Personalise Your Wedding with You

You know me. I'm that wine goblet who sometimes doubles as a water glass that you've seen atop every special occasion table from Bar Mitzvahs to Fiftieth Wedding Anniversaries. So I've seen a lot of celebrations of all different shapes and sizes. I've witnessed the best-laid plans of wedding planners and I've been privy to the coordination of event coordinators. Let me give you a little advice. No, on second thought, let me give you a lot of advice. If you want to make your day special, let the inner "you" explode on the scene.

Okay, so where do you start, huh? How about wedding vows? I suggest you write your own. The words flow a lot easier when they're yours. There's nothing worse than a bride or groom tripping over flowery words that they copied out of a "Weddings For Dummies" book. If you're going to bring anything into the wedding ceremony, let it be readings or music lyrics that is specific and special to you. Something that you know inside and out and have been touched by. (But, word to the wise, leaving the singing to the professionals).

And how about this: Instead of a traditional guest book at your bridal shower or your wedding, provide the invitees with personal note cards and pens so they can write individual messages of good wishes and ever-lasting love. Think about it. What's better, a guest book with a bunch of names or a wedding album with pictures of your guests and their personal thoughts pasted just below? You've got to admit pictures and personal thoughts are a way better reminder of your special day.

Thinking of a garden wedding? You could really dress it up with "you" stuff by giving small tins of wildflower seeds tied up with personalised ribbons as a gift or favour. Add to this, small pieces of colourful fruit as place card holders and your guests will never forget your personal touch. And why not add some fruit like grapes into your floral arrangements? (Okay, being a wineglass, I'm partial to my friend the grape, I admit it). There's nothing like a little summer beauty to make that garden wedding special.

Although I'm usually in the main room or area of the celebration, my soap and hand lotion buddies from the rest room have suggested I pass a few thoughts on. Since they pretty much see everybody from the special event at one time or another, they suggest you tie in your wedding, bar mitzvah, or sweet sixteen theme as part of the powder room decorations. Now don't give me that look, these guys a dead serious. It's their belief that nothing dresses up a public bathroom like a few strategically placed candles and flowers. Trust me, your guests will appreciate the personal touch and it's a great way to cover-up the Tidy Bowl Man.

Here's a great way to get a bunch of "you" into the day's festivities. Think slideshow. The guests get a huge kick out of seeing how the bride and the groom looked as babies or kids all the way through their first dates and wedding engagement. This is just a big at a bar or bat mitzvah or a wedding anniversary celebration. Trust me, everyone's tinkling the wineglasses with their forks when the lights come up (I know this first hand). My suggestion is to assemble the pictures in chronological order and jump back and forth between celebrants if there is more than one like a bride and a groom. If you're not a technological wizard with all the new computer video software, just head on over to the nearest special event photographer or videographer and he or she will whip you up a presentation in no time. And you might want to throw in a couple of snapshots of Mom and Dad to offer a special nod of thanks.

If you have little ones attending your special occasion, make it special for them and help yourself out at the same time. Consider tying a balloon to their chair or where they'll be sitting as a locator for you and for them. If that seat is empty, you can quickly scan the party to see if the little rascals has his or her hand in the cookie jar. And don't forget the tykes when it comes time to eat. Don't waste a good roast beef dinner when a Happy Meal is in order. If it's too costly to put up a little snack bar with chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, pizza, and lemonade, then consider talking to the caterer about a few "special meals" to save you a few bucks and while keeping the underaged crowd happy.

Lastly, if you want to give yourself and your guests something to talk about, consider renting or hiring some unique form of transportation to and from the event(s). Sure limousines are nice--and they can't be beat for keeping a wedding party all together--but there's nothing like carriage or a stagecoach or a vintage bus to break up the traditional and make "enjoying the ride" memorable.

Well, we've only scraped the surface on my special occasion tips. I've got to run right now, they need me for a Merlot gig, but I'll be back real soon and we'll cover a few things about bridal gowns, anniversary gifts, and caterers that'll shed new light on any and all of your upcoming special events. Until then, I raise myself in your honor. Toodles.