We have all been to stale, bland weddings where our only incentive for sticking around after “I do” is the guarantee that dessert is soon on its way. In this stereotypical wedding the same reading reminds us that love is both patient and kind; the same traditions are dutifully fulfilled; Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” or “The Wedding March” accompanies the walk down the aisle; and decorations venture little beyond flowers and tulle. While all of these elements are great and are considered staple components of any wedding, it is important to remember that your wedding should celebrate your own love. Love develops differently with each couple. With such a large celebration, there are a myriad of opportunities to express your uniqueness.
Of course the new viral trend is for newlyweds to post YouTube videos of their colorful choreographed first dances. Brides and grooms create mash-ups of a few of their favorite songs (think of “Glee”) like “The way you make me feel” by Michael Jackson or “Forever” by Chris Brown, in order to have a fun and memorable first dance. If you have the guts to really cut the rug in front of your guests, do it! Although it might help to schedule this routine for after you have had an hour or so worth of cocktails! Along this vein, you could by-step having a DJ and create an iPod playlist of all songs that speak to you two.
Less audacious ways to set your wedding apart from every other ho-hum wedding is to get creative. Utilize the talents of your wedding party and family. On “Sex and the City”, Carrie was asked to display her writing talents by writing a touching poem to read. If you have an artist in your wedding party, she could sketch something for your invitations or design an image for your place cards and programs. These images could reflect your wedding theme or be of something special that you and your betrothed have both experienced together. Musician friends can play the recessional music or dedicate a song. Additionally, while it doesn’t take much talent to use a disposable camera, if you distribute some to your guests you are guaranteed to receive more intimate photos than a hired photographer could capture.
Who says that you need to serve dinner at the reception? If your favorite meal is breakfast, serve it! You can have an espresso cart at the venue and serve brunch cocktails and Irish coffees instead of dinner drinks. Do you have a favorite cuisine like Mexican or Sushi? Then consider hosting a quesadilla grilling station or a sushi bar. Or, if you are both more comfortable with casual, happy hour style dining, then consider having an assortment of hors d'oeuvres and martinis passed on trays to induce more mingling among your guests. Take yourself even further away from cookie cutter wedding dining and have the candy bar and cupcake tower duo in lieu of a wedding cake.
Finally, remember to think outside of the box when looking for locations. If you limit your search to local bridal websites, you will miss out on quirky local spaces which probably charge less to host events than the hotels and gardens that can afford to advertise. Next time you and your fiancé visit your favorite restaurant, music venue, art gallery, park or any space that holds a special meaning for you two, imagine getting married there. I once attended a ceremony held in a beautiful theatre with the couple onstage while we all watched from the seats. They even utilized the sound system and lights to create a fun and unique day.
Have fun with your wedding and incorporate as much of your and your fiancé’s personalities into the day as you can. This is the only time that you will get to spend a day celebrating your love in front of everyone who cares about you, so make it special, memorable, quell the naysayers and make it YOUR day!