When planning your wedding you want to create a special day that reflects your personality. It should be an event guests will enjoy and that offers unique experiences that are unexpected. While weddings tend to circle around the basics of a ceremony and some form of reception, it is the details you add that make the day your own. Here are seven things that make a wedding truly memorable for you and your guests.

1. Allow guests to mingle pre-ceremony

Socializing at weddings tends to begin at the reception. However, you can help bring people closer together before the ceremony. This is the most important moment of your wedding where you officially commit to your partner. Instead of having people ushered to their seats, consider ways to make the build-up to the ceremony more exciting by creating closeness amongst guests. This might include:

  • Greeting guests with champagne or cocktails at the ceremony
  • Having an old school social in a local community hall with something fun and quirky like a bake sale, some form of charity event or even a potluck lunch
  • Planning a picnic at a nearby park where guests can mingle and chat before heading to the ceremony
  • Booking a bowling alley where guests can join teams and bowl
  • Having a skating party at a local rink
  • Asking a family member or friend to host a pre-ceremony brunch in their backyard before the ceremony

These are fun ideas that add an additional element of socializing and helps people get into the spirit of the day.

2. Offer unique wedding favours

Don’t get caught up in the same old wedding favours. Instead, think of a little gift people might actually use. Some ideas include:

  • Customized mugs filled with coffee, tea or hot chocolate packets
  • A little potted plant they can plant in their gardens or set on their windowsill
  • A yummy, customized cookie with your names on it
  • A picture frame with your engagement photo
  • A raffle ticket with one main prize or a few little prizes that are given out at the reception
  • Something special for kids
  • A homemade brownie, baked good or even something like your trademark homemade salsa with your scratch recipe on a card

The idea is to think of something more meaningful, yummy or fun that can be used instead of tossed.

3. Have fun with the guest book

Having everyone sign a guest book is very traditional but you can find ways to make it a little more fun. Some ideas might include:

  • Create a Facebook page where people can post their messages and photos so everyone can comment and share
  • Have guests sign a blown-up photo of you and then get it framed so you can hang it in your home
  • Have a canvas with pots of paint so people can create a unique painting to mark the occasion
  • Use an object with meaning for you as a couple whether it is something from your travels together, a favourite book you love, t-shirts you can wear, etc.
  • Have a picture album with an old school polaroid camera so guests can snap their photo, stick it in the album and add a message

The trick is to create something you can cherish for years to come, while also making a more unique statement to intrigue guests.

4. Transform your venue

Instead of using the traditional decorations expected at wedding receptions, transform your banquet hall into a special place. Consider a theme that means a lot to you as a couple whether it is a movie, a song, an era, a city, famous couples from history, etc. Decorate to create a completely unexpected setting such as an enchanted garden, a roaring 20’s speakeasy, a magical castle, an art gallery or even a beach. It is a wonderful way to create a special venue that reflects you as a couple and encourages people to experience something new and unexpected.

5. Plan a surprise

Do something unexpected at the banquet hall that creates an activity, provides entertainment or adds a wow factor. You want to make sure it won’t be too much for older guests, but still instills some of your spirit into the day. Some examples might include:

  • Hire some dancers to perform a fun swing dance
  • Have unique entertainment such as acrobats a la Cirque du Soleil
  • Create a fun entry where guests walk through a tunnel, a forest or a customized light show
  • Show a homemade (or favourite) movie projected on the walls
  • Set up some outdoor games like croquet or horseshoes
  • Have a dance lesson so everyone can join in a special dance
  • Set up a crafts table and have guests create something you can have as a keepsake, or that they can take home

The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination and budget.

6. Set up food stations

Either pre-dinner or for dinner consider setting up different food stations at your reception. It can be specific stations such as one for appetizers during cocktail hour, one for desserts after dinner and then one for midnight snacks, or be an entire selection of food stations for the ultimate buffet spread.

You have your choice of food selections where it is casual foods like mac and cheese and sliders, or elegant foods such as a carving station for assorted roasts. You can do them all at once or spread them throughout the evening. It can be sweet treats or a culinary whirlwind trip around the world. You can plan a truly unique meal that will provide a memorable foodie experience people will love.

7. Have a costume theme

While not all guests will want to participate, costumes at weddings can be tons of fun. It allows people to get creative and express themselves while supporting the theme of your wedding. It also makes for some pretty interesting wedding photos.

To learn more about planning your wedding at a banquet hall in Toronto, call Château le Jardin at (905) 851-2200 or contact us here.