Prepare yourselves for 100 incredible hot tips on how to make your wedding stand out from the crowd. Too many weddings are same-y and unoriginal, and this Before the Big Day mega-list is your way to make sure your wedding doesn't fall into the same trap. It's a mixture of my ideas and those from the fantastic UKAWP wedding planners, who answered this wedding blogger's call with a storm of wedding ideas and inspiration. UKAWP promotes professionalism in wedding planning in the UK, so if you're thinking of hiring a planner, you know where to go to find a good one. There's tonnes of incredible wedding inspiration in this list, so do share the love and forward it to all your engaged friends. So.... what are you waiting for?.....Scroll on down for a wedding ideas overload!!

Part 1


 Think about what you love to do together and build that into your day. If you love to read, stack old hardback books on the tables to create mini-stands for your flowers, if you love chocolate (and who doesn't) how about sending out Willy Wonka inspired 'gold tickets' as your wedding invites?


Turn the wedding day on its head. Instead of starting the day with the ceremony, have it in the evening before dinner. This way you get to greet all your guests, and you'll feel much more relaxed as you walk down the aisle.


Put together 'welcome packs' for out of town guests, giving information on the area together with a little gift. 


If your guests will have to walk from the ceremony to the reception, consider providing them each with a single coloured helium filled balloon that matches your colour scheme. The vision of dozens of balloons all 'walking' their way through a country lane or a town centre (great way to make sure your guests don’t get lost!) is fantastic and makes for great photos. Once all of your guests have arrived at the reception, you could have someone ready to arrange them into two rows for you to walk through and as you reach each guest, they release the balloon into the sky, again fantastic for your photo album!


Set up a craft area where guests can make something to take home (e.g. a brooch or bow tie). Choose a signature cocktail and give it a memorable name.


 If you're having a Christmas wedding, ask each of your guests to bring a bauble for a Christmas tree. You'll use them on your tree every year, and it'll be a fantastic annual reminder of your wedding. 


Consider alternatives to the traditional wedding car. Many of my brides this summer have opted to walk to the venue when staying locally in the town. For those not so keen to risk the great British weather, I have had brides arrive in an array of vehicles from vintage Minis to a brand new Range Rover, thanks to a kind and generous friend/family member who was happy to act as chauffeur. 


Arrange family wedding photos, going back as far as you can, in vintage frames and display them at your ceremony or reception - it will provide a talking point for guests and create a lovely decorative feature.


Ask your guests to circle words in a dictionary to remind you of their wedding day. Then ask them to write a message on a bookmark to explain why they picked each word. You'll always need a dictionary in your home, and you'll cherish this one forever.


Rather than getting your guests to sign a traditional guest book, you could get them all to sign some pottery such as a large platter. This will give you a lovely and unusual keepsake of your day which you can display in your home afterwards. 


Tuck handwritten notes into the napkins for your guests - write about your favourite memory together or simply tell them what they mean to you.


What is your favourite book or film? Could it work as the basis of a wedding theme? I've seen fantastic weddings themed around the film 'Up' and 'Alice in Wonderland'. We themed our wedding around The Secret Garden.


Instead of a traditional guest book, you could leave a card and pen at everyone’s place setting, with each one having a different sentence to complete such as, love is…, top tips for a happy marriage, or asking them to jot down a favourite memory of you both.


Include your pets in your big day, either in person {doggy ring bearer?}, or as a motif on your menus? You could give dog-shaped chocolate wedding favours, or name your wedding tables after your pets.


Create personalised fortune tellers for each guest. Instead of telling fortunes, write them up with fun questions about you as a couple. Then on the back, print the menu. DIY tutorial here.


Get school-style name tape printed with your names and the date of your wedding. Then wrap up all your favours and bouquets with it!


As an alternative to favours {which can become costly as the guest list rises}, donate to a charity which is close to your heart. Charities will often send pin badges and cards for each guest explaining that money has been donated in replacement of a favour.


Personalised button badges and old-fashioned 3D glasses make great favours, and fantastic photo props too!


Ask your florist to design the table centres with multiple mini vases which guests can then take away with them at the end of the night, so they double up as favours and a lovely memento of your wedding day.


If the two of you love cooking, then why not create a little pamphlet of your favourite recipes, as a wedding favour. Or a list of your favourite restaurants? You could add little notes like 'This is where X proposed'.


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