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Planning Wedding Ideas

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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! 

    3
  • 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
  • While it is technically your day, your wedding is also an important moment for your and your future spouse's families. If you're so inclined, it's often a nice idea to remember the other important weddings in your family's history on your own special day. While you don't have to make any grand statements at the actual event, there are a few small ways you can add a sense of nostalgia to your wedding. 


    Photo by Cramer Photo 

    Wear Your Mother's Veil
    Sure, you could go all out and wear your mother or grandmother's gown on your wedding day, but there's a likelihood (especially if your parents got married in the 80s) that her gown is just not your style. A veil is less of a committment and most classic heirloom veils will look beautiful with a variety of more modern gowns.

     
    Photo by Vivian Chen Photography 

    Don Some Heirloom Jewelry
    A delicate bracelet, necklace, or earrings previously worn by a relative on their wedding day can be a lovely symbol of your family's history. 


    Photo by onelove photography 

    Add Some Heirloom Quality to Your Bouquet
    Wrap your bouquet with lace from your mother's wedding gown or attach a locket or handkerchief to the stems. 


    Photo by Laura Elaine Photography 

    Give Your Ceremony a Personal Touch
    There are lots of ways you can incorporate your family's history into your ceremony. Walk down the aisle to the same song your mother did, incorporate a reading or other musical selection that was performed at your parents' wedding, or use acutal items like wine glasses, unity candles or religious elements from your parents' wedding during the proceedings. 


    Photo by Ten 2 Ten Photography 
     

    Wear Heirloom Rings
    Wedding bands are often passed down from generation to generation, and it's a beautiful way to honor those who came before you. 


    Photo by j.woodbery photography 

    Display Family Wedding Photos
    You can display family wedding photos near the guest book, on the escort card table, or simply on their own table or mantle at the reception. Your guests may chuckle at your relatives' fashion decisions, but it's a nice way to showcase your family history.


    Photo by Katie Slater Photography

    Pick the Same First Dance Song
    Classic first dance songs are making a big comeback! Share a first dance song with one set of parents - if the tune suits your musical tastes as well. 


    Photo by Earthmuse Photography 

    Share a Cake Topper
    Vintage cake toppers are all the rage, so why not use the same one your parents did on their big day? It's a subtle, but nostalgic touch. 

    Looking for more vintage wedding ideas? Visit our Flowers & Decor editors for lots of gorgeous inspiration!

     

     

    1
  • Sure, you could assign each of your reception tables a number - it's clear, traditional, and easy for your guests to follow. However, if you want to be a little more creative, you could name your tables based on a theme. While this is certainly a cute and clever idea, we only recommend doing it if you can find a "naming theme" that truly resonates with you and suits your wedding style and venue. Check out a few of our favorite ideas here:

    Travel Themed
    Love to travel? Name your tables after places where you and your spouse have visited, or plan to visit. Your sweetheart table can be named for your honeymoon destination for a cute touch!


    Photo by Joel Bedford Photography
     

    Your Pets
    If you and your spouse are truly best buddies with your family pets, why not name your tables after them? You can name the tables after important animals in your life - from your dog, your grandmother's cat, a horse you grew up riding - the options are endless!


    Photo by Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Sports Lovers
    For couples who love watching or playing sports, name your reception tables after your favorite teams or, as this couple did, your favorite players.


    Photo by Genesa Richards Photography
     

    College Pride
    If you and your honey are college sweethearts, you might name your tables after buildings or landmarks at your alma mater.


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Wines
    Getting married at a vineyard (or just loooove wine)? Naming your tables after your favorite wine varietals is fun and totally works with a vineyard theme!


    Photo by Shelly Kroeger Photography

    Your Jobs
    If you and your future spouse met at work, you could find creative ways to use your careers in your table names. For example, this lawyer couple named their tables after Supreme Court Justices. Just make sure that your guests can understand the references.


    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    Music Lovers
    Are you and your future spouse huge music buffs? Name tables after your favorite artists or songs - even your the music venues you frequent!


    Photo by Tia & Claire Studio

    Seasonal and Venue-Focused
    Think about the season when your wedding is taking place, as well as the venue. This couple named their tables after apple varieties for a fall wedding at an orchard. But for spring weddings you could name tables after your favorite flowers, or your favorite beaches at summer weddings.


