Check out these brilliant ideas for adding a special touch to your big day
1. Decorate the aisle with meaningful objects, such as dozens of seashells from around your grandparents’ beach house.
2. Serve wines from the years you were born or when you met. Share your reasons in a note to guests at each table.
3. Raise the bar on the cocktail hour by creating signature drinks.
4. Play part of a different song for each bridesmaid and groomsman as they are announced at the reception.
5. Carry a bouquet with the same types of flowers that your mom carried as a bride.
6. In your program, excerpt romantic notes you and your groom have written to each other.
7. Ask the officiant to work a story about your meeting or courtship into the ceremony.
8. Have each of your bridesmaids carry a different type of flower in the same color.
9. For a garden wedding, include some pressed flower petals with the ceremony program.
10. Incorporate a family dish into your meal; give out the recipe with your favors.
11. If you’re baseball fans, serve some concession-stand snacks (soft pretzels, nachos)during the cocktail hour.
12. Give guests candles to light up your exit as husband and wife.
13. Your best friend is a guy? So let him be a bridesman.
14. Embellish dessert plates with moving wedding words like “Love,” “Honor,” and “Cherish.”
15. Make your ring bearer’s pillow with material from your mother’s wedding dress.
16. Have your dog carry the rings. Or dress him in a collar with your wedding colors.
17. Set your sweetheart table or gift table with family linens.
18. Arrange chairs in a circle for your ceremony so that everyone surrounds you.
19. Write the story of how you met on cards and place them on tables. Your guests can then wander around to read the tale (and mingle while they’re at it).
20. If you’re printing menu cards, give dishes names inspired by your experiences together.
21. Ask a close friend to get ordained online so that she can perform your ceremony.
22. Name tables after places important to you as a couple—where you’ve lived or where the proposal took place.
23. Fill lobster traps with bunches of flowers as centerpieces for a seaside wedding.
24. Have your guests sign a photo mat with silver pens: You can frame a favorite wedding photo and remember who was there.
25. Consider box-style invitations, and tuck an object that reflects your wedding theme or colors inside.
26. Hold a golf outing during the wedding weekend; hand out tees printed with your names and the date.
27. Incorporate your heritage into the decor by dressing up walls with paper fans or placing potted shamrocks on the guest-book table.
28. Have vintage lace from your grandmother’s veil sewn into your wedding gown.
29. Get creative with your cake topper. Make your own from figurines that reflect your personalities.
30. Stage a slideshow with photographs from your childhoods through the present.
31. If you met in college, toast with Champagne flutes etched with your school emblem.
32. Create a comfy lounge area where guests can take a break from dancing.
33. For your wedding meal, re-create the menu of your first date.
34. Use your state flower as the main bloom in your bouquet.
35. Offer hay or sleigh rides during the wedding weekend.
36. Use seasonal fruits and vegetables in your centerpieces.
37. Wrap your invitations in pretty monogrammed paper.
38. Create a trivia game with questions about you and your groom, to be played at the rehearsal dinner.
39. Rent an old-fashioned photo booth so that guests can ham it up and add their photographs to your guest book.
40. Give guests DVDs of your favorite movies as wedding favors.
41. If you met on a blind date, use a “blind” seating arrangement for your rehearsal dinner: Guests pick a number out of a hat to get their table assignments.
42. Have the officiant ask if guests affirm your union. They can respond by applauding or shouting, “We do!”
43. For your first dance, learn some moves that celebrate your heritage: the Argentine tango or an Irish jig.
44. Spotlight musical talent among your guests; a friend who’s an accomplished singer may agree to perform.
45. Have your father’s favorite song played as he walks you down the aisle.
46. Build centerpieces around your hobbies (like flower-filled watering cans if you’re an avid gardener).
47. If a group of guests is traveling from a foreign country, have ceremony programs printed in their language.
48. If either of you has children, include them by taking family vows together, too.
49. Stray from the traditional bridesmaids’ bouquets. For a tropical wedding, give your girls fragrant floral leis; for a garden wedding, have them carry fancy paper parasols.
50. Commission a cartoon version of your courtship story and have it printed in your ceremony programs.
51. Honor your heritage during the ceremony by having someone give a reading in its language.
52. If you’re book lovers, give beautiful bookmarks as favors; have them printed with your names and wedding date.
53. Have a Polaroid camera at the reception; ask friends to take informal pictures, and prop them on tables for instant decor.
54. During the ceremony, recognize special people in your life by handing them flowers.
55. Celebrate the season: In winter, adorn the cake table with holly. In summer, serve lemonade in mason jars.
56. For your first dance, choose the same song that your parents (or his) danced to at their wedding.
57. Customize your wineglasses by tying ribbons in your colors around the stems.
58. As favors, give out packets of seeds along with a note asking guests to plant them to symbolize the beginning of your lives together.
59. If you sing or play an instrument, sit in with the band for a number or two.
60. For an Easter-season wedding, decorate surrounding trees with handblown eggs.
61. For a Fourth of July wedding, light sparklers and put one in each piece of cake as it’s being served.
62. For a summer wedding, hand out small baskets of fresh blueberries as favors.
63. For a fall wedding, use pumpkins carved with your monogram as centerpieces.
64. For a formal Halloween wedding, leave sophisticated handheld masks at each place setting.
65. For fun holiday-season favors, give out snow globes with a photograph of you and your groom inside.
66. For a Christmas wedding, display a gingerbread house and stack wrapped presents as centerpieces.
67. For a New Year’s Eve wedding, send invites rolled inside plastic Champagne bottles.
68. Instead of serving hors d’oeuvres on silver platters, consider using wicker baskets.
69. Add an interactive element to dessert with a make-your-own table (try sundaes).
70. Pick a special quote—from a favorite book or song—to put on your ceremony programs or invitations.
71. Make a donation to a cause that’s important to you. Leave a sign on the escort-card table so that guests are aware of the gifts.
72. Get creative with groomswear. A tie or socks can reflect the locale (preppy whales in Nantucket, thistle in Scotland, etc.).
73. Create a who’s who page in your ceremony programs, explaining your relationship to each person in your wedding party.
74. If you are planning to have an all-night affair, end it by serving a sunrise breakfast.
75. Think beyond four wheels: Exit in a helicopter or boat.
* As seen in Modern Bride magazine.