If you’ve spent any time at all browsing through wedding magazines and Pinterest boards — and who hasn’t? — you’ve probably picked up some clever ideas that you’ve saved to your inspiration board. But by the third magazine (or roughly the forty-five minute mark of internet browsing) it hits you: You’ve seen that shabby chic burlap-and-lace thing before. Or maybe it was the ombre-iced cupcake tower. Or that cute font for the invitations.
Suddenly, what looked like an original idea is a wedding trend that’s everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but a personalized wedding will be much more memorable — and meaningful! — for both you and your guests. Try these ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
1. Start With Personalized Wedding Invitations
The invitation is the first impression guests get of your wedding, so don’t feel obligated to embellish the envelopes with engraved curlicues or fill them with old-fashioned formalities, if that isn’t your style. Check out our comprehensive guide to wording if you’re not sure how to get started.
Once you’ve got the verbiage down, there are plenty of ways to personalize the invites you send out:
- Add a line of poetry or a meaningful song lyric to set the tone of the wedding
- Choose a font — or several! — that you love, or turn your own handwriting into a totally unique font
- Use a favorite photo of yourselves as part of the artwork — or on customized postage stamps
2. Get Friends and Family to Participate
Do you have talented, creative folks on your guest list? Of course you do! Now is the time to ask them to help your make wedding truly special.
Whether you know a musician who can play background music as guests enter the ceremony area or have a crafty friend who can whip up gorgeous decorations with her eyes closed; getting people involved in the celebration is a sure-fire way to make your wedding a totally unique event.
You also don’t need your connections to be professionals in the wedding industry in order for them to contribute to your big day.
At the reception, consider having an open mic for sharing stories about you and your partner, or let them riff on a theme like love and commitment. You can also have guests jot their thoughts or advice down on a card placed at the table, or add artwork or handwritten memories of you and your partner to a large poster in the reception hall.
The more interactive these activities are, the more fun they’ll be for everyone!
3. Write Your Own Vows
This is the granddaddy of all the ways to personalize your wedding ceremony! Writing your own vows gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say exactly how you feel about your partner, in front of everyone you know.
For creative types, this is a dream come true, so let your imagination run wild. Just take time to consider exactly what you’re promising, and let that thought guide your writing.
Sound terrifying? It’s still worth doing. Feel free to use the traditional vows and then add a few words of your own, whether funny or serious. You can also choose a line from a favorite song or poem to help you express yourself, or simply tell a quick story about when and how you knew this was true love.
Just be honest. Whichever words you choose will be the right ones.
4. Crowdsource the Playlist
From the moment your guests walk into the wedding venue until the very last dance at the reception, everyone will be surrounded by music.
Instead of letting a wedding DJ play the same old songs you hear at every wedding — “Electric Slide,” anyone? — give your guests the opportunity to contribute their favorite songs ahead of time with an app like Party Play or a collaborative playlist on Spotify. You can also get the ball rolling by adding some of the most popular wedding songs to dance to right off the bat.
You don’t have to give up all the control over the music! Try giving your guests a theme to guide their choices, or just make sure you fill the initial playlist with all of your favorites.
5. Do Everyone a Favor
Wedding favors don’t have to be dull, so no more candied almonds — unless that happens to be your all-time favorite food.
Great wedding favors are ones that surprise and delight your guests, ideally by providing something that they didn’t even know they needed.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, personalized sunglasses, sunscreen or drink tops will be a welcome addition to the tables. Wine stoppers and bottle openers are always a good idea, and you can find them in a wide range of cute designs that match your theme.
Remember that you can get just about any item personalized with your names, or perhaps just the date of your wedding. A quick online search will find numerous dedicated wedding favor websites to browse, or you can reach out to a local marketing firm that handles promotional material for different businesses and ask them for help — an especially good choice if you’re looking to branch out beyond the typical wedding fare.
Feeling overwhelmed about getting everything done? Stay organized and on schedule with our handy wedding planning checklist. You’ll have an better idea of when to get started on planning each one of your personalized wedding ideas. There is no single “right” way to design a wedding. Let your personality shine through, and you’ll create lasting memories for yourself, your fiancé, and all of your lucky guests.