You’ve hit that point in your late twenties when it seems that every other weekend, you’re dragging on that trusty dress or suit, forking over your credit card at Bed Bath and Beyond, and driving upstate for another evening of cheesy 80s music, undercooked salmon and average white wine. After months of attending your friend’s weddings, the engagement ring is finally on the other finger: It’s time for your own wedding.
As you muster up your good intentions and emphatically assure your bridal party that you will NOT turn into Bridezilla, it’s easy to promise that you also WON’T go down that well-trodden path to the chicken dance. For the two of you, your night will shine like no other, but for your guests, will this day really stand out like so many of those others you passed all summer? Try to find some ways to differentiate your wedding for the sake of your guests, and make it a truly memorable occasion.
1. Be Creative.
Let the wedding reflect you and your partner, and who you are. There’s no need to mimic celebrities, and certainly don’t mimic your friends. You can be tasteful and classy without sticking to the traditional road well-trodden, and remain unique and different. Think about what truly signifies the two of you, and what you represent. Whether it’s hiring a rock band instead of the traditional pop artists in homage to your punk-rocker roots, or serving craft beer instead of champagne to suit your tastes, you can make your wedding as different as you want it to be: Because tonight, it’s about you.
2. Set a theme – not to decorate, but to dress up!
You don’t have to ask them all to come in head-to-toe clown costumes, but a unique dress-up theme will build excitement and have everyone talking about your wedding for weeks beforehand. Unlike your typical Halloween party, it doesn’t necessarily have to be silly or sexy: Try something meaningful, like the traditional dress of your native country; or fun and fresh, like a historical decade such as the Twenties or Fifties.
3. Mix up the culinary options
The traditional wedding cake, three tiers of fruitcake covered in fondant icing, long ago made way for buttercream-covered concoctions and even the oft-feared chocolate cake at weddings, but is a cake even necessary? Make your wedding truly memorable by posing with a stack of cupcakes, made in your favorite flavors to show the different flavors you bring to your marriage. Looking for another unique way to feed your guests at the reception? Think about adding in a sandwich bar, barbecue grill, or tastings buffet to give their tastebuds a change from the typical wedding fare.
4. Install a conversation starter.
Chocolate fountains and ice sculptures aren’t new to weddings, and neither is the concept of the conversation starter. Every dateless guest or bored relative wants to find themselves some sort of distraction during a wedding, aside from the size of the ring on the bride’s finger, and there’s nothing like a special diversion to keep them entertained for hours. Swap out the chocolate fountain for a Swiss-style cheese fondue, or please the teetotalers with a barista and an espresso machine. How about offering cotton candy, popcorn or snow cones, carnival style? Let them make their own ice cream sundae, or decorate individual cupcakes: Everyone loves playing with sprinkles, and that’s a fact.
5. Make your guestbook virtual.
There’s nothing like peering through hundreds of scrawled drunken messages to find the hidden, well-meaning messages in your guestbook. Keep the memories of your guests forever by installing a photobooth in the corner of the reception hall, and let the guests keep a snapshot as a souvenir. You can even have the full slideshow posted on your wedding website or a social network afterward. Get bonus points by asking everyone to fill out a card with a one line message to the bride and groom and pose with it in their picture.
(Photo Credit Pinterest)