Incorporating all five senses into your wedding plans can give your guests an extraordinary experience.
Thoughtful consideration of the sensory experience is too often over looked.
More importantly, sensory awareness on your wedding day can help you create multi-dimensional memories to last a lifetime. Building in moments for mindfulness throughout your celebration can help you take a little pause to soak it all in, so it doesn't go by in one happy blur.
Creating Visual Memories for Your Wedding
Weddings are a visual feast. So, this may feel like an easy one for most. But while amped up on adrenaline, love, and excitement, experiences may blur. Of course, this is where your photographer has your back – they'll capture the little details you planned, and will ensure you always remember your stunning wedding tablescape, how beautiful you looked in your wedding outfits, and how many beaming faces watched you wed. But, remembering to take mental snapshots at different times of the day can help ground you and keep the excitement from making those clock hands spin too quickly.
Choose to focus on something small. Study a single bloom in your bouquet. Take a moment to appreciate the clouds in the sky, or the way your partner's hand looks as they squeeze yours.
During your ceremony is a wonderful time to take a moment and look out at all your guests. A pause, a special moment, absorb it all before the rush of marrying your person.
You can ask your celebrant or officiant to add this moment to your ceremony. After they welcome guests to your celebration, they can ask you to to turn and look at all who came to be with you and share in this special milestone. Even intimate elopements can include this moment. Drink in the scenery, take that mental snapshot.
For anyone without a sense of sight, this moment is still an opportunity to take a deep breath, soak in the surroundings, and feel the presence of those nearest and dearest to you on this special day.
Treasure these moments before "I do!" and before the next beautiful chapter in your lives together.
Using Scent to Create Wedding Memories
Smell is such a powerful sense. One sniff can transport you right back in time, grounding you in a moment.
If you don't have a signature scent, consider selecting a perfume or cologne for your big day. You can choose a favorite smell, or visit a perfumery unique to your wedding location (for example, the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy in Florence).
Spritz it as you get ready and when you wear it for special occasions for years to come, it can bring you right back to your wedding morning.
Pro-Tip: For flat-lay photography lovers, those beautiful perfume bottles can add a charming touch to pictures of your wedding stationery!
You'll also have something tangible to share for years to come. If you choose to have children, they or one day, your grand kids, can breathe in the exact scent of what you wore on your wedding day. It becomes something you can share in the future.
Adding scent is not something you have to do. Even just taking a moment to remember to take that big, deep breath can amp up the memories in the making. Inhale that gorgeous bouquet. Sniff out the hints of jasmine on the breeze or the salty sea air. Take a second to let that sage-scented pasta waft up to your nose before digging in.
Don't Forget Touch When it Comes to Sensory Memory
Run your fingers along the details of your wedding preparations. From luxurious fabrics to the smooth window sill, the stiffness of a veil, the sturdiness of the pen you used to write out your vows, textures abound.
For dresses that will be cleaned and preserved, boxed up and hidden away for future generations, take extra time to take in the fabric of the dress you spent so many months looking forward to wearing.
Squeeze each other's hands, revel in the feeling of newly-ringed fingers.
When Making Multi-Level Memories, Listen Up for Sound
Sure, you may have curated a careful "do not play" list for your DJ. But what soundtrack do you want for your whole day? Play your favorite pump up song while you're getting ready. Walk down the aisle to literally anything you like. It doesn't have to be a famous canon or even something classical. From pop hits to show tunes to theme songs, pick something that has special meaning for you and your partner. Something that lifts you up and fills you with joy. Whether you play an original version or ask your band to cover it on the strings, you'll have a giddy moment that adds a unique element to your day and can surprise and delight your guests.
Pro-Tip: Favorite playlists can also make a wonderful (and affordable) wedding favor. Gift your wedding guests with a thoughtfully curated playlist full of songs meaningful to your relationship and those coming to celebrate with you. A link on your wedding website or a QR code can make it easy to share your favorites, and the joint listening experience creates a connection for all attendees.
Of course, the sounds of your wedding are not limited to what your band or DJ plays.
Listen for the clinking silverware, the warm laughter, the sweet words you'll share. Taking a second to close your eyes and listen up can help round out the mental image of the day.
Remember Every Bite of Your Wedding Feast
Some couples are too busy to eat on their weddings. With packed timelines and endless excitement, missing the meal was historically, kind of a norm.
With a wedding abroad, one higher quality ingredients and local dishes, you won't want to miss a bite.
Luckily, destination weddings tend to come with a more leisurely pace for meals. Couples who get married abroad tend to have more of an opportunity to sit and dine with their guests and actually enjoy their wedding feast!
From that first wedding toast to the last bite of cake, take a second for you to nourish yourself, and to enjoy the meal you spent so long planning.
And a Special Shout-Out to Feelings
Feelings may not be considered a sense in and of themselves, but they shouldn't be overlooked. Checking in with yourself throughout your wedding experience is like an emotional "pinch me, I'm dreaming!" – a moment of grounding to help the reality sink in.
Journaling in the days leading up to, and immediately after your wedding can help solidify some of those wonderful memories. What went exactly as you imagined? What was a little different about your wedding, but more special than you could have anticipated? How did you feel seeing your guests as they arrived? What were you most looking forward to? What moment felt most magical? Which one made you laugh?
Taking a few minutes of quiet time to jot down your thoughts and feelings on your wedding morning can also give you a moment to help focus and add clarity. With a clear mind, you'll have more room to make those wonderful memories throughout the day.
Planning a Multi-Sensory Experience for You and Your Guests
Crafting a wedding full of multi-sensory experiences will give your guests an outstanding experience, and pausing to engage all of your senses will help you preserve deep memories that last a lifetime.
As a wedding planner, it's my job to make sure we've thought through every detail, and to create layered sensational experiences for you and your guests. Let's begin planning your dreamy and memorable celebration.