You may not be able to see into the future, but you can probably guess which moments are going to be the most memorable come your wedding day. It will be that chorus of gasps from the congregation when they first catch a glimpse of your gown, the Best Man’s speech forcing your dad to snort-laugh with such ferocity he covers Table 2 in part-digested champagne and the look of joy on everyone’s face as you and your soulmate take to the floor and dance as a married couple for the first time ever. These are the moments you will always remember. The big moments that make up the biggest day of your life.
And yet, you will probably find the most magical moments come from the finishing touches you dot about the place; the finishing touches you hide in plain sight. These are the unsung heroes that will make your wedding day your wedding day; the teeny-tiny little moments that will be the difference between a celebration everyone enjoys and a celebration that no one can stop talking about for years, decades and, if it were humanly possible, centuries to come.
So, without further ado, we’ve pulled together a list of finishing touches that will keep your unsuspecting guests on their toes and steal the show in the best way possible:
1. Wish Upon A Tree
The moment you arrive at your wedding venue as the new Mr and Mrs Gorgeous, your guests will form the most unorderly of queues in order to shower you with love, well-wishes, congratulatory words and words of wisdom. It’s amazing. Totally and utterly amazing. The only problem is, you won’t remember what they’ve said. It’ll all whoosh over your heads and be carried away on the winds of euphoria, which is why you need a wishing tree; that somewhere magical to capture everything and cherish the love forever. All you need to do is pick a tree at your venue (or hire one for the occasion), decorate the branches in lovely long ribbons and then ask your guests to scrawl their (slightly tipsy) well-wishes on the tags before hanging them on the ribbons. It’s so simple and yet so stunning.
2. New Age Guest Book
Guests books are one of the most amazing traditions to stand the test of time, but they’ve been given an incredible makeover. Yup. It’s goodbye guestbook and hello guest box. The concept of guests leaving you a gorgeous little message is exactly the same, the difference is they don’t write down their pearls of wisdom in a book, they record a message on a video camera instead. You don’t need to go over the top. You just need to create a mini-gazebo out of lovely white fabrics, pop an old phone on a tripod and then pop a cue (and the iPhone passcode) onto a blackboard. Voila, you’ll have something you can sit down and watch with the grandkids (even if you do need to bleep out some of the overexcited content).
3. Beautify The Bathroom
It doesn’t matter if you’ve rented out some of those super-posh-porta-potties or you’ve got access to your venue’s bathroom, these spaces are always overlooked and underrated even though they will be used by every single one of your guests more than once. Our advice: beautify them. Wrap each cubicle door with a gorgeous ribbon and finish it off with a little bundle of blooms. Yeah, it’s another thing to do, but it won’t take long and you can rest assured this finishing touch will not be overlooked or underrated. We can promise you that.
4. Favours That Add Some Fun
Favours are a wedding staple. But that doesn’t mean they have to be boring, traditional or the kind of thing that will just get left on the table by your guests when the carriages arrive. In fact, we encourage you to have favours that add an extra dollop of fun to your big day. Favours that are original and interactive. Tidbits that can be enjoyed right there and then. These could be miniature bottles of your favourite tipple that your guests can raise in your honour before guzzling back in one go or they could be fancy dress accessories made to break the ice before the wine kicks in - crazy moustaches, oversized sunglasses, fake cigars, feather boas, out-there hats, temporary tattoos and anything else that will make your wedding fun-slash-funny.
5. Photo Booths Never Fail
Every single wedding tradition began life as a moment of innovation, and the photo booth is no different. This is a modern-day wedding classic if there ever was one. What was once a little corner of memory-making fun has blossomed into a wedding day mainstay and this is because a) it guarantees a giggle that will last an eternity and b) you can tailor them to fit your theme. You could have a vintage booth to suit your rural wedding or you could DIY your way to a digital version that will suit your uptown celebration. Whatever you opt for, you can be sure there’ll be a non-stop queue all night long and, when you get the pictures back, you’ll realise the fancy dress favours were the huge hit you’d hoped they would be.
6. Create A Cute-Meet Cocktail
When it comes to pinching pennies, one of the first things to go is an exciting bar. Catering to everyone’s individual tipple tastes is just too expensive. That’s why so many couples choose to serve beer and wine and hope it’ll be fine, which it will be, especially if you surprise everyone with an after-dinner cocktail. Coconut margaritas, raspberry and limoncello prosecco, bourbon peach sweet tea, grapefruit and ginger spiced rum punch - not only will these sensational surprises get people’s feet dancing to the music, they will distract from the fact you only served wine and beer. You could even go one step further and come up with some hilariously-cheesy name for your cocktail, like “Berry Happy Together” or “Honeydew, I Do”. Of course, you don’t even need to serve a cocktail; you could just have a waiter walk around with tequila shots because, come on, no one is going to refuse a tequila shot.
7. Pudding Tents Are Perfect
One of our favourite trends right now is the BYOP (Bring Your Own Pudding) craze that is taking the wedding world by total storm and the reason is simple: everyone loves chowing down on a scrummy pud. Sure, you could have your caterers serve a delicious dessert, but that’s a risk because not everyone is going to luuuurve the same pudding as much as the next person. As you’ll know from every restaurant date you’ve been on, everyone has their own fave. To counter this, ask your closest friends (the ones who can cook and bake) to make a pudding, bring it with them along with a note about what it is, what’s in and who made it, and then pop them all in your very own pudding tent. What happens after this is amazing. Waste gets minimised, people pick at your puds all evening long, cooking prowess gets marvelled at and recipes swap hands. It really is amazing.
8. Humour Makes For A Good Order Of Service
Pretty much everyone that enters your ceremony will receive an order of service, read every word of said order of service while they wait for the bride to show up, sing from their order of service and then tuck it into their pocket or bag so they don’t lose it. Keeping the order of service is basically an unwritten rule shared by all wedding guests. The problem is, they are all the same, all a bit bland and all never get read again - they just get popped into a drawer with all the others your guests have collected over the years. So, instead of a order of service, per se, try creating a ‘Practical Guide to Not Falling Asleep & Knowing Exactly What is Going On’ or turning yours into a map of your love story, one that people can follow from the start, stopping at each of the little milestones that makes yours special and unique. It will make people chuckle, it will start conversations in the church - or wherever you’re getting married - and it will be shown to more friends of friends than you can ever imagine.
9. When It Rains Confetti, Dance
Everyone loves confetti. Everyone. It’s one of those moments of total euphoria that puts a smile on everyone’s face; each person whooping and cheering as they throw handfuls of dried rose petals and colourful tidbits over the gorgeous couple the moment they step out of the ceremony hand in hand. Nothing beats it or, at least, almost nothing beats it because, trust us, if there is one moment that becomes a thousand times more magical when confetti is involved it’s the first dance. Being surrounded by your nearest and dearest as a monsoon of colourful bits rain down around you makes for one of the most special moments of your big day, but it also makes for some of the most amazing photographs too.
10. Never Forget The Midnight Feast
From your guest’s point of view, there’s something so special about sitting down at a table of friends they know and friends they have yet to meet, clinking glasses in honour of you - the married couple - as plates of stunning food gets brought out to them. But there is something even more amazing about a food van arriving at ten-to-midnight with your favourite snack on board. It gives your guests that extra something to love (and that extra something to soak up some of the booze). It could be a fish and chips van, or someone serving Nutella crepes, a hot dog vendor, burgers on wheels or just a good old-fashioned ice cream van. Whatever it is, surprising your guests with a totally sinful yet wonderfully satisfying midnight feast is going to be seen as the ultimate treat. Mmmmmm.
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