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Advice Wedding Ideas

  • Whether you adore your pets or have a special place in your heart for a specific type of animal, it can be super-cute to incorporate this into your wedding décor. Here are a few ideas we’ve seen in real weddings.

    Centerpieces

    Animal topiaries are projected to be one of the hot décor items for 2015, and it’s a cute and subtle way to express your love for animals, whether you focus on a specific species or mix it up.


    Photo by James Moro Photography

    Escort Cards

    From figurines to paper cut outs, your escort cards can provide a fun nod to your animal of choice. Aside from the pig and bird options shown here, we’ve also seen escort cards dedicated to cats, elephants, horses, and more!


    Photos by (left to right) Joshua Zuckerman Photography, Gene Higa Photography

    Invitations

    We love how this invitation style doesn’t go too over-the-top with the animal motif – it’s still totally appropriate and sweet.


    Photo courtesy of April Twenty Five

    Guest Book

    What a fun idea for a guest sign-in board! Each guest signs a silhouette of a different sea creature – perfect for a wedding at an aquarium or near the water.


    Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    Cake Toppers

    We’ve seen a lot of animal cake toppers lately, but these are two of our favorites – a nod to the couple’s pet pooches and fun deer-themed style.


    Photos by (left to right) Rachel Pearlman Photography, Crystal Satriano Photography

    Check out more creative décor ideas from our Décor Editor »

    0
  •  

    Photo by Jose Villa Photography

     

    Including your pet in your wedding party has become a popular trend these days. Who doesn’t “ooh” and “aah” at the sight of a furry friend wagging its tail down the aisle? But before you decide to have man's (or woman's) best friend by your side, here are some thoughts to consider:

    1. Is your pet well-behaved?  

    2. Does your venue allow pets?

    3. Which part of the wedding day will your pet attend?

    4. Are any of your guests allergic?

    5. Who will be the handler?

    6. What will your pet wear?

    2
  • Photo by Sandals

    When you have guests flying in from coast to coast for your destination wedding weekend, it's important to keep them occupied during their stay. Get the most out of your location by gathering guests together for some of these fun -- but optimal -- activities: 

    Zip lining Parasailing  Snorkeling/scuba diving  Boating  Visiting a museum, historic site, botanical garden or local tourist attraction Golfing Spa treatments Safari ride  Surfing  Biking 

     

    0

  • Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    For some couples, choosing a first dance song is super-easy. Maybe you have a song you danced to in high school or a tune you always blast in the car. But for other couples, choosing a first dance song can be a little more complicated. So we looked at our recent real weddings on Project Wedding to see which songs were resonating with couples to provide some inspiration.

    “Better Together” by Jack Johnson “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Buble “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore “All of Me” by John Legend “Marry Me” by Train “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Ingrid Michaelson “Then” by Brad Paisley “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young “At Last” by Etta James “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran “The Book of Love” by Magnetic Fields “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan (Adele cover) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder

    Be sure to follow our Real Weddings Editor for more gorgeous real wedding inspiration! 

    6
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • Yes, we love candy, koozies, and potted succulents as much as the next wedding fanatic, but sometimes you just need to think outside of the box. Here are a few wedding favor ideas that truly break the mold.

    Condiments and Spices

    Olive oil is a popular wedding favor these days, but if there’s a condiment that you and your spouse love, share it with your guests! We’ve seen ketchup, mustard, Tabasco, as well as various seasonings (Old Bay, BBQ rubs, etc.).

    Photo by Anjuli

     

    Temporary Tattoos

    Yeah, it’s a little offbeat, but it’s certainly hip and will get your guests talking. Offer up an array of temporary tats for your guests to enjoy. Who knows, maybe your Grandma will partake (can you imagine that photo?).

    Photos by (from left): Liz Chrisman Photography, Emily Alt Photography

     

    Books

    This might be a little labor-intensive, but we love the idea of picking out a book for each guest (or couple) to take home. Handwriting a personalized note inside is a great touch. What an amazing keepsake for your nearest and dearest!

    Photo by Diana M. Lott

     

    Buttons

    These are pretty quirky, but adorable, too! Offer your guests a selection of pins to affix to their attire and take home.

