Chet and I got hitched a year and a half ago, and I loved every moment. (You can read all our wedding posts HERE.) It’s a relief when wedding planning is over, but it’s fun to think about what nuggets of knowledge I might pass on to couples in the throes of it. Those Spring and Summer weddings will be here before we know it! I think the thing I loved most about our wedding is how personal it felt. And that’s what I would encourage you to consider if you’re working on yours — find as many ways as you can to infuse the day with what and who you love, your personality, and the way you would truly do things. After all, it’s no one’s day but you and your partner’s! Here are ten easy ways to do so…
Create a wedding website
To curtail the number of questions you’ll no doubt get asked by guests, consider setting up a wedding website. This is the first element, besides your invitations (if you have ’em!), where you can really highlight your personality as a couple. There are tons of platforms that allow you to create a completely free website. Here’s a look at ours. We included information about our venue, times, and listed a few housing options for the weekend. But we also included some information about ourselves and our relationship. One friend of my family remarked that watching our ceremony felt that much more personal because she had gotten to know Chet and our story a bit better before the big day.
Get creative with ceremony setting
If you’re not married (hee!) to having the ceremony in a religious setting, get creative. Consider lots of options, not just the ones that have hosted weddings on their property before. It never hurts to ask! Consider getting hitched in your backyard, at a museum, a library, or your favorite park where you got engaged. Plenty of spaces hold special meaning besides churches.
Gather your favorite folk
They say you’re the average of the people you spend the most time with and it’s kinda fun to make your guest list a reflection of that. A healthy mix of family, friends, and mentors who have seen you grow up, fall in love, and shape you into the couple standing before them. Sure there are some folks you’ll have to invite but don’t let them overwhelm the list. Gather your favorites as a reflection of YOU.
Make moments to play
I was beyond grateful to have someone in our corner who passed along this nugget of knowledge to us. And doubly grateful that this person was not just a dear friend but also our wedding photographer! She whisked us away for a couples shoot before the ceremony that felt more like an adventure than a check mark on the day’s to-do list.
Buck tradition (if it’s not your thing)
Keep the traditions you like and buck the ones you don’t. Nothing personalizes your wedding like setting your OWN traditions. And hey, they might stick! We totally loved that my brother and sister-in-law walked down the aisle together and decided to do it too.
Have a friend officiate
What could be more special and memorable than having a beloved fried officiate your wedding? Their words will ring so much more true than someone’s you hardly know. And more importantly, they can offer more than stock advice because they’re more familiar with your story and their words can paint a more accurate picture of you to your guests. Just have them hop online and get ordained!
Choose meaningful readings
This was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning but I’ve had friends tell me it was their LEAST! It can be a bit daunting to find the right words…especially written by someone else. Consider a broad scope of favorites (poetry, essays, excerpts from novels, etc.) and then read new material specifically for the occasion. You might find one perfect reading that does the job or you might want to include a bevvy! Then enlist some of those favorite folk to perform with gusto!
Write your own vows
The easiest way to really put your own stamp on your wedding is to write your vows…or even your whole ceremony! Create the structure you want and write it in your own words. If it feels daunting, remember formality doesn’t have to be the name of the game. Your vows can be written in the form of a letter or a simple conversation.
Serve your favorite food
If you’re known for loving a certain kind of food or your partner is famous for always baking certain type of treat, why not include it? I’m a firm believer that food can be an important part of one’s story. And often times the food we actually like is far cheaper than what’s offered on a catering menu. (Says the girl whose husband lovingly made 2 giant pots of gumbo the morning of their wedding while she just worked on getting pretty, haha!) Have a cookout style feast with burgers and hot dogs if that’s your jam. Serve slices of pie instead of cake. Mix up your signature cocktails. You followed your heart, now reward your belly.
Show off your last name
Finally, a super cute idea if you’re stumped for favors is to find a way to show off your new, married last name. We gave out Chet’s family’s signature seasoning – Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown. Google to see if you can find any products that share your last name or get crafty with a DIY or customize some meaningful trinket. Your guests will hold your new name in their heart when they look back at the item (or use it!).
Are you planning a wedding? (Congratulations!) What ways are you planning to personalize the experience? Already married folk – What advice would you give someone just setting off on their wedding planning journey?
P.S. All photos above were lovingly captured by my wonderful friend and wedding photographer – Carrie Guggenmos of Sur La Lune Photography. She’s the best in the biz!