100 Sentimental Wedding Ideas You'll Love

You spend months (if not years) picking out the perfect venue, choosing the right dress, hiring the best photographer, videographer, DJ... the list goes on and on. With everything you need to check off your to-do list, it's far too easy to forget about the emotional side of a wedding. 

 

Adding a token from your parents' wedding, exchanging love letters with your soon-to-be spouse, and creating guest books you'll want to read over and over are some of the elements that make your wedding feel ultra-personal. Here, some of our favorite ideas we've seen lately. 

By: 
Kristen O'Gorman Klein

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Did your mom preserve her wedding dress? If there's no chance that you or a sibling would ever wear it, ask if you can add a sentimental touch to your bouquet by wrapping a piece of her gown around the stems. Odds are that if she's kept it for so long, she'd be honored to have you use it in your wedding, even if you aren't wearing it. 

    Photo Credit: Nadia D. Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    You can also take a piece of your mother's wedding dress and turn it into a necklace to wear on your wedding day.

    Photo Credit: Green Grass Gifts/Etsy

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    And for a keepsake garter, use a piece of lace from your mom's gown. 

    Photo Credit: All The Good Girls Go To Heaven

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    If Mom doesn't want you to cut up her gown (understandable!), put it on display instead. Gather the gowns of your future mother-in-law and your grandmothers as well, if they saved them, and display them on dress forms along the path to your ceremony. 

    Photo Credit: Ashley David Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Snap a photo where you each hold up a photo from your parents' wedding.

    Photo Credit: Ana Lui Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Perfect framing: Take a photo of your dress with a picture of your mom in her wedding gown in the background.

    Photo Credit: Vanessa Joy Photography

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  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Re-create your favorite photo from your parents' wedding.

    Photo Credit: Lemon Lime Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Take a sweet photo just for your mom and dad, and surprise them with a framed version after the wedding.

    Photo Credit: Jennifer Wilson Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Have a "first look" with your dad!

    Photo Credit: Bend the Light Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Or, have a first look with both of your parents.

    Photo Credit: Ira Lippke Studios

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    A sweet "something blue" — using one of your dad's old shirts, cut out a heart and sew it onto your dress. 

    Photo Credit: Sequins and Candy Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Give your parents and new in-laws custom embroidered handkerchiefs.

    Photo Credit: Blink of an Eye Photography

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  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Gather your mom and grandma for this sweet shot together.

    Photo Credit: Joshua McCoy Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Add a tribute to your parents on your cocktail coasters. 

    Photo Credit: Emma Case Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Re-use the cake topper from your parents' wedding.

    Photo Credit: William Walker Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Right before you're pronounced man and wife, take a pause to give your moms one last kiss.

    Photo Credit: Jeremy Beasley Photography

  • Sweet Ideas for Parents

    Sweet Ideas for Parents

    And before you leave the ceremony with your new husband, remind your dad that he's still an important part of your life with a goodbye kiss. 

    Photo Credit: Kathlyn Dragna Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Embroider your wedding date into the hem of your dress using blue thread — the perfect "something blue."

    Photo Credit: Cameron Ingalls

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  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Or, take it a step further by adding your monogram as well. 

    Photo Credit: Longs Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Another fun way to use your monogram — embroider it on your veil! 

    Photo Credit: Katelyn James Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Before you get dressed, your photographer will likely want to get a few shots of your dress on a hanger. Make sure your hanger is wedding-worthy! 

    Photo Credit: Good Looking Hangers/Etsy

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Don't forget about your getting-ready clothes, too. We love this monogrammed button-down, complete with the wedding date on the cuff.

    Photo Credit: The Preppy Life

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Surprise your groom with an embroidered message on the back of his tie or on his pocket square.

    Photo Credit: Emilia Jane Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Honor your family's heritage with custom map cufflinks.

    Photo Credit: Blink of an Eye Photography

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  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Make your wedding shoes extra special by having a hand-painted design added, like these by Germany-based artist Monika Maier.

    Photo courtesy of Schuhnique

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Personalize your wedding-day shoes by stenciling your new married name on the heels.

