The Blog

Small Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

In planning our wedding, my husband and I knew we wanted to add personal touches to our day without bloating our budget. We were getting married in a beautiful hotel ballroom. It was perfect for us and our guest.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

In planning our wedding, my husband and I knew we wanted to add personal touches to our day without bloating our budget. We were getting married in a beautiful hotel ballroom. It was perfect for us and our guest. However, with an all-inclusive package we didn't want to add anything overtly over-budget. Instead, we found some small additions that still allowed us to take full advantage of the benefits of an all-inclusive venue.

Looking through our pictures, I'm glad we spent the time putting these personal touches in our wedding--they helped make our day special. I'm excited that we'll have these little details to remember in the years to come.

A Theme
I'm a writer and a reader, so for our theme we went with the quote, "Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite." There are a lot of ways to incorporate this idea into the wedding. On a personal level, as part of my husband's groom gift, I wrote and bound a collection of short stories detailing special events in our relationship. For the wedding, we made sure all our wedding day stationary (program and menu card) had the quote on it and we had a frame with the quote at the table with our escort cards.

2015-07-17-1437176932-8829705-CaseyandTimFirstLook0052.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

Custom Table Numbers
Our venue provided table numbers, but when we decided to incorporate a theme I really wanted to use the table numbers as a way of bringing it to life. I also wanted to do this without spending a lot of money. I found nice, but inexpensive frames at Target, which helped keep the whole project under $100. From there I compiled a list of love quotes from our favorite music, movies, television, shows and books, which include Boy Meets World and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness for me, and The Simpsons and Scrubs for him. Each table number had a quote associated with it. After we picked all the quotes, we tried to match them to the guests seated at each table.

2015-07-18-1437178267-4088215-CaseyandTimReceptionDetails0014.jpg 2015-07-18-1437178300-7159929-CaseyandTimReceptionDetails0016.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

Card Box
I'm quite fortunate to have a very creative family that helped immensely throughout our whole wedding planning process. I asked my cousin to make our card box. Originally, we wanted one of the boxes that actually looks like a stack of presents. When I told my cousin our theme, she suggested making it a stack of books. It was a great idea. I figured she would paint the boxes to look like hardcover books--what we got was a million times more amazing. It was definitely a highlight of our reception, and people are still commenting on it. It now serves as the centerpiece of our dining room table.

2015-07-17-1437176651-2947338-WeddingDayHighlights0061.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

Even if you don't have a creative cousin, you can still make a special card box (or order one off of Etsy) for fairly inexpensive, and your card box is something almost every guest will visit to drop off their boosts--it's a great way to make an impression.

Cake Accessories and a Groom's Cake
Our wedding cake was covered by our venue contract, but we decided to add a few unique add-ons. Tim and I have two cats that we love dearly, however, we couldn't include them in the big day. So we had our bakery add "peek-a-boo" cats to the tiers of our cake. They designed little fondant cat, colored to look like ours, and they peeked out from under the cake layers. They were so adorable, and allowed us to include our cats in a small way. My husband wanted a minion for his groom's cake. He loves minion--he wore minion socks and cufflinks for the big day. We sent a picture to the bakery and trusted they would make it work--they exceeded our expectations--and we, and our guests, loved it.

2015-07-17-1437176704-31532-CaseyandTimReceptionDetails0042.jpg 2015-07-17-1437176730-4503562-CaseyandTimReceptionDetails0030.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

A Unique Unity Ceremony
Our unity ceremony tied into our theme. We went with the Love Letter Wine Box. We wrote each other letters, and along with letters from each of our moms and grandmothers, a bottle of wine, and trinkets from our engagement (a CD with the wedding music on it, race bibs from our first 5K) locked them in a box not to be opened until our 10-year anniversary. I'm excited to see what he wrote in 10 years, and I'm even more excited to rediscover what items we thought important enough to include in the box to represent that time in our lives.

2015-07-17-1437160124-9067536-CaseyandTimCeremony0171.jpg 2015-07-17-1437160491-2003114-WeddingDayHighlights0059.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

Our Wedding Soundtrack
Music is a big part of my life--I create soundtracks for everything, from road trips to the novels I write--so planning the soundtrack to my wedding was a huge task. It needed to have the right tone, and include songs important to my husband, to me, and to the both of us. In picking the songs for the various parts of the wedding (ceremony, reception entrance, bouquet toss, cake cutting, parent dances, etc.), we painted a picture of us as a couple.

2015-07-17-1437177039-6994196-CaseyandTimReceptionFormals0062.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography

I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of "Tale as Old as Time" from Beauty and the Beast, our entrance music was "Everything is Awesome" from the Lego Movie, and our first dance was "You're My Best Friend" by Queen--several months of dance lessons were required for that choice. It included music from our favorite bands--Jack's Mannequin, Foo Fighters, Lifehouse and Daft Punk. Anyone who knows us understood the music wasn't randomly selected--each song from the processional to the bouquet toss to the last dance had to do with us.

2015-07-18-1437178077-7753097-Reception1267.jpg
Photo Credit: Idalia Photography