We all want our special day to be memorable, for both us as well as our guests. Here are a few ideas:
Is there a place that holds special meaning to the two of you? Can you hold your ceremony there? Love Shakespeare? Find a balcony and get married there Romeo & Juliet-style. I've performed ceremonies lakeside, in living rooms, parks, nestled in trees, on golf courses, in barns, fields and backyards as well as more traditional venues.
Does your ceremony reflect your beliefs and what you want to say, or is it something you found in a book? Does it combine your beliefs or only reflect one of you? Your ceremony can be as different as the two of you. The days of the unity candle being the only way to symbolize your union are over. In truth, it wasn't even the oldest way to do it. I love working with clients to create something special to just the two of you or to join a blended family together!
Give your special day a theme! A Rat Pack theme featuring ladies in polka dot dresses with sweetheart necklines, pearls, bright red lipstick and high heels, and the guys in suits with fedoras, Frank Sinatra music and a Las Vegas style reception would certainly be memorable. Love the Renaissance period? Rent Elizabethan style costumes for your wedding party.
Party favors and guest gifts can be expensive when you have a lot of guests and you add personalization to items! Besides, how many beer can koozies does your grandmother need? Ask several friends who've gotten married already whether people took their party favors home or left them on the table. You may see some items are more in demand than others. Also. Consider the same basic rules of gift giving you would at holiday time. What is it people value most? YOU! Spending time with you is the reason they came to your wedding or event in the first place. How can you assure they get just a little more of your time? Some couples choose to go table-to-table during dinner to greet their guests. Perhaps you hand a flower to the ladies when you do that. Use a Polaroid camera and snap pictures of you with your guests - one for you and one for them. That way you both can remember your special day together.
Make your party favors work extra hard for you. Consider cookie bouquets, cake pop towers or other edibles as decorations on your tables. They act as decorations. Party favors. And they're one less thing that needs cleaning up at the end of the event. Leftovers? Take them to your gift opening the next day. Personalized decks of cards can keep guests occupied while photos are being taken or dinner plates picked up before the dance, and used year round at home.
Consider what makes the two of you special, and that's what to share with your guests. If you're big on conservation, skip the paper invites, save the dates, and RSVPs. Use a phone and website instead. Vegan? Serve food that reflects you and your beliefs! This is YOUR day. Your guests may actually like trying something new and different.
Are you both shy? Then consider videotaping your smaller, more intimate ceremony. You can play it at the big party your family wants to throw for you later, while still saying the most intimate words to each other in a smaller setting.
Whatever you do, remember this is your day and your love story being told.
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.