When you imagine a wedding, there will be certain features that instantly spring to mind. An altar, vow readings, a wedding cake and a guest book are just some of these. Most weddings have commonalities because tradition has laid out a set of rituals that are followed by the wedding party on the day. These rituals go back centuries and have their own meaning and sentimentality. But, what if you’d like to make your wedding stand out a little more? How can you incorporate traditional customs with new, innovative and memorable moments?
One way to do this is to bring new life to certain traditions, by making small but noticeable adjustments.
Here are our 5 top tips on making your wedding day memorable:
Select An Unusual Venue
We’ll start with the most obvious (and arguably the most impactful) thing you can do to make your wedding a little bit more special. There are several standardised options when it comes to venues. Less than a quarter of couples will marry in a church, with the majority now seeking out stately manors, country barns, hotels and golf clubs as their desired wedding venue. Of course, all of these venues are undoubtedly beautiful, with the space and resources required for a wedding to take place. But they are not particularly original. So, if you want to make an impact and be a little different, you might want to use some of the following 3 locations as inspiration:
A zoo: it might not be your first thought when thinking about vow exchanges, but having a wedding in a zoo is not unheard of. Firstly, zoos have the advantage of large, open spaces with indoor enclosures too – so, if you are seeking an outdoor wedding, a zoo could be a great option. There’s also no shortage of wildlife, nature and interesting surroundings to keep your guests mesmerised. Sure, you won’t be getting married inside the lion’s den, but you sure can speak to the coordinator about certain animals being in view during or after the ceremony. How many people can say they met a giraffe at a wedding?
A famous film location: Fans of Harry Potter, Batman, James Bond, Downton Abbey and more can rejoice at knowing some film set locations double up as wedding venues. And why stop there? You can incorporate the whole theme into your wedding if you like!
A boat: Finally, impress your guests and gather incredible photographs while cruising the Thames, Severn or Trent. Perfect for smaller wedding parties, boats offer a totally unique wedding experience – just avoid inviting those prone to seasickness!
You can find a selection of wedding venues here.
Wedding receptions can be about much more than eating, drinking and dancing. You can incorporate some arty activities for guests to stay occupied (which is especially useful if children are coming). Art activities are fun and help people to stay engaged. They can also pass time for children during speeches and slower parts of the ceremony. Here are some ideas:
Hire a cartoonist/painter: An artist on the day can add a new dimension to your wedding. A cartoonist/caricaturist can keep guests entertained and give people keepsakes to take home with them. They are sure to remember your wedding if they have a hilarious cartoon of the event. You could also ask the artist to draw some of the scenes from your wedding for you to hang up in your home after.
Hire actors and celebrity impersonators: Again, to keep guests entertained at the reception, you could throw in a Julia Roberts or George Clooney lookalike. If your wedding has a theme (e.g. fantasy, film, mediaeval) you could hire actors to play characters directly related to the theme (for example, King Richard III greeting guests at the door of the castle).
Chalk on every table: Chalk is fun to use and washes off easily. You can give each guest a piece of chalk to write messages, draw pictures and leave their mark at your venue. Ask your venue coordinator if there is a wall, outdoor floor space or other dedicated space that can be used for this. If not, set up some large chalkboards.
Group montage: Ask your guests to draw a picture of someone on their table (giving them the resources in advance). And then, this image is pinned to a large noticeboard, creating a fun collage of everyone there on the day. This activity also serves as a way for people to get to know each other, so is ideal if you are inviting lots of solo guests.
Use Video and Audio
Your wedding day memories might be a little bit blurry. All the excitement and adrenaline of the wedding day can make it harder to focus on core events to look back on. Furthermore, you have a lot to do and can spend the day being quite busy meeting new people, coordinating the day, and remember your vows! By introducing more video, photography and audio, you can create authentic memories to look back on (and listen to) in years to come.
There are several ways you can do this, all with their own unique benefits.
Make your venue insta-ready: It’s no secret that guests like to upload wedding snaps to Instagram. And really, they’re doing you a favour by producing memorable content you can look back on. You might even boycott the wedding photographer and rely on your guests to create these memories for you. Having areas of your venue that are set up for Instagram can really help. For example, one corner might feature lighting, props, different backdrops and even costumes so that guests can play around with interesting pictures. You could also add features to your decor to make guest photos even more stunning. Ask guests to use a particular hashtag upon uploading so that you can find the pictures with ease.
