Your Wedding, Your Way… What does that mean? Isn’t my wedding supposed to be my way?? Well, of course it is but a surprising amount of couples we speak with are pretty surprised they can structure their night in many different ways! When we mention formal activities like the Bouquet toss or Garter removal a typical response is “Don’t we have to do it?” My answer to you is ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Traditions are great and can be a lot of fun IF it’s something YOU want to do but we always let our couples know the best overall structure to follow is one that perfectly blends both of your personalities and shows them off to your guests. This starts with your ceremony…
What is your vision? Do you have one? Is your vision blocked by tradition? Do you feel like you “have to” have your processional to “Here Comes The Bride”? The answer is NO, you don’t… Any aspect of your special day can and should reflect what you and your new spouse love! Your prelude and processional music should match your ceremony style but we always recommend the recessional song to match the style celebration you’re looking for.We enjoy recommending our Timed Ceremonies, these are by far our favorite and most used ceremony style. Taking a popular song that has been covered by a specific artist and completely changed into an elegant and classy song. Using a specific song we hide our Bride behind a door and only open the doors to expose her beauty after the cover singer says the cue words. The doors open, the groom becomes emotional and the guests who focused on the words sung immediately appreciate what they just saw.This is different and something that you will not see often. The key to creating memories at a wedding and celebration and standing out from your friends is to create emotion. The more emotions you evoke the more they will remember!As you kiss to seal your marriage and your officiant announces you for the first time what’s next? How should you be sent off to your celebration? Rice? Bubbles? Coins?
Ok coins are a bad idea but this is where you’d want to let your creativity flow… We have had couples hand out paper airplanes with markers so they could write a beautiful and encouraging message then fly it as they walk out, same with Chinese lanterns… This is your opportunity to shine once again.How about your recessional song? This song should directly reflect the style celebration you’re looking for… This is your first opportunity to engage your guests and prepare them for the fun you and your DJ or planner have structured…The same goes for your cocktail hour. Even though your cocktail hour music is played at a low level it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Make sure the music style you choose encourages the style party you are about to have. You’ve planned for a year and created a structure that is conducive of a high energy dance party… Use this time to get you’re guests more engaged and ready for the celebration.
It’s now time for YOUR celebration!!! What style are you looking for with your formal introductions, high energy with your crowd yelling or a bit more subdued and casual. What about your first dance, do you want a choreographed routine or to share the dance with your family and friends (instead of just your bridal party)…
No matter how you’d like to execute the beginning of your celebration the number one concern we have is the structure. It seems like most couples enjoy structuring their celebration by starting with their introductions then their first dance followed by both parent dances and finally the toasts… Phew. Just writing that structure tired me out.The problem we have with this structure is that at some point during the 30-45 minutes your guests are expected to stay focused they generally will lose it somewhere plus you’re conveying to your crowd that these formal dances are not that important and you just want to “get them over and done with”.
You’re structure is the absolute most important aspect to your planning and you need to focus on your guests and the style party you’re trying to achieve. Our favorite structure has the introductions and 1st dance up front then inviting he guests to join in the 1st dance half way in and then onto a dance set that goes until the entree is served. Toasts just before dinner starts, parent dances at the trailing end of dinner followed by our very special anniversary dance then on to dancing. Your parents deserve the respect of a dance that has the rooms complete focus!
On to your end of the night activities… The garter removal and bouquet toss, two activities that are fading and fading quickly. It is an old school tradition and most couples feel they are making their guests have an awkward moment. The option to do this or not is completely up to you and how you feel your guests will respond to it but it is very important to know that if you feel awkward while just thinking about it, it’s probably best to just nix it. That awkward feeling will feel a lot worse in front of 150 family and friends and they will pick up on it. If it’s something you want to do then have fun with it! This is a great opportunity to show off your sense of humor and to create another emotional experience for your guests. We always say, when stopping the music for an activity that activity should be fun and enjoyable while evoking emotion from your guests.
The last formal activity I’d like to inspire creativity from is your last dance or your send off. After reading this giant blog I hope I opened your mind a bit and helped you realize what you can actually do. We love using songs like Glad You Came, Feel This Moment or the new Time of my Lives, no matter what you choose make sure you are sent off in the way you’d like to be. There is nothing worse then just having a song end and the party end with it.
Thank you for reading through our first, extremely long lol, blog post! Have some fun and try to enjoy the planning process! You won’t realize how quickly he night ends and you only have a few hours to make the impression you’re looking for! Enjoy and best wishes at your ceremony and celebration I hope I was able to inspire some creativity and personalization!!
We are Donnie and Jenny Lewis, owners of Your Event Matters Entertainment and Photo Booths.
We can be reached at our Facebook page @YourEventMattersEntertainment our Instagram @djdonnielewis or directly at YourEventMatters.com