There’s no question that weddings have a tried-and-true formula for
success, but you just need to have one original idea that reflects your
own taste and personality to make your day distinctive.
Bow to sentiment
We recall the dramatic entrance that Sarah and Matt Cassidy of Ottawa made in a horse-drawn carriage shaped like a pumpkin. And a further bow to sentiment were the wine stoppers, handcrafted by Sarah’s grandfather and the cake topper that had belonged to the bride’s great grandmother.
They concentrated on lovely sentimental gestures. Sentiment also was front and centre when Tina Stefanic and Jeremy Borda were married in Slovenija by an 83-year-old priest who had baptized the bride.
Sentiment is often key in making an event forever memorable.
A bride wrote us to say that she had refused to have rectangular tables because round tables invite conversation. Then, just for fun, she mounted and framed a question for each table that they had to debate. (An example: Who’s the better driver, men or women?)
A bell rang at the beginning of the dinner, guests at each table divided into two teams, and they had 15 minutes for their spirited debate. Then the bell rang again to stop the discussions (amid much teasing and laughter).
A conversational gambit is a novel way to break the ice for those who don’t know the other guests at their table and it can set the tone for a fun evening.
A couple of years ago, Liezle and Eric Teodori of Collingwood Ontario made wine a central theme, celebrating Napa Valley, where Eric had proposed to Liezle. Wine corks were the place cards, wine chocolates were the bomboniere (small bottles of wine are a good alternative) and each table was named after a vineyard they had visited together.
You often can capture a special time in your lives and celebrate it with your guests.
A couple told us about their concern about having a tight budget that seemed to eliminate having any extras that would make their day special. Then they decided that rather than have a so-so evening dinner, they would have a really great brunch.
This meant that they could afford to have something extra; they decided on a coffee bar with cappuccinos, lattés, mimosas and bellinis that surprised and delighted their guests. They said it was a sensation!
Other couples have told us that they had an old-English afternoon tea that their guests loved.
A reception well done on a smaller scale trumps a big but second-class reception every time.
We recall Mélissa Liard and Rocco Signorile giving their guests a wedding to remember when they celebrated their favourite music era. They sent out invitations on one side of Motown, vintage rock and jazz 45s, leaving the original music on the other side. And at the reception, they delighted their guests when they took the stage as drummer and jazz singer, performing My Man and the Beatle’s For You Blue in lieu of a first dance.
Lucky the guests whose hosts have a talent that they are willing to share.
- When Katie Lee married Billy Joel in 2004 it wasn’t a surprise that the celebrity chef put her special talent to work. The author of The Comfort Table made her own rosemary biscotti, attached the recipe and that became the take-home gift for her guests. They loved it.
- Singer songwriter Sara Evans, who took country music by storm with her double platinum album Born to Fly was married at a farm to radio sports talkshow host Jay Barker. She relieved the hot weather by proviiding her guests with specially printed wedding fans – and every guest took home a cherry pie. Those are the two personal touches that were remembered.
- When Eva Longoria was married in Paris, her guests were overwhelmed at the beauty of the flowers that surrounded them in such abundance. Eva didn’t care about the cost. Flowers are her passion and they were a priority at her wedding – and that’s what made her wedding memorable.