If you’re looking to add thoughtful, personal touches to your wedding — you’re in for a treat today! We’ve got five ideas for personalizing your wedding day with help from Ellen Westcott, owner of Westcott Weddings. Get ready for some major wedding inspiration, and don’t miss out on more fun details in the advice section too!
1. The Menu
Photo // The Nichols
Think through what you will serve at both the table and the bar! In October 2017, we featured a homebrew bar at C+A’s Mercury Hall wedding. Their family and friends are avid homebrewers, and seven of them took on the challenge to brew (and name!) a special “wedding night” beer for the occasion. Not only was the actual bar a beautiful focal point on the lawn, but the punny names were a hit all night (as was the beer)! I mean, “Hoppily Ever After” IPA? Come on. Too much!
2. The Save the Dates and Invitations
Photo // Sophie Epton
It’s your guests’ first impression and the introduction to your day, so it’s a huge opportunity to personalize and give them a glimpse of all the fun to come. One of my favorite suites of all time was from M+L’s Mercury Hall wedding in 2016. Throughout the planning process, I affectionately referred to M as my “pink, confetti and sparkles bride.” The invitations set the tone, and I think we were able to deliver on all three counts for their big day, too.
3. The Welcome Gifts and Favors
Photo // Jenna McElroy Photography
Welcome guests with a branded goodie (or box of goodies), and then send them away at the end of the night with a final reminder of your big day. For J+H’s celebration at Camp Lucy, guests received a welcome box filled with each of their favorite candies, Hatch Chili popcorn (the groom’s last name is Hatch), bubbly, and a cookie designed to match the ones in the crest on their invitation suite. At the end of the night, the Camp Lucy team tray-passed Tiff’s Treats — Tiffwiches (ice cream sandwiches made with Tiff’s Treats’ cookies + Blue Bell ice cream), a favorite of both J+H.
4. The Day-Of Paper Goods and Signage
Photo // Jen Dillender Photography
Day-of paper goods and signage is another great place to infuse a little personality. Table names are an easy spot to customize, as are signature cocktails and drink menus. My favorite from this year was the “Hallie-peño Mule,” named after the bride’s pup. For M+J’s Camp Lucy wedding last fall, we designed an escort card display that featured (26) of their favorites places, in lieu of table numbers. Each table card included the name of the table + a small description sharing a bit of their sweet story. For example, “Barton Springs – Our first date.”
5. The Ceremony
Photo // Matthew Moore Photography
The ceremony often ends up last on the list of things to think through, and ultimately, the ceremony is the most important part of the day! (There’s no party without the ceremony!) Set aside time (before the last month) to sit down with your fiancé and really think through the ceremony: The songs you will walk down the aisle to, how your bridesmaids and groomsmen will enter and exit, any readings or special music, etc. These are important details, and since they are so often overlooked, guests will truly notice if you put in the time to make them special.
Advice for Getting Personal With Your Wedding
I think the purpose of your wedding day is two-fold – the first is to celebrate the start of your marriage. The second is to love on the people you invited to celebrate with you. Your wedding day is a rare opportunity to gather all of the people you love most in one place, invite them to share in your story, ask them to support you and uphold you as you start this new chapter, and then celebrate with them in a BIG way. Thoughtful details are ultimately about guest experience. That glass of champagne you passed as guests arrived? It may be your personal favorite, but it’s also such a nice way to say, “We’re so glad you’re here! Thank you for celebrating with us! Enjoy the evening!”
A personal example: My husband and I got engaged in London. None of our family or friends were there to celebrate with us when it happened, but we wanted to bring them into that part of our story. So, the cocktail hour at our wedding was “British-inspired.” We served Pimm’s Cup as our signature cocktail and passed mini bangers-n-mash bites.
For one of my couples getting married this May, we are working with their invitation designer to design a custom crest that highlights all of the things they love: their pets, fishing, camping, hiking and the southwest. (They will be married on the banks of the Blanco River in a weekend-long celebration with their families. The bride initially wanted to camp but settled on booking a beautiful river-front property for everyone to stay in together. The crest will be used on their invitation but will also become a keepsake of their big day that they can display in their home afterwards. It is truly unique and very personalized to them.
A special thank you to Ellen Westcott, owner of Westcott Weddings for sharing her expertise with our readers. To learn how she could help you fill your wedding day with thoughtful details, contact her directly through her Brides of Austin profile.