    Photo by Jagger Photography

    Looking for more table number sign ideas? Check out these beautiful ideas!
     


     

    1
  • Save the sparklers for the nighttime! After you share your first kiss as a married couple, you'll want to celebrate as you walk back up the aisle. Of course, festive musical selections help, but getting your guests involved is even more fun. Check out some of our favorite recessional ideas.

    Classic Confetti
    It's festive, fun and creates a super-colorful photo op!


    Photo by Julie Saad Photography

    Blowing Bubbles
    Perfect for a whimsical outdoor garden wedding - and the kids in your wedding party will love it!


    Photo by Jodi Miller Photography

    Tossing Flowers
    Tossing rose petals is the ultimate classic recessional activity, but try a different flower, like mums, to brighten things up.


    Photo by onelove photography

    Waving Flags
    So cute (and patriotic) for a Fourth of July wedding!


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Lovely Lavender
    Another idea for an outdoor wedding - ask your guests to toss lavender seeds as you exit your ceremony. And - bonus! - it's good for the environment.


    Photo by Annie Hosfeld Photography

    Ribbon Wands
    Give your guests colorful ribbon wands to wave. It's a fun DIY project too!


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Looking for send-off ideas for the end of the night? Click here for more great suggestions!
     

    1

  • Photo by My Life Photography

    “First looks” are photo sessions that take place before the wedding ceremony, capturing the soon-to-be-married couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. Some couples may choose to wait to see each other until the ceremony , but we think these first look sessions can be totally amazing for a variety of reasons. Check out our top tips for a successful first look photo shoot!

    Plan Ahead
    Talk to your photographer before your wedding day to discuss the logistics of the first look photo shoot. The first look session should take place about two hours or so before the ceremony, so it’s important to plan your getting-ready schedule accordingly to make sure you and your spouse-to-be are fully prepped with plenty of time.

    Pick a Quiet, Well-Lit Spot
    Your photographer should arrive well before the wedding to scout out an appropriate location where the shoot will take place. Find a spot that’s relatively secluded – or if it’s indoors, sealed off so that no one can enter and interrupt this intimate moment.

    No Peeking!
    Try to avoid seeing (or talking to!) each other before the first look session. Get ready in separate locations, and tell your bridesmaids and groomsmen to avoid putting up any photos of you on social media before you’ve seen each other for the first time. You want the moment to feel special and genuine, not “oh, I just saw you five minutes ago but I’ll fake it for the photo.”

    Incorporate Photo and Video
    Make sure both your photographer and videographer are in the loop about the first look – of course, the photos are a wonderful visual representation, but it’s nice to also have the sounds and movement on record as well.

    Keep It Natural
    This is one of those photo moments during your wedding day that should not be posed – your photographer can explain to you and your groom (separately) in advance where she’d like the two of you to stand and walk, but when the first look moment actually occurs, your photographer should avoid talking to let the moment flow naturally.

    Keep It Simple
    There are lots of creative ways to stage a first look session, but the most important part is being able to see the looks on both of your faces. We recommend keeping it super simple – for example, one partner has his/her back facing away from the other, and then with a tap on the shoulder, turns around. It’s simple, sweet, easy to stage, and you’ll get emotional and clear photos.  

    Enjoy the Moment
    Before you see each other for the first time, take a deep breath and let all of the wedding-day stress melt away. When you have that initial first look moment, don’t immediately launch into all of the things that are going wrong (“My mom is being really annoying!”). Talk about how happy you are to see each other, and express your love for one another. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you want the photos to convey your happiness, not the stress you were feeling at that moment.

    Take a Pre-Wedding Photo Without Seeing Each Other
    If you or your spouse are traditionalists and truly do not want to see each other before the ceremony, you can still have a modified first look by standing on opposite sides of a doorway, holding hands, but not peeking at each other. It can still be a sweet and emotional moment to capture.


    Photo by Photo Love Photography

    2
  • Chances are, your groomsmen are not accustomed to taking formal portraits on the regular. So try to keep things relatively natural and easy for them when it comes to taking pictures. Here are a few of our favorite “poses” for groomsmen shots.

