Guest Author - Beth Helmstetter
By the time you start planning your wedding, you have likely attended dozens of weddings. Because of this, it is easy for many couples to get caught up in what is “usually done” when planning their wedding. As you plan your event, remember the only rule is your wedding should reflect who you are as a couple. With this being said, see below for some areas that can easily be a little more personal.
READINGS: Choose readings that are representative of how you and your fiancé feel about your love and marriage. Don’t feel obligated to pick from the standard scriptures or poems that everyone uses, unless of course you feel these readings accurately reflect you as a couple.
VOWS: If you are going for a truly personal ceremony, then definitely write your own vows. This will not only be a wonderful memory for you and your spouse, but your guests will be touched that you shared such an intimate moment with them.
PROGRAMS: Consider adding a page in the program telling guests how you and your fiancée met. Or, instead of just giving the name of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, write a few lines about your relationship with each attendant. Details like this make your guests feel more involved in your day.
BOUQUET: Choose flowers with meaning. If your mother and grandmother both carried bouquets of hydrangeas, incorporate a touch of the flower in yours. Or, instead of basic ribbon wrapped around the bouquet, hang 3 small pictures of you and your fiancée, your parents and his parents to symbolize your past as you head into the future. If you are religious wrap your bouquet with rosary beads or another symbol of your faith.
MENU: Add one favorite dish of both you and your fiancée’s to the menu. If you love cheeseburgers, serve mini, bite size burgers during the cocktail hour. Your fiancée is a fan of chocolate chip cookies—serve them with a small glass of milk as a midnight snack.
CAKE: Consider a cake in your color scheme, or even have the words of your first dance song written across the tiers. Cover the cake table with pictures from your parents and grandparents wedding day or with love letters and cards shared between you and your fiancée.
LINENS: If you are having a small number of guests, have your monogram embroidered onto your dinner napkins. Or, if you are having a larger wedding, personalized cocktail napkins are and will always be a nice touch.
FAVORS: CDs, while being very popular, are a great way to show your appreciation. Burn a disc for each guest, highlighting the music played throughout the event. When they listen it will bring back the memory of your day.
ENTERTAINMENT: Show a slideshow while guests are eating with pictures of you and your fiancée growing up and as a couple. If you are hoping for guest’s full attention during the show, make sure to keep it 15 minutes or less.
Lastly, don’t forget to include your culture anywhere it’s appropriate. If you’re Japanese serve a green tea ice cream with your wedding cake. If Italian, consider using flowers that can only be found in the Mediterranean. If you’re from Croatia, serve Croatian Brandy throughout the night. You get the picture. Your family will be thrilled that your honored your background and your guests will be excited to try something new.
No matter what, have fun with the planning and make it all about you!