Pump 'em Up! Here's How to Get Your Guests Excited for the Big Day

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Weddings seem to happen in waves. Sometimes it feels like you spend every other weekend at a bachelorette party or attending someone's nuptials. When you see the same friends becoming weary with each passing event, you might worry about them having the energy for yours. So how can you ensure they'll be excited for your upcoming fête?

The biggest piece of advice is pretty simple: avoid throwing a generic wedding. "Put your own stamp on your event," says Callandra Caufield of Postcard Weddings & Events. What she means is step away from the Pinterest boards and stop trying to recreate what's been done over and over again.

Emily Sullivan of Get Polished Events agrees. "Whenever a client approaches me and says, 'We just went to a wedding last weekend and so-and-so had this. It was so cool and maybe we should consider doing it,' I always explain that it isn't as cool the second time around." Instead, focus on creating a feeling of celebration around what you love and what brings you joy. If that means including activities that you and your pals have bonded over in the past, all the better for ramping up the fun factor. This might mean a pre-wedding hike or movie marathon, poker tables at the reception, or even photos of your friends mixed into the décor, according to Alex Chalk, also of Taylor'd Events.

Caufield also recommends shifting your goal as hostess from making something pretty to creating something entertaining for your friends and other guests. This means a floorplan, timeline, and tablescapes that help guests mingle and socialize. And don't overlook the entertainment itself. "It makes a big impact and is usually worth the expense," she says, adding that a flare bartender, an acapella group, a barista who creates latte art, or cirque-style performers could add something special to cocktail hour.

Keep the creative juices flowing when it comes to the ceremony, too. Rather than use some boilerplate template that lacks intimacy, spend a few hours chatting with your fiancé (and maybe even your friends) about what makes you special as a couple and incorporate those personal characteristics and stories in the service. Writing your own vows is another great way to make the ceremony more interesting, Caufield says. Pals will also appreciate an early champagne cocktail or refreshment, if you aren't getting married in a church of course.

Finally, Caufield advises brides to hold their tongues around friends. "Stop talking about your wedding," she says. "I know you're excited. I know you want opinions. I know you want to share every idea." But it's usually best if you keep some of those details to yourself so they're not sick of the wedding before it's even begun. If someone is begging for the goods and telling her what's coming up will get her more excited for it, then go ahead and dish. But, chances are, most friends will be just as happy to wait until the big day for the big reveal.

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