Creative ideas for your celebration
Words by Rebecca Mitchell, Photo by Jamye Chrisman

With endless online inspiration, personalizing your wedding style is much easier nowadays than in the days before Pinterest. The secret to a well-styled wedding is in the details. Here, I’ve gathered some creative and memorable wedding ideas to inspire your planning. Use your creativity and imagination to come up with a wedding that embodies your personality, style, and relationship. Dream big and have fun!

Invite Some World Leaders. If you fancy collecting memorabilia for your wedding scrapbook, send an invitation to the President of the United States, pope, and Queen of England. (A simple online search will provide a mailing address for each.) You’ll receive a special card to commemorate your day.

Share Your History. Consider dedicating a portion of your wedding website or ceremony program to explaining your relationships with your wedding party members. Your sibling connections may be easy for guests to identify, but give them background on your friendships. It’s a great way to express your gratitude to your friends and family. Plus, your guests will enjoy learning more about your special friendships.

Drink to Tradition. Put a spin on the timeless adage: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue … by making it your cocktail-hour theme. Create and serve a cocktail that illustrates each phrase, like the classic Old Fashioned for something old or the Midnight Kiss for something blue. You can offer nonalcoholic drinks, too. It’s a festive way to kick off your celebration.

Request That Your Guests Unplug. These days, nearly everyone who attends a wedding has a smartphone camera at the ready to capture memorable moments. While this can be a great way to see the event through numerous “eyes,” it can distract your guests’ attention and even backfire when a guest inadvertently jumps in front of the professional photographer to capture a candid moment. Hannah and Jeff (“Blending Traditions,” page 76) were adamant about having an “unplugged wedding,” as they wanted their guests’ full love and attention. Consider asking your guests to refrain from using their phones—entirely or at certain times. You can include this request in your invitation or ask your officiant to make a heartfelt announcement at the beginning of the ceremony.
Send Off in Style. Making a grand exit is more than just a great photo opportunity: It’s an age-old tradition that just keeps getting better with time. Get creative with your exit plans—walk through a tunnel of ski poles or boat oars, or have your guests wave brilliant sparklers, shoot off cap guns, or throw lavender buds.

Don’t Forget the Children. If you plan to have children attend your wedding reception, organize a children’s buffet complete with kid-friendly food, drink, and desserts. Plus, have some tabletop activities, like coloring books and small puzzles, for them. Your young guests will love the special treatment, and parents will appreciate your efforts.

Personalize It. Look for inspiring ways to make your wedding reflect you as a couple. Consider creating a wedding brand—a meaningful image or monogram—that can tie together your wedding elements. Weave it into your decor or “stamp it” on your paper goods. Kristy and Sean (“Perfectly Matched,” page 64) worked closely with their invitation company to customize a monogram that symbolized them—both as individuals and as a couple. Their custom invitations included a sketch of the Tetons, a hand-drawn map of Jackson with their important wedding landmarks, and their monogram. From wedding invitations and ceremony signage, to dinner place cards and custom thank-you notes, your options for uniqueness are endless.

Thank Them. Wedding favors are a small token of appreciation for your guests who traveled near and far to celebrate with you. The most popular wedding favors are edible ones. Bayless and Andrew (“A Weekend to Remember,” page 84) offered mini coffee cakes baked by Andrew’s mom as their wedding favors. The cellophane wrapper had an enclosed card with the recipe and a short explanation as to why they chose to offer coffee cake favors. Get creative and have fun with your wedding favors. Check out “Guest Appreciation” (page 26) for more wedding-favor inspiration.

Capture the Spontaneity. Rent a photo booth for your reception and watch your guests flock to snap shots of funny expressions, endearing embraces, and silly disguises. Provide some creative props, and let your guests have fun! Typical rentals include photostrips for guests and a CD of the night’s images for you.

Katy Gray
Jamye Chrisman
Katy Gray
Katy Gray
Ashley Merritt
Hannah Hardaway
Katy Gray
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