Add more heart (and oomph!) to your big day with ten small yet creative personalized touches that make the biggest impact
Text Tricia V. Morente
Featured photo by Pat Dy
White dress, tux, three-tiered cake, party favors, photo booth—after a while, one wedding starts to look like the next. But ask a bride what she expects from her wedding, and the most common reply is still this: “I want it to be special—to be uniquely my own.”
You really can’t have it any other way. The day you say “I do” is one of the most special days of your life, and more than just a run-of-the-mill production, your wedding celebration symbolizes the union of a man and woman in love who have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together.
While weddings do follow a basic format—an exchange of vows and a reception—the one surefire way to give your wedding that special touch is in the details. Personalizing a wedding celebration is what makes your wedding truly yours.
The possibilities for personalization are endless; the only limit is your imagination, as a good supplier can provide the ingenuity you need. Here are ten thought-starters you can look into
1.Work on getting a wicked wedding logo
Nothing personalizes and marks your dream day more than a customized wedding logo. These modern wedding monograms give your wedding its identity. Whether it’s a classic, ornate monogram of your initials, or a chic and contemporary logo that symbolizes something you love as a couple, a logo is your very own stamp. Unique to you and your theme, you can use your logo to brand elements of your wedding, from wedding invitations and save-the-date cards to wedding favor tags, cocktail napkins, and champagne flutes, and it can even as a background for your photo booth.
2. Send ingenious invitations.
Trailers are to movies what wedding invitations are to your wedding day—they serve as your guests’ preview of the style and vibe of your wedding, so make sure your invitations are as personal and unique as your wedding will be. If the place where you live or are getting married is special to you, use it as inspiration for your invitation—ask your designer to create illustrations of iconic landmarks or to even just evoke the mood of the location. You can even incorporate a fun game into your invitation or create it in such a way that it becomes interactive. WE know one couple that sent out a disk-shaped invitation which, when turned, became animated with illustrations that depicted activities the couple enjoyed doing together.
3. Honor thy heritage.
Make your wedding more meaningful by incorporating elements of your heritage. We’ve all heard that old adage, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” Something old represents the bride’s past. Personalizing it can be as simple as tucking the same lace handkerchief your mother used on the day of her wedding in your bridal bouquet, or using the same vintage hairpiece your lola used as a hair accessory on her wedding day.
4. Start a new tradition.
“Something new” represents good luck, optimism, and hope for the couple’s new life ahead. Often, it is the wedding gown that’s chosen as the new item, but that’s, well, old news. One way to incorporate “something new” into your wedding is by creating new traditions. As we say at Wedding Essentials, why follow tradition when you can start your own? Instead of the ring pillow, for example, you can have your wedding bands placed in a ceramic bowl on which your names and your parents’ names have been inked. This, in turn, can be the item you pass on to your future son or daughter as the “something old” for their future wedding.
5. Shake things up at your reception with customized cocktails.
Cocktail bars at weddings usually serve the ubiquitous Shirley Temples and Long Island Iced Teas. But when thinking about your signature drinks, remember that it’s about you and your future hubby. Whatever you want, you should get, and if bananas and nuts are two of your favorite things as a couple, then ask your supplier to create a drink that incorporates the two. Another way to customize your cocktails is by creating drinks according to colors. If your wedding’s on the beach, serve up cocktails that reflect the colors of the sunrise or sunset; if you love the color purple so much you want to marry it, have drinks served in lilac, lavender, and violet glasses.
6. Make sure your tables are tops.
Seat guests according to certain groupings, and instead of the usual overflowing floral centerpieces, customize your tables in a way that expresses each group’s connection to you as a couple. The groom’s music-loving friends can be seated in a table that’s laden with mementos of the gigs they’ve gone to together, while the bride’s travel buddies can be at another table with a display of a collage of plane tickets, souvenirs from the countries they visited, and Polaroid shots at different destinations. Dressing up your tables with nostalgia is more economical than using floral centerpieces, and these elements may also be used as your personalized party favors.
7. Pack a mean punch with your photo booth.
Instead of just using your names as the photo booth’s background, set it up in a way that reflects the theme of your wedding or your personality as a couple. If you and your fiancé are in the film industry or just love watching movies together, one way to customize your photo booth is by setting it up in a way that looks like guests are inside an actual YouTube video. If you’ve decided on a beach theme, use a beach background and provide beach-related props.
8. Go gaga with your giveaways.
Party favors are among the most overlooked wedding items. Couples often rationalize that if guests enjoy the wedding, then the memories will be their giveaways. But party favors are one of the most interesting areas where you can personalize—the options are endless. If you and your fiancé love to cook together, you can give out recipe cards of your favorite dishes as a souvenir. A couple marrying by the beach can give sandalwood or paper fans emblazoned with their wedding logo so that guests can cool themselves with them. You can even incorporate your “something blue” here by giving away blue lollipops and candies as party favors.
9. Create a cake with character.
If you don’t care much for wedding cakes, why serve one at your reception? Nowadays, wedding desserts can come in any form, shape, and size. In lieu of the classic three-tiered white fondant wedding cake, one couple opted for a tower of cupcakes and macarons while another took an even more extreme route by having a “cake” made out of jello shots. Other sweet ideas that do not fit the traditional wedding cake mold—but which can reflect who you are as a couple—include a gelato station, a mini cheesecake tower, and a pie bar—either way, your sweet tooth will be satiated.
10. Go for gold when it comes to your guestbook.
In lieu of the usual guest book wherein guests simply jot down their names, get your guests involved in creating a one-of-a-kind custom keepsake for your wedding. One way is by providing them with sheets of stationery on which they can write tips for how you can have a lasting marriage. Another great alternative is to rent out several Polaroids, give them to a few trusted friends, ask them to take candid or fun photos of themselves and the other guests, and then compile all the photos in several albums.