15 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Be inspired to customize your celebration to fit your personalities.

While selecting your desired color palette can be seen as personalizing your celebration, many brides and grooms choose to take the customization process a bit further in order to design an event that feels truly unique to them.

bride and groom sunset wedding photo portrait bride's gorgeous engagement ring white manicure
Photo: M. Hart Photography

While selecting your desired color palette can be seen as personalizing your celebration, many brides and grooms choose to take the customization process a bit further in order to design an event that feels truly unique to them. After all, you'll be spending months planning the details of your special day, so why not make sure each one shares a part of your personality or love story?

From the location itself, to the emblem on your paper goods, to subtle elements that will make your guests feel extra special, we love when couples infuse their backgrounds into the big day. Your wedding is a day that celebrates your love, and we feel that it's an excellent opportunity to be a reflection of who you are as a couple. Instead of hosting your loved ones for a party, take them on a journey of your story and share all of your favorite things with all of your favorite people.

Take a look at 15 ways to personalize your wedding, below. To see more from each of these celebrations, be sure to click on each photo!

1. Meaningful Venue & Location

Let the setting of your nuptials allow you to share your love story. Select the city where you first met, a museum where you had your first kiss, a hotel that you visited together during your courtship, or a venue near the spot where you became engaged. The options are endless!

Bride and groom in front of Chicago skyline at venue near where they first met

Photo by Artistrie Co.; From Real Wedding: Rustic-Elegant Celebration with Personalized Elements in Chicago

2. Invitations & Paper Goods

Allow your invitations and the stationery used throughout your wedding show off your personalities. If you love to travel together, why not incorporate a passport theme for your paper goods? Even adding a custom monogram or motif will help your personalities shine through.

White & Silver Modern Invitation Suite

Photo by KingenSmith; Invitations by Elizabeth Grace; From Real Wedding: Modern + Romantic Wedding with Glam Geometric Details in Chicago

3. Welcome Boxes 

Ideal for out-of-town guests, we recommend providing a welcome bag or box filled with your favorite snacks and beverages. This makes your loved ones feel special and it's also a great opportunity to share some of your favorite things with friends and family.

4. Weekend Itinerary

If you're having a destination wedding weekend or if many of your guests will be traveling to your nuptials, consider providing an itinerary for a full weekend complete with activities you enjoy. For larger weddings, supply a list of your favorite spots in the city for guests to check out once the festivities are over.

personalize wedding wedding weekend itinerary with favorite spots in venue location

Photo by Branco Prata; Planning & Design by Evoke Design & Creative; From Real Wedding: Chic Destination Wedding with California Style in Washington, DC

5. Honor Late Loved Ones

An easy way to personalize your wedding and also make it meaningful is to honor your late loved ones and family members who are no longer with you. Some couples do this by having a table with photos at the ceremony or reception, while other couples choose a more subtle route – like the bride, below, who entered on a horse to honor her late mother's love of Arabian horses.

Bride in Claire Pettibone wedding dress on horse personalize wedding honor late loved ones

Photo by Amanda McKinnon Photography; Bridal Gown: Claire Pettibone; From Real Wedding: Bride Wears Claire Pettibone Gown to Bohemian Outdoor Wedding

6. Personalizing the Ceremony

Another way to personalize your wedding is to ensure the ceremony reflects both of your beliefs. The couple pictured below, for example, incorporated traditional wedding vows for the bride (who is Catholic), while they also partook in the breaking of the glass per Jewish tradition to honor the groom's upbringing. 

Personalize wedding ideas ceremony with traditions of both bride and groom interfaith

Photo by Laurie Bailey Photography; From Real Wedding: Oceanfront Wedding Ceremony + Classic Romantic Ballroom Reception

7. Customize Ceremony Programs

Many of your wedding guests likely know the basics of your relationship, but why not share more details that are meaningful to you as a couple? The ceremony program is a wonderful place to incorporate your love story as guests will be reading it as you become husband and wife.

