Photography by Kevin Trowbridge Photography
Video by Limelight Studios
There’s no shortage of wedding inspiration out there. But with all the choices, how do you pull together a personalized wedding that uniquely reflects you and your partner?
As a recent bride, I know all too well how things you never thought you’d find yourself contemplating come up as you try to plan the perfect day. While considering ways to make our upcoming wedding feel like “us,” I recall joking, “How am I supposed to pick napkins that reflect our relationship?”
If, like me, you’d rather not spend your time overthinking napkin selection, but still want your wedding to feel personalized, consider these tips.
Choose a meaningful venue
Your venue sets the stage for everything to come – and quickly signals to your guests what is meaningful to you and your partner. Are you wine lovers, world travellers or big skiers? Then pick a winery, a destination hot spot, a mountaintop location or other place with personal meaning to hold your wedding. This will ensure your guests will be thinking, ‘That was so them,’ long into the future.
For our own big day, we selected Bench 1775 Winery (shown above) in the Okanagan to reflect our love of weekends away, outstanding views and delicious wine. Not sure where to start? Sit down together to each write down a list of your must-haves for the venue. Combine your lists choosing the top five items you agree on, and then start hunting for places that meet those criteria.
Set the mood
Every event has its own mood. For your wedding, you’ll want to set a mood that reflects your relationship and your individual personalities. Are you laid-back or energetic? Fun-loving or romantic? Let the feelings or emotions that you want to be a part of your day guide your decisions.
For our wedding, as our personalities are dynamic, we decided on different moods for various parts of the day. A pre-dinner horah dancing extravaganza got everyone ready for the party to come, whereas the canopy of white twinkling lights and sparklers handed out during our first dance made that part of the evening feel very romantic.
Creating a mood that’s authentic to the two of you will make the event feel familiar to your guests.
Customize your ceremony
Whether it’s a ceremony full of age-old traditions, personal wedding vows or doggy ring bearers, the ceremony gives you the perfect opportunity to truly customize your celebration. The ceremony allows you to showcase the foundation on which you two are going to start your marriage, so this is the ideal time to include words, people or symbols that help reflect this new chapter in your lives.
We opted for a Jewish-style ceremony choosing the traditions that resonated with us both, and we shared personal vows in addition to those we read from our chosen Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract). If religious affiliations or personal vows aren’t a good fit for you, consider involving others in your ceremony. Have close friends or family members come up to read a meaningful poem, saber a bottle of bubbly or light some candles.
Focus on a few details
It’s all in the details... but not everyone will notice everything. Focus on one to three truly personalized details that are fun for you to incorporate. We’re photography lovers, so one of our personalized details was a custom guestbook that included a picture of everyone who was at the wedding. Unique party favours, specialty desserts or even custom stations are other fun ways to give your wedding a personal touch.
The important thing to remember is that there really aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to personalizing your wedding. Sure, there are lots of opinions, and some legalities and logistics to consider, but in terms of making the day uniquely yours, don’t be afraid to skip the parts that don’t feel true to you – and just do things your way. Happy planning!