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I’m sure we’ve (and by we, I mean women) all had those conversations on girls’ night where a friend who is engaged, or married, begins to tell the tale of planning a wedding. Some are happy, funny filled experiences, and others … make you scared, but come with very helpful advice (remember to have TWO lines for a buffet! Fist fights are NOT good at weddings). And others make you want to ask the person what horribly awful experience they had to make them bitter about the whole wedding experience.

Talking about weddings can turn into a very awkward experience when one or more people are not on the weddings are personal-reflections-of-the-couple-and-a-joyous-occasion-for-THEM (not to be confused with YOU) bandwagon! I also realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinions (whether said out-loud, or written down in say…a blog or online article – I recently read one such “article” that took out all the personal in wedding planning in the name of being cliché – REALLY?!). So here is mine – I am not an “event planner” or “wedding expert,” but then again, the only people who REALLY know what they want at their wedding are the bride-and-groom-to-be. So don’t give out “advice” about how YOU (a guest – and not the couple) don’t like the cupcake-thing or think the table names are weird. It’s not your day. Trust me when I say even I have learned to bite my tongue and attended many weddings which are not MY idea for a wedding, but were PERFECTLY PLANNED for the couple we were celebrating – and wonderful events!

So here are my tips for making a wedding PERSONAL, and not cliché:

Smores via Oh!Party.

Pick food you love – even mini burgers, BBQ, a breakfast bar, WHATEVER YOU WANT!

DIY doily by Snippet & Ink.

Capture the day – because chances are you won’t remember it all in the excitement! The day is a rush and all those details you pined over might be missed (All those DIY projects flash by as your uncle starts to do the chicken dance). Ask your photographer to capture still shots so you can recall what it looked like.

Laughter via Inspired By This.

Same goes for candid shots. The day is filled with wonderful emotions – ones you will most likely carry with you for the rest of your life. Or opt for a videographer to give your wedding the ultimate in memory capturing treatments. Review the video on your anniversary!

Thriller via Lindsay Docherty Photography.

Want to be announced to your college fight song? Or maybe that rap song you two always sing at karaoke? Go ahead! Get down with your bad self.

Chill via Young House Love.

“Laid-back” weddings are awesome! And require you follow one rule – location, location, location! Backyard or barn, either way it should tell guests just what to expect. A fun, relaxed time!

Please be seated via The Loveliest Day.

Each table named after favorite restaurants, date nights, toys you grew up with, or candy you crave? Sure! Tell your guests a bit about what makes you two, well perfect for one another!

For YOU (the guest)

And since guests are the people in your life you love and care for, it’s ok to show them how much you appreciate their support and encouragement – even if it is your day:

Footloose and fancy free via The Knot.

Flip flops for those sore dancing shoes.

Gratitude via Dreamsicle Day.

Thank you notes at the wedding. Miss Post would definitely approve!

Warm fuzzies via Style Me Pretty.

Wrap them up in love – and soft blankets on a cool fall or freezing winter day.

Shady via Style Me Pretty.

Send them off with a fun favor!

After all, being who you are as a couple and as individuals will never, ever be cliché. Even for Barbie and Ken – or Barbie and Ken wannabes. Side note: Check out these very personal and adorable photos of the couple. Congrats – after SO many years!

Best,

Erin

Sweet via Bridal Guide.

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