It goes without saying that both of you will always remember your wedding. Whether the Best Man’s speech set the reception party alight or sent the bride’s parents into apoplexy like a scene from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, you will always remember every detail. After all, it was you who agonised for months about the wedding arrangements, from the choice of table linen to the flowers in the church and the niceties of the seating arrangements. But when you look back on it all on your honeymoon over a sundowner on a white sand beach somewhere in the Indian Ocean, the last thing you want is even the slightest tinge of regret. Not the merest whiff of the dreaded “If onlys”. Not the tiniest doubt about those special extras that would, could, should have rounded off the perfect wedding.
It’s easy to forget when planning for a wedding that a few original touches – touches that needn’t be expensive – could make the difference between a wedding that everyone enjoys and a wedding that everyone talks about for years to come. Not just you but all your guests as well. Touches that express your own unique personalities and that will add a touch of magic to the occasion that your guests will never forget.
Over the years, we’ve come up with a fair few ideas ourselves and have been able to see at first-hand which ones light a spark and which ones don’t work so well. So here is our recommendation of the Top Ten Finishing Touches that will make your wedding an occasion that everyone will remember.
1 – Wishing Tree
All your guests will be wanting to send you their heart-felt best wishes and there’s no better way of capturing them all for posterity than on a Wishing Tree. Choose one in your garden or venue, or buy (or even hire!) one especially for the day, place it in a decorated pot and cover it in red ribbons. Then get your guests to write their wishes for you on tags and attach to them to the tree. It’s such a simple yet effective way of creating a natural wedding feature and allowing your guests to express their love and goodwill. The only thing to remember with this is that with this…bigger is better!
2 – Interactive Giant Props
Injecting fun and playfulness into your big day is such a winner, and with this in mind we created these giant letters for you to proclaim your love with and this Secret Garden style ‘door into another world’ as a theatrical entrance with both being a brilliant backdrop for wedding photographs. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure in introducing to you to Mr & Mrs…”
3 – DIY Signboards
Creating your own personalised signage is a great way of stamping your personality on the day while also injecting a bit of cheeky fun. Whether it’s chalk paint on heart-shaped wooden cut-outs or painting the name of your own Night Club for disco time, there’s no end of possibilities.
4 – Create your own Accessories
At the reception have your own ‘Creation Station’ where guests can make their own fascinator or buttonhole using some pre-made discs of card mounted on clips or safety pins. Then let them choose from feathers, buttons and trims to create their own decorations to wear which they can also take away and be a lasting reminder of your wedding.
5 – Interactive Favours
Traditional wedding favours tend to get left behind at the table, so why not make them more interactive and original so that guests can enjoy them right there and then. Some of the best ones are tiny bottles of the happy couple’s favourite tipple, to toast them with or comedy fancy dress accessories like moustaches, sunglasses or stick-on tattoos. Think about items that will add an element of fun to the dinner or break the ice before the wine starts to flow.
6 – DIY Photo Booth
These are all the rage at the moment and do produce a very amusing set of pictures of your guests. However, rather than an actual booth, our decorative tents lend themselves to setting up an area with polaroid cameras – perhaps in the lounge area of a wedding as they did in the picture below – and let your guests do the rest. Or if you want some help from the professionals the ‘Pop Up Photo Parlour’ can deck you out with props and backdrops and combined with those fancy dress favours and you’re already well on the way to an unforgettable party.
7 – Signature After-Dinner Drink
As an after-dinner tipple, have a friend or two walk around with your favourite after-dinner drink. A signature drink that you or a friend have made always goes down well – homemade sloe gin, vodka or pear wine are perennial favourites. Or you can take it a step further with professional waiters serving a whole range of tequilas in Mexican attire purveying bespoke tequila shots and educating guests in its ingredients, and serving them with a flourish (see www.ejs-emporium.co.uk for more details).
8 – Bring your Own Pudding
Not everyone eats pudding, although undeniably some people love them! Rather than having your caterers serve everyone with desert, ask your pudding-mad friends to contribute by making their favourite. Then put them all together on a table (or even their own tent!) with a note about what it is and who made what and the ingredients.
This not only minimises waste but also gets guests congratulating each other for their pudding prowess and swapping recipes.
9 – First-dance Confetti
Everyone loves confetti, whether it’s dried rose petals or something more colourful. So why not save the confetti moment for your first dance? As you can see from the picture below, it can make for some amazing first-dance photographs.
10 – Midnight Treats
If there is a favourite snack that you love, share it with your guests! Like a toast-station brought out at midnight with Marmite or Nutella, a pile of hot Cornish pasties or mini pots of your favourite ice cream handed round. And for a sinful but satisfying snack, a chip van with your favourite sauces works a treat. Yummy!
With thanks to Katherine Hudson, founder of The Arabian Tent Company which was born out of a love of festivals and outdoor parties.
(Photo credits to Medford Williams - Wishing Tree, Philip Volkers - Signs & Accessories, Infinity Photography - Interactive Favours, Sophie Lindsay - Pud Tent)