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(All the various tips are highlighted in bold for easy reference.)

recently wrote an impassioned post on doing away with table-to-table photography. I fully agree with her article, especially her opening sentence, “it’s not what you add to a wedding that makes it meaningful, but what you take out of it to make room for the things that count.”

Wise words indeed.

For the uninitiated, the conventional wedding programme goes like this: first march-in followed by cake cutting, second march-in followed by champagne pouring, toasting, thank-you speeches and, finally, table-to-table photography.

What I’m about to say may sound radical, ludicrous even: none of the above is absolutely necessary.

For example, why the need for a cake cutting ceremony? If you must have it, then why have an artificially dressed-up styrofoam cake instead of a genuine one that you can actually sink your teeth into?

Here’s another thought: why have a second march-in if it means spending less time with your family and friends and having to rush back and forth the hotel room?

I’ve noticed that more and more young couples are eschewing cookie cutter type of weddings, and making the effort to personalise theirs.

If you’ve been reading our previous entries, you’d be familiar with Bobby and Almas, who reenacted their proposals onstage because their first attempts were lackluster. Although it was a nerve-wracking experience for them, their wives appreciated the effort. One of Charlene’s (Almas’ wife) friends even professed that she felt like getting married the instant she saw Almas propose to Charlene again!

Another couple, Vincent and Sin Yee, pooh-poohed the sacred tradition of The March-In. They simply walked into the ballroom, without grandiose music and polite applause, and started mingling with their guests immediately.

I attended a wedding in LA recently, and was impressed by the little touches the couple added to make the celebration a more memorable one.

For instance, as their solemnisation was held at a beach, the couple had a sand pouring ceremony. After saying their vows, they each poured sand into a bottle and sealed it to symbolise their union and the sanctity of their words. Simple, yet effective.

Another cool idea: at the restaurant where the reception was held subsequently, the couple brought materials like pens, glue sticks, stencils, stickers, etc and encouraged their guests to make pages for a wedding scrapbook. The couple even provided a printer for their guests to print photographs instantly!

At first, my innate cynicism was telling me that the idea wouldn’t work. Who would bother?

Oh, but I was wrong. The scrapbook table was crowded with guests who were battling for the one glue stick which worked, and fighting for their turn to use the printer. At the end of the reception, the couple were delighted to see a thick pile of pages chock-full of photographs, romantic quotes and touching messages.

Here’s a photograph of the scrapbook table:

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Some other ideas to spice up your wedding:

For the musically inclined, sing a song; or even better, write one and perform it for your intended. Guaranteed to melt hearts and bring on the sniffles.

For the dancing kings and queens, have a first dance with your spouse. I can’t of anything more romantic than watching a couple waltz in perfect harmony.

For the wordsmiths, write your own vows or compose a poem for your loved one, instead of mouthing trite phrases and boring clichés.

It may seem daunting at first to break away from time-honoured practices, but the result will be well worth the effort. And not all ideas need meticulous planning and immense resources, just a whole lot of thought and passion.

It’s YOUR wedding after all, so make it your own.