25 ways to not have a boring wedding ceremony
Have an exciting wedding ceremony
Who says your reception is the only fun part of your wedding day? There's no reason why your ceremony shouldn't be as exciting, meaningful, and inventive as your reception. Our wedding experts have advice on how to personalize your I do's—from a pre-ceremony slideshow to a wedding time capsule.
Have a drink
Start the celebration as soon as guests arrive by throwing a short (no more than an hour) preceremony cocktail party.
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It will give everyone a chance to mingle and ensure that even your chronically late college roommate will get there in time for the main event. Keep it simple by serving a festive cocktail or two and a small treat like artisanal popcorn in paper cones. As for whether you choose to make a special guest appearance yourself—possibly in another cute white outfit—that's up to you.
Thank your guests
Make guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive by writing them personal notes and leaving them at the ceremony entrance, recommends Lauren Geissler of San Francisco's Downey Street Events. Another plus: By giving cards, you can skip the receiving line, giving you more time for photos and the reception.
Personalize your program
Todd Fiscus of Todd Events in Dallas suggests sprinkling your programs with personal details, like factoids about your VIPs ("Father Don baptized Steven" or "Beth's mom makes the best pralines west of the Mississippi!"), photos from your engagement shoot, a hand-drawn map illustrating your adventures together—anything that sets the tone for the wedding ahead.
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Plan a group activity
If you're marrying at a location like a museum, zoo, or aquarium, give your guests the option of taking a fun behind-the-scenes tour before your I do's.
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Provide flower favors
Gift your guests with boutonnieres (for the men) and fresh-flower hair clips (for the women). Arrange them on trays near the beginning of the wedding aisle.
Screen a slide show
Dying to do a slide show? Play it before your ceremony rather than at the rehearsal dinner. It's a unique way to entertain guests until the vows.
Pick an alternative bridesmaid bouquet
Skip the bouquets and have your besties carry a chic clutch instead. (It doubles as a bridesmaids' gift!) Other creative options: silk fans, parasols in your colors, or candlelit lanterns (great for an evening ceremony).
Choose a calligraphed runner
Ask a calligrapher—or a friend with good penmanship—to emblazon your aisle runner with something personal, using chalk or fabric paint (a line from a favorite poem, perhaps). Or you can have a custom runner created just for you (try originalrunners.com).
Make your processional music meaningful
Meaningful processional music is a must, say Paige Appel and Kelly Harris of Los Angeles's Bash, Please. Is "Sweet Child O' Mine" your song? Play it. Did you grow up in New Jersey? Head to the altar to Springsteen's "Jersey Girl."