Don’t wait for the big day to impress your guests. Here are five fabulous ways you can wow them before taking a single step down the aisle.
Engagement parties with a difference
An important part of the pre-wedding fun is your engagement party. With a little thought and imagination it can be a fabulous way to get your guests excited about the big day to come.
Sarah Ducker of SJD Events has planned many amazing engagement parties, including a glamorous themed bash, loosely based on Breakfast at Tiffany’s. "It was regal, simple and elegant," she recalls. “20 guests arrived in black tie and gathered on the banks of the River Thames, sipping champagne and eating smoked salmon and scrambled eggs served by a traditional butler. Everyone received a key ring similar to the traditional Tiffany’s one.
"The party took elements of the couple’s big day – beauty, diamonds and elegance – and made them central to the engagement party. It was the perfect way to set the scene for the wedding; pure decadence."
Send stunning stationery
Your invitation is a crucial piece of the wedding puzzle. Andy Mathias from RSVP Candy suggests making a statement with your stationery: "The invitation gives couples the chance to express what they want for their wedding, and guests get an idea of what to expect. It should be inspiring, engaging and set the tone for the entire event."
RSVP Candy designs personalised, vintage-style invitations that tell the couple’s love story in a fresh and funny way. "It gets the guests excited about your wedding," Andy explains. He says that "wow invites" should be original and express your personality: "People come to your wedding because they already love you; joking about yourselves is a good way of creating something unique."
Vaishali Shah, creative director of Ananya Cards advises couples to make a big impact with an eye-catching invitation. "Embellishments that sparkle and shimmer, metallic ink paper, monograms and a sense of exotic grandeur all add intrigue to an invitation," she says. "A bespoke design makes those elements come to life."
Unusual invitation ideas
But your invitations don’t have to be printed. Interactive Memories combines photographs, music and text, allowing you to tell the story of how you met alongside information about your wedding day. OurLoveStory films you talking about how you fell in love, editing the interviews into a romantic and personal invitation, and Outback Studios film a themed invitation with you on location at your ceremony and reception venue.
Other invitations with a twist include a message in a bottle, great for a beach wedding. For destination weddings, or to reflect your passion for travel, consider a passport invitation with room for a picture of the happy couple.
For something quirky and practical how about a wedding invitation tea towel? Cool and retro they will be used and treasured by friends and family long after you’ve sailed away on honeymoon.
Make your own wedding website
Invitations are fun and fabulous, but sometimes there’s too much information to cram onto a card. "People are pressed for time and overloaded with information," says Mark Garbers from ourwedding.co.uk. "It’s really useful to have a central place for wedding information. Rather than hunting around the house for a piece of paper with directions to the reception on it, your guests can just refer to your wedding website."
“Try to reflect your personalities on the website,” says Chris Kelly from gettingmarried.co.uk. "Include favourite photographs and fun stories. Adding profiles of your bridesmaids, ushers and family members makes for entertaining reading too."