Ditch the mason jars and wine bottle centerpieces. Portland, Oregon wedding planner, Leann Reece, shares the secret to making your wedding memorable starts with making it more personal!

“Of course, you want your wedding to be beautiful, but instead of focusing on perfection, focus on personalization. Think of the connection you have with your partner, and ways guests can feel connected with your relationship.” – Leann Reece

Here are a few fun ways Leann’s brides have made their wedding day more personal to connect with their guests.

Centerpieces: Avoid awkward silence, make your centerpieces a conversation starter and ice breaker for your guests. Find something totally different and out of place to get your guests chatting. Here are a few things Leann has seen in her days as a planner:

  • Goldfish: More than a conversation starter, these centerpieces also act as a take home gift for guests. Get inspired here.
  •  Thrift shop steal: One couple, who is known for their obsession with thrift shops and vintage buys, went on a shopping spree for their table displays. Think porcelain tigers, Christmas gnomes, and flamenco figurines. They posed a challenge to their guests with a card – “What do you think this is? Where would you put this in your house.”

Share your relationship with your guests: Don’t be afraid to share the quirky things you love about your partner with the rest of your guests. Here are a few instances where couples have gotten creative with things they love about each other.

  • May the Force be with You: Leann had a couple who loved Star Wars so much, the bride walked down the aisle to the theme song! 
  • When in Rome…or a Starbucks: One couple who started their love over lattes when they first met at a Starbucks, perfectly executed a Starbucks-themed wedding with Starbucks colors, signs, and coffee to round out the wedding decor and beverage menu 
  • Walk (or dance) the Line: Even Leann and her husband (who is a partner in planning) incorporated their love for country western dance by teaching guests how to line dance at their wedding!
  • Spread the love: If someone loves something as much as this groom love mustard, it’s a good reason to incorporate it into the wedding decor. Leslie and Calley chose to place personalized mini-mustard bottles at each table at their wedding. What’s something you and your couple love so much you want to share it with everyone attending your wedding? Think outside the box!IMG_0462-683x1024-1-355177069-1511771844764.jpg

Wedding Dresses: There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter wedding, so your wedding dress shouldn’t be either. Leann has worked with multiple brides who have gone the custom wedding dress route, and more recently, chose Anomalie to bring their vision to life.  The sky is literally the limit when the bride becomes the designer and they have someone to create their dream dress.

“Personalizing your wedding doesn’t mean you have to forget about your budget. Get creative, think beyond complex DIY, and be personal.”


Leann is taking a sabbatical for the 2018 wedding season but will be back in 2019. Check out her website at Ginger + You events 

Stylist Pro Tip: Still looking for more ways to personalize your wedding? Start with your wedding dress. Get creative with personalized embroidery. Talk with one of our stylists about designing your own custom wedding dress.