Use an Audio Guest Book: An Audio Guest Book works very similarly to a written guest book. Except, instead of your guests writing messages with a pen, they will use a phone to leave a message for the wedding party to listen back to later. It might be a joke, an anecdote, a memory, or words of encouragement and wisdom for the future. As you can imagine, you’d receive a lovely variety of messages, all of which you can keep forever. Using a service like Calleo takes all the hassle off your hands. Calleo will deliver to you a telephone of your choice. You plug this in at your venue. After the day is done, the telephone is returned and the files are edited and presented to you in a format of your choice. In years or decades to come, you can hear the true voices of those who attended your special day. It’s also a fun activity for guests and keeps them occupied throughout the day.
Pre-record video and audio messages: There will, unfortunately, be some family members and friends who cannot attend. If possible, a bridesmaid or groomsman can organise pre-recorded messages from those who cannot attend on the day. You can either record audio messages that can be played at the reception, or film a compilation of videos. This is especially useful if you are getting married abroad and therefore have to keep the guest list down to a bare minimum. People at home will feel they were part of your big day, and you can feel as though they are there with you, raising a toast. You can also stream live content into the reception, for those who want to join in without physically being there.
Set up a Tik Tok challenge
TikTok is a wonderful way to bring people together. Have a look at some of the latest trends on TikTok and see if any of these can be incorporated into your wedding. It could be a dance, a prank, a montage or you might introduce a funny filter. It’s best to put someone in charge of this activity who is confident using the app and able to explain the task to guests.
An interesting survey showed that 4% of people who meet at weddings end up having relationships. But often, people can be shy and might stick with the people they know, rather than mixing with new faces. By encouraging people to mix more, you can create a more memorable experience for everyone involved.
For example, let’s suggest that instead of allocating reception seats in advance, you use a ‘draw the straw’ system on the day. The ‘straw’ will tell that person where they are sitting so that tables are entirely mixed and random. Another idea is to incorporate ‘getting to know you’ games at guest tables. Or, have a big quiz that helps to reveal stories and anecdotes of key guests, allowing others to get to know them better.
If you are using technology such as video and audio, you can group guests together to create fun pictures, or to leave you collective audio messages using the Calleo wedding Audio Guest Book service.
Imagine if in a year’s time, two of your guests announce their own engagement and they have your wedding to thank for it!
Add In Unique Rituals
Weddings are full of rituals, from the ring exchange to the throwing of the bouquet. Each ritual has its own meaning and history, and you have the freedom to select and ditch whichever you prefer. If you would like to add in some more unique rituals, you could include the following:
Handfasting: This is an age-old Celtic tradition whereby the couple’s hands are tied together using a ribbon to symbolise their union. The celebrant will be the person to tie the ribbon and will normally be trained to know how to do this. This ceremonial moment also makes for a great picture.
Sand ceremony: A sand ceremony is when a couple pours two different grains of sand into one pot or bottle. It symbolises the merging of two people into one. Some couples will not use sand, but something else to symbolise their unions such as liquids or gemstones – we’ve even heard of a couple using gin and tonic to pour into a glass!
There are, of course, many other rituals you can incorporate into your big day, but hopefully, some of these have served as inspiration.
Your Wedding Should Reflect You
When making your wedding more memorable, keep in mind that the event is better if it reflects your combined personalities. Try to steer away from the ‘shoulds’ and enjoy customising a day that truly amplifies your inner self. You only get one wedding day together, and in years to come, you want to be able to remember it with great fondness and clarity. Furthermore, your guests will thank you for making the day more unique, setting it apart from other weddings.
Calleo For A Unique Wedding
Calleo is committed to helping you make memories. By hiring Calleo, you can have an Audio Guest Book telephone at your wedding and allow guests to leave unlimited messages. The laughs, tears and joy you’ll experience after receiving your wedding Audio Guest Book are unparalleled, and a beautiful way to remember key people. Want to learn more about Audio Guest Books? Click here to read more about Calleo.