The theme, the food, those genuine words exchanged at the ceremony or how fabulous the happy bride appeared… What do you think your friends and family will remember longest once the big day is over? Things we have just mentioned are standard for any nuptial. All couples carefully select outfits, do their best to please the company with an exquisite gastronomic treat, dress up locations festively and look into interesting ways to entertain wedding guests.

So how to throw a party that will be remembered for years to come – and for all the good reasons? If you really wish to pull off nuptial with a twist, we have some good tips for you below.

You probably do not have a mogul’s budget to fall back upon. Your invitations will hardly be sent out in silver boxes supplied with return tickets to Paris and plush hotel reservations – as was the case with one of the most extravagant marriage ceremonies ever. Cannot rent the Palace of Versailles or let the fireworks go off at Eiffel Tower in your honor? Or give jewelry-filled bonbonnieres instead of common wedding favors? Don’t worry!

It is a myth one has to splash out to make it special. What people do remember is the mood – the unique air of magic and celebration. When you plan it out well and keep the guests’ comfort at heart, it works miracles el cheapo.

Imagination is everything: it helps to turn even a small-scale event into big time party with lots of fun. These are simple ways to wow wedding guests, but they leave an equally lasting impression as the display of affluence by the rich and famous.

Save the date cards

Possibly, the earliest occasion to apply your ingenuity is when assembling and designing invitations. With them you can even make a statement right away. There is not enough room in this article to include all the etiquette advice – you will have to research it independently.

Give recipients a hint – style invites in selected wedding colors. If you go traditional, let the cards look formal – for example, in black, white and gold – with calligraphed letters. Opt for something pastel and airy, if your nuptial theme is, say, shabby chic. Then the addressee knows what to anticipate, and the feeling will be reinforced when the day comes.

Note: Do not send registry guest lists along. It is not done. Choose a different method to make your crush lists available to everyone.

The gown

Bridal attire is always the most conspicuous element – the first thing people search with their eyes when they arrive at the ceremony. No wonder, many women wear a get-up calculated for effect. Modern-day girls may go for alternative colors:

  • champagne
  • ivory
  • ecru
  • frost
  • other

One of the recent trends is the so called ombre wedding dress – like the one Gwen Stefani and Anne Hathaway wore. Their creations end up in different ‘top best’ lists, so you will easily find reference. Explore the possibility, too. Taffeta fabric can add dignified rustle as you move.

Flowers

Be it spring, summer, winter or fall, they are almost a must-have. It has even become classy to drown the venue with flowers. Elaborate season-appropriate centerpieces and other arrangements should wow your wedding guests the minute they step on the threshold.

The bouquet

It is an important part of the look. If you would like to appear regal, choose a resplendent floral composition for going down the aisle. All eyes will be riveted to you, guaranteed. Deep red flowers with a sprinkle of spruce are lovely against predominantly snowy background. Lush, saturated shades of mauve, orange, crimson with an addition of berries into the bunch suit the third season of the year.

Bridal piece

Pin a flower or two to the hair. Do not forget the groom and his men’s buttonholes. And the maids of honor – it will make you all come across as a group.

Petals

Remember to scatter petals down the aisle before putting your foot on it. Have somebody to do it just half an hour earlier or less. Otherwise, the decor may be ‘gone with the wind’ when it is time to start. Two bucketfuls should be enough to cover a 10 meter lane.

Spice it up

If you feel like adding intrigue, one may place a “glass slipper” in the middle of the aisle. Let the best man pick it up musingly in front of the seated audience and pass to the groom, the latter rushing out with a desperate air about him minutes before the ceremony is due to begin.

Keep your wedding guests entertained from the very outset and you will get them in the right mood for the rest of the day.

Horse and carriage

How about replacing the limo with something else? Imagine the bride arriving in a horse-drawn carriage – Cinderella style. We assure you, the company will be absolutely thrilled.

More getaway options

Other variants are an old vintage car, an open-top convertible… Even a boat, if the location is situated somewhere by water. Check with the wedding vendors for available transportation means. Who knows, they may come up with hilarious ideas of their own.

Let marriages be made in heaven – literally

Modern-day couples look for wedding inspiration in most unusual places. Totally creative ways to tie the knot, that were used by certain daredevils, include exchanging vows on a hot air balloon – with an audio broadcast for the people gathered down there on the ground.

One of the craziest ideas ever is a joint parachute jump! A rented private plane is less extreme. Either way will be jaw-dropping for all. These are merely suggestions, of course.

Pre-reception

The cocktail hour should give you plenty of time to snap best shots ahead of the dinner. Rather than let guests pine away waiting, serve dainty hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks. Make a small open table for kids, if you invite them over. It will show how considerate you are – youngsters and parents will appreciate.

Avoid temperature sensitive foods. Put out small canapés, nicely arranged appetizers that are easily handled ‘on the go’, while people mingle and converse, occasionally posing for wedding pictures.

Photography

Let photographers and cameramen familiarize themselves with the whereabouts a few days before. Supply them with information what photo combinations you would definitely like to preserve for years to come.

Chandeliers

A beautiful touch to both outside and inside settings, featured now in almost every decor edition, is the crystal chandelier. They look absolutely exquisite – in wedding context, in particular.

 

Lighting

Combined with classic chandeliers, it adds the necessary glitz and glamour to the party. Lights create the festive atmosphere about the place. Strings, bulbs are suitable for almost any wedding theme. If you use candles, put them in containers: a popular option is mason jar and recycled bulbs – equally good for rustic and retro-styled nuptials, as well as modern. One may also hang up lanterns, if he likes.