    Photo Credit: Debra Eby on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Write a hidden message to your groom on your shoe. Or, ask your bridesmaids to each write a good luck message to you before you walk down the aisle. 

    Photo Credit: Randi Marie Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Grooms can get in on the shoe fun, too!

    Photo Credit: Soul Echo Studios

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    This bride received a handmade handkerchief from her mom, made using an old hankie from her father and embellished with lace from the bride's christening gown.

    Photo Credit: Jennifer Weems Photography

  • Personalized Fashion

    Personalized Fashion

    Engrave the title of your first dance song inside your ring.

    Photo Credit: Blink of an Eye Photography

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  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    If your father passed away before the wedding, attach a photo of him to your shoes so that he can still walk you down the aisle. 

    Photo via Flickr

  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Attach photo charms of your ancestors to your bouquet.

    Photo Credit: Morgan Matters Photography

  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    For a more hidden tribute to your deceased relative, add a locket to your bouquet. Only you need to know what's inside.

    Photo Credit: K & K Photography

  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Gather photos of your guests who can't be with you on your wedding day, and display them inside mason jars for a unique twist on a photo table. 

    Photo Credit: Joshua McCoy Photography

  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Add a photo charm to the groom's boutonniére.

    Photo Credit: Joshua McCoy Photography

  • Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Honoring Lost Loved Ones

    Have custom cufflinks created with your loved one's photo.

    Photo Credit: KCowie/Etsy

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  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Soon after your fiancé proposes, write him a letter describing how excited you are to be marrying him. Put that message in a bottle, and have it delivered right before the ceremony. 

    Photo Credit: Longs Photography

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Exchange love letters in a location where your photographer can capture both of your reactions together, but you won't see each other.

    Photo Credit: Dianne Personett Photography

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Spend some time in the weeks leading up to your wedding writing a series of notes for your spouse-to-be, to be opened at particular times (like on your first anniversary, after your first fight, or when your first child is born). It's a wonderful way to memorialize how you're feeling at a time when you can't imagine being more in love with someone.

    Photo Credit: Simply Kierste Blog

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Or, send the digital equivalent of a love letter!

    Photo Credit: Brendon Pinola Photography

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Re-create your first photo together!

    Photo via reddit

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers. Choose new fragrances just for your wedding day, and when you wear that perfume or cologne afterward, you'll immediately be transported back. 

    Photo Credit: Pickerell Creative

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  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Re-create your favorite love story in your photos, like this Cinderella-inspired shot.

    Photo Credit: Still Life Photography

  • Just the Two of You

    Just the Two of You

    Use a chalkboard and snap a fun secret message for your groom right before you walk down the aisle. 

    Photo Credit: Snappy Shots by Bev

  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    A brooch bouquet is a wonderful keepsake from your special day. Make it even more meaningful by using the brooches of your nearest and dearest. An easy way to gather the pieces: Ask your MOH to include a note about your brooch bouquet with the bridal shower invites, inviting any guests who'd like to be included to bring a brooch with them to the shower.  

    Photo Credit: William Innes Photography

  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    Make your escort card display more personal by including photos of all the married couples attending your wedding.

    Photo Credit: Gray Photography

  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    Display family photos — past and present — on a special table.

    Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    Honor your guests who traveled from far away to be with you on your wedding day with this fun sign.

    Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Photography

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  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    Have a loved one who can't make it to your wedding? Show that you're still thinking of her on your big day by texting a photo with a personalized sign. She'll be so touched that you took the time to give her a special shout-out!

    Photo Credit: Julian Kanz Photography

  • Including Your Guests

    Including Your Guests

    Pay tribute to the longest-married couple at your wedding with a special dance — play their first dance song with a dedication to the lovebirds.

    Photo Credit: David Schwartz Photography

  • Flower Girls

    Flower Girls

    Snap a precious photo of you and your flower girl, and save it to give to her on her own wedding day!

    Photo Credit: Bobby Earle

  • Flower Girls

    Flower Girls

    Put a personal touch on your flower girl’s dress by adding her monogram.

