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  • Tracy Fink

Planning the Wedding of the Century with Moments of Surprise and Delight

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Every couple dreams of pulling off the “wedding of the century.” But, an epic wedding takes a fair amount of hard work. There are months of planning and countless stressful nights to create a day of memories that will last a lifetime.

Are you making the right choices to ensure your wedding ceremony and reception stand out from the crowd? Or are you quietly fitting in with the rest of the wedding pack?

I see this pretty often with couples. They will tell me what their dream wedding looks like and then follow that with “but my (insert important person) says we should do xyz.” I once had a bride who had a very specific vision as to what she wanted for her wedding. It was a bit out of the ordinary but was such a fun idea. Unfortunately her mom had a very different vision for her daughter’s wedding and this caused some conflict. As the mom was paying for the wedding, we had to have some specific conversations so that the bride and mom were both happy. In the end it turned out beautifully.

No couple should ever have to worry about whether or not their wedding is unapologetically them or stress out that the day goes off without a hitch. They also shouldn’t be anxious about keeping their guests occupied with “wow” moments.

You have a wedding planner for just that reason!

One of the most effortless conversations to have with your planner is about adding moments of surprise and delight. These moments can help to entertain your guests and give them a long-lasting impression. Don’t worry about what “other” people have done in the past, what gets you excited? What showcases who you are as a couple?

Here are just a few ways that you can start planning “outside the box” and add a bit of surprise and delight into your wedding day:

Dream Up A Memorable Entrance

They say first impressions are everything, so why not make your wedding stand out right from the get-go?

Grand entrances can be an impressive experience for both the couple and their wedding guests. Say you want to entice your guests as they enter the venue space. You can opt to entertain them with live musicians or other performers lining the walkways to their designated tables or seating areas. The newlyweds’ dramatic introduction can happen at either the ceremony or the reception (or both if you’re feeling fancy).

Another way to make a memorable entrance is by going over-the-top to introduce the happy couple and their wedding party. Try and recreate elements of your love story. Think of creative and unique ways to highlight how you met, your favorite activities to do together, or anything in-between.

One of my all-time favorite entrances was when we had circus performers lead a parade of the guests from the ceremony location to the reception area. Once they got the guests to the cocktail area, they hyped them up with noisemakers and ribbons while the bridal party arrived on a float. Nothing says welcome to a unique wedding reception then stilt walkers.

Photo by: Aura Marzouk

Raise The Bar With Luxury Decor

No matter your budget, you can easily elevate the reception space with luxurious decor. Your design elements can be something as simple as throw pillows or fabric-rich tablescapes to more off-the-wall and adventurous endeavors such as hanging installations or over-the-top light shows with accompanying music. These lush elements can help set the mood for the reception and put guests in the right vibe and headspace for the event.

Don’t be afraid to use lighting and drapery to change the space. Bold colors and unique items also will make a statement.

Craft Different Scenes Utilizing Guest Interests

Storytelling is a great way to bring your wedding to life. Every couple has a unique journey, whether it’s your family history or your extraordinary love story. Either of these can easily be divided up into stations.

Want to incorporate both partner’s family history and culinary traditions into your wedding menu? Try dividing each cuisine type into a section of the room and scatter in tidbits of family tradition and history throughout the tablescapes.

I once had a couple who loved to travel. They started collecting postcards from all of the areas they had visited. They incorporated the postcards into the centerpieces with each table representing a different location. They also had a game show during dinner where they had the DJ put on a screen different locations and the guests would have to guess information about each location. Nothing is more fun than some competition between tables of people who have been drinking.

Another way to break up your reception into stations is by dedicating each station to an era of your love. You can include era-centric favors or photobooth apparel and pair it with a specialty cocktail or appropriate hors d’oeuvres.

There are so many unique ways to bring who you are as a couple into your wedding. With your wedding just a few short months away, don’t hesitate to reach out to your planner and start a conversation that can lead to the “wow factor” your wedding deserves.

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