Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding — Part 4: Celebration Moments

Photo courtesy of Westminster Hotel Weddings

Photo courtesy of Westminster Hotel Weddings

We continue with freebie tips from my ebook on honoring your family and friends at your wedding. Today is all about celebration Moments:

Celebration Moments

  1. Serve some of the same menu elements that were served at your parents’ or grandparents’ weddings.
  2. Serve the same vintage of champagne that was served at your family members’ weddings.
  3. Serve family favorite recipes within your engagement party or rehearsal dinner menu, or perhaps as choices in your cocktail party or reception dinner.
  4. Include in your dessert hour the same type of dessert that was served at your parents’ wedding, such as the now-hot retro bananas flambé.
  5. Create signature cocktails, and name them after your relatives, such as ‘Stephanie’s Strawberry Margarita’ or ‘Maria’s Chocolate Martini.’
  6. At the start of your reception, perhaps even in place of your first dance, propose a toast to your parents, grandparents, relatives and guests. You can also make this toast right before you cut your cake if you don’t want to miss out on the first dance magic.
  7. Dedicate a song to your parents during the reception’s dancing hours.
  8. After your spotlight dances, surprise all sets of parents by having them dance to a song you’ve chosen for all of them (too many individual dances makes this opening to the reception drag a bit, so keep it shorter with the one song, or even a partial song that other guests are then invited to dance to.)
  9. Musically talented relatives can perform a song during your reception, perhaps during the dinner hour.
  10. If there’s a song that’s special to you and your siblings, request a song dedication to them as well. Or, request a song that all of your siblings on both sides of the family can dance to.
  11. The last song of the evening can be dedicated to your families…each and every member of them.

Wedding Planning First Step: Your FREE Excerpt of “Your Wedding Your Way”

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It’s time for another free excerpt of one of my top new wedding books! This time, using this freebie from my book Your Wedding Your Way, you and your groom will talk about the basics for your Big Day, just to get your style set, and combine your wishes.

 

Chapter 2

How to Decide What You Both Want for Your Wedding Day

 You both have to be in agreement on the various ways you will create your wedding your way. The best way to get in agreement is to talk about everything. Here’s a little quiz to get the discussion started. Take this quiz together, and use different-colored pens to check off your answers and make additional notes. Don’t worry if you’re not in total agreement right now—few wedding couples are at this stage. You’ve already gone through the checklist in the introduction about why you’d like to have a nontraditional wedding, and now you’re getting in a little deeper.

 

1.         How comfortable are you when you’re at formal celebrations, such as black-tie weddings and dress-up events?

            a.         Very comfortable. I love getting dressed up, looking my best, and enjoying “the good life” at formal weddings.

            b.         Somewhat comfortable. Being in high heels or a suit is fine for the first few hours, but then I’d rather be home in pajamas, watching television.

            c.         I hate it. Nothing’s worse than being forced to wear high heels or a suit just because someone wants everyone to look good in their pictures.

2.         What’s the best location for your wedding?

            a.         Right here in our hometown, which is going to be gorgeous at the time of year we’re getting married, and it’s close for all our guests to get to.

            b.         It would be dreamy if we could get married at our favorite vacation destination that we go to every year, get married on the beach at sunset, and have foods from our favorite restaurants there.

            c.         Someplace we’ve never been before, like our dream destination ofHawaii. And to bring everyone else with us? That would be amazing.

            d.         Someplace not in our hometown, but also not a five-hour flight away, either.

3.         How do you feel about an outdoor wedding?

            a.         It’s perfect! Nothing says “wedding” more than gorgeous scenery, everyone in the gardens, surrounded by flowers.

            b.         I’d be too worried about the weather and bugs ruining the day.

            c.         I’m all for it if the place we book has an indoor ballroom we could move into if it rains.

            d.         I’ve always hated outdoor parties. Who wants to bring sunblock to a wedding and sweat through her dress?

4.         What is the worst part of a traditional wedding?

            a.         Having the same old food.

            b.         Having the same old music.

            c.         It’s expensive no matter how you plan it.

            d.         Having to go by the rules of a church or reception hall.

5.         How important is it for you to invite everyone you know to the wedding?

            a.         Very important. It wouldn’t be a wedding without all our relatives and their kids, and all our friends there.

            b.         Not too important. I’d be happy with just a small circle of close relatives and friends.

            c.         I really don’t care, as long as we get married.

6.         How do you feel about a wedding being funny, having laugh-out-loud moments?

            a.         That makes it great! Our guests would love it, so we’re going to insert some humor in the ceremony and in the emcee’s wording at the reception.

            b.         That would offend our parents and other relatives.

            c.         I think weddings should be solemn and serious—funny toasts and the like should be done at the rehearsal dinner only.

            d.         We’re all for it if any toast-makers want to be funny, but we’re not going to plan special comedy moments for our big day.

 

You’ve just discussed some basic, fundamental issues as you co-create your personalized wedding day. These questions may have even sent you off on tangents, discussing your thoughts and suggestions for your dream-wedding day, planned your way! Notice there’s no “scoring,” no “if you circled mostly B, then . . .” rules. This exercise was just to get the discussion on the table. Take notes on every inspiration that arises as you work through this section. Some ideas will work and some won’t, but that’s the creative process.