11. Personalize Your Guest Book
Photo booths have been done at many weddings. If you'd like to try something new, Karen Bussen of Simple Stunning, an event planning company in New York City, suggests: Give guests dry-erase boards and markers and set up a colorful curtain as a backdrop. They write messages to the happy couple, and are photographed with them in front of the curtain. It's interactive, inexpensive — you can even appoint a friend with an iPhone to take the pictures — and when you put the photos in an album, it makes a one-of-a-kind guest book.
12. Make a Special Toast
Instead of a pricey tasting bar, make one toast with a favorite liquor. "We've done tequila toasts, when it's special to the couple," says Souza. "Then you can limit the amount everyone drinks, which allows you to serve better quality liquor."
13. Create a Campfire Feel
If you're having an outdoor wedding, create a lounge area where guest can hang out and talk. "We've had a lounge with a coffee station serving lattes and hot toddies," says Joannie Liss of Joannie Liss Events in Los Angeles. "We've had acoustics guitarists play, so guests could sing along as we served mini sliders, grilled cheese and mini s'mores.
14. Choose a Sweet Treat
In lieu of a traditional favor, you might send guest off on their merry way with a midnight snack. "Give them milk and mini donuts served in takeaway boxes," suggests Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events. Or hand out packages of cookies iced with your monogram or beribboned boxes holding two artisanal chocolates or even small tins of a speciality tea.
15. Have an Informal After-Party
Some brides plan an after-party that's almost as complex as the reception. But what most guest really want is just to let loose. Save yourself some planning time by renting a bus or van to drop guests off at a local nightclub. You can go with them if you like, or just have some alone time with your groom rather than party late at night. "Usually the bride and groom don't go," says Souza. A wedding is all about the experience that you and your guests share, Souza adds. "When guests leave feeling that they had a wonderful time, you'll know that day was a huge success.