By Lauren Witonsky
From ceremony to reception, there are countless opportunities to make every minute of your wedding a memorable one. If you’re in need of inspiration to guarantee that wow-factor, you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up ideas from brides and grooms that went above and beyond to make their family and friends truly feel the love. Watch these real wedding videos to see OMG-worthy moments come to life — guest reactions included.
1. Have your guests sign something other than a book.
By thinking of ways to make the smallest details of your wedding uniquely yours, you’re guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. Take the guest book, for example! Vanessa + Anthony had guests sign a pair of Air Force 1s instead of a traditional guest book, which doubled as a nod to the groom’s affinity for sneakers.
2. Literally, go the distance.
Sit back and let totally new scenery stun your guests! Destination weddings are the perfect excuse to bring your loved ones to a place they’d never otherwise visit. After many trips to Italy, East Coast natives Daniela + Chris dreamed of marrying abroad, and turned that dream into reality by celebrating with friends and family in the picturesque city of Vicenza.
3. Make a bold entrance.
It’s hard not to make an entrance on your wedding day — you and your partner are the guests of honor, after all! But with all eyes on you, why not go all out? From a swanky sports car, to a horse-drawn carriage, to Lauren + Mitch’s elegantly decorated truck, there’s no shortage of ways to roll up in style.
4. Include your cute little fur babies in your big day.
Who doesn’t love dogs? And who doesn’t love dogs wearing bow ties as they prance down the aisle? Answer to both: no one. If you want to up the awe factor (or awwwww-factor) consider incorporating your fuzzy friends into the ceremony just like Amanda + D’Angelo did.
5. Nerd out and pick a wedding theme you both love.
Harry Potter lovers Haylee + Steven delighted their guests with a signature Butterbeer drink and custom “Have You Seen This Wizard” Snapchat filter, which was a magical touch for everyone involved.
6. DIY your decorations. Feeling extra ambitious? DIY your whole venue.
This is the time to let your crafty side shine! Whether you’re a gifted calligrapher, a budding florist, or you have the skills to — wait for it — build your own barn wedding venue like Lisa + Ben did, the extra thought that goes into DIY decor never fails to impress.
7. Blend traditions.
The beautiful thing about wedding day traditions is that you can combine them to make new ones. 🙂 If you and your partner come from different backgrounds or religions, find a way to celebrate both! Watch Brianna + Gaurav’s wedding to see how excited friends and family were to take part in their wedding, which flawlessly incorporated traditions from two cultures.
8. Wear whatever wedding dress/pantsuit/sparkly leotard makes you the happiest.
Reminder: It’s OK to say yes to an untraditional wedding outfit. It’s your wedding day, so wear whatever you want to. Watch Christa + Jesse’s video below for some major bridal style inspo. Her lace top and tulle skirt is perfection. Morgan + Michael is another LSTV favorite. Morgan wore an untraditional (and insanely gorgeous!) black dress for her California elopement.
9. Same thing goes for grooms and suits. Wear whatever suit puts a smile on your face! Looking for some unique suit inspiration? Please direct your attention to this one-of-a-kind look from Grace + Justin‘s wedding video. Justin’s floral suit is actually groundbreaking. Love!
10. Start your brand new adventure on a ~bright~ note.
Whatever wedding vibe you’re going for, let lighting set the mood! Candles bring on the romance, and sparklers feel extra festive, but there are many other creative ways to light up a room. With their wedding falling on Star Wars Day (a.k.a May the 4th be with you), Heather + Jason kicked off their bright future together by having their guests hold up a “saber arch” made of glowing lightsabers for them to walk through.
11. Make your first dance one your guests will never forget.
Breaking out your best moves is a guaranteed way to get your guests pumped to shake it on the dance floor, too. If you’re down to take dance lessons, or both already have some killer choreography up your sleeves, your first dance is no doubt going to be memorable — just watch Alex + Carlos’ performance, and prepare for your jaw to drop.
12. Get creative with your food.
Two words: Dessert. Trucks. Take after Ashley + Marcus and surprise your guests with a dessert spread via your favorite food truck. While the couple still shared a beautiful cutting of the cake, they kept the crowd fueled through their lively reception with deep fried Oreos, funnel cakes, caramel apples, and popsicles. It’s like the state fair, but at a WEDDING.
13. Gift thoughtful, “interactive” wedding favors.
After vows have been made and the party is over, leave your guests with one last reminder of the spectacular celebration. Enter: “interactive” wedding favors. Hayleigh + Cory invited a poet to their wedding. He sat down and wrote custom poems for each and every one of their guests, proving that personalization goes a long way.
14. Meditate before you celebrate.
While it may have taken forever for the big day to come, your wedding goes by fast. Help your guests savor each moment and stay in the present with some group meditation! Brownie points if your peaceful practice takes place on a beautiful beach like Diedra + Karoline‘s did.
15. Surprise your guests.
Possibly the biggest way to wow your guests is to, well, throw a surprise wedding! If you’re looking for some truly priceless reactions, this is the way to go. Though, be advised, it takes a special couple to pull this off as well as Emily + Tyler did. 😉