Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

Saying "I do" is the most important part of your wedding day, so shouldn't your ceremony should be as unique as your reception?
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
Simone Hill
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
Simone Hill
Wedding Planning and Style Expert
  • Simone Hill is a Technical Product Owner for Estée Lauder Companies.
  • A former editor for The Knot, Simone has experience in web development and editorial writing.
  • Simone has a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
Updated Jul 09, 2018

Customize Your Ceremony Backdrop

Neon tassel ceremony backdrop
Lauren Fair Photography

The altar will be the focal point for your ceremony, so it makes sense you'd make it a statement piece of your ceremony décor. The options for dressing up your wedding arch are pretty endless, from paper flowers or streamers to vintage doors or a wall of succulents or paper chains. You can even reuse it as a pretty backdrop for your photo booth or behind your cake table at your reception.

Play Unexpected Music

Gospel choir ceremony musicians
Liz Banfield Photography

String quartets, harps and organs are all traditional choices for your wedding ceremony music, but just because the instruments are classical doesn't mean the songs have to be. Ask your musicians about playing instrumental versions of your favorite popular songs for a creative touch, like a piano solo of John Legend's "All of Me" or a classical rendition of a rock ballad like "Wonderwall" by Oasis. You can also incorporate a nod to your cultural background or your wedding theme through music with a steel-drum band, bagpiper or a gospel choir to serenade your guests before your arrival, or have a surprise musical act start off your processional.

Accessorize Your Bouquet With an Heirloom

Heirloom brooch bridal bouquet accessory
Emilie Inc.

Looking for your "something borrowed?" Use a family heirloom, like your grandmother's handkerchief or brooch, to accessorize your bouquet wrap.

Think Scent Too

Lavender aisle marker
Cassidy Carson Photography

Evoke all the senses at your ceremony by choosing an herb, like rosemary, thyme or sage, for your bouquet or for ceremony aisle markers. We know one couple who even burned lavender incense for their outdoor ceremony.

Hand Out Tissues

Embroidered handkerchiefs for happy wedding tears
L Photographie

Add a pocket for tissues to your programs so guests are prepared for those happy tears. Or pass out monogrammed packs of travel-size tissues or embroidered handkerchiefs with a sweet note.

Soup Up Your Programs

Confetti envelope ceremony program
Michelle Edgemont

Have your programs do double-duty. Beyond listing the order of events, add a fun interactive element to them. If it's an outdoor wedding, make the programs fans to keep guests cool. If your wedding vibe is more playful, add a Mad Lib or crossword using fun facts. We've even seen caricature illustrations of the bridal party and packets of glitter to toss during the exit!

Show Off Family Photos

Displaying family photos at guest book table
Pure 7 Studios

There's nothing like childhood photos to stir up nostalgic feelings in your guests (and maybe a few chuckles). Photos from your parents or grandparents' weddings or of deceased family members are also great ways to honor your loved ones. Hang some of your favorite memories above your guest book or find a table near the entrance of the ceremony space.

Give the Kids Something Extra

Kids activity book for wedding ceremony
Amanda Kohler Photography

Provide your youngest guests with quiet toys or coloring books. Not only will it keep them occupied throughout the ceremony, but it may also make for a cute photo op!

Accessorize Your Guests

Blanket favor for wedding guests
Tec Petaja

Small tokens can go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable and taken care of. No one likes to squint, so if it's a sunny outdoor ceremony, give out colorful parasols or sunglasses. If the weather is crisp, opt for shawls.

Set Up a Drink Station

Hot chocolate drink station for fall and winter weddings
Robin Proctor Photography

Serve up lemonade in big glass jars or water in pretty crystal glasses to quench guests' thirst. Offer steaming cups of hot cocoa in the winter.

Invite Your Pup

Wedding dog attendant
Yvette Roman Photography

This will only work in an outdoor setting or an indoor venue that allows it, but if you couldn't imagine this important moment without your dog, have your dog take part in the ceremony. Have him walk down the aisle or simply greet guests at the door. With a few fresh flowers around the collar or even a preppy bow tie, your pet makes a cute and cuddly non-human attendant.

Reinvent the Traditional Ceremony Exit

Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Once you're officially married, it's time to make your way to the reception. While you could easily just hop into a limo with your bridal party, why not try a more exciting mode of transportation? Your guests will never expect you and your new spouse to hop on a tandem bike! Or hire a driver and a vintage car of your choice, like a Rolls-Royce Phantom, to take you to the reception.

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