Some memories can’t be bought. There’s the proud tear in Dad’s eye when he sees his little girl looking every inch the glamorous bride; the hugging and kissing from friends and family; a happy buzz of excitement. All these add up to a perfect day.
But there are some extras that you can add to make your wedding day all the more memorable and set it apart from the norm.
Why not try handmade stationery for your invitations, order of service and menu at the reception?
Beautifully co-ordinated stationery will be appreciated by all your guests and treasured as souvenirs afterwards.
If you’re getting married in church you can commission the bellringers to let the whole community know it’s your big day with a peal of bells which adds to the atmosphere.
And if you fear your congregation are not very musical, why not pay the church choir to join you and raise the rafters with their singing to boost your own?
Transport to the wedding and the reception is part of the magic. You could bowl along to a country wedding in a horse drawn carriage, or relax in the back of a spacious limousine.
There are plenty of places which hire out Rolls Royces, Mercedes or Jaguars, complete with uniformed chauffeur.
Some will even offer you a bottle of champagne for the bride and groom to sup on their way to the reception. It’s traditional to have a white wedding car and vintage cars are also popular.
Tradition has it that a chimney sweep brings good luck to newlyweds. If you don’t know any friendly chimney sweeps who will do the job — check in your local directory for contact numbers — then some singing telegram companies may be able to help out.
And grooms, don’t be alarmed — the sweep is supposed to kiss the bride to bring her luck.
Flowers are lovely at weddings — but have you thought about the impact balloons can make?
Helium or air filled balloons matched to the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses can add the ‘ooh’ factor to your reception venue.
Don’t forget about gifts. The mothers of the bride and groom who have been so supportive in the run-up to the wedding love to be surprised at the reception with a bouquet of flowers or a gift from the happy couple. The bridesmaids too will appreciate a gift for their efforts — a small piece of jewellery is traditional.
You can also follow the Continental example and decorate each table with bowls of coloured sugared almonds, or bomboniere as they are know. Tied with ribbons and net they make pretty going home tokens for your guests.
Your choice of music can influence the whole tone of the reception. Some people like a straightforward disco after the feasting is done, while others feel that not everyone wants that level of noise.
Alternatives include a jazz band or a classical quartet, or an Irish ceilidh at the reception.
Obviously these extras cost money and may not be so much of an option if you are on a tight budget. But any one of them individually can add a touch of magic to your wedding day which will make it even more of a warm and happy memory.