15 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?
  1. Neon tassel ceremony backdrop

    Customize Your Ceremony Backdrop

    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.

  2. Ombre petal aisle runner

    Design Your Aisle

    Flower petals and a white runner are classics, but you don't have to stop there when it comes to getting creative with your aisle. Instead of just white flower petals, you could create a pretty ombre gradient or use a rug from your favorite design store for an at-home feel. We've seen everything from place mats, paper airplanes and arrows used to create jaw-dropping designs for a creative ceremony look. You can even include your surroundings in your aisle design, such as existing paths and boardwalks.

  3. Gospel choir ceremony musicians

    Play Unexpected Music

    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.

  4. Moss ring pillow for ring bearer
    Photo by Virgil Bunao

    Swap Out the Ring Pillow

    Think of alternative ideas to a ring pillow, like placing your rings in a faux bird's nest for an added a touch of nature at a garden ceremony. If you love books, you might use a favorite vintage novel or, for a sentimental touch, try a piece of pottery with a quote from a love poem. These days, ring bearers are taking on a more symbolic role, and many couples choose to have children in their bridal party carry signs, wave ribbon banners or even just hold hands, while the best man hangs on to the ring for safe keeping.

  5. Heirloom brooch bridal bouquet accessory
    Photo by Emilie Inc.

    Accessorize Your Bouquet With an Heirloom

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

  6. Lavender aisle marker

    Think Scent Too

    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.

  7. Embroidered handkerchiefs for happy wedding tears

    Hand Out Tissues

    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.

  8. Confetti envelope ceremony program

    Soup Up Your Programs

    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!

  9. Displaying family photos at guest book table

    Show Off Family Photos

    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.

  10. Kids activity book for wedding ceremony

    Give the Kids Something Extra

    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!

  11. Blanket favor for wedding guests
    Photo by Tec Petaja

    Accessorize Your Guests

    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.

  12. Hot chocolate drink station for fall and winter weddings

    Set Up a Drink Station

    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.

  13. Wedding dog attendant

    Invite Your Pup

    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.

  14. Candlelit indoor ceremony

    Set the Mood With Lighting

    Even if your ceremony isn't in the evening, you can still use candles and creative lighting to brighten your ceremony. Chandeliers, votives, colorful paper lanterns or even strung bistro lights can add a romantic touch.

  15. "Just Married" sign and streamers on ceremony transportation

    Reinvent the Traditional Ceremony Exit

    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.