By Cherie Johnson
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And yes, points are given to the couples that take the time to personalize their weddings with fun favors, unusual refreshments, decorations and other unique wedding ideas. But have you ever thought about shaking up your own wedding, perhaps even changing the very structure of it? With a little ingenuity (and planning), you can personalize your wedding in a way that's fun for everyone!
My Favorite Memorable Ideas for Unique Weddings
Consider the rehearsal dinner. Whereas most couples elect to run through the standard 'meet and greet,' practice their walk down the aisle to get rid of those pre-ceremony jitters, and then sit down to a light repast, some brides and grooms choose to infuse this gathering with their very own unique wedding ideas. One example I've heard of is eliminating the sit down dinner entirely, which is usually more formal in nature anyway. The brides then invite the rehearsal dinner guests over for a picnic (in warmer months) or a potluck supper (great any time). The option not only takes away a lot of wedding stress but also encourages the guests to interact more.
The wedding ceremony itself is, of course, meant to be solemn and respectful, but that doesn't mean before or after the priest or minister marries the couple you can't infuse the ceremony with your own unique wedding ideas. One of the more unusual examples I've heard about is the entire wedding party dancing up and down the aisle to the delight of the guests who get in on the act. Without so much as a hint as to what is going on, an upbeat tempo begins playing and guests start clapping. The bridesmaids and groomsmen get footloose up and down the aisle, making way for the groom's and bride's grand entrances. After all, a lively entrance is certainly one way to personalize your wedding and make sure your guests never forget your nuptials!
Another way to personalize your wedding is seating guests at round tables at the wedding venue itself (serving as both the ceremony and reception area). Though it appears to be the reception, the guests actually watch as the bride and groom are married while seated at tables, and then after a quick swap out, the area becomes a beautiful reception. The perks? The bride and groom save lots of money because there's no need to secure two venues, and your guests don't have to travel.
And, of course, if you choose to have a wedding theme, you can incorporate all sorts of unique wedding ideas. Take the idea of a renaissance-themed wedding. Both the bride and groom, for instance, will be wearing flowing fabrics and unique headpieces, while the entertainment could feasibly be even more entertaining. Couples have hired 'court jesters,' 'jugglers' and 'dancers' to lighten the mood, carry on the renaissance theme and personalize their wedding in a unique way. However, whatever your wedding theme may be, just remember to explore all the unique wedding ideas and possibilities available to you. If it's historical in nature, do your research! If it's hobby-themed, ask your friends to share their ideas. Not only will collaboration on unique wedding ideas help you to envision a better wedding, you'll also have the support of your friends.
At your reception just about anything goes. It's your day, so plan and personalize your wedding reception how you want. Some brides feel as though they have to please their guests. Bottom line -- if you plan and personalize your wedding activities and events, your guests will want to stay all night long. Consider, for example, the buffet or sit down style dinner served at most weddings. A few brides have elected to have wait staff circulate with heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages or have had multiple refreshment tables set up around the room. Usually, one of the most popular attractions and these refreshment tables is the giant chocolate fountain with fruit and pretzels for dipping.
Another one of the more unique wedding ideas I've heard about is a groom's cake made entirely of meat. Ideally, the groom's cake is meant for him and his right-hand men, so in many ways, it's appropriate. And you might just have a lot of extra 'cake' left over to enjoy later!
Memories that Last a Lifetime
These exmples of unique wedding ideas are just a few of the more memorable highlights I've seen at weddings over the years. Regardless of how you choose to personalize your wedding, it will always be a special day -- a celebration of love and romance with your closest friends and family members. And if you ultimately decide to play it on the traditional side, don't worry -- you have those beautiful memories to last a lifetime.
Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Wedding Favors, a one-stop shop for personalized, unique baby and bridal shower, graduation, quinceanara, anniversary and wedding favors, helping countless couples and families make their big events a success. Cherie's wedding advice has appeared on several websites including Little Wedding Guide, Wedding Lenox and The Wedding Source. Before she launched her company in 2006, Cherie worked as a professional wedding photographer, capturing the most special moments of the bride and groom's big day. For more information on Creative Wedding Favors or to find a variety of colorful, customizable gifts and favors, please visit www.CreativeWeddingFavors.com.