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5 top ways to Create Lasting Memories on your wedding day

After a decade in the wedding industry, and hundreds of weddings under my belt, I can certainly say that one of the most important things I can stress is that on the wedding day itself....DON'T FORGET to spend time with each other!

It’s totally important to make your wedding guests feel amazing, but it’s also important to take a few deep breaths and soak in the fact that YOU ARE MARRIED. Insane, right?! Whether its days or years of planning, it all comes down to this one incredibly important day.

You've worked so hard to pull this perfect day together to showcase your love for each other, in front of everyone - take a few moments to soak it in. Cherish the details. Look around and appreciate your work, your family, and each other. It just has to be a few moments out of the day that you can look back on and say, “that was awesome.”

Here are just a few different ideas to create those memorable moments on your wedding day that will help you to stop time for just a minute, and cherish everything that is happening around you. I hope this helps you soak in this amazing day together.

1. Ceremony Unity Items

Photo Credit: Janelle Rodriguez Photography, Hastings Photography, Tom Studios Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

The representation of a wedding ceremony unity item is of two people coming from separate backgrounds, separate families, or even separate parts of the world and becoming one. Some couples choose to opt out of a ceremony unity item, while some put a unique twist on it.

The most traditional symbolic item is a unity candle. Over the years traditions have changed, and new alternative options are now seen much more often. Some brides and grooms create a wedding time capsule where they write love letters to each other and place them in a box to open on a future anniversary. Other popular wedding unity ideas are the wine blend—where two varieties of wine are mixed together. A cord of three strands, where the couple braids string or rope together, to symbolize the couple and God. Sand ceremonies - of multi colors being blended into a unique vase. Tree planting - to symbolize their roots, strength, and families growth.

The opportunities for the symbolic gesture are endless, but the particular moment should represent you and your fiancé and the vows and beliefs you hold together.

2. First Look / First Touch

Photo Credit: Hastings Photography, Hastings Photography, John Carnessali Photography Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

An old superstition says that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before she walks down the aisle. But nowadays, many couples are bucking tradition and choosing to do a “first look” before the ceremony. So, how do you decide?

The most important rule is this: YOUR COMFORT! If seeing your fiancé before you walk down the aisle will put you at ease…DO IT. A lot of people worry that a pre-ceremony first look won’t have the same effect as it will when you’re walking down the aisle. I beg to differ! First looks can honestly be one of the sweetest moments of the whole day. Remember the entire point of this day finally coming together - is to celebrate the two of you and your relationship!

By taking the time prior to walking down the aisle in front of all your guests - a "first look" will give the ability to just say everything you wanted to say, comfort and ease nerves, and get some photos out of the way too!

Some couples want to see each other for the first time when they walk down the aisle, and that’s a beautiful moment too, if you prefer to keep the surprise and anticipation for the ceremony itself.

Still don’t want to tempt bad luck, but want to be able to "know" you're both still there to calm each other and make this next step? A first touch is a moment prior to the ceremony where you hold hands (usually with a corner or door between you), talk to each other, pray with each other—whatever that moment is for the two of you—without peeking. This way, you still get a few cute “couple” pictures, but you didn’t cheat and break tradition.

3. Gift / Letter Exchange

Photo Credit: Janelle Rodriguez Photography Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

Some of the most memorable moments of a wedding day have been during a letter exchange. The coolest part about this moment is that you can say everything you want to say during that moment without having to come up with it on the fly. Some brides and grooms prefer to read their letters out loud so they can capture the heartwarming event on video.

If you don’t feel like you have a way with words, you can choose to exchange gifts—cufflinks, watches, jewelry, perfume, etc. It can be either an inside joke or a small memory of your relationship.

Normally, gift and letter exchanges are done prior to the ceremony or first look, but I’ve seen couples read their letters during the first touch moments and it’s a beautiful memory.

4. Married Moment

Photo Credit: Emily Elizabeth Photography, MJ Studios, Hastings Photography Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

The moment after you are married, and that sigh of relief waves over you, you can then walk down the aisle. This "Married Moment” is when the two of you are in your happy place: after your vows and before you get distracted by more photos and people screaming “Congrats!” This is the time I recommend to sneak away into a less populated area. Give yourselves at least 5 minutes alone together. Your photographer will get the family ready for photos, and your guests will be ushered to cocktails . I know, I know…everyone wants to talk to you. You’re the stars of the show. But take 5 minutes, people. You won’t regret it. Even if it is just to say, “I love you” or “Holy Crap, we’re married!”

5. Private Last Dance

Photo Credit: Hastings Photography, John Carnessali Photography, Hastings Photography Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

After the last song is over and your guests have exited, have one final last song…alone with your new spouse. To get the full effect of this special marriage moment, we recommend that there are no other guests, just the two of you with your photographer/videographer and your band/DJ in your own private space. It’s honestly one of the best ways to end your night back where it started: with each other.

Remember to take a few deep breaths and soak in the fact that all of the work and committments you have shared have now paid off.....YOU ARE OFFICIALLY MARRIED!


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