Lots of brides want to put their own stamp on their wedding and become their own planners. If you have the personality that says, “This is going to be fun,” then go for it. If you have a personality that says, “It has to be perfect,” then run a mile. You’ll have months of stress. So mantra number one: There’s no such thing as a perfect wedding, so just don’t go there.
Concentrate on just those things that are important to you and then pick from that list the one idea that has a real wow factor.
Here’s a head start in finding your own statement:
Let there be light
Have mini lights and candles everywhere. Rent trees threaded with tiny lights and placed throughout the dining room. Have groups of candles for your table centrepieces. The candles and tiny lights will be the only lighting and they will combine to create magic.
Flatter your guests
At a smaller wedding, have a brief note at each place setting with a comment about that person. An event that you shared, where you met, what you liked to do together, something you love about their personality, or why you’re glad they are sharing your day.
Celebrate your heritage
Have either male or female attendants represent your background, such as the men wearing tartans if your background is Scottish or Irish, or the women attendants in gowns of an African kente cloth in brilliant colour or gowns in an Indian print. Or use representative heritage symbols everywhere: on your invitations, order-of-service, table menus, placecards and more.
Collect good wishes
Have something unusual for everyone to sign along with their personal message to you. If you are a skier, for instance, have them sign a ski.
Go overboard with flowers
If flowers are your thing, have them everywhere – attached to each pew at the ceremony, huge stands at the front of the church, a long garland of flowers that covers the length of the head table at the reception, a flower at each place setting.
Comfort for your guests
Have flipflops in a basket so everyone can dance endlessly and in comfort. For those who don’t dance, set up a lounge area with comfortable chairs, pillows and tables so they can relax and enjoy watching the dancing.
Perform a killer dance
Lots of couples take dance lessons and invariably it’s a slow waltz. Kick it up a notch by doing an upbeat fast swing dance. You’ll stop the show!
Now, have a conversation with each other and decide on your own single element that will make your wedding uniquely yours.
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, Spring/Summer 2016.