Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Trying to Find Ways to Personalize Our Day

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Trying to Find Ways to Personalize Our Day


At my mom’s insistence, we hired a wedding planner—essentially to serve as Switzerland between my mom and me; to offer compromise. We were also seeking insight and direction from a bridal expert full of suggestions and contacts in the midst of a confusing stream of possibilities.

The jury’s still out on benefits and impact thus far, but we recently delved deeper, and met to discuss a possible wedding theme. The wedding planner specializes in personalized themes—making wedding style choices a reflection of the couple, rather than merely decoration. I love this concept. I think that’s what can distinguish some of the best weddings: when design details embody the bride and groom.

She showed me how one of her weddings utilized birch as a theme that carried through the invitations, the place cards, the programs, the table signs, and more. Proclaimed foodies, the couple named their tables after spices and placed a bundle of the corresponding spice on top of every place setting.

In the latest real wedding slideshow posted here on Bridal Bulletin, the couple’s place card table featured Scrabble tiles, as the bride and groom played the game online together while they lived apart. Inspiring, creative, significant, and frankly, jealousy-inducing—I wish I could think of something so meaningful and cool!

I’ve begun brainstorming other ways to personalize the day, like my dance with my dad, a song from my favorite band for walking down the aisle, a possible “Love Story” video from our videographer CinemaCake that tells the 11-year story of me and Pat. But as far as a décor, I’m unsure.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have a theme, by any means. And I don’t want to end up fabricating a theme just for the heck of it, and end up with one that doesn’t make any sense. But I’d love, if possible, to have the fabric/flowers/place cards/invitations/etc. that we chose to have a meaning behind them beyond simply being pretty.

Travel is the one idea I keep coming back to. Pat and I traveled around the world together on a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. Pat travels constantly for his job with the Obama administration. I travel quite frequently for own my job at an international bicycle company. And we are endlessly traveling back and forth to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. to see each other. Traveling somewhat consumes our lives. It’s also something we thoroughly enjoy (well, more of the traveling for fun part, instead of necessity).

So that’s my one thought, but how do we implement it into a design concept in a non-hokey way, and is it worth pursuing? Potential ideas: naming tables after countries we’ve visited; guests finding their place cards on a map; in lieu of favors, making donations to charities within the countries we’ve visited. Or, I’ve toyed around with somehow making use of the Amtrak tickets I’ve saved.

But is it a good idea? Is it cheesy? Could it be carried out in a creative, classy way? Is it worth putting the time and effort into it? There’s plenty of other great ways to personalize your wedding day.

Did you have a theme of any sort at your wedding? Was it totally worth it, or was it a big headache? If not a theme, what other ways did you or other weddings you’ve attended personalize the wedding? What kind of impact did it make on you or your guests?

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