7 Ways to Create a Wedding to Remember

Guest blogger: Emma Arendoski, founder and CEO of Emmaline Bride, The Wedding Guide for the Handmade Bride, a website dedicated to all things handmade for weddings. Launched in 2009, the site has grown into the leading online voice for handmade weddings. Emma's mission is to empower her readers to support handmade through the use of handcrafted wedding items for all parts of the wedding planning process.

Here, she shares an excerpt from her first book, The Handcrafted Wedding: More Than 300 Fun and Imaginative Handcrafted Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Day (Sellers Publishing, October 2012).

couple with wedding photo
Photo Credit: © 2012 Eric Boneske Photography

With thoughtfully planned details and fun activities for guests, your wedding celebration will be the party to end all parties, one they’ll remember long after the last song is played.

Dance Lesson
Surprise guests with a fifteen- to twenty-minute ballroom or swing-dance lesson (either taught by you or a professional instructor) before the music gets started for the evening. It is a fun way to get guests out on the dance floor, it teaches them a new move or two, and it’s a unique kickoff to the party. For a Western-themed wedding, consider a line- or square-dancing lesson.

Cigar Roller
If your groom and his buddies are cigar aficionados (and who knows, some of the ladies may be fans as well), hire a cigar roller who will roll cigars as you watch, for guests to take and enjoy (try cigarcatering.com for cities near you).

Invite guests to become wedding singers themselves with an open mic. Have your MC run the show for karaoke, and ask an outgoing friend to take the stage, to encourage other guests to do the same.

Photo Booth
A photo booth is fun for guests and doubles as a take-home favor. For the do-it-yourself photo booth, provide a Polaroid instant camera, plenty of film, and lots of props (mustaches, chalkboards, picture frames, cowboy hats, boas, oversized sunglasses) to get them in the mood to say “cheese.”   

wedding photo booth
Photo Credit: © 2012 Michelle Gardella Photography

Every photo booth requires a backdrop; outdoors, you can make your own by hanging a decorative sheet. For indoor venues, utilize a colorful wall or one with decorative wallpaper.

Encourage guests to take plenty of photos — some for them to take home, and others for guests to add to a wedding scrapbook that you can leave on a table nearby. This way, you’ll have a wonderful, candid photo album cherish after the wedding.

bridesmaids in photo booth

Photo Credit: © 2012 Eric Boneske Photography

Professional photo-booth companies are available for hire and can man the station, which makes it easy on you and your guests, since pros take care of the entire process. Typically, photographs taken in a professional photo booth are printed on photo strips, which can be placed inside a clear photo sleeve and taken home as a favor.

photo booth photo strip
Photo Credit: © 2012 Carolyn Scott Photography

Create an area where guests can display their photos for the duration of the reception (before taking them home), and encourage guests to check them out throughout the festivities.

A Preplanned Dance
Wow your guests with a preplanned dance, and set it to an up-tempo, crowd-pleasing song that will get everyone on their feet. Once you and your new husband enter the reception site, immediately take center stage and show off your dance number. Just be sure to practice it enough so that it goes off without a hitch.

Lawn Games
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, include a few popular games like horseshoes, croquet, a bean-bag toss, or bocce ball. Each of these games is a fun way for guests to pass the time — between the ceremony and reception, before dinner, after dinner, or for guests who don’t like to dance.

Make Everyone a Wedding Photographer
Make sure you get plenty of wedding antics caught on film by placing disposable cameras on all the tables. While you may have hired a stellar photographer, candid photographs taken of guests by guests will keep you laughing all the way to your honeymoon.

bride and groom in frame

Photo Credit: © 2012 Eric Boneske Photography

the handcrafted wedding


For more great ideas, check out The Handcrafted Wedding: More Than 300 Fun and Imaginative Handcrafted Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Day (Sellers Publishing, October 2012).