When my husband and I got married, I was bound and determined to find ways to make our wedding special and unique to us. Having attended and been a part of so many weddings, we wanted our wedding to clearly represented our personalities and relationship. All of our friends had lovely weddings – full of fun, great food, and beautiful décor, but we knew we wanted to set ours apart.
Once we made this decision, our next thought was, “HOW?” How do we make our wedding to look different than every pin we’ve seen on Pinterest? How do we take all the traditional aspects of a wedding and still make them different? What does it take to put “us” into each aspect of the day?
After much deliberation, we came up with a few things that ended up being really meaningful to us that felt unique and not the “same old, same old”. And even though some of these pieces probably went unnoticed by our guests, that’s ok! These pieces actually became a kind of sweet reminder of what matters most to us, regardless of who knew the whole story or even noticed.
Here, I’m going to outline a few of these details and hopefully offer you some tips and ideas that you can use as a springboard for planning your big day!
Since I have such a big sweet tooth, there was no question as to whether or not we would have a cake at our reception. My now-husband, Nate, and I decided to add blueberries on the tiers of the cake for décor (& taste!). I absolutely LOVE blueberries and the navy berries matched the colors of the wedding. We spent one afternoon the week of the wedding at our favorite local orchard and picked the blueberries together, which created a sweet time to escape in the hustle and bustle of the week. Even though blueberries are my favorite, what I loved even more was having time just the two of us and the opportunity make another memory together. And to top that all off, we regularly go back to that orchard now! It’s so fun to be able to venture back to a place that we know and love, and has meaning in our relationship and wedding day!
Come up with something that you can have or prepare for your wedding that requires you to spend some time together. Finding time to spend alone in the weeks leading up to your wedding can be hard to come by! Be intentional about having something only the two of you will do together to prepare for this one aspect of the wedding. Besides, being together is the whole point anyways!
What could this look like for you? Here are some ideas:
Select a reading in your ceremony that’s a snip-it from a book you’ve read together
Make a favorite, homemade treat to share in your guest bags
Pick flowers together at a local farm for the rehearsal dinner décor
Photo Credit: Hannah Elise Photography
Giving your guests a taste of the local culture, hot spots, or your favorite place to explore is a great way to treat your wedding as if it’s a destination wedding. For us, we did this in a few ways. Knowing that wedding favors are often hit or miss, we decided on apple cider donuts (are you catching on that I’m serious about that sweet tooth??) as our gift. I mean, who doesn’t like a donut?!? Plus, it came from a local spot we had visited often. I had never heard of apple cider donuts until Nate and I started dating and he shared this south central PA treat with me. My friends still remember those donuts and how delicious they were, even wanting to buy some themselves to share with their families.
Another way we incorporated this local fare was in our guest bags at the hotels. We pulled a few other locally sourced snacks to include in the gift bags. Obviously this wasn’t a part of the wedding day exactly, but it contributed to the whole experience of our guests when they came in town to celebrate with us.
Are there any local items you can include throughout your day? And remember – it doesn’t have to be food! Maybe you choose to offer your guests a list of places to visit within the town. Or include a special trinket from a local market or store.
Family is so important to us and I just LOVE them all so much. As someone who is pretty sentimental, it was a given that I’d want to involve them in every aspect of the day. My mom was my right hand the whole day. Of course, my sister was my maid of honor, and my brother and brother-in-law read during our ceremony. My dad is a pastor, so it was extra-special that he not only walked me down the aisle, but also married Nate and I. He actually surprised Nate and I, and asked my mom, and both of Nate’s parents to stand up and pray for us during the ceremony. Since our faith is so important to us, this was one of the best pieces of the day and such a blessing. Look at this picture – I’m not crying, you’re crying!
Photo Credit: Hannah Elise Photography
Find some different, unexpected ways to involve your family throughout the day! Have a family member emcee the introductions into the reception (we did this too!), ask a family member to sing or play an instrument during your ceremony or first dance, or have the father of the groom be the best man – one of my favorite, lesser known southern traditions.
The most important thing to remember is that while your wedding is important, it’s the marriage between you as husband and wife that matters the MOST. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the details and forget, get lost in trying to please those around you, or insisting on making your day “different”. Our goal is that you are able to make plans that EXCITE you, while also giving you the gift of time together during your engagement.
Take a look at some of our other blogs if you are looking for more wedding planning tips, how-to’s and encouragement! You’ve got this, girl!