Ultimately, your wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and the person you’re about to marry. But there’s another goal at hand: throwing one seriously epic party that your guests will talk about for years to come. But how do you make your big day stand out amongst the throngs of weddings your family and friends have attended in the past? While there are many ways to upgrade the standard nuptials, we made a list of easy ways you can get the party started right.
To start, think about the wedding experience as a whole. Sure, your nearest and dearest are elated to watch you marry your longtime love, but sitting for an hour-long ceremony is not their idea of a celebration. Remember that many of your guests have travelled to spend time with you, not watching you, so ensure the evening is interactive. This way they’ll feel like an important part of the proceedings.
And while the night should certainly cater towards your preferences, think about the total experience for your guests, too. You may love soft jazz music, but that won’t fill your dance floor, so consider those tunes for cocktail hour and have your DJ amp up the playlist after dinner.
1. Keep Your Ceremony Brief
Don’t get us wrong, your friends and family are present at your big day to see you get married — but no one wants to watch a drawn out ceremony. Keep the actual proceedings (not including
entrances and exits) around 20 minutes so you won’t lose anyone’s attention.
2. Choose a Personalised Program
While we’re on the topic of the ceremony, don’t forget about creating a wedding program. By personalising this piece of stationery with interesting details about you and your partner, a breakdown of the ceremony’s proceedings, and any important information they should know (like a translation of traditional vows or that you’d prefer photos aren’t taken) you’ll capture their attention and get all of those key details across. Plus, it will keep them busy if the event runs a little late.
3. Use a Wedding App or Hashtag
There are many great wedding apps to choose from for your big day. Some interactive apps allow guests to upload wedding photos into one curated place, while others keep your friends and family up on any wedding-related news. Want something even easier? Create a clever hashtag and ask guests to tag all of their photos using it.
4. Give Out-of-Town Guests a Welcome Basket
Whether you’re hosting a destination wedding or a hometown bash, some of your guests had to travel to be a part of your big day. To show your appreciation, give welcome bags for guests staying at hotels. Include a few snacks, bottles of water, and a list of local resources, like the nearest pharmacy, restaurants and coffee shops, plus any nearby attractions. If you’re able to splurge, throw in a bottle of wine, tasty local treats like an artisan cheese or chocolate,
and a guidebook.
5. Greet Each Guest
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to personally greet each and every guest at your wedding. Once the celebration is underway do your best to spend time with each person — whether that means chatting over a cocktail, visiting their table at dinner, or letting loose on the dance floor.
6. Create a Well-Planned Seating Chart
It doesn’t matter if your reception dinner will be a buffet, plated meal, or family-style servings: A smart seating chart is vital to ensuring your guests have a good time. Try to group people together with similar backgrounds and interests, so they’ll have something to talk about even if they’ve never met before.