Guest Blogger: 11 Tips on Making Your Wedding Your Own by Violaine Diogene

1- Make Your Own Trend
So you don’t like what the magazines are preaching? Have you seen all the same elements in the past few weddings you’ve attend? Well, make your own trend! Skip what you’ve seen on TV, what you’ve read in the latest issues and just do you. You want to get married in the blush pink gown you saw, go for it. You want to have your bridesmaids were different colored dresses? Go for it! You want to wear that ultra cathedral length veil, go for it! At the end of the day, this is your wedding. Your one day where it’s all about you and a person you’ll spend the rest of your life with and celebrating it in your sense of style, passion, and ideas is the best way to inject your style and have your wedding really resemble you.

2-Send Ingenious Invitations
Designing your own invitations is a great way to show your guests who you really are as a couple. And remember that some of your guests will use your wedding weekend as a mini vacation. Take your invitations one step further by including a personalized map card of the area where you're getting married, with cute illustrations to indicate where the best park is, how to find your favorite bar, and where they can indulge in the most amazing local cuisine. 

3-Skip Technology
Your guests paid a lot to attend your wedding. Take a moment to show them gratitude by giving them a handwritten note. Instead of using a computer font, write a personalized note to each guest and place it in their welcome bag. The note can be very simple or very detailed base on the amount of time you have. You can write something like “Janice, thank you so much for flying all the way from New York to celebrate my new life with Brian. I’m excited to share this great moment in my life you. Love, Emily and Brian.”
You’re not providing welcome bags? Well, still write your notes on a small card and while making your rounds at the reception simply hand it to each guests. Your handwriting speaks volumes and your guest will feel like you took a moment to recognize their presence.

4-Your Vows
One of my absolute favorite ways to personalize a wedding; writing your own vows.  There’s just something so amazing about hearing a bride and groom say their vows. I mean, the promises you make to your loved one are the reason the wedding day is happening after all. Now if your church or house of worship will not allow this, take another route. Present your vows in the form of a poem and read it to each other. Or you can always print in onto the programs

5-Show off Your Musical Taste
There is not rule that says you have to walk down the aisle to a particular song and if there were, you can still break that rule. Love the Caribbean? Hire a Steel Drummer and shock your guests by making your grand entrance to a song you and your fiancée loves. If it’s a song that’s too fast to walk to, ask the drummer to customize it and make it a little slower for you.
To celebrate your Latin music, take tango lessons and impress your guests with a sensual first dance.

6-Honor Thy Loved Ones
Your grandparents think you’ve hang the moon? At the reception site, arrange a gallery of pictures of you and them along the years and some of their wedding photos. Use different frames reflecting on the era of the pictures.
Did your mom have the best fashion sense growing up? Have a favorite memory of her in a particular nice dress? Ask her for that dress and change into it before you make your grand departure or a bouquet toss. That will rock her night to see you do that!

7-Create Place Cards with Character
What do you like to do on your spare time? What’s your hobby? Love to ski? Show your guests how much you love to ski and affix their place card on a souvenir from a ski shop.
Love the beach? Collect shells on the shore; use a glue gun to affix a name card to each shell. Make it ever nicer by spreading some sand on the table and even get a few mini beach balls and strategically place.

8-Bring Your Childhood Back.
Loved camping growing up? Then skip the chocolate fountain and instead set up a hibachi s ‘mores station.
Skip newer, trendier desserts for gourmet takes on childhood treats like scooter pies or make your own soda float stations.

9-Tantalize Their Taste Buds
Love to travel? Show your knowledge of that country. Let’s say you’ve been to France offer a French fare, such as seafood stew, crepes, crème Brule and individual chocolate soufflés.
Did you meet your fiancée at Mardi Gras? Serve up jambalaya and Creole shrimp cocktail.

10-Add Character to your Programs
Rather than describing your attendants simply as "The Sister of the Bride" or "Friend of the Groom," surprise your bridesmaids and groomsmen by giving brief descriptions of their personalities. Try "Katie Joe, bride's friend and she’s had my back since the 9th grade or "John Smith, groom's best man: learned to speak Spanish by watching Soap Opera and makes the best Martini!" They might actually keep your wedding program.

11-Embrace Technology
Have a loved one that can’t be part of the wedding because they’re not well? Whatever the reason why not embrace technology and have them attend the wedding via remote location? Use Skype, live video feed on your laptop and set it up so that loved one can feel like they witness your big day. 

A Few Thoughts from the Author

I’ve been privileged to plan and design events for brides and grooms from all walks of life. The one thing I always stress to them is to let their true personalities show in the design of their events. Regardless of what you passion is, bring it into the décor. You never want your guests to walk into your reception and for them to wonder whose wedding did they just attend. This past October, I planned a thirty something birthday party for myself and let me tell you, I stayed true to who Violaine is.
I’m a true shoe collector and I designed the entire evening around my shoes. When my guests walked into that room, they smiled and simply said, “oh yes, this is you!” and that’s the reaction every bride and groom should aim for. 


Violaine Diogene is a renowned event planner with over 13 years of experience in planning and producing special events from spectacular galas in Massachusetts, unimaginable mitzvahs in New York City, to luxurious destination weddings on the exotic Island of Bora Bora.
She began her career in event management in 1998 at the famous Bertuccis in Boston. A short year later, she worked for one of Boston’s most sought after catering firm where she ultimately became the Director of Catering Sales.  She’s also worked as a Banquet Manager and Catering Sales Manager for Starwood Hotels, a Catering Sales Manager and Director of Catering for Hilton Hotels.
Violaine currently resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and two kids. 

Contact Information:

Violaine Diogene
Event Producer/Designer
Andre Winfrye Events
From Paris To Atlanta...Full Service Planning & Design
For The Modern, Exquisite & Timeless Bride
Atlanta Office:  678-971-2018
International:  (800)AWE-1431

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