Fun Ways to Make Your Wedding Stand Out

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.

PC: My Aching Head @ Flickr.com
  1. Signature Cocktails

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.

PC: Richard @ Flickr.com
  1. The Lighting

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.

  1. 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.

PC: Lauren Wiest
  1. The Décor

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.

PC: Scott Dexter @ Flickr.com
  1. Games

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

Why I Get to Know My Couples

I’ve been a DJ and Master of Ceremonies for a long time, so you could say that I have a lot of experience…and have learned a lot of lessons because of that experience. Something I realized early on is that playing music at the wedding ceremony or reception is only a small part of my job.

My work as a DJ and MC begins with the first conversation I have with the couple. Arguably, this is the most important part of what I do. Getting to know my couples ensures that my work as the DJ and MC is as successful as possible. As soon as the contract is signed, I’m not just a DJ, I’m your DJ and Your Spokesperson. That means that everything I do should be tailored to your needs—something that can only be accomplished if I get to know you.

Here are a couple of other ways that getting to know my couples makes for a better wedding experience:

1. To personalize the music

This is YOUR wedding and I want to play YOUR music. One of the first questions I ask my couples is what types of music they enjoy and want played at the reception. I also ask if they have a “Do not play” list, or a “Definitely play” list. I ask how they want me to handle song requests and skip requests. By getting to know my couples, I can make sure that I deliver the perfect blend of music, so the dancefloor stays full. I want their reception to be everything they imagined—and I definitely don’t want to things by playing a genre or song that they absolutely can’t stand!

2. To create a comfortable relationship

 I want my couples to feel comfortable speaking to me about anything. I want them to talk to me if they have a problem, if they have something specific they want done, or even just to give honest feedback. Being open and honest with their vendors is the best way for the couple to get the wedding day of their dreams—and feedback is the best way for me to learn to be the best DJ I can be. Having a relationship where we feel like we can be honest with each other will make the planning process easier, and the event even more magical. When I can be honest with my couples, and they can be honest with me, everything will work out.

 3. To help vendors make good decisions for the couple

 While planning a wedding is definitely a hands-on process, there will be times when vendors need to make on-the-spot decisions. Or maybe you want the vendors to make decisions on their own, so you don’t have to stress anymore? In order to make the best decisions for you, the vendors need to know you. If someone asks me to start playing a certain genre of music I know you hate, then I could politely decline. If I didn’t know this information, anything I played would be a guess. You don’t want vendors to have to make guesses on your wedding day. Educated guesses? Yes. Guesses made with no prior information or knowledge of your preferences? Not so much. Help your vendors do what’s right for you—especially when you’re not around.

 4. To be a better Master of Ceremonies

My job is twofold. While I am the DJ and in charge of music, I am also the Master of Ceremonies. As the MC, I introduce the wedding party, make sure that all events start and end on time, and help keep guests entertained. As a DJ, I have to figure out my couple’s preferences, the same goes as a Master of Ceremonies. Sometime couples want a more serious MC, some want one who’s a bit more lighthearted. While a good MC knows how to read a room, it’s always best to get some direction from the couple. This is why I like to sit down with the couple and talk about what they expect from their MC, and what type of vibe they want for the reception. I let them help me find the perfect persona for the evening.

 5. To enhance the overall experience

It’s your wedding, and you deserve to be surrounded by positive people working to make your Big Day special. Your vendors should happy for you, and genuinely interested in getting to know you, so that together, you can create the perfect wedding day. Nobody wants a disinterested vendor who isn’t willing to help personalize your wedding and make it truly yours. Your wedding shouldn’t be a cookie cutter event, but a day to showcase you as a couple and celebrate your love story. Hire someone who understands this. Hire someone who cares.