6 ways to make your wedding day extra special

By: Jen Kirsch

© Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©


6 ways to make your wedding day extra special

By: Jen Kirsch
When it comes to planning a wedding, many people tend to take a traditional route and yield to parental pressure and family expectations.

But the day you say "I do" should be one of the most exciting days in your life, so it's important to realize it's OK to be flexible with all aspects of the wedding planning and to customize the occasion to your needs.

Andrea Lown, the co-founder of, offers six tips on how you can plan your wedding to best represent your relationship and the personalities of you and your fiance.

1. Choose an inspiring venue
Lown was married in the library of the Post Hotel in Lake Louise, Alta., a place that had special meaning to both her and her husband, however she understands that not everyone has a meaningful location to say "I do." Still, she stresses the importance of finding a venue that stands out for you and your partner.

"Through decor, lighting and planning, any space can become inspiring. Visualize the vibe, theme or flow you want your wedding to have and pick a venue that fits," she advises.

2. Choose your wedding music wisely
Yes, your wedding day is supposed to be all about you, but you also want your guests to have fun.

"When choosing your music, make sure to inject a healthy portion of songs that both you and your guests can groove to. Then throw in your grandparents' favourite tunes to get them on the dance floor, too. You'd be surprised how the other guests will get inspired," says Lown.

"Whatever you do, don't leave your music choices to the DJ. Paint a picture for him or her of how you want your reception to go and make specific 'play’ and 'don't play’ lists."

3. Plan your wedding menu

Tasting all the menu options is certainly a perk of wedding planning, but it's important to look past what will be on your plates.

Spend some time thinking about how you want the food to reflect your personalities and the way you regularly entertain, says Lown. When you host a party, does everyone end up standing in the kitchen nibbling away on snacks or do you suddenly realize you’ve been sitting around your dining table well into the wee hours?

"Plan your food around how you normally like to entertain, whether it's a stand-up cocktail party where guests can mix and mingle, a formal sit-down dinner or long family-style tables that encourage conversation with other guests," she says.

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4. Don't discount attire
Your wedding dress and the groom's suit will be the most photographed elements of the entire wedding. But there is more to your choosing your dress than just whether it looks good in pictures.

"Before you fall in love with the perfect dress that isn't the perfect dress for you, take a step back," suggests Lown. "Ask yourself which necklines and silhouettes are the most flattering for your body type. Then narrow your choices to dresses that suit your venue and style of celebration."

Can you sit for a four-course meal in your dress? Can you dance in it? Pick the dress that best suits your personality and the event you have planned, Lown advises.

The same goes for the groom. Is a tuxedo necessary? Does he look better in blue or brown rather than the traditional black? Grooms can also show off their personality through snazzy socks, funky sneakers or coloured vests and ties.

5. Invest in a good wedding photographer
After the big day has come and gone your wedding photographs and videos will play a big part in how you remember it. So it's important to find a photographer who you click with and who understands your personalities.

"To capture your emotions and personalities, you need to be in tune with your photographer," says Lown. Scour wedding blogs to get inspired about what types of shots you'd like your photographer to capture to ensure you achieve the look you're going for.

"Make a list of must-haves and provide examples of the style of shots you are looking for. Help scout locations, plan group shots and leave plenty of time for them to capture candid moments of your true personalities," she advises.

6. Personalize your wedding ceremony
Brides often overlook the ceremony itself. It can be over in a flash, or follow traditional guidelines in a place of worship, but either way you can make it your own.

"Brides and grooms can place their own personal stamp on the ceremony through music, readings and writing their own vows," says Lown. "Some couples even write the entire ceremony script for their officiant, bringing in personal stories and anecdotes, running with a theme or simply using words and phrases that suit their personalities." When choosing your officiant, be sure to ask lots of questions about his or her willingness to work with you to customize the ceremony.

Whether you're marching down the aisle to a classic rock song or getting married in the mountains, the one thing to remember is that everyone is there for you. Dare yourself to make the event as unique as you can, which will ensure that both you and your guests enjoy the day to its fullest.

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6 ways to make your wedding day extra special