Wedding Survival Guide: Best Bride & Groom Ever!

 In Culture, Guide


Be My Guest

During the ceremony, it’s all eyes on the bride and groom. The reception, however, is about celebrating the happy occasion with friends and family. We collected a number of inspired ideas that will engage your guests in the festivities and ensure you never forget they were there to support your union—and they never forget how creative you are.

1/ The guest book is a great place to get your guests interacting. Local couple Trent Rosenthal and Whittney Miller looked to guests for guidance and wisdom on their wedding day by asking them to leave messages and marriage advice in five “guest books” to be opened (along with an accompanying bottle of wine) on five milestone anniversaries: the first, third, fifth, seventh and 10th. The impact of their guests’ love and support will continue to reach Trent and Whittney throughout their marriage.

2/ Ditch the book altogether and create a thumbprint tree by painting a tree with plenty of branches on a large piece of craft paper or canvas, then give guests ink pads and pens so they can use their thumbprints to add “leaves” and sign their contributions. Some couples choose to get playful with the idea by having guests sign and leave well wishes on blank Jenga pieces or the backs of puzzle pieces.

3/ Another prime location to add some fun is the guest tables—a place where the less social tend to get a little bored. Perk them up with a game of Wedding Toast Bingo, where each guest gets a unique bingo playing card filled with phrases like, “I’m going to keep this short,” “For those of you who don’t know me,” and “Aren’t the bridesmaids beautiful?” Hear the phrase, check the box. Get bingo, win a prize. Or try Guest Libs, a version of Mad Libs tailored to the bride and groom. It’s a great icebreaker at the table and makes a fun wedding favor for the guests to take home.

4/ If you want to get your guests moving about and mingling, take a cue from Michelle Olson and Jason Heilman, who enlisted the services of Share Studios to do caricature drawings of guests at their wedding. The fun wedding favors drew guests into the event (literally and figuratively) and put an emphasis on the importance of their attendance.

5/ A photo scavenger hunt will provide an evening’s worth of entertainment (and plenty of fun pictures) as guests collect creative shots of “the couple kissing,” “the cake,” “the maid of honor dancing” or “the groom with his father.” Downtown residents Jon and Christina Gayman employed an old trick in a new way. The couple left “old-school” film cameras on each table and asked guests to contribute their own photographic skills to the newlyweds’ photo album (a nod to Jon’s profession as a photographer). They also embraced the digital age and created a hashtag for the event so attendees could document the night via Twitter and Instagram.

It's a Nice Day for a Wired Wedding

How technolog can make your big day cooler and easier on you

The Invites
A quick, affordable and efficient way to announce your wedding day is to send a digital save-the-date through This socially focused sitebuilder allows guests to set up personal profiles so they can get to know other attendees in advance, make travel plans and coordinate the pesky details on their own.

The Registry
Got eclectic tastes? Guests can upload photos from every shower, outing, party and moment of your wedding day to one place where you can view your special celebration through the eyes of your friends and loved ones.

Young Love

Q: We have a lot of friends with children, but would rather make our wedding an adult-only affair. How do we make that clear without offending anyone?

A: Communication is key. Parents, no matter what side of the issue they fall on, tend to automatically assume weddings are either ok or not ok for their kids. It’s best to be upfront about how you feel. The first step is to address the invitation, by name, to the parents only. Don’t use the words “and family” unless you want the full family to show up. If you feel something more direct is needed, add the words “Adults Only” in an appropriate place on the invitation. There’s no shame in banning children from your wedding day, just be sure to be consistent. Inviting the kids to the ceremony but excluding them from the reception makes logistics and planning difficult for parents.

Give a Little Love

Bridesmaid and groomsman gifts are meant to celebrate those people who have supported and celebrated your union along the way, so make sure your tokens of appreciation are all about the recipients. Select gifts that are not only useful beyond the big day, but also personalized to their interests. Here are some great ideas from local companies.

  • Custom name hangers from Lainey Handmade are a creative way to make your gals feel special on your big day and every day after.
  • Personalized Vino2Go wine glasses are travelfriendly and hand painted with each bridesmaid’s name and an illustration of her dress.
  • Collar stays are a great accessory for men, especially when they're hand-stamped metal ones from Emilina Ballerina. Our fave reads “Suburban Outlaw.”

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  • Personalized Vino2Go wine glasses are travelfriendly and hand painted with each bridesmaid’s name and an illustration of her dress.
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  • Mustache pilsner glasses from Make It My Design allow you to choose the 'stache design that best matches your groomsmen's personalities.
  • Collar stays are a great accessory for men, especially when they're hand-stamped metal ones from Emilina Ballerina. Our fave reads “Suburban Outlaw.”

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  • A rustic beer tote built from reclaimed wood and personalized with a name or message is the perfect gift for groomsmen (or bridesmaids for that matter!) who love sustainable design as much as a good six-pack.
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    Photo credit: Bride and groom photo by Tiff Matson Photography | Caricature photo by L Photographie | Phone photo courtesy of

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