After you've attended a number of weddings, you might start realizing that many of them look and feel the same. Sure, they celebrate different couples, have different colors, and be made up of different guests, but the general outline of events and logistics may seem very similar.
To make your wedding stand out--and keep guests guessing, in a good way!--consider these ideas for making your big day stand out from the rest.
1. Provide individualized post-wedding transportation.
Wedding guest transportation has become a new to-do on couple's lists, whether they're getting married somewhere other than where their guests are staying or they'd like to provide transport for guests post-wedding as a courtesy. While a number of couples choose to rent buses or vans, these lack personalization... what if guests want to go somewhere other than where everyone else is going? Uber makes it easy for guests to hitch a ride: You can get a special code for events that allow for discounted, group fare rates. You could either cover costs for your guests or have them cover their own. Either way, include the code in your invitation and wedding website with any relevant information guests need to know.
2. Create a spectacular photo display to kick off your celebration.
When guests arrive to your ceremony site, take them on a trip down memory lane by decorating the pathway to their seats (like a hotel corridor, for instance) with large photos of you two in chronological order. That way, before they watch you get married, they'll get to relive--or discover for the first time--your relationship's most special moments. This is a great way to give guests who don't know you well (distant relatives, plus ones, and so on) a glimpse into your bond that that wouldn't have had otherwise.
3. Change the ceremony levels.
Sometimes, just shifting the angle can make a huge impact. If you're getting married in front of a scenic vista, place the altar or ceremony stage on a riser. This way, you two will be elevated with no distractions directly behind you and the scenery will be dramatic, yet not the main focus.
4. Make programs personal--and allow guests to mingle for their seats.
If your wedding consists of 80 people or less (10 tables or fewer), pre-print your programs with guests' individual names on them so your loved ones feel special the moment they arrive. Put reception seating information in each program as well so your guests also won't have to hunt for their escort cards during cocktail hour--that way, they can enjoy a drink and an appetizer right away. (Note: You'll need a designated person, or people, to hand these out as your guests arrive.)
Then, have placards on the tables with your guests' names written in calligraphy so everyone can circle the room looking for where they are seated and get familiar with names of other guests. This way, they may even get know the names of those others seated at their table prior to personal introductions! There will be plenty of time for your guests to find their places as your pictures are concluding.
5. Shake up the timeline.
Most weddings follow this general timeline: Ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, first dance, cake-cutting. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with this traditional outline of events, it's expected.
Make your wedding different by cutting the cake right after your grand entrance--yes, before dinner! That way, all your guests can enjoy watching it without the typical distractions and you'll both be fresh for pictures. Then, since the cake ceremony has already taken place, the caterer can have it cut and ready to serve once dinner has been cleared!