This is your day and it should be a reflection of you as a couple. Tips on how to make your wedding day your own.
What is a wedding? It is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Generally following the ceremony is a reception in which the couple's new marriage is celebrated. Simple, right? Try to remember the reason for your special day whenever you're feeling frustrated from all the "advice" you'll be receiving after you announce your engagement.
It's Your Day
I'll be the first to start with some of that advice. This is YOUR day! Don't let anyone dictate what you should do. Be prepared to throw the rule book out the window and just have fun with it..
You don't have to be traditional unless that's what you want to do. As long as you're considering the comfort of your guests everyone will be happy. Remember, they're here to celebrate the love you share between you and your partner. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Location is probably one of the more difficult choices to make when planning a wedding. Stop and think about what you're guests are capable of. Can you realistically expect all 100 of your closest friends and family to travel to another country? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If the answer is no, try finding a way to incorporate the things you love about that location into your decor instead. Or significantly shorten your guest list to those who can travel and have a separate reception when you get back.
Whatever you do, don't stress out too much about this step. Picking the location is a big first step in planning the wedding and if you agonize about whether your one great aunt who lives out of state can attend than you'll never get started. More than likely Aunt Susie will be delighted that she was invited, send her regrets, and you'll receive her gift in the mail shortly. The people who care about you realize that this is a stressful time for you and they want you to be happy. So don't take unreasonable steps to include everyone. Even with an exorbitant budget you won't be able to make everyone happy.
Your decor is one place you can really show off your style as a couple. For myself and my husband we chose to make every table about one of the many fandoms we share. The result was a unique reception filled with tons of conversation starters. Our guests loved it and are still talking about all the little ways we made our day about us.
I helped plan my best friends wedding and for her and her husband they made it all about their love of Disney. So each table topper had one of their favorite Disney quotes from some of their favorite Disney movies. For their sign in book, we cut out Mickey heads which were put on thumb tacks for everyone to sign and place on a cork board which was eventually framed. Now they see all the signatures of their friends and family every day as they pass by this unique keepsake.
Whatever path you take for your decorations be sure to pick what makes you happy. If you've always imagined a very traditional wedding with beautiful flower centerpieces then that is what you should do. All that truly matters is that you and your partner agree. That's why people say the first test in your marriage is planning the wedding.
I am a big proponent of tailoring the ceremony to your own style as a couple. Chances are that most of the people you've invited have been to many weddings and lets face it, they can get pretty redundant. Writing your own vows is a great way to make your ceremony unique. You don't have to be a writer to achieve this either. Take to the internet to get some ideas and you'll be surprised at how quickly you can write out how you feel in your vows. Feel free to make them funny if the two of you share humor or terribly romantic if that's how you're feeling. People will pay more attention if they're listening to your creation rather than the same verses they've heard a million times before.
If you have a favorite bible verse or you really love a poem you've heard at a million other weddings, don't leave it out just because I suggest making your day unique. I'll say it again and again, do what will make you happy because this is your day! Besides, you can still write your own vows and use that verse or poem as a way to include someone else in your ceremony.
People will have a lot of expectations of how they think the reception should go, but don't force yourself or your partner to conform to their ideas just because they're "tradition". My husband and I did not do a garter toss because it made us feel uncomfortable. Not one person complained because this didn't happen because they were having too much fun at the party we created.
Not everyone is big on dancing and not all your friends will know each other.
For us it was more important that there were games and a photo booth section than a bouquet toss. Not everyone is big on dancing and not all your friends will know each other. For those introverted people at your wedding a game table can be a great way to get the conversation flowing with those strangers.
Make it About You
Your wedding day is ultimately about celebrating the love you've found with that other person. So don't be afraid to make it all about you. Be original, show off your style, and tell your story. In general, people love a good love story so why not tell yours? Did you meet in college? Incorporate your alma mater. Do you have your own little traditions you'd love to share with all your friends and family? Put it in the programs.
Be original, show off your style, and tell your story.
You have the internet at your disposal, use it. If you're at a complete loss and need some help, call a wedding planner. Just remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!