Make your big day one to remember for all the right reasons with these fabulous ideas for your wedding guests from Lucy Dimbylow…
Come over all Strictly Come Dancing with a choreographed first dance routine that will knock your guests’ socks off. This is the perfect way to impress and surprise, especially if you and your h2b are renowned for having four left feet.
Location, location, location
Gone are the days where your choice of wedding venue was limited to church, registry office or hotel. Choosing a sensational location for your celebrations is guaranteed to get everyone talking, so think outside the box! You could tie the knot on the seashore at sunset, surrounded by ancient exhibits at a history museum, in a festival-style tipi on a local farmer’s land or even on the London Eye. The sky’s the limit!
Dress to impress
It goes without saying that you want your dress to be one of the big talking points of the day, so think about what will make your guests’ eyes pop out when you walk down the aisle. It could be a brightly coloured dress, a dramatic train or a tea-length gown with a pair of to-die-for shoes. Alternatively, let your bridesmaids make a statement – try dressing them in mismatched candy colours or bold retro prints, or furnish them with striking accessories like parasols or
A romantic surprise
If you’ve always envisaged a fairytale wedding, what could be better than celebrating by releasing a pair of white doves? According to legend, seeing a dove on your wedding day foretells a long and happy life, and a dove release will give your ceremony a magical finish. Other romantic ideas would be creating a heart shape with all your guests for the wedding photos, jumping into a little rowing boat (if your venue has a lake) and allowing your guests to light floating candles all around you, or having a horse-drawn carriage take you to the reception.
The personal touch
Writing your own wedding vows isn’t just a romantic gesture; it also makes your ceremony memorable for your nearest and dearest. “Guests are always impressed by personalised wedding ceremonies,” says celebrant Judy Mansfield (cherish-ceremonies.co.uk). “Instead of reciting the stale old words, couples can design a ceremony that is perfectly in tune with who they are and incorporate rituals and traditions to make it unique.”
Up, up and away
There’s something magical about seeing a cloud of colourful balloons floating away on a summer breeze. Just make sure you use natural latex balloons filled with helium, and don’t attach ribbons or strings, as these can be a hazard to wildlife. Visit nabas.co.uk/about-balloons/ for guidance.
If you’re having a waterside wedding, you could arrive by yacht or speedboat, or you could travel to your countryside venue on horseback or by tractor. Having a city centre celebration? Arrive in a stretch limo or vintage sports car. We’ve even seen brides arriving at their ceremony in helicopters, steam trains and fire engines!
Cool cake creations
You could go for a quirky lopsided cake iced in bright primary colours and topped with decorations like feathers and sparklers, choose a supersized pure chocolate creation, or theme it around a favourite movie.
What could be more dramatic than completely transforming your venue between the day and evening events? “Redressing the main reception room while everyone is dining is a fantastic way to surprise your guests,” says Hamish Shephard from Hedsor House. “You could change the decor from day to night with special lighting effects, and bring the band into the reception room to take their places while no one is in there. It would make a brilliant ‘big reveal’ before the first dance.”