    Photos by (from left): Katelyn James Photography, Shelly Kroeger Photography

     

    Pottery or Handmade Crafts

    We love how this bride used her pottery-making skills to create ceramic bowls for all of her guests. If you have crafting or cooking skills, use them to create gifts for your guests (but don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on a too-huge task!).

    Photo by Maggie Fortson Photography

     

    Cotton Candy in a Box
    Fact: Guests love sweet treats. But instead of cookies or candy, try something a bit more whimsical with cotton candy stored in a takeout box. What a fun treat for guests of all ages!

    Photo by Jenny DeMarco Photography

    Fresh Fruit

    Give your favors a healthful touch by providing your guests with fresh fruit. From berries to pineapples, peaches to apples, think seasonal and local when it comes to picking your produce.

    Photo by Dear Darling Photography

    Want more great favor ideas? Follow our Favors Editor to see lots more wedding favor photos »

    1
  • Once you have finally booked your venue, its time to pick your color scheme! You may think the colors are completely up to you; however, you should take into account the setting of your venue, the time of year your wedding is taking place and how formal or informal your ceremony and reception will be. Remember, not only do you want your color scheme to set the vibe for your wedding but also complement the venue. Here are our favorite color scheme combinations to inspire you: 

    Historic Home = Yellow + Gray

    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Garden = Mint + Blush

    Photo by Stacey Windsor Photography

    Ballroom = Ivory + White 

    Photo by Lane Dittoe 

    Beach = Navy Blue + Emerald 

    Photo by Katie Stoops Photography

    Barn = Purple + Orange 

    Photo by Dave Richards Photography

    Which color scheme did you choose? Let us know in the comments below! For more color scheme inspiration, browse our real wedding boards. 

    6
  • We love when couples add personal touches to their wedding day, but our favorite details are often the ones that really tell the story of their relationship. True, many of your guests may already know some of the details of how you got together, but there may be some who may need or want a refresher. Here are some creative ways to tell your love story:

    A Sweet Sign – Display a chalkboard or other signage with a timeline of how you two met and got together. 

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    Photo Display – There are many creative ways to share photos from throughout your relationship (you can even include baby and childhood pictures in there as well!). Check out these creative ways to use your engagement photos in your wedding. 

    Photos (from left to right): Tia & Claire Studio, Jill Lauren Photography

    Create a Video – A video montage of images can be shown during the reception or at your rehearsal dinner 

    Photo by Earthmuse Photography

    Special Mementos – If you’re so inclined, we love when couples display their (funny or sweet) love notes or emails from throughout their relationship to really get a sense of their personalities and story

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    In Your Programs – Add a list of fun facts about the two of you for guests to read while they’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. For more ceremony program ideas, visit this board from our Stationery Editor!

    Photos (from left to right): Erin Lindsey Images, Daniel Kim Photography

    Table Names and Numbers – Use your table names and numbers as an opportunity to be creative. Name your tables after meaningful places you’ve visited, or put a twist on traditional table numbers by adding a fun fact to each. Want more table name ideas? Check out this article!

    Photos (from left to right): Jason Burns Photography, Cory Ryan Photography

    On the Paper Goods – Print a detail about your relationship on cocktail napkins or straw flags! Check out more cute cocktail napkin ideas here!

    Photo by Jim Kennedy Photographers

    0
  • Photo by Anni Cee Photography 

    The “first look” – a pre-ceremony peek between the bride and groom, accompanied by a photo session – is a rapidly growing trend on the wedding scene. Whether to go with this option is a personal decision for each couple, with factors like superstition, tradition and logistics weighing on either side. While it’s not for everyone, most couples who went for it say they don’t regret it. For those on the fence, there are a few major benefits to consider. Here are our three top reasons to do a first look:

    1. It’s an intimate moment
    The first time a bride and groom see one another on their wedding day is a special moment many look forward to and cherish forever afterward. Seeing each other before the ceremony provides a unique opportunity for a couple to share the romantic, exciting and often emotional experience privately. And with a jam-packed itinerary ahead and the hundreds of friends, family members and strangers soon to gather around them, it’s likely to be the only alone time they’ll get on their big day. When the whirlwind is over, most couples say they’re glad they took the chance to enjoy a special, intimate moment with just the two of them.

