If there’s one bit of advice I can give my couples, it’s to personalize your wedding and have fun with it. There’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter couple, so no one should have to settle for a cookie-cutter wedding. You don’t want your wedding to be just like all the others! So, make it memorable. Let it tell your love story. Showcase yourselves as a couple—and as individuals.
You may think that these extra personal touches can only be expensive, but that’s not necessarily true. Yes, some may cost a pretty penny, but it’s definitely possible to personalize your wedding without breaking the bank. Below is a list of some of the best additions to a wedding receptions that I’ve seen. They vary in price.
Signature drinks are always a fun touch. They can be named after the bride and groom, or even after special events and inside jokes. The signature drink may also reflect your wedding theme or style. If your wedding is 1920’s themed, it could be a good idea to serve prohibition style cocktails. If your wedding is on a beach, well, I know a lot of guests will be expecting Piña Coladas.
Another fun option is to provide wine from important years to you and your significant other. You could use your birthdays, your parent’s birthdays, the year you first met, and more.
I’ve found that lighting often gets overlooked. You can completely change the atmosphere of your venue based off of your lighting choices, but it’s often a forgotten option. If done correctly, utilizing your lighting choices can also be a very cost-effective choice. From fairy lights, to lanterns, to candles, there is no end to what you can do to control the mood of your wedding. I’ve seen floating candles, hanging candles, and tapered candles in vases along a walkway. They’re all beautiful options.
You can also look into colored lighting and color wash the reception walls. You could use your favorite color, or even just whatever color scheme you choose for the wedding. Lighting can also be more deliberate. Couples have been known to project their names and initials on the floor and walls.
The Music (and Dancing)
I may be a bit biased, but I believe that music can affect a wedding’s atmosphere just as much as the décor. It definitely plays a big role, and will make a wedding stand out when done right. Using the 1920’s themed wedding again, playing some older, 20’s sounding tracks would go a long way, and guests will have a lot of fun dancing to different types of music and trying out their 1920’s moves. Just playing whatever is popular now isn’t always the best choice.
I’m also talking about more than whatever songs the DJ plays when people are on the dancefloor. Interesting and personal music choices for the first dances are also a must. Something else I love to see is a surprise, choreographed dance performed by the wedding party. It’s something guests will always remember—and maybe even try and mimic at their own wedding.
I always love it when the décor is personal and doesn’t just follow an arbitrary color scheme. If you and your significant other met at a baseball game, love gardening, or even enjoy cheesy Rom-coms, I’d love to see evidence of that in the décor. The décor is the easiest way for you to tell your love story to guests, and it’s the best day to do so.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor either. All it takes is a bit of craftiness and some strategically placed props. It doesn’t have to take over the entire wedding, but this a great chance to show your loved ones who you are as a couple.
Whether it’s a game everyone participates in—or one that only some can play—games are a great way to boost the fun at a wedding and get people mingling. The games can revolve around the happy couple, or just be a fun thing for guests to do to pass the time. At outdoor weddings, I’ve seen corn hole, ring toss, and horseshoes. I’ve also seen trivia about the couple—and my personal favorite—the Shoe Game.
Games can vary in formality, but are always fun. Best of all, some of them (like the Shoe Game) are 100% free!
Header Image Photo Credit: Monique Hessler Weddings