50 Ways to Make Your Wedding Unforgettable 

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

Of course, unforgettable moments of spontaneity are things you can never prepare. However there are many wedding details that will make the event more memorable and that much more exciting to attend, and the more of these you incorporate into the day, the better. From the considerate flourishes for the benefit of your guests, to financial savvy that will help make your wedding an opportunity to prepare you and your partner for the good times ahead, here are 50 ways to make your wedding the event everybody talks about for years to come. 

YOUR GUESTS

1/ Provide the necessary equipment. Umbrellas if its raining or overcast, sunblock and fans if it’s predicted to be a sweltering day. 

umbrella, wedding, rainy, bride, groom, procession

Image by Harry Richards Photography 

2/ Provide the unnecessary equipment that the guests will love you for having considered like jandals for dancing comfort at the reception. 

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Image by Justine Yandle Photography

3/ Have a clear dress code. Don’t confuse people by being vague. If you want it formal, make sure everyone is very clear on what that means to you. Conversely, if you want a more relaxed atmosphere/aesthetic, specify that too. 

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Image by Alex de Freitas Wedding Photography

4/ Find ways for your guests to feel like they contributed to your special day – like a guest book.

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Image sourced from Dustling and Hart

5/ Decide early if you will include the little ones. If you’re having a child-free wedding, parents will need some time to organise babysitters. 

kids, weddings, little ones, children, guests, parents

Image by Hannah McMaster Photography

6/ If you do have kids, make sure you and the venue are prepared to deal with them. Depending on how long and late your reception lasts this might include: providing sleeping rooms; supplying an area full of toys; and allocating a supervised space where they can run around if they get excited. If there will be many children in attendance it can also be a good idea to hire the services of a professional event childcare company.  

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Image by Marnie Cornell Photography

7/ Send thank you notes out after the wedding so your guests know you appreciated their presence. 

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Image sourced from Mabe Design Co

THE BRIDAL PARTY

8/ Ask your bridesmaids in a unique way.

bridesmaids, ask, nail polis, diy, bridal party, ideas

Image sourced via Clarence & Co. 

9/ Throw a killer hens or stag night to get everyone excited about the wedding. It’s also a great way to introduce any of the bridal party members that haven’t met yet and well and truly break the ice before the big day. 

hens party, bridal party, bridesmaids, bachelorette, bride to be, nightlife

Image sourced from Lauren Masini 

10/ Ensure your bridal party knows how they are contributing to your special day. For our bridesmaid guide, click here

brides maids, dress, bridal party, maid of honour, style, gown, wedding

Image by Diana V Photography

11/ Style your bridesmaids in such a way that makes them feel beautiful.  

brides maids, dress, bridal party, maid of honour, style, gown, wedding

Image by Photography by Kushla

12/  Have a gender diverse bridal party. It’s 2018 – if you want guy bridesmaids or lady groomsmen, then go for it!

big bridal party, wedding, photography, bride, groom, maid of honor, groomsmen

Image by Marie Monforte Photography

13/ Don’t be shy about having a large bridal party. If you feel like you can’t decide how to cut down numbers of friends to have by your side, then don’t.

bridal, party, photography, wedding, bridesmaids

Image by Grant Daniels Photography

14/ Get some good group shots for all of you to look back on over the years to come.

bridal party, memories, style, wedding, brides

Image by Perspectives Photo + Cinema 

THE INVITES

15/ Choose the right design elements.

invites, design, wedding, ideas

Image sourced from Elsa Madeline Design

16/ Give yourself plenty of time. This will give you the headspace to make sure there are no errors - the last thing you want to be doing is rushing the design and posting of invites. 

invites, invitations, wedding, planning, bride

Image sourced via Jasmine Dowling

17/ Avoid any counterproductive errors. Though undesirable, minor mistakes on the invites won’t usually cause you too much grief. The most significant errors to avoid are those that that might lead to your guests ending up at the wrong venue, or showing up on the wrong day/time. 

invites, invitations, wedding, planning, bride

Image sourced via Just My Type

18/ Consider a professional calligrapher. Your wedding invitation suite is the first impression your guests will get of the event to come, why not make sure it’s one that gets everybody talking? 

invites, invitations, wedding, planning, bride

Image sourced via Just My Type

19/ Include some interactive extras in your invites. For example, you might ask your guests to submit a favourite song which you can then include on your reception playlist.

Image by Diana V Photography

20/ If you’ve had an engagement shoot, including a stunning picture of the soon-to-be-married couple can be a nice touch.

engagement shoot, photography, couple, pre-wedding, photography, engaged

Image by Lynn Lewis Photography

21/ Consider creating a website and provide the link on your invites. A website can function as a source of wedding information for your guests so you don’t have to continuously answer questions. It’s also a place where you can put information You can even tell your guests to simply RSVP on the website to save them having to post their RSVP back to you (as well as being a lot friendlier on the environment).

wedding, website, rsvp, invites, evites

Image sourced via Riley & Grey

THE WEDDING MORNING

22/ Start the day well with a fancy breakfast.

breakfast, wedding, food, morning, bride, groom

Image by Clare Kinchin Photography 

23/ Consider having a “First Look”. If you don’t mind breaking the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, a First Look shoot is a way to get some sweet professional photos of you both when you’re looking your best. 

first look, bride, groom, wedding, photography, sunset

Image by Peyton Curry

24/ Exchange gifts/love notes. It’s the day of your wedding and perhaps there are intimate messages you want to convey to your significant other that you may not want to say as part of the vows in the ceremony. Writing them in a note that they can read as they get ready in the morning is a thoughtful way to show them how important they are to you. 