DIY décor

This option is trendy and helps to personalize any event. Along with the cute mason jars’ lighting solution you may to dress up the place with other DIY stuff. Don’t forget to take décor photos – they must be gorgeous – and you can pin them later on various online inspiration boards to share with other people.

The venue

Choosing location can be crucial to make or break wedding day. Think seasonal. If your special day is expected to be warm and sunny, go outdoors! For cooler weather it is better to find an indoor alternative. Interior design plays an important role – sometimes it is just the thing that gives special flavor to the get-together. Fashionable variants include loft, Romanesque, Provence style whereabouts. Classic setting with draperies and garlands is always safe.

Weather

Keep in mind, that your caterers do not deliver weather along with dishes, flowers, cakes and the rest. Desire to wow your guests? Unfortunately, the opposite also happens. Prepare in advance sun-shades, solutions for an unexpected shower from above, etc. If the al fresco dinner continues late into the evening, think of insecticides and repellents to hold the pesky gnats at bay.

Cuisine

It would be a tall order to discuss it here, but a few words we will say. It is good to include some of local specialties and your national food. If you are ready to be a little extravagant, think of season’s delicacies on the bridal menu. A tip: red strawberries seem just delicious on the table, when you see snow through the window. And, according to certain connoisseurs, they taste better against that background – wink!

Seating arrangements

When the wedding crowd arrives to the reception venue, people will look for escort cards to find their assigned places at the tables. Seating charts often become an overwhelming business. If you are not sure you can cope with it all by yourself, today one may use an electronic guest list manager facilitating the process.

Wining and dining should be followed up by entertainment. Here are some wedding ideas to make the party absolutely happy.

Performance

To avoid awkward silence, when everyone is seated at the tables and begins to eat, arrange a parallel performance. You may call, for instance, belly dancers, local singers and artists. Reserve the specials for the moment everybody is full and start looking around. Until then keep it light and unobtrusive. Research your guests’ musical preferences in advance and compile a list of records to play, based on the info.

Sing a song

The company at the table is no longer hungry, but does not know what comes next. Perhaps, some among the dear and near are vocally gifted and will agree to perform for the bride and groom. Still better if the hubby can sing for his wife – or invite a professional over. Make it a high point of the evening. Tell the story behind the melody you have selected.

Strut your stuff

The newlyweds’ first dance is one of nuptial receptions’ most anticipated moments. Many couples prepare it well in advance. Not everyone will be able to dance a real waltz or a fox. However, with expert assistance you will find ideas to entertain wedding guests. For example, the couple may begin with a few classic pas to a slow romantic tune, and then, all of a sudden, switch to some disco routine or, say, passionate tango. Or even jive – imagine the surprised faces all around.

Dancing lessons

After the bride and groom’s inspiring performance people will be raring to take to the floor themselves. Consider hiring instructors to teach them some salsa, merengue and other social dances’ simple movements to animate the evening.

Some peculiar points

What about an ethnic touch? Incorporate your cultural background into the entertainment plan. It can be an ethnic dance or folk songs. And the cuisine – that we have already mentioned. Think of playing “Pick-me-up”: while DJs keep the party grooving, send around waiters with trays of refreshing drinks, cold sweets and cooled fruit.

Set a candy and coffee bar. Let people not wait for cake-cutting – set up a buffet with small cookies, tea and coffee. Place candies for children. The display should be colorful and inviting. Make sure everybody knows the way to the bar.

It would be lovely to have a cozy nook, won’t it? Create a retreat with sofas and armchairs for those who would like to take the load off their feet and converse at ease. Pick out a comfy nook a bit off the dance floor and loud music. Pile on some pillows, place a coffee table. Partition it with heavy drapery, if you do not have a suitable room and enhance the environment with dim light and mellow tunes.

Occupy the kids! One of the best ways to prevent children from running havoc all over is animated cartoons. Let them watch as much as they wish – after all it is a non-ordinary day. Ask a responsible person to keep an eye on the company. Nevertheless see to it that caretakers take turns.

A treat for the mouth and eyes alike

Wedding cake’s potential wow factor is second only to the bridal gown. Nuptial cakes can be:

  • round – simple and elegant
  • square – modern
  • pillow-shaped – make one’s mouth water
  • heart-shaped – romantic and youthful
  • scalloped – conventional variant with ‘tons’ of trim, piping, icing and even hand-painted edible designs
  • topsy-turvy – funky and singular

The world has seen like a zillion stunning multi-layered creations and yet has not tired of looking. It is also a great way to personalize your celebration: do not forget the toppers and charms.

Let more dessert to arrive! The ice cream truck trend is turning into American wedding tradition. It pleases both kids and adults, who thus relive their childhood years. As the reception is nearing the end, it can be a nice twist off. For a cold season we have a hot replacement: cotton candy cart.

Then here comes a romantic exit. Throw the bouquet – and you are ready to go. If the couple arrived by boat, one may depart the same way. Do it with a bang! Stage a fireworks show. Another cool idea is sending off paper lanterns into the night sky.

After-party

When the newlyweds set off, it often seems a little abrupt. Wind the whole thing down with an after-party for the lingering guests. You can book it at a bar in the vicinity or invite them over to someone’s place.

 

Provide beverages and munchies. Have a reliable person – you chief bridesmaid, for instance, to – arrange some kind of late-night transportation so that people get home without much trouble and have a good rest.

Prepare “Thank you cards” – it worth to do! Wrap each up with style a week or two later.