From extra personal touches to fabulous treats for guests, we take a look at our very favourite finishing touches…
They say it’s all about the small things, and so, once brides and grooms have taken care of the key parts of their wedding planning, it’s wise to turn thoughts to the little details that can make a big difference to the day. We team up with Brides Up North to bring you that final flourish and turn our attention to… the fabulous finishing touches!
The use of wedding photos in your décor can be a fabulous way to add a personalised finish to your big day. From Polaroid photo style bunting strung up around the venue showing happy memories throughout your relationship, to a photo table plan made up of images of your guests, there are plenty of ways to incorporate picture details. Your centrepieces could include a framed photo too, perhaps images of you both at the age of the table number, so aged-one, two and so on, or a photo of you at your favourite places as a couple. For something a little more unusual, you could make up a large frame of images to display with photos of you from each year of your relationship.
Though some think wedding favours are a waste of time and budget, get your choice of gift right and it can provide a special and lasting memory of your day. Perhaps something guests can take away, nurture and grow, like a succulent plant, or a photo keyring of you (maybe from your pre-wedding shoot) so your guests are reminded of your day on a daily basis, or, if marrying near Christmas, a personalised decoration for their tree, so you will be a part of their celebrations each year.
We’ve all been to weddings where we’ve searched the contents of our bag for a cereal bar, sweet, mint, even a Smint, in the hope of warding off the hunger pangs post-ceremony. So, if there’s a finishing touch your guests will appreciate, it’s some extra snacks throughout the day. Sweetie tables can provide a welcome treat, or alternatively, a savoury nibbles station filled with crisps and nuts. For something a little more substantial you could set up a pizza or doughnut station, or hire in a classic ice cream van or cart for some afternoon dessert indulgence.
Likewise, guests are generally always grateful of a free drink (or two). If you can’t afford to put on a free bar for the whole reception, why not have a ‘happy hour’ where guests can enjoy a glass of wine or beer on you during that time. Alternatively, you could treat everyone to a cocktail and personalise with a ‘his and hers’ choices of the bride and groom’s favourite tipple.
Personal music choices
Let’s face it, everybody loves to hear their song at a celebration, so try to think ahead with your music choices to include tracks that mean something to you and your guests. You could go down the root of asking guests to provide a song choice as part of their RSVP to ensure everyone is catered for. Otherwise think of songs that are special to your parents, grandparents and siblings, any memorable tracks to include from the hen/stag do, and are there any first dance songs from your family or friends’ weddings that could be played as part of the background music during the wedding breakfast?
Guest book alternatives
As the evening party gets underway, getting guests to remember to sign the guest book can be somewhat of a challenge. So, to make the task more appealing, why not hire, or set up your own photo booth with a Polaroid camera and props and ask them to have a fun photo and stick it in the book along with a little message? As most guests tend to write their well wishes in their card, you could ditch the guest book altogether and ask guests to come up with a ‘date night’ or ‘anniversary celebration’ suggestion instead.
Because you care
There are lots of thoughtful touches you can add to your day to let your guests know that you care for them; from flipflops by the dancefloor to relieve tired dancing-feet, to soft throws and blankets provided for those who want to get some fresh air. Items for freshening up in the bathroom, such as deodorant, hair grips and hair spray, are often really appreciated by female guests, while male guests will think you are the coolest ever if you were to set up a ‘gents den’ style room/area with cigars, possibly whisky, and depending on the venue, a pool/snooker table. Meanwhile for the little ones any form of games or entertainment is a great shout; think garden games or activity packs.
Gifts for guests
It goes without saying that you will want to complete your day by thanking those who have contributed with a special present – parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen – so be sure to get a gift that’s memorable. Perhaps some jewellery, a photo frame that they can display a picture from the wedding in, or perhaps an activity or experience instead, such as a spa treatment, meal out or go karting. You might also want to finish off your celebrations with a gift for your guests too, whether it be a ‘hang over kit’ left in their room (containing pain killers, sleep mask, bottle of water and an energy-boosting snack), or more of a keepsake, such as a CD featuring key musical tracks from the wedding.
Brides Up North is one of the top bridal blogs in the UK and the only wedding blog especially for brides in the North. Visit www.bridesupnorth.com for a double daily dose of real weddings, bridal fashion features, local supplier showcases, giveaways, discounts and more!