You’ve waited a long time for this blessed day to come about; and you’ve put your dues in. Sixteen times a bridesmaid. Twice a “master-of-ceremonies”. Eight bridal showers hosted. Countless hours devoted to the success of your best bud’s shag.
But now it’s your turn!
And one thing that you know for sure, is your wedding will be unique. You want it to be outside-the-box; as alternative as you are. We’ve come across some pretty cool ideas over the years and have been stock-piling them on the side…. now that we’ve got a blog, there’s a forum to share them! Hope a few of them really turn your crank.
1. Precise ceremony start-time. Create mystery and drama by staging your ceremony at a time that is specific. It can be as random as 3:21 pm; or as meaningful as the exact time he popped the question. It will certainly get your guests talking and might ensure those perpetually late buds of yours show up on time!
2. Well-wishes booth. Have your videographer set up a ‘faux’ studio at the reception where guests can drop by and have their well-wishes permanently recorded. Fair warning: best to do this early in the night! Although the messages can be far more entertaining as the wine continues to flow…
3. Make a difference. Already have everything you need to set up your home? No financial concerns? A desire to help others? Include in your invitation a notice that suggests “in lieu of gifts, we would be thrilled if you made a contribution in our honour to “x” charity.”
4. Love, love the lighting! Talk to your decorator about lighting. The impact of professional lighting can be intense, dramatic and memorable. Chances are that a wide spectrum of colours is a possibility, and that extra wash of colour can add a dramatic flare to your event.
5. Creative table naming. Why assign numbers to your tables? When making seating arrangements, think creatively about each grouping of people and name the table accordingly. Alternately, if you are hosting a themed event, skip the table numbers and come up with a name that relates directly to your theme.
6. Hand-written notes to Mom & Dad. Write a hand-written thank you note to your parents and leave it on their seats at the ceremony site. What to say? It can be anything from a heartfelt thank you for their support over the years to your gratitude for all the values they instilled in you. They’ll be touched you took the time to put thoughts to paper and the tears will be flowing before you walk down the aisle.
7. Karaoke! Instead of hiring a regular d.j., get interactive with your friends and family…. go for a reception with Karaoke! This works extremely well and makes for the most memorable of receptions, especially if you’re having a smaller-sized reception (i.e. 80 guests or less). Trust us on this one. We know from personal experience. When looking around, make sure you get someone who is set-up to do both regular d.j.ing and also karaoke.
8. Mix-it-up with a unique cocktail reception. Create a drink menu based upon the familiar “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. Take recommendations from special people involved in the wedding for their favorite old/classic drink, a new/modern drink, a favorite borrowed unique drink recipe, and a blue cocktail.
9. Be kid-friendly. Have a “kids zone” area at your reception… Parents will LOVE this idea. Stock it up with crayons, colouring books, board games, stuffed animals, barbies, lego, and, if you can swing it, someone you know and trust of baby-sitting age to supervise the whole shebang.
10. Customized wedding CDs. This idea is cumbersome but oh-so-rad…. consider handing out custom-created CDs as wedding favours. You create your own wedding soundtrack based on music that is meaningful to you, or based on the year you and your sweetheart met, or, based on the year you were born. With a little bit of time and the help of a graphic artist, this keepsake idea can really hit home and will stir up memories for years to come.
11. Love story movie at the reception. Instead of showing a slideshow of pictures from your childhood, have your videographer help you create a moving piece of footage that explains how your love story evolved. Get creative; reenact the moment when you first met.
12. Host a Green Wedding. In today’s environmentally concerned society, why not set an example and strive to be earth conscious when making decisions about your big day? From buying conflict-free diamond rings and recycled gold wedding bands to serving locally grown, free-range fare and donning bio-friendly wedding dresses made of 100 percent silk and cottons. And for sure, skip the expensive printed invites and make use of the internet with a savy e-invite. There are some terrific wedding sites that allow you to customize your own website free-of-charge. Have your guests weigh in on decisions along the way, too!
13. Go with a theme wedding. Get your family and friends into the spirit of your union… host a costume masquerade, a wedding with an old-Hollywood glamour theme complete with a band that does the vintage crooner favourites.
14. Arrange for solicited advice. Instead of clinking glasses to get you to kiss during the reception, have your married couple family and friends offer you their advice as you begin your new life together. Some of them will be itching to pass along the do’s and do nots!
15. Wedding programs with a twist. Create a wedding program that reads like a newsletter. Include get-to-know the wedding party section, notes about musical selections, readings, and cherished loved ones who are there in spirit. This is easily achieved by making use of software like Microsoft Publisher, or get a graphic artist involved.