You don’t want your wedding to feel like a Julia Roberts rom-com from 1999. You want a destination wedding. You crave something unconventional and unique. So why stop at location? Throw your own big, fat, awesome wedding with a different approach.
Most of the guests at your wedding that you actually want to be there will have to buy a $300 airline ticket just to get to the main event. Make their choice to attend easy by providing lodging, meals and transportation options to fit every budget. Hint: Hotel venues are more likely to offer free airport transportation, plus the bar is usually within stumbling distance from a room with a group discount.
Make It a Weekend Affair
It may be years before you see some of your guests again, so invest in a memorable weekend instead of one dramatic, tearful night. Rent a condo for the entire bridal party to share. Invite your out-of-town friends and family to a cozy welcome bash a few days before your big day with s’mores and hot chocolate. Set up an outdoor movie in your backyard for a retro throwback with kettle corn, hay bales and a perennial favorite like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Mix up the Processional
What else can distinguish a wedding party besides matching dresses, tuxedos, and the perfect up-do? Two words: Fashion. Runway. For a riff on the traditional processional, let your bridal party strut down a runway instead of an aisle wearing clothes they actually like. Rent a runway stage for the occasion, complete with lighting and audience seating, and check out RenttheRunway.com for Oscar-inspired bridesmaid attire.
Share the Love
Replace the officiant speech and cliché poetry (no offense, Shakespeare) with real love stories. Invite your parents, sister and brother-in-law, or best friends to talk about what love means to them. The collective wisdom and real-life experience in the room will be way more fun to listen to — and way more practical — than anything written 400 years ago.
Don’t be Overly Serious
You are two adults making a huge, life-altering decision that will affect the rest of your lives. But can we have fun yet? Help your guests (and yourselves!) enjoy your big day with silly, photo-worthy activities that make everyone laugh. Consider Bocce ball, corn hole, or Twister. Add table games like crossword puzzles or mad libs to entertain introverts. For the more adventurous, rent a karaoke machine and belt out “500 Miles” to the one you’ll wake up next to forever.
Hire a Food Truck
Instead of catering a formal (yawn) multi-course dinner on fine china, consider hiring a food truck for your reception. Your guests will love the chance to cool off outdoors between dances, plus everyone can eat what they want, when they want it. For a conservative group, choose a crowd-pleasing menu like pizza or grilled cheese. Or opt for an international flair with Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches.
Weddings tend to be all about spending money on the bride and groom, but your friends, family and bridal party worked hard to throw you a fantastic party. They deserve your heartfelt thanks. Give back to your besties with personalized gift baskets and a handwritten note.
Personalize Your Thank-You’s
Add a personal flair to your thank-you notes by creating custom notes through online sites like Tinyprints or Sendo. On the front of the card, showcase your favorite candid wedding photo, or simply mail postcards from your honeymoon destination.