    The Classic

    The most traditional of the groomsmen poses, your guys stand in a row or, if there are more than five or six of them, in two rows, hands in pockets. It's so GQ.


    Photo by Sherri J Photography

    The "We're All Friends Here"

    Hopefully, all of your groomsmen are pretty close - and even if they aren't, at least they can act like it by putting their arms over each other's shoulders, frat brother style.


    Photo by Maxwell Monty Photography

    The "Just Taking a Stroll"

    Fact: People look more natural in photos if they're in motion. So, tell your groom and groomsmen to take a walk together. Their faces will look much more relaxed, you'll see!


    Photo by Melvin Gilbert Photography

    The Seated Pose

    Your groomsmen may feel more comfortable posing while sitting down. And here's a bonus: these portraits will show off those cute socks!


    Photo by Petula Pea Photography

    The Groom in Front

    It's the groom's special day, so give him some pride of place by having him stand a few steps ahead of the rest of his best buds. This is a particularly nice pose if all of the guys are dressed fairly similarly.


    Photo by William Innes Photography

    The "Do Something Funny"

    Of course, you'll need to take some more traditional portraits, too, but if it helps your guys loosen up, let them have some fun with their portraits. Add props like sunglasses if you'd like!


    Photo by Steven and Lily Photography

    The Jumping for Joy

    If you can get your groomsmen to try it, it's pretty cool to have a shot of them in midair!


    Photo by Wren Photography

    The Fingerstaches

    Need we say more?


    Photo by Weston Neuschafer Photography

    Looking for more groomsmen attire ideas? Check out our Fashion Editor's board for even more men's attire inspiration!

     

    4

  • Photo by Melissa Copeland Photography

    From dress stains or rips to headaches to paper cuts, there are a variety of minor mishaps that can occur on your wedding day. But instead of worrying about them, be prepared! Create a wedding-day emergency kit or ask one of your bridesmaids to do it for you. Even if your wedding day is smooth sailing, you’ll be glad you had these essentials on hand:

    Tissues
    Things may get a little emotional on your wedding day, so be sure to have a pack of tissues close by at all hand. If your dress has pockets, all the better – if not, ask one of your ‘maids to stash some tissues in her purse for you.

    Double Stick Tape
    Also known as “Fashion Tape,” this can help your gown stay in place, especially if you’re wearing strapless. It can also secure a ripped hem (which can happen if someone accidentally steps on your dress).

    Extra Shoes
    A shoe heel breaking can leave you barefoot on your wedding day (unless you’re having a beach wedding, in which case, we say go for it!). Bring a back up pair of heels that are around the same height as your primary shoes, just in case of an unforeseen footwear malfunction.

    Dental Floss
    We highly recommend that you take the time to enjoy the food on your wedding day, but take a moment to check yourself in the mirror afterwards – and be sure to have some floss on hand just in case of any unsightly food particles!

    Medication
    Of course, any prescribed medication that you take on a daily basis is a must, but also bring over-the-counter medications, in case of headaches, stomach issues, or allergies.

    Sewing Kit with Scissors
    Be sure to have a sewing kit on hand (with scissors!) in case of loose threads or buttons, accidental rips, or even just your bridesmaid forgetting to take the tag off her dress! Also important: Someone who actually knows how to sew!

    Band-Aids
    Because blood on your wedding dress isn’t a great look.

    Stain Removal Pen
    Always good to have in case of a stain on your or one of your VIPs’ attire. Depending on the fabric of the stained attire, one of these bad boys can be a lifesaver.

    Chalk
    It doesn’t always work, but chalk can be a quick fix for a stain on a white wedding dress.

    Straws
    For sipping drinks pre-wedding so you don’t ruin your lipstick!

    Feminine Hygiene Products
    Because…well, you never know.

    Breath Mints
    Your spouse-to-be will thank you.

    Deoderant
    See above

    Concealer and Lipstick
    Even if you’re having your makeup professionally done, chances are some of your makeup might rub off by the end of the night. Freshen up with a little concealer and lipstick so you look great for your grand exit.

    Follow our Advice Editor for even more wedding planning tips!

