28 Last-Minute Details That Will Transform Your Wedding
You don't need a ton of time (or money) to make your big day truly memorable—not only for you but for your friends and loved ones, too. From choosing a location to booking a band, planning a wedding involves so many big decisions that sometimes the little details get shoved to the end of the list. If you're struggling to see enough personal touches in the final weeks leading up to the wedding, don't stress!
We've rounded up a handful of ways to add extra personality to your big day, and even included tips from wedding planners and other expert resources that will help you pull it off. Because we know that the weeks right before the wedding can be tense, these are all easy, won't double your budget, force you to redo your timeline, or have you calling three different vendors to talk something through. What these ideas do for you? They'll give your ceremony or reception that extra special pop of color or character and set the celebration apart from others. After all, you and your new husband or wife are what this wedding is all about, and the day should be reflective of who you are. So put together a last-minute confetti toss, ask your waiters to wear the wedding's signature color, or add another sentimental touch if you want to.
One of the simplest ways to put your mark on the day is ordering custom cocktail napkins. Here, a bride penned funny quotes and ordered them from ForYourParty.com. We love that it's her handwriting and it's one-of-a-kind. Plus, they'll make for great additions to dinner parties in years to come.
In the Fold
Instantly add interest to your dinner table with a unique ordinary napkin fold. "It could be used as a pocket to hold a menu or a sprig of something pretty or just add some interesting texture to the table," suggests Robin Baab Olascoaga of Ro & Co. Events.
Your Name in Lights
Custom neon signs are easy to order in most towns, or you can go the online route via Name Glo. Just want to showcase the initial of your last name? Check out Beam. We've seen hashtags, "established by" dates, and monograms, but think they are great for hanging by the dancefloor or at your after-party. And post-wedding, they make a great statement piece above a couch in your home. Not ready to commit to wall art that will decorate your home? Rent an existing option from a place like Let There be Neon to use just for your wedding.
Jessica Masi of Masi Events suggests hand-writing notes to each of your guests and placing them in the envelopes that serve as their escort cards. "This makes guests feel truly welcomed and appreciated." They don't have to be long or too in-depth but it's a small gesture with a big impact.
Prop It Up
Guarantee that the photos from your photobooth represent your big day by setting out some hand-picked props. This couple blew up a photo of their cat and also provided a few balloons, sunglasses, and streamers.
Leave Your Mark
A Customized Uniform
Stefanie Miles of Stefanie Miles Events says a nice way to upgrade your wedding is to focus on the staff's attire. "Your guests will be impressed with your attention to detail," she says. Miles has worked with waitstaff and bartenders to customize their looks with everything from Guayabera shirts to tuxedos. This wedding showcases another option—servers in colorful jackets. And if you're thinking you just want something little, you can score matching ties from The Tie Bar to jazz up a basic catering uniform.
A Special Guestbook
Didn't think you wanted a guestbook but now you've changed your mind? Pull a coffee table book from your home or order one that spotlights something special to you (like the city you got engaged in or a subject you both love) and ask guests to sign a page that speaks to them.
Stir It Up
We love custom napkins, but why not take it a step further? Put your monogram on a drink stirrer for extra impact. Even if you don't have a signature drink it'll spruce up a basic cocktail like a gin and tonic in a matter of seconds. Even buying preexisting stirrers will have a similar effect. We love the options at Oh Happy Day's shop and Pick On Us.
Create a Hashtag
Encourage snap-happy guests to post their pictures (before and after the ceremony, that is) by creating a hashtag. You can post it on your wedding website, print it on signs, and even brand the bus your guests will arrive in to maximize the photos shared.
