By finding ways to personalize your wedding reception, you’re sure to have a wedding that represents you and stands the test of time. You and your soulmate share a unique love. Encapsulating that love in your wedding reception can be challenging, but that is also what makes your reception an amazing experience. Loved ones will remember your wedding and enjoy your reception more when you invite them fully into your world through personal touches. When it comes to your wedding, following the trends is way less important than staying true to who you are. Here are six ways to personalize your wedding reception:
1. Get creative with your seating chart
Seating charts provide endless opportunities for creatively incorporating your own personalities and likes into your reception. You can gift physical items that double as a guest favor, create feature walls, and enhance whatever vibe or theme you’re envisioning for your wedding day. Two of my favorites from my 2022 couples are below. Emily & Bobby included a nod to biking with a sweet aqua bike that had a basket on the front for cards. It enhanced their garden vibe along with a wrought iron escort card display accented with ivy. Ana and Drew love the ocean and sailing and were married on the water in Newport at the Bohlin. Needless to say, their “come sail away” seating chart was a huge hit!
2. Try a voicemail-style guest book for personal wedding messages
I love this idea because you get to listen to your loved ones wishing you well. Imagine having a bad day and being able to go back and hear people who love you sharing their joy with you. What a great way to make a bad day better. What’s more, over the years as grandparents and loved ones pass away, you’ll still be able to hear their voice and hear how much they loved you and how happy they were for you. And this isn’t just about being sentimental – there is a whole lot of fun to be had in leaving fun and funny messages, too! Emily & Andy had an audio guestbook at their wedding and guests loved leaving messages for them.
3. Don’t forget your pets
I mean, could you ever actually forget your fur baby? I think not! But usually they can’t spend the day celebrating with you. The next best thing is honoring them like Lauren & Scott did with a signature drink named after their pup. Nodding to them on cocktail napkins or welcome signs like Ana & Drew did is also a great way to show your love for your pawfect pet!
4. Personalize your wedding reception by incorporating fun & games
Focusing on guest experience is a trend that I’m loving for 2023. As fun and beautiful as decor and design are, what your guests will remember is how much fun they had celebrating with you. So, curating experiences for them is a great way to make sure they enjoy themselves throughout your reeception. And including games you love or personalizing them to you and your soulmate is an added bonus.
For example, Emily & Andy had a poster-sized crossword puzzle ready for guests to complete during cocktail hour. Emily is a crossword enthusiast and has even had one (or maybe it’s more now!) of her crossword puzzles published in the NYT! And she created the one on display at her wedding – filling it with clues about her and Andy and their life together. Guests loved it and had it virtually completed by the time dinner was served. Other great ideas include lawn games For example, Natalie & Wes had a hand-painted corn hole game at their cocktail hour. And if you have a betting family, check out the betting game Gemma & Mickey encouraged guests to play during toasts.
5. Include nods to things you enjoy (think movies, hobbies, food, etc)
Personalizing your wedding reception can be subtle or a little more obvious. It’s totally up to you! But when guests see that you’ve really brought your personalities into your wedding celebration, they’ll be even more excited. And little “easter eggs” for guests to find can be just as fun as big decor moments.
Here are some great examples of how former LRP soulmates made sure their personalities shined through:
Ryanne & Ethan love to read and included classic books in each of their centerpieces. Wes is a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, so the “no admittance except on party business” was the perfect sign to welcome guests. And Caroline and David absolutely love donuts (we have that in common!) and decided to have a donut dessert bar at their wedding in addition to serving cake.
6. Embrace your culture & special family traditions
There is truly nothing more personal than family. And so often there are family heirlooms and traditions tied to wedding days. For example, the sword Ian and Flynn used to cut their cake was a family heirloom. Generations prior used it in wedding cake cuttings. Similarly, the cup Laura & Scott are holding was passed down and their photo is one of many similar family wedding photos .
Cultural traditions also provide a rich opportunity to share more of yourself and your background with your guests. Whether it be a special dance, blessing, or food, honoring your roots by incorporating your culture is a great idea. Amanda & Will invited guests to enjoy bomboniera, a traditional Italian wedding favor.
Personalizing your wedding is key to making the day one you’ll look back on joyfully for years to come. If you love these ideas and want to learn more about personalizing other aspects of your wedding day, check out my blog post on ways to personalize your ceremony, too!