    21
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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! 

    3
  • 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
  • While it is technically your day, your wedding is also an important moment for your and your future spouse's families. If you're so inclined, it's often a nice idea to remember the other important weddings in your family's history on your own special day. While you don't have to make any grand statements at the actual event, there are a few small ways you can add a sense of nostalgia to your wedding. 


    Photo by Cramer Photo 

    Wear Your Mother's Veil
    Sure, you could go all out and wear your mother or grandmother's gown on your wedding day, but there's a likelihood (especially if your parents got married in the 80s) that her gown is just not your style. A veil is less of a committment and most classic heirloom veils will look beautiful with a variety of more modern gowns.

     
    Photo by Vivian Chen Photography 

    Don Some Heirloom Jewelry
    A delicate bracelet, necklace, or earrings previously worn by a relative on their wedding day can be a lovely symbol of your family's history. 


    Photo by onelove photography 

    Add Some Heirloom Quality to Your Bouquet
    Wrap your bouquet with lace from your mother's wedding gown or attach a locket or handkerchief to the stems. 


    Photo by Laura Elaine Photography 

    Give Your Ceremony a Personal Touch
    There are lots of ways you can incorporate your family's history into your ceremony. Walk down the aisle to the same song your mother did, incorporate a reading or other musical selection that was performed at your parents' wedding, or use acutal items like wine glasses, unity candles or religious elements from your parents' wedding during the proceedings. 


    Photo by Ten 2 Ten Photography 
     

    Wear Heirloom Rings
    Wedding bands are often passed down from generation to generation, and it's a beautiful way to honor those who came before you. 


    Photo by j.woodbery photography 

    Display Family Wedding Photos
    You can display family wedding photos near the guest book, on the escort card table, or simply on their own table or mantle at the reception. Your guests may chuckle at your relatives' fashion decisions, but it's a nice way to showcase your family history.


    Photo by Katie Slater Photography

    Pick the Same First Dance Song
    Classic first dance songs are making a big comeback! Share a first dance song with one set of parents - if the tune suits your musical tastes as well. 


    Photo by Earthmuse Photography 

    Share a Cake Topper
    Vintage cake toppers are all the rage, so why not use the same one your parents did on their big day? It's a subtle, but nostalgic touch. 

    Looking for more vintage wedding ideas? Visit our Flowers & Decor editors for lots of gorgeous inspiration!

     

     

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  • Sure, you could assign each of your reception tables a number - it's clear, traditional, and easy for your guests to follow. However, if you want to be a little more creative, you could name your tables based on a theme. While this is certainly a cute and clever idea, we only recommend doing it if you can find a "naming theme" that truly resonates with you and suits your wedding style and venue. Check out a few of our favorite ideas here:

    Travel Themed
    Love to travel? Name your tables after places where you and your spouse have visited, or plan to visit. Your sweetheart table can be named for your honeymoon destination for a cute touch!


    Photo by Joel Bedford Photography
     

    Your Pets
    If you and your spouse are truly best buddies with your family pets, why not name your tables after them? You can name the tables after important animals in your life - from your dog, your grandmother's cat, a horse you grew up riding - the options are endless!


    Photo by Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Sports Lovers
    For couples who love watching or playing sports, name your reception tables after your favorite teams or, as this couple did, your favorite players.


    Photo by Genesa Richards Photography
     

    College Pride
    If you and your honey are college sweethearts, you might name your tables after buildings or landmarks at your alma mater.


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Wines
    Getting married at a vineyard (or just loooove wine)? Naming your tables after your favorite wine varietals is fun and totally works with a vineyard theme!


    Photo by Shelly Kroeger Photography

    Your Jobs
    If you and your future spouse met at work, you could find creative ways to use your careers in your table names. For example, this lawyer couple named their tables after Supreme Court Justices. Just make sure that your guests can understand the references.


    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    Music Lovers
    Are you and your future spouse huge music buffs? Name tables after your favorite artists or songs - even your the music venues you frequent!


    Photo by Tia & Claire Studio

    Seasonal and Venue-Focused
    Think about the season when your wedding is taking place, as well as the venue. This couple named their tables after apple varieties for a fall wedding at an orchard. But for spring weddings you could name tables after your favorite flowers, or your favorite beaches at summer weddings.


