Most people go to scores of weddings over the course of their lives, and while all of them are meaningful in the communities and families within which they take part, the truth is that most weddings bear remarkable similarities to one another. While some adherence to tradition and the ritual of saying “I do” is necessary (it is a wedding, after all), getting married doesn’t have to be solely made up of the tried and true. If you’re planning a wedding and want to ensure your guests have an experience they’ll never forget, try these six tips.
Have a Relative Grow the Flowers
Whether you’re booking a wedding venue in Los Angeles or borrowing your great aunt’s horse farm, flowers will feature large in your wedding ceremony and reception. While there are countless florists and designers who would undoubtedly do a fantastic job of outfitting your ceremony with everything from dahlias and irises to lilies and roses, why not ask the greenest thumb in your family to devote some time to growing the flowers you’ll need for your ceremony? Even if only the flowers in your bouquet were grown by your mother or sister, it would create an atmosphere of family, love and romance your guests wouldn’t soon forget.
Hire Your Starving Artist Friend to Make the Invitations
Invitations are an essential component of almost any wedding celebration. Instead of ordering non-custom, fancy invitations from a company you’ve never heard of before, why not ask an artist friend if she would design and make the invitations for you? Your guests would instantly recognize the invitation as a one-of-a-kind work of art, because it would look and feel so different from any invitation they’d received before. If you have a small enough wedding, it would be possible to have a simple hand-drawn or hand-painted invitation that you could then personally address. If your wedding is on the large side, your friend could create a design and then screen print invitations for you—a process that still results in a handmade, one-of-a-kind look and experience that just happens to go a lot quicker than drawing each individual one.
Go For Broke With the Cake
One of the centerpieces of a wedding reception for guests and photographers is the cake. To that end, why not order a cake that’s so over-the-top in taste and look that your guests will be reminiscing about it years down the road? From cakes that are precariously high to cakes that are covered in fresh, luscious flowers and berries, find a baker and designer who knows that cake can be art, and then, work together to achieve your vision.
Hire a Big Band
Everybody loves a good DJ, but a big band is something to write home about. With more horns than you can shake a stick at, a classic big band is a party force your guests will be glad to reckon with. The music of the jazz and swing eras is infectious, and it was made to get people up and dancing. By offering dance lessons throughout the reception, you’ll find more and more people loosening up and enjoying the music as the night goes on. Of course, you and your spouse-to-be should take lessons ahead of time, so you can hit the dance floor without any trepidation.
Serve Unusual Food
Food is almost always a highlight for guests, and while good-tasting, well-presented food is always appreciated, unusual food gives your guests a wedding reception experience they weren’t expecting. To that end, consider the following:
- Serve dim sum and dumplings.
- Have a brunch buffet, complete with mimosas and bloody marys.
- Hire a few food trucks to feed your guests.
- Use only fresh and local food from farms within 50 miles of where you live.
Make it Unplugged
These days, most couples develop their own special hashtag for easy trending among their friends and networks on social media, and while that can certainly be fun, doing the opposite might create a more intimate atmosphere. Go back in time 15 years before anyone’s nose would be stuck in a smartphone instead of a cocktail or conversation by letting your guests know that under no circumstances are cell phones, smartphones, tablets and the like allowed at your wedding or reception.
Achieve the wedding of your dreams by giving your guests an experience they’ll never forget. From unusual food and family flowers to handmade invitations and a big band, you can provide an event that you and your loved ones will be talking about and remembering fondly the rest of your lives.