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Home Planning Expert Advice Top Tips for Truly Unique Ceremonies and Receptions

Top Tips for Truly Unique Ceremonies and Receptions

By Meggan Reinoso, Director of Sales at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge

Sponsored by Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge

We live in the Pinterest era…a time when nearly an unlimited number of creative ideas are one click away. Be honest, who among us hasn’t looked for inspiration on Pinterest? All of this makes it a great time to be planning a wedding, right? Not so fast.

Yes, you can find cute ideas to match just about any theme or genre of wedding (or party for that matter) on Pinterest. But because it is a primary source for virtually every planner, everyone uses the same cute ideas. The result is a spate of adorable weddings that are very similar to everyone else’s. Is that what you want? For me, I say I’m not “Pinterested” in that.

As someone who works closely with wedding planners and brides, and sees first-hand what works and doesn’t, here are my top tips for how to develop truly unique and unforgettable weddings and receptions:

Develop Your Wedding Based on the Couple

Every couple is 100 percent unique. Their story, their love and their idea of a dream wedding are one-of-a-kind. If the couple loves to fish, maybe a lake wedding is the ticket. If they are avid supporters of a particular sports team, the outdoors, are artists, teachers, deeply religious, or love to read, etc.  this should be the foundation upon which all planning is built. Make it about the couple, not some romanticized idea of what a dream wedding should be. Ruttger’s recently hosted a wedding reception for a couple from New York. They wanted an authentic, rustic, Minnesota lake event. They shared a connection with and nostalgia for the Minnesota cabin experience. With this in mind, I helped the couple plan a truly Minnesota wedding, complete with campfires and s’mores, a fishing tournament, lefse making and more.  They even did a “polar plunge”. You would find few, if any, of the elements of this reception on Pinterest, but it was perfect for them. And isn’t that what it’s all about.

PICK the Perfect Venue FOR YOU

One of the biggest mistakes I see planners and brides make is picking a venue that doesn’t match the wedding couple. They pick a venue because it’s cute or trendy, but not necessarily right for them. A sophisticated, urban couple might like the idea of a barn wedding, but it probably doesn’t represent their uniqueness. Likewise, an outdoorsy couple that loves to camp might be mismatched in a swanky, modern downtown hotel, or at a fancy golf course. In other words, try your best to find a venue that best matches the couple. For example, Ruttger’s was an ideal venue for the New York couple looking for a traditional Minnesota, up north wedding because the resort is on a lake, and features a lot of historic, rustic cabins and amenities.

Sweat the details: Decorating, food, invitations and more

Once you’ve identified what makes the wedding couple unique and have matched the venue, it’s time to sweat the details… the perfect food, cute invitations, decorations, table centerpieces, etc. It’s these details, when executed with thought and passion, that will leave a lasting impression. The best place for ideas? You guessed it – Pinterest. Hey, there’s no need to totally reinvent the wheel. My only advice here is to look for inspiration and not fully formed ideas. Take the inspiration you find and create custom accoutrements that are unique to you. Don’t just copy, but create.

Think Outside (No Box Needed)

My last and favorite tip is to think radically. It’s your wedding. Who says you have to follow societal conventions? One of the most enjoyable weddings experiences I ever had was in Ecuador. What I liked most about it was that the wedding and the reception were months apart. The wedding itself was held at an adorable little chapel and was attended by the immediate family and wedding party. It was beautiful, intimate and personal. A few months later, the couple threw a fabulous, outdoor reception/party with live music, great food, but none of the traditional reception traditions (dollar dances, cutting the cake, first dances, speeches, etc.). It was simply a party in celebration of the newlywed couple. It was such a refreshing difference from the expected. Very, very fun.

There is no one right way to plan a great wedding or reception, and Pinterest is a wonderful source for inspiration. As long as the focus is kept on creating a one-of-a-kind experience for the wedding couple and you avoid copying other people’s idea of the perfect “and-they-lived-happily-ever-after” day, you will help create a one-of-a-kind event worthy of being shared on Pinterest.

Sponsored by Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge

Located in the quiet side of the Brainerd Lakes area, our group vacation accommodations give your party access to the best that Minnesota has to offer. Brainerd Lakes area is not only beautiful, but at Ruttger’s, our group vacation packages include everything you need to make your trip or event unforgettable.