sunglasses made for each guest to wear as they dance the night away. You could also make something homemade, such as a small jar of jam. One of the most memorable wedding favors I can think of was when the groom made a homebrew and gave each guest a bottle of his beer. Each bottle had a customized label with a picture of the newly married couple. If it’s within your budget, a small wedding favor will go a long way for your guests.
Many couples want to include dancing on their big day. There is the traditional first dance, father-daughter dance, and mother-son dance. A great way to make your wedding memorable is through dance. If dance is your thing, you could choreograph a dance with your husband or father. If you feel a little uncomfortable dancing alone in front of everyone, you could invite all of the fathers and daughters or mothers and sons to join you on the dance floor for that dance.
Many couples will do an anniversary dance, where they have every married couple come to the dance floor. Slowly, the DJ will have couples sit down, saying, “If you have been married for one day or less, take a seat! If you have been married one year or less take a seat! Five years or less, take a seat!” This goes on until the couple that has been married the longest is the only couple left, and it is a special tribute to those grandparents.
While this is a fantastic idea, we have a fun twist: do a reverse anniversary dance. Start with an empty dance floor, and call couples out of their chairs: “If you have been married less than a day, come to the dance floor! Less than a year, join us on the dance floor!” We like the reverse anniversary dance better for a few reasons. First, the couple who has been married the longest is probably fairly elderly, and standing/dancing for an entire song might be difficult for them. This way, they join at the very end. Secondly, when the dance is over, the dance floor is packed full of people, rather than empty! Cue the DJ to drop the beat, and the dancing part of the night can begin. There is nothing worse than hoping for a wild dance party at your wedding, only to have your guests hesitate to get out on the dance floor. The reverse anniversary dance will take care of that. Trust us–guests love reliving an epic night of dancing.
The final part of your wedding will be your exit. Rather than just saying goodbye to the guests, plan an epic sendoff for you and your new husband! Give each guest sparklers or bubbles, and walk through the lines of guests. For a twist on these ideas, you could give each guest a lightsaber to hold in the air as you leave. You could do some sort of release, where you let butterflies go or light lanterns and send them up. Because the exit is the last part of the night, it will definitely stick out in the guests’ minds.
No matter what you choose to do during your wedding, the bottom line is that it is all about you and your spouse. The two of you are saying “I do” to each other and celebrating your love and commitment. Keep the focus on your relationship. Don’t let yourself get so carried away with everyone else’s expectations that you lose yourself in the planning process. Think about what is important to you and your fiance, talk about how you picture your day going, choose your favorite foods, and trust that your family and friends love you no matter what. Know that your wedding will be special because it’s yours. At the same time, don’t be afraid to branch out from a traditional ceremony. If you want to add some flair and spice to your wedding day, do it! Your guests will love your memorable celebration.
For all your wedding jewelry needs, contact Grogan Jewelers!