When you think of weddings, what comes to mind? Sappy violin music, over-the-top centerpieces, slideshows featuring the couple’s baby photos side-by-side, having to do the electric side-by-side with senior citizens . . . now, what happens when this eye-rolling affair happens to be your own wedding? Doesn’t sound enjoyable, does it? The good news is that you don’t have to throw a cookie cutter, Martha Stewart-ish affair to honor you and your fiancé’s love. Below, we provide a few tips on how to take control of your wedding so you can actually have fun!
1. Set The Mood With Your Tunes
The two of you should sit down and spend half an hour creating two lists, the first being of your favorite tunes that you will want to hear during the wedding, and especially for the first dance. Don’t feel pressured to pick the overplayed songs like Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” or “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz . . . pick them if you like the songs and not because you think that its he socially acceptable thing to do. When choosing between playing Miles Davis or Lupe Fiasco, bare in mind that the playlist you select will help to determine the feel of your reception.
The second inventory of songs that you two should write is The Death Playlist: songs that, under any and all conditions, the DJ should never play. Telling the DJ to “try and avoid anything too poppy” will be futile when your Aunt Viola approaches and sweetly simpers that she would love to hear ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” Instead, think long and hard about specific songs and artists that make your stomach churn or that you are simply sick of hearing. Don’t know where to start? Check out this list of the 20 Most Popular Wedding Songs; if you do not veto them, you can count of them being blasted across your dance floor.
2. Say Yes to the Unconventional Dress
Perhaps the bride should abandon the yards of heavy fabric that drag behind her or the stuffy veil that covers her face. Considering how much fashion changes from season-to-season, it seems a little ridiculous that she feels obligated to wear a dress that is almost identical to the one worn by previous generations. Instead, she should find something in which she can truly move, feel comfortable and express herself. Instead of having an arduous train that she has to haul down the aisle, she could instead pick a flirty hemline that stops above the knee. Perhaps she should even abandon the outdated practice of wearing virginal white in favor of an entirely different color, like Justin Timberlake’s fiancé Jessica Biel. These tips are not only is fashionably forward, but it also makes it easier to either dye or hem the dress to wear for a future date. If the bride is to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single attire, she might as well get more than one day’s of usage for her money. As for the groom, ditch the stiff tuxedo in favor of a suit that you like. Pick a look that is classy and confident without feeling like you’re stepping into someone else’s uncomfortable shoes. Just like the bride shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with hues, you too can embrace patterns and color. On the invitation, indicate to the guests that this is a classy but informal event; your buddies will appreciate not having to foot the bill on clothes they would otherwise never wear.
3. Ditch the Kids
Make sure your event is for adults only. Trust us when we say that children have a habit of getting fussy, running amok and demanding an unreasonable amount of attention. We’re not saying that they’re not adorable, we’re just simply stating the case that there is a time and place for them and that your wedding doesn’t have to be one of them. In order to accommodate those guests who have young ones, consider hiring a babysitter or two to keep an eye on the children in a separate wing of the same location.
4. Pass the Small Plates
Interactive food stations are the hottest trend for a good reason; they not only allow guests to pick and choose what they prefer, but they also can run cheaper, encourages guests to get up and move around, and are much more entertaining than being waited on by prim waiters. Just imagine it: an ice cream or burger bar, a grilled cheese or omelet station, a burrito post, a sushi conveyor belt, a chocolate fountain . . . Additionally, if you have a smaller guest list, avoid assigning seats. Let people decide for themselves who they want to sit next to instead of evoking the same hated policies seen across classrooms all over America.
5. Think Outside of the Favor Box
When it comes to selecting wedding favors, it’s far from “one size fits all.” Just like your friends tried to get you gifts that they knew that you would like, return the favor and don’t give your guy pals potpourri (unless you know that they really dig the scent of cinnamon apples). Instead, look at your guest list and divide guests into separate groups based on interest. Give your musical friends a personalized guitar pick and an iTunes gift card; give the more high-maintenance ladies a manicure kit and a compact mirror. This shows that you went the extra mile to consider the individual attendants, which will make them feel special.
6. Show Your Guests That You’re Bout That Life
As any 21st Century gentleman can tell you, an event is simply incomplete without an exclusive after party to serve as the epic grand finale . . . why should your wedding be any different? Have a stretch limo to whisk you, your wedding party and a few select guests away to a private karaoke booth, an intimate lounge or the VIP section of the hottest local club. And no, don’t change out of your wedding attire: if people ask, let patrons know that you two are newly weds and see how many free drinks will come your way! Now is the time to celebrate like the free-spirited young adults you are and to break loose with your closest friends.