Oct 14, 2014

20 Event Planning Ideas I’ve Gathered from Weddings

One of the many perks to photographing weddings and events is getting to see all the amazing details and ideas that went into the wedding. It makes me want to throw parties all the time! I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas I’ve seen through the years.


Because we all know food is important.

1. Cookie Bars.

Who doesn’t love cookies? I know at least I LOVE cookies. I’ve been to a number of weddings and baby showers in the past few years that have opted out of cake completely and have done cookie bars and milk. It brings such a homey feel, while still being absolutely delicious.

2. Fruit Towers

I’ve really started to appreciate when there is a healthy option at an event. This tower of strawberries was a HUGE hit with everyone, but especially the kids. Not only was it scrumptious, it was pretty!

3. A spin on the one huge cake at the reception idea.

At this reception they asked some friends and family members to make a few cakes in various flavors and heights. I loved the look it gave the sweets table and everyone loved getting to pick their favorite flavors. It was a huge hit and looked so fun.

4. Cutting the Cake

At another wedding they had the different levels of cakes on separate platters. When it came time to cut the cake, the bride and groom took one of the tiers and bit the edges, marking it as their cake to take home. I was a little surprised at first, but it really was cute they way they handled it.

5. Cupcakes. Oh cupcakes.

So easy to grab. So fun to eat. And they can be so pretty! I went to a reception last year where they had 10 different flavors of cupcakes. Cookie dough. Lemon with blackberry icing. Brownie. Cheesecake. Heaven in a cup. Seriously, it was awesome. 
Favors and Gifts
6. Mints

I love favors that can actually be used! Little rolls of mints (these had tags that said “Mint to Be”) were the perfect take away from this fun reception.

7. Soap

Personalized bars of soap for your wedding?! Seriously, I loved this soap. It smelled heavenly. I love that they picked out a local soap maker for these (Udder Delight).

8. Lavender

Rather than giving out bags of rice or birdseed to throw as the happy couple walks back down the aisle, this bride and groom gave out bags of lavender. It smelled so good!

9. Personalized Water Bottles

The bride prepared water bottles for her bridal party with their name, their role, a lotion, and their necklace for the wedding. I loved the idea! 
I love getting to know about the sentimental details people are putting into their flowers for their weddings. The bouquets are gorgeous, but simple yet heartfelt details make them so meaningful. 
10. Adding touches from loved ones. 

Not only did I love Ashley’s brooch bouquet, but I loved that she had brooches in there from her family members. It was such a sweet touch to an already awesome bouquet.

11. Adding lace from great grandmothers.

In the photo above, the bride had two flowers made out of lace that was on her Grandmother’s dress. It was so sweet and so pretty! In the bouquet below, the bride had a flower made out of lace her great grandmother made. 
12. Paper bouquets
Ashley and her mom spent hours folding paper flowers from scrapbooking paper to make the colorful bouquets for her bridesmaids. They were perfect! 
13. Handkerchief Boutonnieres 

Handmade by the mother of the bride, each groomsmen and male family member had these beautiful vintage handkerchief, feather, and burlap flowers to wear at the wedding.

The Setup & Decor
I think seeing the setup and decor ideas is one of my favorite parts of seeing the weddings and events (although the food may tie for favorite). There are so many creative ideas out there! 
14. A Makeshift 3 Tier Cupcake Stand

 Platters and wine glasses. It looked so classy!

15. Adding childhood touches.

Having Ben’s stick horse from when he was little as part of the decor of this western style wedding was absolutely perfect.

16. When you can’t have fire…

Because of rules in the building, fire was not allowed. So this couple had twinkle lights and colored strips of crinkle paper in their lanterns. It looked so fun and helped to pull in the colors of the wedding to the western decor.

17. Transforming a room.

Because it is extremely cost effective, many LDS couples opt to have their reception in the cultural hall of their church, which doubles as a basketball court. It can be hard to make the room look like a classy wedding reception and not just the cultural hall with streamers. I absolutely loved what Jeremy and Ashley had at their wedding. The decor was perfect and drew the attention.

At this reception the Bride’s sister-in-law made a series of wooden lattice frames to stand around the cultural hall to help make the room feel more cozy and to give it a fun non-cultural hall look.

18. Surfaces

 How awesome is that ladder shelf of cupcakes? So cute and fun!

6. A Place for Cards

Whether it’s a birdcage, suitcase, box, or bag, having somewhere specific for the cards to go is so helpful at a wedding!

19. The Guestbook

Most of the parties I’ve been to have had traditional guestbooks. I’ve seen creative ideas on Pinterest, but hadn’t really seen anything in person until a recent reception. The Bride’s Grandma made them a quilt for people to sign! How cool is that?!

20. Signs

All the signs at this reception were such a simple touch, but the guests loved them. They were placed strategically around the property where you’d find them as you were walking around. There weren’t so many it was overkill, but rather it was just the perfect sprinkling. And how about those cute plate and teacup “flowers” in the photo above?! Loved those too!

I love weddings. They are so happy, so full of creativity, so loaded with sentimental details. Every single wedding makes me want to come home and create and spread joy. Every day should be a wedding day. 
What are some of your favorite creative ideas you’ve seen at weddings or events? 

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