Let me preface everything I’m about to say with this: EVERY WEDDING DAY IS SPECIAL.
Whether you walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride” or a special song that you and your fiance picked out; if you fulfilled your “something blue” requirement with Tiffany blue underwear from Victoria’s Secret or with a blue handkerchief passed down from your great great grandmother; whether you stick to all of the classic traditions or mix things up and make it your own, your wedding day is special.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the task at hand. While every wedding day absolutely is special, not every couple takes the time to incorporate personal elements into the details. Buying all of the fabulous things off of Etsy to finish out those details isn’t a crime, but what if there was another way? What if there was a way to make some small tweaks to really let your personalities and relationship shine through? Would you be up for it? If your answer is yes, keep reading, girlfriend.
What places tell your story? Where did you have your first date? Your first kiss? Where did you meet? Is there a relative’s home where you’ve spent a lot of time together? Is there a city you’ve vacationed in that’s played a big part in your relationship? Would any of these be viable options for a ceremony or reception? There may be absolutely no chance that this could happen, but if there is, consider it!
Ok, so maybe the restaurant where you shared your first date isn’t really perfect for your ceremony, and maybe that bench where you shared your first kiss isn’t quite large enough to seat all of your guests. That’s understandable. That doesn’t mean you can’t use these locations for photo ops.
If you don’t want to drag your whole bridal party there, do your first look where you had your first kiss or where you met. Sneak off for a few post-ceremony bride and groom photos at the restaurant where you had your first date and share a quick drink at the bar.
Standing in these same places where your relationship grew and took on new life on your wedding day is kind of amazing. It’s kind of like it comes full circle.
One of the most special parts of a wedding day from my perspective is the joining of two families. You each bring a family history along with you into your marriage. And whether your realize it now or not, that heritage and history has influenced the person that you are and how you’ll approach your marriage.
Honoring those people who have shaped your life is a very heartfelt way to personalize your wedding day. Maybe you wrap your bouquet in a handkerchief passed down from your grandmother. Maybe your groom wears cufflinks that his grandfather wore on his own wedding day many years ago. Occasionally brides opt to wear their own mother’s wedding dress if the fit and style is right, and last summer I had a bride wear the very shoes that her own grandmother wore on her wedding day!
If throwing in a few family heirlooms isn’t your jam, choose to highlight the story of your relationship in some way. If your fiance gifted you with a meaningful piece of jewelry at some point, consider wearing it on your wedding day. Or maybe there was a vacation you took together at some point where you both fell in love with a particular cocktail. Make that your signature cocktail! Instead of table numbers, name them something in a category of a shared interest of yours. The possibilities are endless, so start thinking outside the box with this one!
Listen, y’all. I walked down the aisle to “Trumpet Voluntary”. It doesn’t get much more traditional than that. I don’t regret it, and I still get a little teary eyed when I hear it, but if I were to do it over? I’d put some more thought into it.
It’s important to note here that many churches will place restrictions on your ceremony music, so you may not actually have tons of choices if that’s the case. But if you have the option to veer from the traditional wedding ceremony music, definitely consider it.
If you don’t have an option during the ceremony, it’s likely that you still have free reign over your reception music. Specifically, think about your first dance and bride/father, groom/mother dances. It’s rare that a couple doesn’t put a fair amount of thought into their own first dance song. What I see sometimes fall by the wayside, though, is the songs chosen for the dances with the parents.
You guys. THIS IS A SPECIAL MOMENT!! Personally, I had looked forward to this dance with my dad for a long time, and I sobbed like a baby the entire time. But even if you don’t see the significance of it now, I can promise you that you will see it if and when you have children of your own.
My dad chose the song we danced to and kept it a secret until the moment it started playing during the reception. I loved this, but even if you’re not into being surprised, you can sit down and put some effort into it together. Don’t just default to “Butterfly Kisses”. Unless of course that’s been a special song for the two of you. And then by all means, play “Butterfly Kisses”.
Perhaps you’ll choose to incorporate every single thing I mentioned in order to make your wedding day that much more personal and meaningful, or maybe you’ll stick with one or two ideas and really pour a lot of effort into them. Whatever you choose to do, make your wedding day about more than the decor that’s going to look the most Pinterest-worthy. Make it about the two of you, your story and the places and people you came from. You’ll be happy you did it.