There are many ways to make your wedding truly unique. By adding personal touches that show off your style and the special experiences you've shared as a couple, your wedding will be a true reflection of your one-of-a-kind love story.
1. Write your own vows, and choose readings that go beyond the tried-and-true.
Wedding ceremonies today can be much more personal, even whimsical, without compromising the importance of the vows you exchange. Many couples opt to design their own service by selecting poems and prayers that mean something to them -- from song lyrics to Dr. Seuss, the right passages will be moving not only to the couple being married, but to the guests as well.
Consider also writing your own personal messages to your spouse-to-be. This can be a wonderful surprise to one another, and, when handwritten in a beautiful journal (to be held by the best man until the appropriate time in the ceremony), a keepsake for a lifetime.
2. Go "off the menu" for your catering, and select items with a story.
The food you serve on your special day doesn't need to be standard catering fare. Your menu can be customized to evoke memories of a place or activity you've enjoyed together. For example, a couple who love fairs and amusement parks may opt for miniature sliders during cocktails and a refreshing granita "slushy" as an intermezzo. Couples who have vacationed in other countries may choose to incorporate foods from those cultures into their meal. Menu cards on the tables can tell the story of how the foods you've selected are significant to you.
3. Use your music playlist to say something about yourselves.
Unless you really love jazz standards or "easy listening," don't waste your cocktail and dinner hour on the same old songs. Instead, work with your DJ or bandleader to come up with a playlist of soft background songs that you actually enjoy. These quieter times during the reception can be a great opportunity to work in music formats such as indie, downtempo and R&B, without taking away from the high energy dancing you may desire later in the event.
4. Surprise your guests with something truly unexpected.
One way many couples "wow" their guests is with a special groom's cake in an original motif, such as a record player for an audiophile, or a favorite character for a video game fanatic.
Guests will also enjoy an interactive experience. A caricature artist is great fun and often even more affordable than individual wedding favors. Old-fashioned (or more modern) photo booths are also available in many markets, while some photographers offer a similar option with fun props for your guests to use in their self-portraits.
Another thoughtful touch is to offer unexpected snack toward the end of the event. An old-fashioned popcorn or ice cream cart or a well-appointed coffee service is sure to be appreciated by exhausted guests!
5. Make your thank-you notes count.
Everyone knows you're expected to send thank-you notes after the wedding, but why not do so with style? A custom photo card (available through many wedding photographers and almost all online photo sites) with one of the images from your wedding is a thoughtful way to thank your family and friends for being part of your special day. It's also sure to be remembered!