    2. It makes sense from a scheduling perspective
    One of the biggest benefits of opting for a first look is there’s no need to squeeze a rushed photo shoot between the ceremony and reception. Capturing nice images of the bride and groom and their family members, bridesmaids and groomsmen in various combinations takes time, and cramming the process into a 15 minute time slot could mean a lesser quality result. Taking these photos beforehand gives the photographer ample time to get plenty of beautiful, creative shots. Everyone will be more relaxed (key to looking great in photos!), the ladies’ hair and makeup will be fresh, and the couple will be left with a much wider selection of portraits to choose from in the end. Plus, guests won’t be stuck in that awkward post-ceremony lull waiting around for the party to begin! Win, win.

    3. It calms pre-ceremony nerves
    Needless to say, experiencing any major life-changing moment before hundreds of eyes can be nerve-wracking. An overwhelming majority of couples who opted for a first look say that seeing their spouse-to-be before the ceremony had a dramatic calming effect. Going into the ceremony at ease and collected allows the bride and groom to be completely present in the moment and enjoy every second of it. After all, a wedding is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, especially the guests of honor! 

    3
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • Whether you adore your pets or have a special place in your heart for a specific type of animal, it can be super-cute to incorporate this into your wedding décor. Here are a few ideas we’ve seen in real weddings.

    Centerpieces

    Animal topiaries are projected to be one of the hot décor items for 2015, and it’s a cute and subtle way to express your love for animals, whether you focus on a specific species or mix it up.


    Photo by James Moro Photography

    Escort Cards

    From figurines to paper cut outs, your escort cards can provide a fun nod to your animal of choice. Aside from the pig and bird options shown here, we’ve also seen escort cards dedicated to cats, elephants, horses, and more!


    Photos by (left to right) Joshua Zuckerman Photography, Gene Higa Photography

    Invitations

    We love how this invitation style doesn’t go too over-the-top with the animal motif – it’s still totally appropriate and sweet.


    Photo courtesy of April Twenty Five

    Guest Book

    What a fun idea for a guest sign-in board! Each guest signs a silhouette of a different sea creature – perfect for a wedding at an aquarium or near the water.


    Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    Cake Toppers

    We’ve seen a lot of animal cake toppers lately, but these are two of our favorites – a nod to the couple’s pet pooches and fun deer-themed style.


    Photos by (left to right) Rachel Pearlman Photography, Crystal Satriano Photography

    Check out more creative décor ideas from our Décor Editor »

    0
  •  

    Photo by Jose Villa Photography

     

    Including your pet in your wedding party has become a popular trend these days. Who doesn’t “ooh” and “aah” at the sight of a furry friend wagging its tail down the aisle? But before you decide to have man's (or woman's) best friend by your side, here are some thoughts to consider:

    1. Is your pet well-behaved?  

    2. Does your venue allow pets?

    3. Which part of the wedding day will your pet attend?

    4. Are any of your guests allergic?

    5. Who will be the handler?

    6. What will your pet wear?

    2
  • Photo by Sandals

    When you have guests flying in from coast to coast for your destination wedding weekend, it's important to keep them occupied during their stay. Get the most out of your location by gathering guests together for some of these fun -- but optimal -- activities: 

    Zip lining Parasailing  Snorkeling/scuba diving  Boating  Visiting a museum, historic site, botanical garden or local tourist attraction Golfing Spa treatments Safari ride  Surfing  Biking 

     

    0

  • Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    For some couples, choosing a first dance song is super-easy. Maybe you have a song you danced to in high school or a tune you always blast in the car. But for other couples, choosing a first dance song can be a little more complicated. So we looked at our recent real weddings on Project Wedding to see which songs were resonating with couples to provide some inspiration.

    “Better Together” by Jack Johnson “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Buble “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore “All of Me” by John Legend “Marry Me” by Train “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Ingrid Michaelson “Then” by Brad Paisley “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young “At Last” by Etta James “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran “The Book of Love” by Magnetic Fields “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan (Adele cover) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder

    Be sure to follow our Real Weddings Editor for more gorgeous real wedding inspiration! 

