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Planning the perfect wedding

Make sure your big day runs smoothly with our wedding planning top tips.

Planning a wedding is one of the most involved and important tasks any couple can undertake. There are a million wedding books, magazines and websites offering advice on how to make your big day special. Our ten unusual tips will get you thinking about your nuptials in a whole new light…

1. The great outdoors

In the UK it isn’t really possible to have your official wedding ceremony outside. But if you have your heart set on saying your vows on a windswept hillside or in an enchanted forest there is an alternative. Couples can always hold their official, legally-binding ceremony in a register office, then ask a celebrant to lead a blessing in a setting of their choice. This can be the perfect way to make your wedding ceremony really personal to you and memorable for your guests.

2. Marquees with a twist

With wedding venues charging phenomenal rates and getting snapped up months in advance, couples are often on the look-out for alternatives. A marquee can be a good option but if you want to take things a step further try looking into decadent Arabian Tents, whimsical Papkatas and ultra-modern Dome Marquees. Don’t forget, if you opt for any kind of marquee for your reception you’ll probably need additional marquee cover as part of your wedding insurance

3. Steal an American tradition

In the US the maid of honour also gets to do a speech. This can be a modern and moving way to add a little variety to the speeches, especially since the maid of honour’s speech tends to be more of a tear-jerker than the best man’s.

4. Embrace DIY

Encourage your guests to get involved in two key elements of your big day right from the outset. Include a blank CD and a packet of seeds in with your wedding invitation and encourage guests to put them to use. If all goes according to plan guests can bring their specially grown blooms along to the wedding to create attractive centre-pieces and you’ll have some cracking playlists to enjoy on the dance floor.

5. Make your mark

Try a new take on traditional guest books by providing a blank canvas and some paints to encourage a spot of finger-painting. Guests of all ages will enjoy the chance to be a little creative and you’ll end up with a work of art you can treasure.

6. Snap-happy

Formal wedding photos are all well and good but why not add a dash of colour to your wedding album with your own photo booth? By popping a remote controlled camera on a tripod, guests can take snaps of themselves to their heart’s content. As an added bonus you could even provide fun hats, glasses, wigs and accessories for people to adorn themselves with.

7. Surprise!

If you feel as though you’re on a wedding conveyor-belt and everyone you know is getting married, why not ensure your special day stands out by making it a surprise? This idea is becoming increasingly popular with couples, who invite friends and family to a supposed birthday party only to ambush them with the full ceremony and reception.

8. Paperwork

Origami can be a great theme for a wedding. As well as being an enchanting and cost-effective way to decorate a reception, origami can also provide a hands-on activity for people during the wedding breakfast. Then, when everyone has completed their masterpieces, you can ask them to write a message on them for you to collect and keep.

9. Do me a favour

Providing wedding favours for guests is another trend that has come across to the UK from America. If you’re keen to embrace the idea but fancy something different, Oxfam Unwrapped offers charity gifts including fertiliser, school supplies and mosquito nets from just £5. Alternatively why not incorporate charitable donations into your theme, naming each table after a goat they’ve donated to those in need?

10. A touch of magic...

Round up your wedding celebrations with a spectacle that will stay in people’s minds forever. Firework displays are the perfect way to end your reception and add a real touch of magic to your event. Personalise them with your choice of colours, music, or even your initials to start married life with a bang.

Finally, don’t forget…

When planning a wedding it can be easy to get carried away with the romance of it all but you should always bear your budget in mind. Keeping track of deposits and costs is a must for any prospective marriage or civil partner and Wedding Insurance to protect the money you invest during the planning stage can be invaluable.

However and wherever you decide to get married, John Lewis Wedding Insurance could help financially protect your special day. And whether you’re planning a lavish ceremony at home or an intimate wedding abroad, our Wedding Insurance is variable so we can arrange the right amount of cover for your big day.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Wedding Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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