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Having your perfect wedding day is far from an easy task. The list of things to do is endless! There’s picking out a venue, how you want dinner to be served, hors d’oeuvres, the wedding cake, colors, decorations and so much more. If you are ever graced with the opportunity to get married, it is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. It will be a memory both of you will cherish for your entire life. As stressful as the planning gets, consistently remind yourself that the center of it all is love.

When preparing, it’s essential to make this occasion reflect both of you. You want to combine elements of your personalities to best celebrate who you are as a couple. What are both of your interests? All couples have different hobbies they share — for example, skiing, riding motorcycles, boating, or hiking. Sit down with your significant other and brainstorm all the things you both love. Then, as you plan your wedding, surround your theme around all of the things you and your soon-to-be spouse favor.

Incorporate Loved Ones

One of the easiest ways for both of you to show your roots is through making your family and closest friends part of your wedding day. Of course, they will all be in attendance, but how can you go the extra mile to make sure they’re involved? First, you can have some of them at your wedding party. Pick individuals that are closest to both of your hearts. You could also have a ring bearer and flower girl that’s a niece, nephew, or younger cousin. Lastly, you might be interested in honoring departed loved ones, too. There are many ways you can merge them into your special day. One being a moment of silence before the ceremony, or even reserving a seat for them at the wedding. Some choose to honor them through decorating, too. A great way is by displaying personalized picture frames with photos of them on a memory table. You could even choose to hang the frames up within a gallery wall or simply arrange them on a table with some flowers. Whatever you choose, it is a perfect way to include a special moment, and your guests will surely appreciate it.

Hors d’oeuvres

What food you choose to serve at the cocktail hour can be one of the tougher decisions you have to make while planning. However, even this portion of the wedding can be used to represent the couple. Typically, after the ceremony, it’s a quiet time where guests gradually arrive at the reception area. Here, there are drinks and hors d’oeuvres for everyone to mingle and hold them over until the wedding party comes to be announced and have dinner. Select a variety of snacks to offer for your guests and have labels to show why you picked what you did. For example, you might have a display of various cheeses and crackers with a sign, “Because the bride loves cheese.” You could also have possibilities of fruit, vegetables, and hot options, too.

Drink Station

Commonly, having an open bar is something at the top of most wedding planning lists. To get more creative, you might want to have a signature drink to show individuality. Another way is offering a “his and hers” option of beverage. On the other hand, having non-alcoholic options for a big celebration is something that often gets overlooked. Having these other options might be essential for you to include. Creating a drink station is the perfect solution. You can get a little creative and have many different options to accommodate all of your guests. Start by ensuring there is space at the reception for an additional table. Here you can have options for coffee, tea, lemonade, iced tea, hot chocolate, and depending on what time of year it is, seasonal drinks are always fun, too. Such as apple cider or different punches.

Dessert Bar

The next area of your reception to think about are desserts. As with hors d’oeuvres, there are plenty of ways to express what sweet treats you and your significant other enjoy, besides the traditional white 3-tier wedding cake. Maybe one of you loves chocolate chip cookies, while the other loves strawberry shortcake. These could be the two desserts you choose to serve. Use signs like, “their favorite desserts” or “love is sweet, have a treat.” You could also include multiple dessert favorites, too! If there’s room in your budget, try including donuts, cupcakes, pastries, chocolate-covered strawberries, or maybe even cheesecake as well. The more you veer away from the ordinary, the more both of your personalities will shine through. You’ll also have multiple options for guests, too!

Reinvent the Guestbook

Having activities that allow your guests to interact with one another might be an area of wedding planning to think about, too. Along with considering that not all guests are interested in alcoholic beverages, not all of your guests will want to dance either. A detail that you can make a little more personal as well as occupy your guests is having a unique guestbook experience. Again, make sure it represents both of you. Here are some examples. Do both of you travel? If so, have guests sign a globe. If you have a religious background, have a bible, and instruct them to highlight their favorite verse and sign their name. Another way is getting a big mason jar and asking them to fill it with “marriage wisdom” or date night ideas. Lastly, having a photo guest book will certainly win everyone over. Photo booth or not, you could get a polaroid camera with different stickers and tapes for guests to make your very own scrapbook of all the people who attended your special day.

Your wedding is going to be one of the best days of your life, something you’ll remember forever. Your guests will remember it forever, too. Take the time to incorporate all of the elements that you both love. Once the day is here, you’ll finally be able to marry your significant other while being surrounded by the things you both love. Your favorite people, interests, food, drinks, and more!