    6
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • Yes, we love candy, koozies, and potted succulents as much as the next wedding fanatic, but sometimes you just need to think outside of the box. Here are a few wedding favor ideas that truly break the mold.

    Condiments and Spices

    Olive oil is a popular wedding favor these days, but if there’s a condiment that you and your spouse love, share it with your guests! We’ve seen ketchup, mustard, Tabasco, as well as various seasonings (Old Bay, BBQ rubs, etc.).

    Photo by Anjuli

     

    Temporary Tattoos

    Yeah, it’s a little offbeat, but it’s certainly hip and will get your guests talking. Offer up an array of temporary tats for your guests to enjoy. Who knows, maybe your Grandma will partake (can you imagine that photo?).

    Photos by (from left): Liz Chrisman Photography, Emily Alt Photography

     

    Books

    This might be a little labor-intensive, but we love the idea of picking out a book for each guest (or couple) to take home. Handwriting a personalized note inside is a great touch. What an amazing keepsake for your nearest and dearest!

    Photo by Diana M. Lott

     

    Buttons

    These are pretty quirky, but adorable, too! Offer your guests a selection of pins to affix to their attire and take home.

    Photos by (from left): Katelyn James Photography, Shelly Kroeger Photography

     

    Pottery or Handmade Crafts

    We love how this bride used her pottery-making skills to create ceramic bowls for all of her guests. If you have crafting or cooking skills, use them to create gifts for your guests (but don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on a too-huge task!).

    Photo by Maggie Fortson Photography

     

    Cotton Candy in a Box
    Fact: Guests love sweet treats. But instead of cookies or candy, try something a bit more whimsical with cotton candy stored in a takeout box. What a fun treat for guests of all ages!

    Photo by Jenny DeMarco Photography

    Fresh Fruit

    Give your favors a healthful touch by providing your guests with fresh fruit. From berries to pineapples, peaches to apples, think seasonal and local when it comes to picking your produce.

    Photo by Dear Darling Photography

    Want more great favor ideas? Follow our Favors Editor to see lots more wedding favor photos »

    1
  • Once you have finally booked your venue, its time to pick your color scheme! You may think the colors are completely up to you; however, you should take into account the setting of your venue, the time of year your wedding is taking place and how formal or informal your ceremony and reception will be. Remember, not only do you want your color scheme to set the vibe for your wedding but also complement the venue. Here are our favorite color scheme combinations to inspire you: 

    Historic Home = Yellow + Gray

    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Garden = Mint + Blush

    Photo by Stacey Windsor Photography

    Ballroom = Ivory + White 

    Photo by Lane Dittoe 

    Beach = Navy Blue + Emerald 

    Photo by Katie Stoops Photography

    Barn = Purple + Orange 

    Photo by Dave Richards Photography

    Which color scheme did you choose? Let us know in the comments below! For more color scheme inspiration, browse our real wedding boards. 

    6
  • We love when couples add personal touches to their wedding day, but our favorite details are often the ones that really tell the story of their relationship. True, many of your guests may already know some of the details of how you got together, but there may be some who may need or want a refresher. Here are some creative ways to tell your love story:

    A Sweet Sign – Display a chalkboard or other signage with a timeline of how you two met and got together. 

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    Photo Display – There are many creative ways to share photos from throughout your relationship (you can even include baby and childhood pictures in there as well!). Check out these creative ways to use your engagement photos in your wedding. 

    Photos (from left to right): Tia & Claire Studio, Jill Lauren Photography

    Create a Video – A video montage of images can be shown during the reception or at your rehearsal dinner 

    Photo by Earthmuse Photography

    Special Mementos – If you’re so inclined, we love when couples display their (funny or sweet) love notes or emails from throughout their relationship to really get a sense of their personalities and story

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    In Your Programs – Add a list of fun facts about the two of you for guests to read while they’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. For more ceremony program ideas, visit this board from our Stationery Editor!

