Many couples use their wedding day as a way to honor their family traditions. The pandemic, however, has brought the desire to be nostalgic to another level. “It’s a lot of remembering where you were and where you are now,” explains Suher Haidar of Francine Ribeau Events by Suher. “During the pandemic, people understood how important it is to see family and now that we can all get together again, couples want to celebrate that.” Looking for ways to incorporate some nostalgia into your big day? Here are some ideas to inspire you!
Serve Family Favorites
Skip the usual chicken or fish entrée and instead offer some of your favorite dishes from your childhood. An experienced caterer should have no problem putting a twist on family recipes so that they can be served to a large crowd. If you don’t want to change up the main course, showcase these foods during the cocktail hour, along with signs to explain why you are serving them to guests.
Offer Some Sweet Treats
Skylar Caitlin of Chancey Charm Houston recommends a nostalgic dessert table. “Imagine all your favorites from Cosmic Brownies to Nutter Butters artfully arranged like a candy charcuterie board—a treat for the eyes as well as your tastebuds!” she says.
Rent Vintage Furniture
You can recreate the aesthetic of your childhood homes by renting some vintage furniture pieces that can be set up in the ceremony area or used to create a lounge space.
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
Couples can be creative with their table numbers and instead use items that are unconventional, like the pipes in the photo below. They can also display childhood memories from the same age as their table numbers, says Carissa Corsi of Carissa Corsi Events. Haidar had one couple who displayed photos from throughout their childhoods in the cocktail hour area. Another even showcased their baby photos and held a contest to see if guests can identify which one was the bride and which was the groom. At the end of the night, the DJ announced the right guess.
Bring Out Childhood Activities
Some couples have been letting family and friends jump around during the reception on inflatable bounce houses! They're not your average bounce houses though, from clear to white—these bounce houses are fun and surprisingly chic. Other childhood memories can include large lawn games like Connect Four and Jenga, or if you have enough space, set up some bocce ball or cornhole stations.
Celebrate with Color
If you were a Lisa Frank lover, Caitlin suggests using her signature bright pastels with modern, architectural florals to blend the past with the present in a playful way.
Hold a Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot
Plan a themed pre-wedding photoshoot, such as picking your favorite movie as a child and reenacting it through a photoshoot) and then display a few pictures at your welcome table for guests to see when they enter, notes Corsi.
Showcase Through Signage
Signs are an easy and fun way to incorporate a theme or inspiration motif. “We’ve had couples work with designers to create tongue-in-cheek references for their signage that amplifies a vibe without being distracting visually,” says Caitlin. “This can be great for couples with a more timeless aesthetic who still want a playful touch of nostalgia on their wedding day.”
Hero photo courtesy of Katie Edwards