All couples are different, and many want to include some of their own individuality into their weddings to reflect that. Some people go all out with theme weddings, but those aren’t for everyone, and such extravagant customization can mean big bucks. Luckily, there are lots of ways to add element of your unique couplehood to your wedding without busting your budget. All it takes is a little creativity.
1. Save the Dates and Invitations
The first wedding thing that your friends and family will see is your save the date cards or invitations or save the dates. You can easily add a small quirky touch to these without spending too much. One of the least expensive ways is to add a little design on the invitations, such as a small engraved picture of a dog if you met at a dog park. You can kick it up a notch by making the whole invitation personal. For example, if you’re both baseball fanatics, you can use a baseball, or baseball-style card, with the details of the wedding place and time on it.
2. Wedding Attire
Your wedding attire can be as unique and personal as you are willing to wear, from a small bauble that can barely be seen to a full costume. Some small touch ideas are matching pins or cufflinks with the Eiffel Tower on them for the couple who got engaged in Paris, or concert T-shirts under your formal clothes from a concert you attended together on your first date.
There are tons of easy ways to add some personalization to your ceremony, from selected poems, songs, and stories to performances by you, your spouse, or friends. You don’t need to walk the aisle to the standard bridal march if you don’t want to; remember that it is your day and you can comply with or buck tradition as much as you want.
One of my favorite ways that people personalize ceremonies is by incorporating pets (check the venues rules first, of course!). Another way to personalize the ceremony is to choose an officiant that is a friend, family member, or someone special to both of you as a couple. It may be a little more expensive depending on the place, but you can even personalize your wedding venue, whether by choosing the church where you met or the restaurant where you got engaged.
Also, don’t forget that flowers, especially the bridal bouquet, are completely customizable. A Hawaiian honeymoon may call island flowers, or Texan brides may want to carry yellow roses.
The reception also has lots of ways in which you can add unique personal touches, but the costs here may be more than in other areas depending on what you choose. From the entrance itself, you and the rest of your wedding party can walk in holding pennants from the college where you met or wearing caps of your favorite sports teams.
Love running together? You can don sneakers for your first dance (and leave them on the whole night if you want!). The first dance is also a way to show your unique side, especially if you took salsa lessons together or are honeymooning in Argentina and want to learn to tango before you go. You can also choose a song that is particularly meaningful.
It may be a little more expensive, but you can also add a personal flare to the menu, such as a first course that is reminiscent of the town you are from or where you met. Plus, don’t forget that signature drink! A skilled bartender at your venue can help you figure it out, but a drink can be named after and created for almost any kind of interests or experiences you have had together.
The cake is another simple way to personalize your wedding on the cheap. The cake itself may be pricey (or no tif you go with a grocery store bakery or homemade cake), but you can personalize it easily through flavors, colors, designs, or shapes. Also, remember that you don’t need traditional cake toppers; you can use any small plastic toys (though they make inexpensive cake toppers in just about every theme these days).
Centerpieces are one of my favorite ways to personalize a wedding because not only are they subtle, but also everyone will see them. Plus, you can include almost anything as part of it. For example, if you both love to read, you can have stacks of books with candles on them for centerpieces. Almost anything can be a centerpiece, especially if you can put a candle or flowers on or in it.
You can also a decorate a more traditional centerpiece by including ribbon with your college sorority and fraternity symbols on them. Centerpieces are somewhere you can really go wild without making your wedding feel like a theme wedding.
Finally, the favors you give out to guests can also add personalization. Consider dog treats if you’re both animal lovers or small plastic musical instruments (or even kazoos!) for the musically inclined couple. To make this affordable, check out general party planning suppliers or Etsy. They often have little tchotchkes of all kinds that you can personalize with the date of your wedding.
Weddings are about two people coming together. Two people with interests, hobbies, and histories. Even affordable weddings can include some personalization without going over the top (or over budget).