    Photos (from left to right): Erin Lindsey Images, Daniel Kim Photography

    Table Names and Numbers – Use your table names and numbers as an opportunity to be creative. Name your tables after meaningful places you’ve visited, or put a twist on traditional table numbers by adding a fun fact to each. Want more table name ideas? Check out this article!

    Photos (from left to right): Jason Burns Photography, Cory Ryan Photography

    On the Paper Goods – Print a detail about your relationship on cocktail napkins or straw flags! Check out more cute cocktail napkin ideas here!

    Photo by Jim Kennedy Photographers

    0
  • Photo by Anni Cee Photography 

    The “first look” – a pre-ceremony peek between the bride and groom, accompanied by a photo session – is a rapidly growing trend on the wedding scene. Whether to go with this option is a personal decision for each couple, with factors like superstition, tradition and logistics weighing on either side. While it’s not for everyone, most couples who went for it say they don’t regret it. For those on the fence, there are a few major benefits to consider. Here are our three top reasons to do a first look:

    1. It’s an intimate moment
    The first time a bride and groom see one another on their wedding day is a special moment many look forward to and cherish forever afterward. Seeing each other before the ceremony provides a unique opportunity for a couple to share the romantic, exciting and often emotional experience privately. And with a jam-packed itinerary ahead and the hundreds of friends, family members and strangers soon to gather around them, it’s likely to be the only alone time they’ll get on their big day. When the whirlwind is over, most couples say they’re glad they took the chance to enjoy a special, intimate moment with just the two of them.

    2. It makes sense from a scheduling perspective
    One of the biggest benefits of opting for a first look is there’s no need to squeeze a rushed photo shoot between the ceremony and reception. Capturing nice images of the bride and groom and their family members, bridesmaids and groomsmen in various combinations takes time, and cramming the process into a 15 minute time slot could mean a lesser quality result. Taking these photos beforehand gives the photographer ample time to get plenty of beautiful, creative shots. Everyone will be more relaxed (key to looking great in photos!), the ladies’ hair and makeup will be fresh, and the couple will be left with a much wider selection of portraits to choose from in the end. Plus, guests won’t be stuck in that awkward post-ceremony lull waiting around for the party to begin! Win, win.

    3. It calms pre-ceremony nerves
    Needless to say, experiencing any major life-changing moment before hundreds of eyes can be nerve-wracking. An overwhelming majority of couples who opted for a first look say that seeing their spouse-to-be before the ceremony had a dramatic calming effect. Going into the ceremony at ease and collected allows the bride and groom to be completely present in the moment and enjoy every second of it. After all, a wedding is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, especially the guests of honor! 

    3
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

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At Project Wedding we have thousands of photos to serve as inspiration for your wedding. Some of our many different photo galleries include the following: ...

Planning Basics: Find the best place to register, find the best centerpiece for your color scheme, and find the perfect thank you gifts for your bridal party – all while staying under budget – with our wedding planning tips and ideas.

DIY Wedding: With so many colorful images of unique wedding ideas we’ve found, plus all our real wedding images, you’ll find the most DIY wedding ideas here. From simple wedding favors to more complex origami wedding decorations – if we think you can make it, you’ll find it here (if it’s not here it doesn’t mean we don’t think you can make it, it just means we want you to send us a picture when your DIY project is done)!

Fashion & Beauty: Don’t forget to find wedding ideas for yourself! We have thousands of pictures of bridal hair and makeup, as well as one of the largest selections of wedding dresses for you to browse.

Wedding Venues: Not only do we have ideas for one-of-a-kind wedding venues as well as established wedding venues in your area, we have some of the very best wedding decoration ideas and wedding theme ideas for once you have nailed down the venue.

Wedding Cake: While we must admit that wedding cake is delicious (mmmm, wedding cake, nom nom nom), your cake will also serve as a focal point of the wedding reception. Check out all of our wedding ideas for cake decorations as well as cake alternatives.

Engagement Rings: Project Wedding doesn’t just start once you’ve gotten engaged. Register with us before the big question has been popped and share photos of your favorite engagement rings with your future better half.

Honeymoon: Project Wedding doesn’t stop with the wedding either. We’ve included hundreds of post-wedding ideas to inspire your perfect honeymoon!