    Photo by Jagger Photography

    Looking for more table number sign ideas? Check out these beautiful ideas!
     


     

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  • Save the sparklers for the nighttime! After you share your first kiss as a married couple, you'll want to celebrate as you walk back up the aisle. Of course, festive musical selections help, but getting your guests involved is even more fun. Check out some of our favorite recessional ideas.

    Classic Confetti
    It's festive, fun and creates a super-colorful photo op!


    Photo by Julie Saad Photography

    Blowing Bubbles
    Perfect for a whimsical outdoor garden wedding - and the kids in your wedding party will love it!


    Photo by Jodi Miller Photography

    Tossing Flowers
    Tossing rose petals is the ultimate classic recessional activity, but try a different flower, like mums, to brighten things up.


    Photo by onelove photography

    Waving Flags
    So cute (and patriotic) for a Fourth of July wedding!


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Lovely Lavender
    Another idea for an outdoor wedding - ask your guests to toss lavender seeds as you exit your ceremony. And - bonus! - it's good for the environment.


    Photo by Annie Hosfeld Photography

    Ribbon Wands
    Give your guests colorful ribbon wands to wave. It's a fun DIY project too!


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Looking for send-off ideas for the end of the night? Click here for more great suggestions!
     

    1

  • Photo by My Life Photography

    “First looks” are photo sessions that take place before the wedding ceremony, capturing the soon-to-be-married couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. Some couples may choose to wait to see each other until the ceremony , but we think these first look sessions can be totally amazing for a variety of reasons. Check out our top tips for a successful first look photo shoot!

    Plan Ahead
    Talk to your photographer before your wedding day to discuss the logistics of the first look photo shoot. The first look session should take place about two hours or so before the ceremony, so it’s important to plan your getting-ready schedule accordingly to make sure you and your spouse-to-be are fully prepped with plenty of time.

    Pick a Quiet, Well-Lit Spot
    Your photographer should arrive well before the wedding to scout out an appropriate location where the shoot will take place. Find a spot that’s relatively secluded – or if it’s indoors, sealed off so that no one can enter and interrupt this intimate moment.

    No Peeking!
    Try to avoid seeing (or talking to!) each other before the first look session. Get ready in separate locations, and tell your bridesmaids and groomsmen to avoid putting up any photos of you on social media before you’ve seen each other for the first time. You want the moment to feel special and genuine, not “oh, I just saw you five minutes ago but I’ll fake it for the photo.”

    Incorporate Photo and Video
    Make sure both your photographer and videographer are in the loop about the first look – of course, the photos are a wonderful visual representation, but it’s nice to also have the sounds and movement on record as well.

    Keep It Natural
    This is one of those photo moments during your wedding day that should not be posed – your photographer can explain to you and your groom (separately) in advance where she’d like the two of you to stand and walk, but when the first look moment actually occurs, your photographer should avoid talking to let the moment flow naturally.

    Keep It Simple
    There are lots of creative ways to stage a first look session, but the most important part is being able to see the looks on both of your faces. We recommend keeping it super simple – for example, one partner has his/her back facing away from the other, and then with a tap on the shoulder, turns around. It’s simple, sweet, easy to stage, and you’ll get emotional and clear photos.  

    Enjoy the Moment
    Before you see each other for the first time, take a deep breath and let all of the wedding-day stress melt away. When you have that initial first look moment, don’t immediately launch into all of the things that are going wrong (“My mom is being really annoying!”). Talk about how happy you are to see each other, and express your love for one another. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you want the photos to convey your happiness, not the stress you were feeling at that moment.

    Take a Pre-Wedding Photo Without Seeing Each Other
    If you or your spouse are traditionalists and truly do not want to see each other before the ceremony, you can still have a modified first look by standing on opposite sides of a doorway, holding hands, but not peeking at each other. It can still be a sweet and emotional moment to capture.


    Photo by Photo Love Photography

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  • Chances are, your groomsmen are not accustomed to taking formal portraits on the regular. So try to keep things relatively natural and easy for them when it comes to taking pictures. Here are a few of our favorite “poses” for groomsmen shots.

