The bride's marriage day is the most romantic day in her life. You will probably never feel more beautiful than you do at that moment when your groom spots you walking down the aisle. Who can resist a happy sigh when witnessing that moment?
When romance authors talk to the media, we're often asked how to be more romantic. The truth is, romance always – always – springs from the couple in question. A friend's husband cave her a fancy cheese grater for her birthday, and she loved it. A cheese grater? Loved? But for her, it was special because she had lusted after it in a store several months earlier, and he remembered. In my house, a cheese grater would not be a hit. On the other hand, my husband would be well rewarded if he gave me a high-end wine bottle opener.
So the trick to making your marriage day more romantic is to plan for moments that are very personal to you two as a couple. This is why so many women go all squishy inside at the thought of a couple writing their own vows. It does not get more personal than that.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking. And the best part? They do not cost a lot!
Before the marriage
- Write a letter to your fiance to be read the morning of the marriage, and ask him to do the same for you. The closer the marriage gets, the crazier life seems to be. Slow down for a 2nd and remember he's the reason you're getting married. The letter does not have to be long-just a few lines reminding him why you love him and why he's "the one."
- In the rush to get ready for the walk down the aisle, set aside a few minutes to talk to your beloved on the phone. Plan this time in advance and guard it so you can both be alone in a quiet place during the call.
The marriage Ceremony
- Traditionally, the bride and groom ask close friends or family members to serenade them with a favorite song or to do a reading. This is a lovely tradition, but you can make it even more personal by putting a little spin on it. Ask one male friend and one female friend to take turns reading excerpts of your love letters to each other, with music playing softly in the background.
- Another alternative to the traditional reading during the marriage ceremony is to ask your married guests to stand up and share one piece of advice for a happy marriage. This has the potential to get out of control, so it would be best to hand-pick a few guests in advance and let them know they'll be invited up to the microphone.
- Instead of rice, ask friends and family to blow bubbles along your route to the limo, and make sure the photographer knows in advance. You'll get some incredible pictures, guaranteed! (A Facebook fan recommended having guests blow bubbles during the bride & groom's 1st dance, but I was being worried about a slippery dance floor.)
The marriage Reception
- Instead of putting out a guest register, put out a stack of attractive note cards and invite guests to sign their name and write down one thing they love about the bride and groom. Then design an emcee for the evening (the DJ, if you have one), and ask that person to read a few of these cards at random. After the marriage, the note cards can be put into an album and will be even more special to you than your guests' signatures in a book.
- Have a computer savvy friend with wireless internet tweet about the marriage and reception as they occur, so those who can not attend still feel like they're a part of things.
- Rather than sitting at a raucous head table with your attendants and family, set up a private table just for you and your groom. This may be the 1st private time you will have had together all day. Before the marriage, if you honor tradition, you will not see each other. Immediately after the marriage, you'll be surrounded by well-wishers and then hustled off for photos. With a private table at dinner, you and your husband will have a moment where you're in your own protective bubble, and a chance to reflect on the day together. (Admit it. It gave you a little thrill when I called him "your husband," did not it?)
- Flower centerpieces are expensive. With some planning, you can create inexpensive centerpieces that will have your guests talking and that will serve as treasured marriage favors. Go to garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores and buy as many unique picture frames as you can find, in a variety of sizes. Then put a picture of you and your fiancé in each frame. If you have kids, be sure they're in some of the pictures, too. If you find lots of frames, it would also be nice to include marriage pictures of other couples in your family, from multiple generations. Put at least five frames on each table, facing each direction. I guarantee you that during the evening, you'll see people walking slowly from table to table to look at all the pictures. At the end of the evening, invite your guests to take a framed picture or two home with them.
- Put a few stamped, self-addressed postcards and pens on each table (52 postcards in total) and invite guests to write down their best piece of marriage advice. Ask someone to gather those cards and mail one to you every week for the 1st year of your marriage. This is a great way to get your mother involved. She can even write her reaction to the advice on each card! Imagine how you and your husband will look forward to reading your card each week. (There's that happy word again: husband!)
- As a couple, take the microphone and tell the story of how you met, when you realized that you loved each other, and the proposal. On your marriage day, you're surrounded by the people who love you most, your friends and family. But a lot of these people have probably not heard your story and, even if they have, hearing you tell it on this special day will make the romance quotient in the room skyrocket. Be sure to have some tissues handy for the weepers – this will be one of those moments.
May your marriage day be the start of a long and happy life together! Love exists, and it can last forever. Let that be a central truth of your life.