    Photo Credit: Brita Photography on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly 

  • Flower Girls

    Flower Girls

    Who says there's an age limit on flower girls? Ask your grandmas to do the job!

    Photo Credit: Genevieve Leiper

  • Pets

    Pets

    Include your dog in your engagement photos with a cheeky sign.

    Photo Credit: Waller Weddings

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  • Pets

    Pets

    Your dog is a part of the family — show his important role in your wedding photos!

    Photo Credit: Gambol Photography

  • Bridal Party

    Bridal Party

    Snap a photo of the bridesmaids showing how they each met the bride.

    Photo Credit: Katy Hall Photography

  • Bridal Party

    Bridal Party

    Give each of your bridesmaids a clutch with a sewn-in message inside. After the wedding, they'll think of you every time they use it.

    Photo Credit: MlleBagatelles/Etsy

  • Ceremony Ideas

    Ceremony Ideas

    For a one-of-a-kind keepsake, hire an artist to paint your wedding ceremony as it happens.

    Photo Credit: Abby Jiu Photography; Wedding Planner: Karson Butler Events; Artist: Timree

  • Ceremony Ideas

    Ceremony Ideas

    Craft a custom box for your wedding rings; not only will it look adorable when your ring bearer carries it down the aisle, but you can use it to hold your rings long after you say "I do."

    Photo Credit: Jennifer Weems Photography

  • Ceremony Ideas

    Ceremony Ideas

    This incredible DIY aisle runner tells the couple’s story together, from their first date to the proposal.

    Photo Credit: The Other Sister Photography via Oh Lovely Day

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  • Ceremony Ideas

    Ceremony Ideas

    Instead of having your guests toss bird seeds or flower petals as you leave the ceremony, toss something meaningful to you and your family — this couple used wheat from the groom's family farm.

    Photo Credit: Solar Photographers

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Display your "love story" at the ceremony entrance.

    Photo Credit: Ashley Photographer

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    You can also include your love story and all of the must-know details of your big day on one oversized poster.

    Photo Credit Whatchawantdesign/Etsy

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Display "dating facts" along the way to your ceremony location.

    Photo Credit: Kellie Kano

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Line your aisle with photos of you two growing up — start with baby photos at the back, getting older as you approach the altar. 

    Photo Credit: Mustard Seed Photography

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    We love this fun way to help guests get to know the bride or groom better! Create personalized cards with five fun facts about him for the bride's guests and five fun facts about her for the groom's guests.

    Photo Credit: Seahorse Bend Press/Etsy

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  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Create a signature drink that appeals to both of your palates, and name it a portmanteau of your names. 

    Photo Credit: AkaPertyfultings/Etsy

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Put the reasons why you love each other on display. After the wedding, hang these in your bedroom for a daily reminder of your love for each other.

    Photo Credit: Casey Fatchett Photography

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Or, take a more homespun approach by creating a garland of paper hearts with reasons why you love each other. Display it above the dessert display or near your guest book.

    Photo Credit: Scott McNamara Photography

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Give your dessert table an even sweeter feel by hanging a photo timeline of your years together above it. 

    Photo Credit: Kathleen Hertel Photography

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    At the sweetheart table, hang childhood photos from your chairs. 

    Photo Credit: Katie Stoops Photography/Created By: Karson Butler Events

  • Personalized Décor

    Personalized Décor

    Are you both bookworms? Gather your favorite love stories, and create an arch to stand under during your ceremony.

    Photo Credit: Rubin Photography

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  • Family Heirlooms

    Family Heirlooms

    Include a family heirloom in your wedding, like this Celtic loving cup.

    Photo Credit: Kathleen Hertel Photography

  • Family Heirlooms

    Family Heirlooms

    This groom, wearing the kilt of his family's tribe, used his grandfather's sword to the cut the cake.

    Photo Credit: Brawns Photography

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    If you and your guests are religious, a signed Bible makes a wonderful guest book. Ask each guest to sign next to their favorite Bible verse.

