A Maid of Honor Shares Her Tips for a Unique Wedding

morgan-gray-bw-1PINGuest contributor, Morgan Gray, shares her insight, experiences, and ideas on wedding planning as a recent maid of honor for her sister’s wedding.

I’ve always known my sister was a special snowflake. So when she and her fiancé announced their engagement, I wasn’t surprised when she said that, for the wedding, she wanted something out of the ordinary. And, as her maid of honor, I’m excited to explore all the options to make the couple’s day as special as she is. But where to start? More and more, people are personalizing their wedding days—with so much already done, how can we make the day unique to her?

1. Dress

A great place to start is with the centerpiece of the wedding itself: the bridal gown. For the past few decades brides have been deviating from the angelic white of the bridal dress and straying into ivory and cream, but a great way to immediately personalize your appearance on the big day is through a new, striking color. You can be quite daring in a soft pink or blush gown, but why not make a splash with a deep, passionate red, or a lively forest green? Or, if you’re that rare talented seamstress, you might consider making your own dress yourself to give it a remarkable personal touch.

2. Cake

hot-chocolate-and-pastries-1PINMy sister is planning a fall wedding, and she loves the pumpkin latte craze that comes with frost and falling leaves. Instead of a cold cake, she’s arranging an on-call barista to provide cozy warm drinks and pastries. If you want to stray from the traditional cake, you can definitely pull in a theme or tradition of the time of year to swap things around. For example, for a summer wedding you might consider serving festival food like a massive funnel cake, with cotton candy and popcorn on the side, to recall the fun of carefree summer days at the amusement park. Or go the route of other shareable desserts by offering a pie table or a mountain of brownies your guests can top with sprinkles, cream, or other luscious sweets. The possibilities are practically endless with a little imagination and a big sweet tooth!

3. Venue

The venue of the wedding can also be an opportunity to showcase an individual taste. For a small wedding party, for example, it’s possible to do something wildly adventurous like getting hitched in the skies in a hot-air balloon! Or, if you’re afraid of heights, many bed and breakfasts can accommodate smaller crowds with a very homey touch. But what bride doesn’t want to feel like a princess? Go for the royal feel, and get married in a castle! If you have the money and the drive, this could be an unforgettable venue. For those tighter around the wallet, though, something quirky like a wedding held in a bookshop, or in a local park (and then the guests can climb the jungle gyms and ride the seesaw after the reception!) may be more your taste. Armed with creative ideas, it’s easy to contact and find out which places will accommodate a wedding party.

4. The Little Things That Count

party-favors-for-guests-1PINAs much as the big things—the dress, the food, the place—matter to your guests, it’s some of the small things that will strike them and will have them gushing years after the event. There are a lot of small things you can influence to give your wedding that special touch. For example, in addition to a photographer, you could pass out disposable cameras and let the guests be their own photographers with a blast from the past. Or instead of the traditional champagne toast, why not bring in a local brewer? This also allows for an opportunity for special party favors – something like the tree growing kit (which we will be using!) or candle sets found at RedEnvelope – a lovely, classy, and practical gift. Or, to save money on a band, rent out a machine and have a karaoke night instead! Your special day is meant to be fun for you and for your guests: having interactive activities such as karaoke, picking their own bouquets, or forging their own meals will make your wedding one no one will forget.