Wedding program with love story black and gold wedding details

Photo by Milanes Photography; From Real Wedding: A Glamorous White & Gold Wedding at a Private Estate in Georgia

8. Personalized Aisle Runner

One of the most wonderful, visual ways to personalize your ceremony is to have a custom aisle runner featuring your monogram. 

White and gold wedding aisle runner custom details personalize wedding day

Photo by Leslie Ann Photography; Aisle Runner by The Original Runner Company; From Real Wedding: A Romantic, Classic Wedding at a Villa-Inspired Venue in Arizona

9. Sharing Your Favorite Foods

Whether you do so during cocktail hour, the dinner service at your reception, or by way of late-night snacks, more and more couples are selecting fare that they love to eat – at formal events and laid-back dinners at home. Talk to your caterer about crafting high-end versions of your favorite comfort foods.

Personalize wedding favorite foods on tray cocktail hour appetizers

Photo by Eric Kelley; From Real Wedding: Chapel Ceremony & Tented Reception in the South Carolina Lowcountry

10. Signature Cocktails

Perhaps you and your beloved have a libation that you love to share after a tough day at work, or you each have a favorite drink that you always order at the bar. In addition to beer, wine, and well drinks, have one or two signature cocktails that guests can enjoy – while learning more about your drink(s) of choice.

Personalize wedding signature cocktails at cocktail hour

Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography; From Real Wedding: Church Ceremony + Colorful Tented Reception at a Private Residence

11. Meaningful Escort Cards

Instead of having a calligrapher simply write your guests' names on escort cards, get creative! Make guests feel special by incorporating personal photos in lieu of traditional stationery, or have an illustrator create custom portraits of each guest.

Wedding reception personalize ideas escort card with photos of each guest

Photo by Bryan Miller Photography; From Real Wedding: Dreamy Alfresco Wedding with Textured Florals and Lavender Accents

12. Specialty Wedding Favors

More and more couples are skipping favors that end up in junk drawers and choosing more personal options. Share your famous limoncello recipe from a vacation you took together or have your grandmother bake homemade cookies instead.

Escort cards that double as favors personalize wedding recipe drink snacks desserts

Photo by Lane Dittoe; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: Romantic Garden Party-Inspired Summer Wedding at a Country Club

13. Include Your Pets

Even if your venue restricts your dog from walking down the aisle with you, there are many ways to include your furry friend without them actually being present. Name a cocktail after them or incorporate their drawing in signage or other paper goods.

Personalize wedding idea dog in signage wedding pets included

Photo by Melani Lust Photography; From Real Wedding: Indoor Ceremony and Tented Reception with Modern, Neutral Palette

14. Create Your Own Special Dances

If sharing your first dance doesn't feel quite right without including your son or daughter, by all means, include them! We've also seen couples extend the traditional mother-son and father-daughter dances to include sibling dances as well.

Personalize wedding special dance heidi mueller and demarco murray first dance with daughter

Photo by Thisbe Grace Photography; From Real Wedding: Dallas Wedding of Actress Heidi Mueller and NFL Player DeMarco Murray

15. Personalized Notes

One way to personalize your wedding and make each and every guest feel special is to provide your loved ones with handwritten notes thanking them for being with you on your special day.

Rehearsal Dinner Guest Favor

Photo by Steve Steinhardt; Planning & Design by Beth Helmstetter Events; From Real Event: Rehearsal Dinner Romance: Celebrating Love at a Gorgeous Vineyard

For more ideas, read a wedding planner's advice on how to take inspiration from styled shoots, be inspired by these beautiful custom aisle runners, and get expert planning tips from top wedding professionals.

Opening photo by M. Hart Photography; Floral Design by Lilla Bello; Planning by Lindsay Newby-Snode for Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: Beach Ceremony & Ballroom Reception at a Luxury Seaside Hotel in Santa Monica!