gifts, wedding, morning, couple, love, notes

Image by Rachel Borkow Photography

25/ Go over your vows. Practice makes perfect, and if you’re not a natural public speaker saying your vows in front of everybody you care about can be daunting. Settle the nerves by going over your vows a few times on the morning of the wedding. 

vows, wedding, morning, practice, planning, bride, groom

Image by Amanda Eloise Photography

26/ Go outside. Many people feel a bit cooped up and restless on the morning of the big day, so spend some time unwinding in the outdoors.  

beach, wedding, couple, outside, outdoor, groom, bride, engagement shoot

Image by Henry Tieu Photography

27/ For the boys – have a hot towel shave.

man, hot towel shave, groom, groomsmen, grooming

Image by Aimee Nicole Photography

28/ Start celebrating early and have a cheeky drink to calm the nerves.

drink, wedding, morning, groom, bride

Image by Kate Little Photography

29/ Before you leave for the ceremony venue, make sure you have a touch-up bag packed. Ask a bridesmaid to hold onto it for you. Knowing you have all the essentials to keep you looking your best (and some tricks to manage any unexpected wardrobe emergencies) will help you relax and enjoy the rest of your day.

wedding, day, emergency, kit, diy, touch up

Image sourced via Wedding Emergency Kit

For more tips on making the most of your wedding morning, read this

THE CEREMONY

30/ Wedding arches – get one and make it a good one.

wedding, arch, arches, style, floral, florist

Image by Pear & Bear Photography 

31/ Choose the right venue by making sure it will meet all your requirements. There are particular questions you can ask to ensure the venue will be the right one for you. 

wedding, venue, matakana, bride, groom

Image sourced via The Stables Matakana

32/ Let the vows be the centre of the ceremony. They deserve a little time spent on making them special. Don’t feel pressured to memorise them either.

wedding, vows, kate, little, photography, mudbrick

Image by Kate Little Photography

33/ Put careful thought into finding the right celebrant; they can make or break the experience of the ceremony for both you and your guests.

celebrant, mc, wedding, host, i do, rings, bride, groom

Image by Lynn Lewis Photography

34/ Invest in photography or videography so you can rest assured all the beautiful memories you are making will last forever.

photography, wedding, cherry blossom, tree, spring, bride, groom, intimate

Image by Perspectives Photo + Cinema 

35/ Choose the right processional music. The right tune playing during the bride's (or groom's) procession can set a mood the words cannot describe. 

procession, bridal, aisle, walk, giving away, music, arrival, wedding

Image by Zahn Photography

36/ Relating to the above point: choose the right recessional music.

bridal recession, just married, bride, groom, celebrating, wedding

Image by Samantha Donaldson Photography

37/ Provide your guests with sparklers or eco-friendly confetti to celebrate your united walk back down the aisle.

sparklers, celebrate, guest, wedding, bide, groom

Image by Chris & Ruth Photography

THE RECEPTION

38/    Grazing tables are an excellent feature. 

grazing tables, wedding, reception, guests, catering, food

Image by Anna Pretorius Photography

39/ If you opt for a seated dinner, include an interactive table topper – something fun for your guests to help start conversations (like a polaroid camera!).

table toppers, polaroid, fun, ideas, wedding, guests, bride, groom

Image by Vita Malina Photography

40/    Have some quirky drink options outside of just wine and beer. Frozen and/or personalised cocktails are a great addition to a summer reception.

diy, cocktail, bar, reception, drinks, alcohol station, cocktail, weddings, summer

Image by Sister Lee Photography

41/ Organise for an MC to help the reception run smoothly. A funny/charismatic MC is bound to leave a lasting impression on the guests.

mc, host, guests, reception, speech, speaking, wedding, bride, groom, planning

Image by Lynn Lewis Photography

42/ Without coming across as too obsessive or controlling, it’s a good idea to check over your guests' speeches. Or, at the very least, provide some guidelines particularly surrounding stories or subjects that you don’t want to be mentioned.

zahn, speeches, photography, reception, guests, toasts

Image by Perry Trotter Photography

43/ Have a combination of live music and a DJ (live music to kick things off, then introduce a dj to get the dancing going).

live, music, wedding, entertainment, bride, groom, classical, instruments

Image by The Kitcheners

44/    Get a photo booth or at the very least a styled backdrop that the guests can use as a selfie station.

Photo, Booth, van, reception, ideas, fun, guests, entertainment, wedding

Image sourced via Photokombie

45/ Avoid an awkward first dance by putting some effort into preparation. Even the smallest amount of time rehearsing will go a long way - the first dance is definitely not something that you should be winging on the day.

first, dance, wedding, reception, bride, groom

Image sourced via Rachel Phillips 

46/    Provide interesting/unique wedding favours for the guests.

wine, personalised, guest, gift, goodies, reception, wedding, diy, ideas, planning

Image sourced via A Little Something Wine Co. 

 For more reception ideas, check out this article.

THE HONEYMOON

47/ Instead of a traditional gift registry, opt for a financial gift registry. Instead of homeware you may not want or need, your guests can contribute to the Honeymoon Fund.

honeymoon, couple, travel, beach

Image sourced via Honeypot Registry 

48/    Consider an off-peak Honeymoon to cut costs.

honeymoon, winter, off-peak, tourist, couple

Image by Henry Tieu Photography

49/ Pack the right things for the honeymoon you’ve got planned.

packing guide, honeymoon, essentials

Image sourced from Ali Bailey London

50/ If you want to keep it close to home, honeymooning in your own country is a great alternative to a big overseas trip. New Zealand is a country that is on the top of many people’s dream travel destination lists - make the most of our backyard and see those places you’ve always said you’d explore properly but never found the time to do so. 

travel, new zealand, nz, honeymoon

Image sourced via Honeypot Registry

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