One of our favorite things about weddings is how uniquely different they all are, and trust us - we've seen a lot of weddings! Yes, every wedding has a few of the same things, like a ceremony with vows, rings, the "I Do's." And most weddings have a reception with food and drinks, flowers, cake, music, and dancing. But how do you make your wedding stand out from all of the rest? How do you incorporate your story, your personality, your favorite things into your big day? Some engaged couples have that creative juice already flowing, and some may need a little list to spark that vision. Because ultimately, we believe your wedding should reflect you and your partner so that it feels genuinely and authentically yours. Here are ten ways you can personalize your wedding day.
THE WEDDING OUTFITS One of the most natural ways to represent yourself as an individual is through clothing. It's something we do every day, so why not do the same on your wedding day? Don't be afraid to showcase your personality and uniqueness on the biggest day of your life. Who says the bride has to wear white and stilettos? Feel free to wear color, wear black, wear converse shoes or flip flops, get creative with the accessories; you can even do an outfit change. It's your day, and anything goes! Maybe the groom would be more comfortable in his cowboy hat and boots, and perhaps he wants to get matching sports-themed socks for him and all of the guys! Don't just stop there with the happy couple; extend the personalized look to your bride tribe and groomsmen. The best part about getting married right now is that there aren't any rules - just do you!
Who doesn't love gifts, especially when you know you're going to love every gift you receive? An easy way to personalize your wedding day is to customize your wedding registry. You can start by hand-selecting each item, from things you want to stuff you actually need. Don't feel like you need to add items on your registry that you'll never use, or even worse, you don't even like. If you and your significant other love to cook, focus on things for the kitchen - there are enough gadgets for all your guests to choose from. If you love to be outside, focus on those patio purchases. If you love to travel, explore, stay active, choose non-traditional wedding gift items like camping gear, workout equipment, or luggage. You may also want to choose a registry that offers multiple stores and websites to be listed all on one list (I mean, who doesn't love Amazon!) rather than sticking to one or two retailers. Your registry can also include activities or spa treatments that you can redeem on your honeymoon.
THE WELCOME BAGS & PARTY FAVORS
It's safe to say that Austin is a hot destination location for weddings, and for most couples, at least a handful, if not more, of their guests are from out of town. Welcome bags are a super easy way to personalize your day and showcase Austin as your wedding location, especially for all of those out-of-town guests. Gather up some of your favorite things, unique items that represent you, your fiance, and your city, and start filling up some goodie bags to welcome your guests to your wedding weekend. Add your favorite snacks, favorite drinks, sports-related items, music, "Keep Austin Weird" souvenirs, anything and everything you can think of! Similarly, do this with party favors - think of something special to send your guests home with that will help them remember your wedding. There are many classic options: honey or jam, candy, chocolate, shot glasses, bottle openers, wine glasses, matchboxes, succulents, and polaroid pictures. Whatever you choose, it's just one more way to personalize your day and make it stand out from the rest.
THE OFFICIANT & WEDDING PARTY
Who you choose as your officiant and wedding party can really set the tone for your wedding day, specifically the ceremony. Some couples have decided to select officiants they've known beforehand, such as family members and friends. Having an officiant that knows you personally can bring a unique and cherished element to the ceremony (rather than having a complete stranger marrying you). Those who stand up by you as a couple can speak volumes as well - these are going to be your biggest fans, your ride or dies, your tribe. The wedding party comes in all sizes, ages, genders, and backgrounds. You can even choose to incorporate your furry friend into your big day. Here's an idea - forget the young flower girls and ring bearers and encourage grandma and grandpa to be a part of the ceremony instead.
THE VOWS OR HANDWRITTEN NOTES The thought of writing your own vows can be daunting to some, but to others, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak from the heart to the one you love in front of all of your favorite people. Vows are promises expressing how the couple intends to live and give to their marriage. Nothing says "personalized" more than your own words to each other. Although, if writing your vows yourself isn't quite your thing, consider exchanging handwritten notes to each other, whether it's in front of each other or separately in private.
THE CHOREOGRAPHY One notable trend we have seen a lot of lately is a choreographed first dance between the newlyweds. It's different and unexpected for your guests to see, but it's also a memorable and touching way for you both to connect. You can even take it a step further (literally) and arrange a choreographed dance with your bridal party - trust us, it will be better than the cupid shuffle!
THE STATIONERY & SIGNAGE
THE MENU A simple and easy way to personalize your wedding day is by creating custom stationery with items such as save the dates, invitations, ceremony programs, food & bar menus, place cards, table numbers, thank you notes, etc. You may opt to keep the theme consistent throughout the items with fonts and colors. Personalize them further with monograms, watercolor pictures of you two, custom acrylics, hashtags, whatever you choose, make the personalized statement early, and keep it going throughout your big day!
Finally, one of our favorite topics... food! One common thing that caterers will tell couples is to choose food that YOU want to eat - don't try to please everyone (trust us - you won't succeed.) Some couples will select food menus that go well with their venues, such as BBQ or Italian, and some couples will choose traditional menus that incorporate their heritage and background. The options are endless! If you're like me, you have so many favorite foods that maybe stations are the best option to help satisfy your many cravings. Or do something fun, unique, and trendy like having food trucks. Don't forget about the appetizers, the desserts, and late-night snacks (who doesn't love a Whataburger Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit at midnight)! This is the fun part of wedding planning - listing out all of your favorite foods, desserts, 4th meals, and then finding ways to incorporate these into your reception. You can also consider specialty place settings such as chinaware, napkins, water goblets, flatware, etc. - whatever you can make uniquely yours, do it!
THE BAR & SIGNATURE COCKTAILS
Almost just as important as the food menu is the bar menu. And because Austin has so many dedicated beers, wines, and brands, the bar is undoubtedly an effortless way to bring your personality forward. Most venues in the Austin area allow you to bring your own alcohol. This option will save you money and give you the ability to bring exactly what you like to drink. You can hand-select all offerings on the bar and take it a step further by creating signature cocktails (heck, you can even name them) that are specific for each newlywed. Have a whiskey tasting station or pass out frozen cocktail popsicles to guests on the dance floor. Bust out the mason jars or the custom wine glasses, and get creative by customizing the bar napkins with your monogram or fun facts about you two! Alcohol - because no great story started with someone eating a salad!
Wedding entertainment looks different to each couple. It can vary from music (live band, DJ, solo musician, etc.), yard games, photo booths, karaoke, cigar rollers, canvas painters, fortune tellers, beer burros & llamas; the list goes on. And again, because there's a wide range of options to choose from, select entertainment that showcases you as a couple because if you love the entertainment you choose, your guests will too! Don't forget everybody loves a surprise firework show or confetti cannons on the dance floor!