Top It Off
Simple cakes are great but they're also great for showcasing a cake topper. eBay and Etsy have tons of options. Tuck&Bonté have casual options with a party vibe, Madeline Trait handcrafts several naturally-inspired scenes, and Alexis Mattox Design offers colored acrylic and wood toppers and the option to order a custom message. You can also be the latest in your family to use a vintage topper passed down through generations
Adding a few colorful or patterned throw pillows to rented lounge furniture can make the pieces feel fresh and unique. La Tavola Fine Linen Rentals offers rental options that correspond to their table linens. Want to go totally custom? At this tropical wedding, Tie That Binds continued the designs from the stationery suite onto pillows for the lounge. If you're open to sewing the covers yourself, or working with a seamstress, you can order fabric from Spoonflower in whatever design you want.
Looking to add favors but not spend hours crafting something? Find bonbons (these are by Stick with Me Sweets), candy, or other pretty sweets that fit the style of your day and package them in clear boxes. Adding a sticker with your monogram or logo further personalizes it. Check out sites like Candy.com and ClearBags.com to get started.
Add a Toss
The recessional is perhaps the most joy-filled moment of the day, when the newlyweds are all smiles walking up the aisle. Get your guests in on the action by requesting flower petals from your florist.
Wendy Kay from Birds of a Feather is all about interesting escort cards and seating displays but notes that adding an extra something—in this case a sign—can make quite a difference. "The bride and groom were really into rugs and had quite a lot of them in their home," she explains of this setup. "We decided to do mini rug escort cards early on but added the signage on the front of the table a few weeks prior to the wedding." The wording on a sign lets you get creative—whether through a pun, or by hinting at what's to come.
Jessica Masi of Masi Events has created a cordials bar for after-dinner drinks. "By incorporating a separate bar last minute this not only adds to the décor, but also to the guest experience as they are able to enjoy some port, brandy, and array of other drinks by the lounge," she explains. In this instance, as a surprise to the father-of-the-bride, his favorite cognac was included in the mix.
Just because the restrooms are already labeled doesn't mean you can't make them more fitting for your celebration. This couple made signs using old school photos of themselves. You could also use a component of your stationery design—say a motif or a monogram—just to make it tie in to the design of the day a little more.
Breakfast In Bed
Rebecca Marín Shepherd of The Wildflowers suggests skipping a full day-after brunch in favor of a surprise breakfast in bed for guests. Coffee and fresh pastries, or even a mimosa kit, can be easily delivered to each hotel room.
For the Kids
If you're having a lot of children at your wedding, consider presenting them their meal on kid-friendly trays. Simply Chic Events organized this meal of chicken tenders, soft pretzels, fruit, cheese, and a cookie in the shape of a lemon—the day's main motif. The disposable napkin and wood cutlery made it easy to clean up.
Involve the Children
Another idea for kids is to ask them to participate. Young family members can read something at the ceremony, recite a short toast during the reception, or even introduce the couple as they enter the reception. Their little voices and unique perspective on things like love and marriage will entertain no matter what.
In many South American countries, there's "La Hora Loca" or "A Crazy Hour" which is the part of the reception where the party really picks up. Channel that concept by handing out fun props, glow sticks, and party horns to get things going.
If your venue has a pool, dress it up with floating candles, flowers, or even beach balls. It's a blank canvas begging to be decorated!
Coasters are an unexpected design element for a wedding. You can have a few custom-made (some stationery designers will handle this) or order them online in a variety of colors and patterns. Several Etsy shops sell these little pops of color.
Statement Ring Box
Can we interest you in accessories for your accessories? Photographers are always looking for creative ways to photograph wedding rings, so having a beautiful box to carry your ring in is a must. The Mrs. Box makes pretty little monogrammed velvet boxes in a variety of seasonal colors—an easy last-minute add-on that you can then use after the big day to store your rings in when you're sleeping.
Provide Flip Flops
Flip-flops aren't just for beach nuptials. They also offer relief after hours of dancing. Buy a stack of cheapies and put them near the dance floor.
Special Shout Outs
If anyone else is celebrating a special day (a birthday or anniversary), give them a sweet shout-out with a note in your program, a small cake, or a song dedication from the DJ.