14 WAYS TO MAKE

YOUR WEDDING

memorable

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One piece of advice that I wish I was told when planning my wedding was skip the wedding traditions that you simply do not want to do. There are no rules (except for the legal part). You do you!

Some brides choose not to wear white or forgo tossing the bouquet. Some couples walk into their ceremony together or prefer not to wait until the ceremony for their first look. If you can't imagine partaking in a mainstream wedding tradition, don't do it — it's your day. This way you will have more time to include things that are meaningful to you as a couple.

01. WRITE A HEARTFELT LETTER

Write your fiancé a heartfelt letter for them to read while they are getting ready. You could even write it on the bottom of their wedding shoe for a keepsake. My husband and I did this and it really helped calm my nerves.

SPECIAL TIP: IF YOU WAIT TO READ IT UNTIL THE VIDEOGRAPHER/PHOTOGRAPHER ARRIVES, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT FOREVER.

02. WELCOME BAGS

Whether you're hosting a destination wedding or local wedding, some of your guests have to travel to be there. To show your appreciation, you could provide welcome bags for the guests staying at hotels. Nothing big, just a few yummy snacks, a mini bottle of wine or champagne, sunscreen, soap, Hydralyte and a thank you card.

03. INCLUDE YOUR FUR BABY

If your pet is important to you, find a way to involve them in your big day. When it comes to our pets, most people know their personality fairly well. Consider your pet's personality and obedience level as to how involved they will be and if they need assistance. Whether they are the ring bearer, flower dog or just there for the photoshoot, there are plenty of ways to have them play a special role in your big day.

SPECIAL TIP: ALWAYS ASK YOUR WEDDING VENUE, AND DON'T FORGET THE DOGGY-BAGS.

04. WARMING OF THE RINGS

Having a ring warming ceremony is a great way to include your guests. Basically, the idea is that each guest will briefly hold your rings and take a moment to warm them with love and make a silent wish for your marriage.

There are two ways of doing this. You can either pass around your rings during the wedding ceremony or set up a table at the entrance of your ceremony, giving your guests an opportunity to warm the rings as they arrive.

SPECIAL TIP: IF YOU DO DECIDE TO PASS THE RINGS AROUND DURING YOUR CEREMONY, YOU MIGHT WANT TO HAVE THEM PINNED DOWN TO SOMETHING, SO THEY ARE NOT LOST IN THE CROWD.

05. TAKE A MID-CEREMONY SHOT

This is self-explanatory. Another way to involve your guests in your wedding is to take a mid-ceremony shot together. Talk about a great way to start the party!

06. PLAY SOME LAWN GAMES

If you are planning to host a cocktail hour outside, set up stations of lawn games around the area to give your guests some entertainment besides mingling. Bocce, croquet, bowling, tic tac toe, Jenga — whatever you fancy.

07. FUNNY SEATING CHART

You could make guests find their seat by first locating a funny picture of them on your seating chart. This could be quite a lengthy DIY project, but I’m sure it will get many laughs.

08. DITCH THE WEDDING FAVOURS

Is there a charity that you support? If wedding favours don't feel important to you but you still want to do something special for your guests. In lieu of favours, you could make a donation in your guests' names and leave an explanatory card on each table.

09. TRIVIA FUN

If you are wanting something a little personal for your reception, you could ask your MC to host a trivia quiz about the two of you and ask each table to work as a team to come up with the answers. This is great for the people on tables who don’t know anyone.

10. GUEST BOOK

Leave a bowl next to your Guest Book with cards, pens and glue, and a note asking guests to contribute a favourite memory of you or your partner, or a piece of marriage advice. If you don’t have a photo-booth, you could have a few Polaroid cameras there as well, so that your guests can personalise their guestbook message.

11. PASS THE BOUQUET

Find out which couple at your wedding have been married the longest. After the speeches, you could give your bouquet to that couple and ask them to share a few words of wisdom with everyone from their long marriage.

12. TAKE SONG REQUESTS

Want to know the best way to get your guests out on the dance floor? Play the songs they actually want to hear. Have your DJ or Wedding Band make an announcement that they will be taking requests and watch the dance floor fill up when a crowd-favourite comes on.

13. LAST SONG

Whether it’s Horses, Bohemian Rhapsody, All Night Long, Shut up and Dance or Uptown Funk, — it’s the very last song of the night, make it count. Prior to your wedding, lock down your final song choice with your band/DJ and make sure to grab your partner when it comes on. Look around at all of your loved ones and take it all in.

14. MIDNIGHT SNACK

After spending hours tearing up the dance floor, there is nothing that will make your guests happier than a midnight snack. Send them home with some Mac and cheese, doughnuts, ice cream sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwich, sliders, taco or popcorn — the opportunities are endless.