Open any wedding magazine, and the main focus will probably be on the style and what your wedding will look like. You’ll be thinking about colours, flowers, style, and themes. Of course, these things are really important! But as much as you want your wedding to be pretty, you probably want it to be meaningful and fun right?
I’m so privileged to have attended and photographed many (hundreds!) of beautiful wedding days. From all of these weddings, I have noticed a trend in the ones that get people dancing, laughing, crying, and have a great vibe in the atmosphere. What’s the secret to this? How do you make your wedding day memorable?
I think the following 6 ways will take your wedding from an ordinary party, to an oh-my-goodness-that-was-amazing-I’m-so-glad-I-was-there celebration.
1 -Make sure your guests know what to expect.
No one wants to turn up for your wedding in a summer dress and they didn’t know the wedding was outside, so shiver through the service. Is your wedding kid friendly? Let your guests know. If you are serving cocktails, but not a full sit down dinner, TELL your guests. No one wants to be at your wedding hungry. Feed people, and feed them on time! You don’t want hungry turning into hangry…it’s pretty hard to enjoy yourself when you’re hangry.
2 – Consider having a First Look.
You can spend more time with your guests immediately after the ceremony. Because really, how natural is it to have to say goodbye to your guests for a few hours, who have just witnessed your beautiful emotional ceremony, and want nothing more to start celebrating with you?
3 – Have your wedding venues in one place, or very near each other.
No one wants to be driving or sitting in the car the whole day. Tell your guests the exact location, consider providing a cute hand drawn map with your invitation, so there is no confusion. Think about parking, tell your guests exactly where to go. Nothing creates more stress than driving around before the ceremony, trying to find a park!
4 – Emotional involvement.
Get your guests emotionally invested in your day. Write personal heartfelt vows, try to memorise them, and look into your partners eyes when you say them. Too often, celebrants or priests will say your vows first (into a microphone) for you to repeat. If you don’t feel like you can memorise your vows, read them from a card, and sure it’s you who is speaking into the microphone. Put effort into toasts and speeches, remember it’s about your marriage. This is one of the only times in your life where you will make a public declaration on how much this person means to you. Make it memorable, and avoid looking on Google for inspiration.
5 – Take care with a seating chart.
If you are having a sit down dinner, inevitability you will have to put people who don’t know each other well on the same table. But be careful to seat likeminded people together, in the hopes that they might make new friends. You could even do away with place settings, and let people sit where they like.
6 – Consider hiring a (great) Band.
If you know your guests will want to dance, or maybe they can be swayed to dance, make sure you have music that everyone can relate to. If the band does covers, try to pick a variety of songs from a variety of decades – that the older folks will recognise and the younger generation can dance to. The 80’s is one of the best decades for dance music that does this! Also, I wanted to mention that even though photo booths are old news, guests still love them! Lawn games are also fun after a ceremony, or pre reception.
Obviously everyone has a different definition of what fun is. While a dance-till-the-sun-comes-up party defines it for some people, for others that would be a nightmare and an intimate dinner party with board games is more their style. It’s all about knowing your crowd. Consistently the top issues that make a wedding un-fun are physical discomfort (too hot, too cold, no chairs, can’t hear) and food (late, bad, cold).
Remember, impressing your guests should not be your motivation! You will never be able to please everyone. There will always be guests that will go home early, or won’t dance. And guess what? That’s okay! Your guests will hopefully all love you, and that’s the one thing they will have in common. Even if they don’t leave your wedding thinking “That was the best party ever, I had so much fun.” hopefully they will leave thinking, “I’m so happy I could be there to celebrate with people I love.”
What do you think makes a fun wedding? Have you ever been to a wedding that was less than fun, or amazing? What were the factors that make or break the occasion? I would love to hear from you! xx