    Photo Credit: Joshua McCoy Photography

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Have one of your engagement photos broken up into a puzzle! Each guest can sign a piece of the puzzle, representing that they make you "you." 

    Photo Credit: Bella Puzzles Too

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Ask each guest to sign a scrap of fabric; compile all of the pieces into a one-of-a-kind quilt that you can proudly display in your new home together.

    Photo Credit: Daniel Kim Photography

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Place a booklet on each table with a prompt that guests can answer. Encourage them to swap booklets with another table once everyone has filled it out.

    Photo Credit: Captured by Aimee

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  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Set up a photo area, and provide a chalkboard and chalk for guests to leave you photographed messages.

    Photo Credit: Jesse Holland Photography

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Have each guest sign a small wooden heart and drop it in a shadow box frame. This creative guest book becomes a fun piece of art in your home after the wedding.

    Photo Credit: Happily Ever After

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Mark each table with a bottle of wine. Ask the guests at that table to sign a message on the bottle, and enjoy it on that number's anniversary!

    Photo Credit: William Walker Photography

  • Guest Books

    Guest Books

    Or, set up an area with empty bottles where guests can insert messages for you to read on upcoming anniversaries. 

    Photo Credit: Lisa Hessel Photography

  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    Name your tables after places that have special meaning to you as a couple, and include a caption explaining why that place is significant. 

    Photo Credit: Bartlett Pair Photography

  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    Love to travel? Name your tables after destinations you've visited together, and include your favorite photo from that spot.

    Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Photography

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  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    On your table numbers, add a photo of each of you at that age.

    Photo Credit: SlimmingDownFortheGown.com

  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    Add your favorite quotes about love on your table numbers.

    Photo Credit: Carrie Wildes Photography

  • Desserts

    Desserts

    Incorporate the lyrics of your first dance song on your cake.

    Photo Credit: Millimeter Photography/Courtesy of Tantawan Bloom

  • Desserts

    Desserts

    Dress up your wedding cake with edible photos of you two together.

    Photo Credit: Janet's Cakery

  • Desserts

    Desserts

    Use your favorite Bible verse or line from a song or poem as your cake topper.

    Photo Credit: Anecdotes and Apples

  • Favors

    Favors

    A personalized newspaper is a wonderful way to share your love story with your guests.

    Photo Credit: Carrie Wildes Photography

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  • Favors

    Favors

    If you recently lost a loved one to an illness or disease, make a donation in their memory to an organization dedicated to its fight in place of favors. 

    Photo Credit: Mari Darr~Welch Weddings

  • Favors

    Favors

    Is your family known for a particular food item? Turn it into your favor.

    Photo Credit: Figlewicz Photography

  • Favors

    Favors

    Send each guest home with a potted plant — it's a lovely sentiment because it'll continue to grow as your love grows.

    Photo Credit: Continuum Wedding Photography

  • Favors

    Favors

    Or, give each guest a packet of seeds that reflect your wedding flowers. 

    Photo Credit: 2BeUDesign/Etsy

  • Saying Thanks

    Saying Thanks

    At each place setting, include a special thank-you to your guests.

    Photo Credit: The Youngrens

  • Saying Thanks

    Saying Thanks

    If you're having a small wedding, make it even more intimate by writing out a personalized note to each guest. Bonus: The notes double as place cards and give your guests a sweet surprise as they take their seats.

    Photo Credit: Bobbi+Mike

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  • After the Wedding

    After the Wedding

    Snap this photo on your honeymoon!

    Photo Credit: Yvonne Dunbar

  • After the Wedding

    After the Wedding

    Also, bring home some sand and turn it into a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

    Photo courtesy of Dune Jewelry

  • After the Wedding

    After the Wedding

    Have the lyrics of your first dance song overlaid on your favorite photo from your first dance together.

    Photo Credit: Studio Jones/Etsy

  • After the Wedding

    After the Wedding

    Guests pick out such beautiful cards and write such sweet messages inside — you won't want to throw them out! But instead of shoving them in a drawer, never to be seen again, turn them into a beautiful keepsake by creating a mini album

    Photo Credit: Something Turquoise