If you’re like most people, you’ve been to many weddings and too often, the elements of each are less than personal. From traditional vows to conventional venues, weddings may end up being so ritualized they are hardly interesting or memorable. If you’re looking for simple and inexpensive ways to customize elements of your big day that will make your wedding the topic of conversation long after it’s over, we have some ideas for you.

Remember that not all “wow” factors come with a high price tag, so don’t despair! We have something for everyone looking to customize their big day.

Find the perfect dress – or accessorize it to fit your style

For most brides, the first thing to consider when planning a wedding is what the wedding gown will look like. Choosing a perfect dress does not need to set you back thousands of dollars since a plus size Azazie wedding gown is more affordable than those in the bridal boutiques and will still reflect who you are.

A wide range of styles will allow you to choose one that perfectly fits you and your personality. Maybe you want something sleek and trendy? Or maybe frilly and feminine suits you better? Maybe you want to opt for something simple and classic that you can add a rhinestone-studded belt or crystal sash to in order to make a statement. Maybe you want a dress that offers a peek at the designer beaded pumps or unique made-only-for-you bridal cowboy boots. Choosing your dress first will allow you to consider all of the other details of the day including the palette, the flavor, and the theme of the day.

Choose an alternative to traditional bouquets

Bridal and bridesmaids wedding bouquets no longer need to be made of fresh or silk flowers. You may want to consider developing a distinctive bouquet made of felt flowers, crocheted blossoms, or even colored paper origami blooms.

Not a big fan of flowers at all? Maybe you and your attendants could carry balloon or brooch bouquets. Maybe a feathered fan is more your style, or a vintage book tied in ribbon. Maybe a bridesmaid bag or a distressed lantern for an evening affair. There are many DIY projects for an alternative to bouquets that you and your girls can customize for an interesting, appealing look that works with your wedding theme, not only to minimize costs but also to ensure that it is the perfect reflection of what matters to you.

Design and produce your invitations

Invitations can make a statement about your special day, even before the guests arrive. Not only are they intended to announce the date and time, but they also provide your guests with a little peek into what you and your wedding are all about. The theme, the colors, and the overall feel of your big event can be created through an online design program, free art software, stamp pads, clip art, a photograph, or even an artistic friend who can draw up a special design or original art for you to use as the center of your invitation.

Plan and prepare a special dinner

Receptions are often very expensive. Whether you are using the caterer that comes with the venue or you have chosen someone else, a traditional wedding buffet can be less than personal and sometimes less than appetizing. If having a meal that reflects who you are matters to you, you may want to plan a special dinner and recruit friends and family who are willing to pitch in and make that happen for you and your spouse.

Meals that stand out are often reflective of your ethnicity or cultural heritage, but you may also want to think about meals that you and your friends and family enjoy. Perhaps it is a reflection of the restaurants you frequented when you started dating or perhaps gives a nod to where he proposed. Some brides and grooms have even decided to leave the planning to their guests and have a potluck meal that allows close friends and family to bring and share a cooked or baked item to share, while the bride and groom provide the staple food such as the protein. While some may find a potluck wedding to be tacky, many others believe it gives a homey, personalized feel to a more intimate wedding.

Have a signature drink

Why stop at feeding guests special food with a homemade appeal? You may also want to provide a special or surprise drink. From ice-cold milk served with the wedding cake to an alcoholic signature drink that reflects the tenor and color of your wedding, customized drinks can be something your guests remember. If your budget, diet, or venue restricts you with regard to the use of alcohol, you can still create a fun and interesting drinks using soda, fruit juices, fresh fruit, and a host of other ingredients.

Are there any interesting things you’ve seen at weddings that make them stand out? Share your ideas in the comments.