Tenured Tips

How to Personalize Your Wedding

No two people are the same. Neither are their love stories.

So wouldn’t it make sense that when two people come together in matrimony their wedding be unique as well?

To be clear, we’re not just talking about design aesthetics and weekend activities. We’re talking about a wedding infused with your stories, your priorities, and what’s meaningful to you.

Because an event crafted with your signature is a truly powerful one.

From the pattern of your paper goods to nostalgic reception spaces of your youth, we love helping couples bring their unique stories into their big day. Your wedding is a celebration of your love and provides you with an incredible opportunity to express yourselves as a couple. Instead of thinking of your wedding day as simply a party you’re hosting for friends and family, design it as a love story instead – a journey where you get to share your favorite things with your closest people.

Below, you’ll find inspiration from five of our past weddings. Keep reading to discover how we helped these couples turn their weddings into a truly personal and meaningful event. And maybe consider incorporating some of these ideas into yours.


Interactive Escort Card Display

Escort card displays (aka the seating chart) are an essential element for logistical reasons. But they can also create an exciting experience for guests as they enter the reception space. And they’re a great way to make a first impression and add a personal touch to your wedding day.

For Megan’s wedding, we created an interactive escort card display that fit into her immersive garden theme. Guests walked down a dramatic entryway tunnel to find their escort cards in the form of paper butterflies, flowers, and dragonflies – all tied to five wrought iron trellises alongside what we called “Valerie-isms.”

“What is a ‘Valerie-ism’ ”, you ask? We love learning about our couples’ past in order to infuse special moments into their present. So, during our planning meetings, Megan shared that her mother was famous for sending motivational quotes and inspirational notes throughout the week. She also mentioned that she loved butterflies. So we combined the two to create something truly one-of-a-kind – writing “Valerie-isms” on paper butterflies and using them to decorate the space.

For another couple (who started dating in high school), we created a locker installation in the lobby of their venue. The lockers were custom painted in their school colors and included mementos from the couples’ glory days.

We made escort cards out of custom paper folded into hearts. Guides directed each guest to a locker, and from there, they unfolded the heart to find their “love note” (table assignment) and a mini bottle of Champagne. From there, members from our team – dressed in the school’s uniform – helped guests find their seats.

Guests were thrilled by the attention to detail. Especially if they were familiar with the school. So it not only meant something for the couple but their guests, too.

Experiential Food & Beverage

People eat as much with their eyes as they do their mouths. That’s why, with each of our events, we pay particular attention to the food and beverage selections – to ensure the options delight all the senses.

Though we love a long, royal table moment for its drama, over the years we’ve discovered that round tables offer a great opportunity for guests to engage with one another. Naturally leading to a richer culinary experience. But round tables can be seen as boring, so we’ve found ways to spice things up. Like having a server greet guests tableside with their favorite cocktail just as they sit down for dinner.

We’ve also created individual charcuterie boards engraved with each guest’s initials. After they were presented with their board, each guest was invited to a station where a chef hand-carved beef tenderloin or smoked turkey and placed it on the board.

After dinner, our team cleaned the boards, repackaged them, and gave them upon departure to each guest along with a bottle of wine from the groom’s parents’ favorite winery. Now that’s not a cheesy party favor. (Pun intended.)


Be Inspired By Your Heritage

Your heritage and cultural traditions are a rich source of wedding-day inspiration. So, think about which ones ring true for you and your partner and how you can weave your backgrounds together in a way that’s respectful and beautiful.

For example, one of our brides, Ilona, is Russian. During one of our planning sessions, she told us that at Russian weddings everyone cheers “Gorka!” to the newlyweds and then takes a drink. After, the bride and groom kiss to sweeten the bitter taste of the alcohol and add sweetness to their marriage. So, for the wedding, we created “Gorka” coasters that encouraged guests to carry on the tradition. Needless to say the couple was kissing all night long.

Below are some either ideas to consider:

  • If English isn’t your family’s primary language, send out an invitation printed in English and  outfitted with a vellum overlay that translates it into the other language.
  • Use your rehearsal dinner or reception space to bring in flowers and decorations reminiscent  of your country of origin.
  • Wear the traditional wedding attire of your home country for all or part of the wedding.  Bonus: You can wear two beautiful gowns.

As you can see, there are so many ways you can create beautiful, lasting memories by melding cultures and traditions.

Hidden Personal Details

Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most – even if no one, outside of a few people, know about those details.

For example, for one couple’s wedding, we put vintage stamps meaningful to the family on the invitations. For another, we lined the inner envelope of the invitation with the same lace pattern as the bride’s wedding dress.

We worked with one couple who owned a historic home near the site of the 1904 World’s Fair. While renovating that home, they happened to find a painting of the Fair inside one of the walls. So, we had someone recreate it in a larger size and then installed it as a mural in the reception venue.

We’ve also used the black and white tile from the couple’s venue entryway as inspiration for their save-the-dates and invitations. And we pulled the pattern from the grate on the fireplace of their home and used it as the folio shape inside their invites.

These details may not have been noticed by their guests (at least not at first), but they meant something to the family and to each couple. And they were the tiny details that made their weddings truly unique from any other.


Tantalize the Senses

Like we mentioned above, invigorating the senses creates an ambiance and introduces variety. It brings personality to your event and invites your guests to experience your wedding on a deeper level. So, we encourage you to find ways to excite all five.

TASTE: Surprise your guests with unexpected flavors and fun displays. Think interactive stations, exciting food combinations, signature cocktails, and live chefs.

TOUCH: Think about how you can take your guests on a tactile journey. Consider textured invitations, cocktail napkins (with your signature cocktail recipe printed on them), custom prints and patterns, and linen details.

SMELL: Scent can draw you back to a place or time. By including certain scents into your wedding day, you’ll create a memory in your guests’ minds. And recall memories from your own past. Think flowers, candles, lotions, incense, etc.

SEE: Create a wedding that’s as pretty as it is personalized. When couples work with us, they receive tons of visual inspiration, look books filled with ideas, one-of-a-kind sketches, floor plans, and decor selections that consider the location, season, and personal preferences.

LISTEN: Almost nothing beats live entertainment. From big bands to ballet dancers, there’s a whole host of ways to incorporate you and your fiance’s personalities into your reception entertainment.

Heritage Designs Become a Lasting Legacy

As you can see, we pay attention to our couples stories, personal artifacts, and family heirlooms to create heritage designs. And we’re unmatched in our ability to pull in details and find creative ways to infuse those personal touches throughout a wedding.

If you’re looking for a team who values your past and wants to help you weave it into your wedding weekend, look no further. We’re just a click away.

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