These quick tips were designed with you - the
unconventional couple - in mind.
Learn easy ways to make your
wedding fun, personalized, and unexpected. We've also thrown in some practical
tips to help you plan your wedding quickly and easily.
Click on the links to the right to jump directly to a list, or browse 'em all below!
6 Ways to Turn Traditional into Unusual... and then Unexpected!
There is something undeniably beautiful about traditional elements in a wedding.On that sacred day
you are literally combining two beautiful families as one, and tradition is a big
part of that.But let’s not put your
guests to sleep!Inject at least a few
Unexpected elements into your wedding to personalize it and make it stand out
from the rest.Here are some fun
suggestions.Don’t worry – for those of
you afraid of going over the top, we first offer an unusual 'twist'.Then we fully shake it up with an Unexpected finale that most of you will
in a limo.
in a vehicle that represents you – a taxi for a city couple, an old VW for
the eco-chic couple, a Woody station wagon for the surfer couple.
Unexpected:Bicycles!Show your guests that you’re serious about conservation - and
having fun! - by riding in on a bicycle built for two (sorry groom, you’ll
be pedaling while your lovely bride sits side-saddle).For extra flair, have your bridal party
follow you in on bikes that match your wedding colors.Imagine the photos opps!
Groom’s cake in the shape of something that represents his hobby or
something he loves (his dog, a guitar).
Unexpected:Groom’s treats found at www.TeeAndCakes.com.He’ll feel like a stud and you’ll be the
coolest wife in the place, serving Mini Beer Cupcakes made of stout and
topped with a delicious stout frosting and a mini-pretzel.Not only do they taste amazing but for a
second you’ll be transported to a pub.Tee & Cakes also offers Mini Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes (mmm….bacon)
and Chocolate Mustache Pops in the shape of the old-time handlebar mustaches.Way cool!
Traditional: A wedding
candy bar – large glass apothecary jars filled with candy that your guests
can fill their take-home favor bags with.
Unexpected:A retro candy bar… Pez, candy necklaces, jaw
breakers, Neccos.Visit www.NostalgicCandy.com to see a wide variety that’s
available in bulk, and be sure to choose candy that is appropriate for
your childhood.Using a ribbon, tie
a childhood photo of you or your honey around each jar.Fill one jar with those classic Valentine’s
Day hearts and a childhood photo of both
of you, with a caption “Destined to be Sweethearts”.Now that’s a sweet idea that’s sure to melt
the Powder Room - elevator music and complaints of women who’ve got runs
in their stockings.
Unusual:Placing entertaining trivia cards in the
Powder Room with questions about the bride and groom. Unexpected:Placing sticky pads in the Powder Room so
that guests can plaster the walls with notes about the event.These notes can later be collected by a member
of your bridal party and casually stuck into a scrapbook to be read
later.Guaranteed to generate lots
of laughs.This idea is courtesy of
The Curtis, a very hip hotel in downtown Denver who places sticky notes in
some of their bathrooms!www.TheCurtis.com
guest sign-in book.
Unusual: A plate
or photo frame that your guests sign and you later hang on your wall (or,
with the best of intentions, store in a closet). Unexpected:A pile of polished river rocks, a
gorgeous vase, and a permanent marker.Have each guest sign his/her name on a rock upon entering, plus a wedding
day message for you.Each signed
rock goes into the vase and you and your spouse have a tangible jar of good
wishes to place in your home.The
experience of pouring through those rocks and reading the messages will be
priceless, plus it will be a conversation piece in your home and add great
Traditional: A wedding
favor - edible or decorative.
a donation in your guests’ names to a foundation that is personal to you.
Unexpected:Gift your guests with a tree
sapling.This encourages your
guests to take that extra step to give of themselves by actually planting
the tree, plus it allows them to beautify their yard, a local park, or any
other location that needs a little TLC. Worried that your wedding doesn’t occur during
optimal planting season?Don’t
be.These trees can last in a moist
fridge for months which should enable your guest to wait until spring to
plant it.A fair alternative to a
sapling?Wild flower seeds.
7 Unexpected (and money-saving) Ways to Use Paper in your Wedding
Paper is timeless and
traditional - but it can also be used in ways that are unexpected and save you
Here are some unusual ways to use paper in your wedding events.
Paper flowers are a great way to accessorize
your wedding events, in conjunction with fresh blooms. The textures
and colors of paper flowers make them exquisite to look at, and they last
forever so you can use them for multiple events. Make centerpieces
for your engagement party and re-use them for your rehearsal dinner.
