02/19/2013 12:14 EST | Updated 04/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Planning Your Personalized, Unique Wedding


Gone are the days of "cookie cutter" weddings. These days, everyone wants a unique event that reflects their personal style. The issue becomes how to bring that personalized uniqueness out in a way guests understand and can enjoy.

The good news is that you can bring out this uniqueness in anything and everything wedding-related, including food, décor, favours, music, location, stationery, and so on. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Write down your favourite things as a couple and as individuals. It can be anything; favourite foods, activities you like to do together, books, songs, travel, movies, etc. Don't worry if you can't see how something will fit into your wedding. Just brainstorm and talk it out. It's amazing how one small item can snowball into to something amazing.

  • Once you have a list of favourite things, start to write out the areas that you can bring your theme through. If you aren't sure, type your theme / favourite things into Google Images and websites like Pinterest. Sometimes just a small part of an image can give you inspiration. Here is an example:

  • Love going to movies together
  • - Have the reception in an old theatre
  • - Serve gourmet popcorn as a late night snack
  • - Play your favourite movie clips on screens in the background
  • - Create invitations that look like movie stubs
  • - Name your tables after your favourite movie stars
  • - Use old movie reels as décor
  • - Include old movie posters in the cocktail area
  • - Hire a company to do flip books for guests to make their own movies
  • Favourite city is New York (bride) and Paris (groom)
  • - Provide French macarons as favours
  • - Include late night options consisting of pizza and a hot dog cart
  • - Name your tables after New York / Paris street names or museums
  • - Go with a colour scheme that is black, white and silver
  • - Have roman numeral vintage clocks as décor
  • - Use hot air balloons on your stationery
  • - Include lavender in décor or as a favour
    • Once you have tied your theme into various areas (from décor to stationary) highlight the ideas that you like the best (and which you think are realistic based on your budget). You might decide to carry one theme though each aspect of your wedding, or you might decide to include a number of your "favourite things" in the wedding. For instance, you could go with the old theatre as your venue, French macarons as favours, hot dogs, pizza and popcorn as late night items and a black/white/silver colour scheme. Other personal touches will come naturally and will get added as you go about the planning process. You will see.

    Keep in mind that some traditions or "cookie cutter" ideas have become that way for a reason: because they work. The basic structure of an event needs to be there. Otherwise, people will walk away confused and without having had an enjoyable experience.

    Having a hard time with this? Another option: hire a wedding planner to help!

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