    The Classic

    The most traditional of the groomsmen poses, your guys stand in a row or, if there are more than five or six of them, in two rows, hands in pockets. It's so GQ.


    Photo by Sherri J Photography

    The "We're All Friends Here"

    Hopefully, all of your groomsmen are pretty close - and even if they aren't, at least they can act like it by putting their arms over each other's shoulders, frat brother style.


    Photo by Maxwell Monty Photography

    The "Just Taking a Stroll"

    Fact: People look more natural in photos if they're in motion. So, tell your groom and groomsmen to take a walk together. Their faces will look much more relaxed, you'll see!


    Photo by Melvin Gilbert Photography

    The Seated Pose

    Your groomsmen may feel more comfortable posing while sitting down. And here's a bonus: these portraits will show off those cute socks!


    Photo by Petula Pea Photography

    The Groom in Front

    It's the groom's special day, so give him some pride of place by having him stand a few steps ahead of the rest of his best buds. This is a particularly nice pose if all of the guys are dressed fairly similarly.


    Photo by William Innes Photography

    The "Do Something Funny"

    Of course, you'll need to take some more traditional portraits, too, but if it helps your guys loosen up, let them have some fun with their portraits. Add props like sunglasses if you'd like!


    Photo by Steven and Lily Photography

    The Jumping for Joy

    If you can get your groomsmen to try it, it's pretty cool to have a shot of them in midair!


    Photo by Wren Photography

    The Fingerstaches

    Need we say more?


    Photo by Weston Neuschafer Photography

    Looking for more groomsmen attire ideas? Check out our Fashion Editor's board for even more men's attire inspiration!

     

    4

  • Photo by Melissa Copeland Photography

    From dress stains or rips to headaches to paper cuts, there are a variety of minor mishaps that can occur on your wedding day. But instead of worrying about them, be prepared! Create a wedding-day emergency kit or ask one of your bridesmaids to do it for you. Even if your wedding day is smooth sailing, you’ll be glad you had these essentials on hand:

    Tissues
    Things may get a little emotional on your wedding day, so be sure to have a pack of tissues close by at all hand. If your dress has pockets, all the better – if not, ask one of your ‘maids to stash some tissues in her purse for you.

    Double Stick Tape
    Also known as “Fashion Tape,” this can help your gown stay in place, especially if you’re wearing strapless. It can also secure a ripped hem (which can happen if someone accidentally steps on your dress).

    Extra Shoes
    A shoe heel breaking can leave you barefoot on your wedding day (unless you’re having a beach wedding, in which case, we say go for it!). Bring a back up pair of heels that are around the same height as your primary shoes, just in case of an unforeseen footwear malfunction.

    Dental Floss
    We highly recommend that you take the time to enjoy the food on your wedding day, but take a moment to check yourself in the mirror afterwards – and be sure to have some floss on hand just in case of any unsightly food particles!

    Medication
    Of course, any prescribed medication that you take on a daily basis is a must, but also bring over-the-counter medications, in case of headaches, stomach issues, or allergies.

    Sewing Kit with Scissors
    Be sure to have a sewing kit on hand (with scissors!) in case of loose threads or buttons, accidental rips, or even just your bridesmaid forgetting to take the tag off her dress! Also important: Someone who actually knows how to sew!

    Band-Aids
    Because blood on your wedding dress isn’t a great look.

    Stain Removal Pen
    Always good to have in case of a stain on your or one of your VIPs’ attire. Depending on the fabric of the stained attire, one of these bad boys can be a lifesaver.

    Chalk
    It doesn’t always work, but chalk can be a quick fix for a stain on a white wedding dress.

    Straws
    For sipping drinks pre-wedding so you don’t ruin your lipstick!

    Feminine Hygiene Products
    Because…well, you never know.

    Breath Mints
    Your spouse-to-be will thank you.

    Deoderant
    See above

    Concealer and Lipstick
    Even if you’re having your makeup professionally done, chances are some of your makeup might rub off by the end of the night. Freshen up with a little concealer and lipstick so you look great for your grand exit.

    Follow our Advice Editor for even more wedding planning tips!

    21

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