While planning your wedding, keep one thing in mind: this day is meant to celebrate the love you have with your new life partner and your future together.
Your first thought might be to pin anything and everything you like on Pinterest, and try your best to recreate it. While Pinterest is a great resource, there are many ways to express your relationship through the ceremony and the reception.
Weddings are like snowflakes—no two weddings can be exactly the same! Here are some creative ways to tell your story:
1) The Ceremony
Above all moments, this is the time when all eyes are on you and witnessing the commitment to love each other forever.
Show off this commitment in your own, creative way. Pick readings, poems, or quotes that speak to who you are as a couple, and write original vows.
You may want to look into cultural traditions to make your ceremony stand out as well, such as lighting a unity candle or the Irish tradition of literally “tying the knot” by tying your hands together in bright rope or ribbon.
2) Save the Dates & Thank You Cards
Dig up old photos or schedule an engagement photo session to use for your save the dates. Use photos that resemble the type of wedding you’ll have; for instance, take photos on the beach for a beach theme or in a park if your ceremony is outdoors.
This is also an opportunity to show your funny, quirky side by going beyond traditional paper cards. Check out this Buzzfeed article for some great ideas to save the date!
According to the wedding blog Tule & Chantilly, a popular wedding trend for 2015 is providing edible favors. Not only will your guests enjoy the treats, but these are also easy to provide without breaking the bank.
Going to Paris on your honeymoon? Give your guests macaroons or mini champagne bottles to take home. Planning your big day in the fall? Fill mason jars with hot chocolate ingredients and the recipe you used.
If you are trying to avoid foods melting in the summer heat, try bath salts, homemade limoncello, or mason jar candles. Whatever the favor, have the label or item itself tell a part of your story or relate to the wedding’s theme.
4) Signature Cocktails
Another increasingly popular wedding trend is to have 2 or 3 signature cocktail recipes taste-tested and approved by you!
Come up with catchy names for each drink to reflect the couple’s story or the wedding theme, and use different types of liquor in the recipes to satisfy a variety of tastes. Your drinks can be named after a place you went on vacation together, where you had your first date, or the street where you first moved in together.
Having pre-selected and personalized cocktails, wine, and beer for your open bar limits which bottles you need to purchase for your drink recipes, which can be a total money saver!
You’ll look at your wedding photos for years to come, so make them special. When hiring a photographer, make sure to look at their photography styles, and note which kind best fits your wedding time of day, date, and venue.
According to Here Comes the Guide, photojournalism is currently the most popular style, in which the photographer becomes “invisible” and follows you around, taking candid shots. For an engagement shoot, illustrative or natural light style is recommended.
Note down a few shots you definitely want your photographer to capture so they can plan ahead.
6) Tasting Stations
Another trend that’s all the rage this year—and appropriate for all seasons!—is a tasting station. This is another opportunity to represent who you are as a couple in a delicious way!
Try a wine tasting or olive bar, boardwalk comfort foods, sushi bar, or an array of your favorite foods. Tasting stations can also represent your family’s heritage without having the entire dinner dedicated to a particular cuisine.
When I was writing this article I asked my mother if there was something she would’ve done differently about her wedding day, and oddly enough the first thought that came to her mind was that she wished the centerpieces were given more thought!
Flower centerpieces can be beautiful yet simple, but there is definitely room to put a creative spin on them. From candles with engraved or photo-covered vases, to decorated wine bottles and frames with fun facts about the couple, creative centerpieces enlighten guests with a personalized touch at their assigned seat.
Centerpieces are another DIY opportunity if you’re on a budget that can still look thoughtful and classy.
8) The Attire
It’s no secret that your wedding party isn’t forced to wear the same bridesmaid dresses and black tuxedos. The horizons have broadened to all different styles and colors to meet the couple’s desires.
Even brides have evolved from wearing white to sporting blushed pinks, mint, or even hombre colors. Bridesmaid dresses are now printed, all different colors, or different shades of the same color, complemented by grooms with button up shirts and suspenders or suits in almost any shade.
Let the season, venue, and theme of your wedding guide your process of picking the appropriate attire. Your groomsmen will thank you if they’re able to take off their suit jacket for an outdoor July wedding, and you’ll please the ladies by letting them pick a hemline that looks best on their own body. How you dress on the big wedding day adds to the theme and overall mood of the wedding itself.
9) Social Media Presence
These days, it is essential to address how much you want social media to be integrated at your wedding. There are several roads you can take on this one.
Some couples politely ask for guests to wait until after the wedding to post pictures on social media, others proudly display a sign with a wedding hashtag to let their guests tag and post as they please.
Some couples do not mind pictures at the reception, but want to give the photographer an opportunity to take the best shots possible without guests obstructing their view with an iPhone camera.
Whatever you decide, make sure to note your preference to your guests, reminding them a few times before the ceremony and during the reception. If you go the wedding hashtag route, announce the hashtag and leave a sign at the venue entrance so people can remember to use it! Going through the hashtag on Instagram and Facebook can be a fun activity to do the next day with your new spouse, and further prove that you threw a party so great that everyone just had to document it!
10) The Entrance and Exit
You thought there were a crazy number of choices for anything and everything involving your wedding—the entrance and exit is no different.
Is your wedding elegant and romantic, perhaps sparkler-exit worthy? Or were you thinking of going green by tossing rose petals or lavender? Maybe you’ll want to add pops of color with waving flags or ribbons or throwing confetti.
When the DJ is announcing you as the new Mr. and Mrs., will the song playing in the background be a romantic classic or one of the jams by your favorite rock band? Again, how you want to present yourselves as a married couple for the first time is your choice. Dance your way into the big room or walk hand in hand smiling. The point is to celebrate, and let your imagination run wild on how you want your family and friends to help you do so.
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