Tie a small flower to each of your wedding favors or make napkin rings
with them. Check out www.PaperPlatypus.etsy.com for a wonderful selection of realistic paper flowers.
For an amazing nighttime
surprise, let your guests release flying Chinese lanterns into the sky. These fire-resistant
paper lanterns have a small flame that you’ll see shimmering in the sky
for about 20 minutes as they float away. They are biodegradable so
you don’t have to worry about where they land. $85 for 20 at www.FlyingChineseLanterns.com
Paper umbrellas offer your
guests welcome relief from the sun in outdoor weddings. You don’t need one per
female guest – having a few baskets’ worth will do the trick. They
also look charming when carried by your bridesmaids, even if just for a
few photos. To kick up the unexpected factor, offer coordinating
drink umbrellas at the cocktail hour.
Use paper embellishments on your
cake instead of sugar ones. Imagine
punched-out paper flowers instead of the same made with fondant. The
paper embellishments are simply attached to your cake with pretty
pearl-head pins. This method not only looks great but saves your
baker lots of time and supplies, thus giving you a high-class cake on a
low budget. Can’t picture it? Check out this example: www.WhippedBakeshop.com
Save the Date bookmarks are
clever and multi-functional, which your guests will appreciate. Make an elegant one that
matches your wedding stationery, or have some fun with it by playing off
the reading aspect and make it look like a newspaper… “Extra, Extra!
Read all about it, Mark and Janis are getting married!”
Hand-held paper fans are a great
idea for an outdoor ceremony in warm weather, and can serve two functions if
it has your ceremony program printed on it. You can also opt to have
your initials printed on it or an image that coordinates with your wedding
stationery. Tie a ribbon on the handle to finish it off.
Hang large party poofs from just
These oversized pom-poms are made out of tissue-paper and add a burst of
color anywhere you need it... for just a few bucks. Smaller versions
can be placed on tables, hung from chair backs, or strung from the bride
and groom’s car in lieu of tin cans. Versatile and
inexpensive! Check out www.MarthaStewartWeddings.com and search on
“Pom-Poms” to view some great examples and how-to’s.
7 Tips for Extraordinary Wedding Stationery
Design your wedding
invitation so that it doesn’t get lost in the mail.
Not everyone opens their mail
daily, and your guests’ invitations can get lost in a pile or thrown
away. Consider using a square envelope, bright colors, and textured
paper to ensure that your invite gets noticed right away.
Consider addressing your
thank-you card envelopes at the same time as your wedding invitations (whether this is done by a
calligrapher or printed on mailing labels). This will help get your
thank-you cards in the mail soon after your honeymoon. Your timely
gratitude will make your guests happy and your mother proud. Best of
all, you’ll be able to enjoy marital bliss straight away without the dark
cloud of “Thank You’s” looming above.
Count on your guests responding
late… or not at all. 40%
of wedding guests don’t respond on time, yet most brides set their RSVP
deadline just a few days before their venue needs the final
headcount. Save yourself the headache of last-minute phone calls and
set an RSVP date of 2 weeks prior to the venue’s deadline.
Order custom postage stamps. At www.Zazzle.com, you can upload a
photo of you and your fiancé, or the image that is used on your wedding
stationery. You can order the same stamp in different denominations
– one for your RSVP envelopes and another for your invitation. For
your convenience, find a stationer that will design and order these custom
postage stamps for you.
Make it personal. When choosing your wedding
theme, consider things that you and your fiancé love to do (hiking, bird
watching), something that represents you as a couple (flip flops,
margaritas), or something that highlights the location or season of your
wedding day (seashore, autumn). You can also consider family
traditions, such as the flower that your mother carried down the aisle, or
something that symbolizes love in your culture (the Irish Claddagh or the
Chinese character for 'love’).
Send your Save-the-Date cards
approximately 6 months prior to your wedding day. This gives your guests enough
time to rearrange their busy schedules if necessary, ensuring that they’ll
be able to attend your event. If you are having a destination
wedding or if your wedding date falls on a holiday weekend, it is polite
to mail the cards as soon as your venue is booked. This gives your
guests plenty of time to plan for flights and accommodations.
Carry your wedding theme
throughout all of your events (think
save the dates, wedding invites, ceremony
programs, reception accessories, and thank you cards). Coordinating
pieces are like a bread trail leading up to your big day, building
anticipation the whole way. They are sure to make your guests take
notice – and be impressed at how stylish and organized you are.
Stay Tuned! More tips coming soon...
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