You don’t need a ton of time (or money) to make your big day truly mem­o­rable—not only for you but for your friends and loved ones, too. Here are some easy ways to bring the magic.

Martha Stewart Weddings - - THE PLANNER - TEXT BY JAIME BUERGER


Ev­ery party host knows to of­fer drinks as peo­ple ar­rive. Do the same at your cer­e­mony, and have your caterer set out le­mon­ade, iced tea, and wa­ter for pre-vows sip­ping.


Paper fans or para­sols will go a long way to­ward keep­ing ev­ery­one cool on a hot day. You can choose from hun­dreds of ready-made op­tions at an on­line re­tailer like saveon­crafts.com.


Hir­ing trans­porta­tion to shut­tle guests to and fro? Deck out their ride with nov­elty party fa­vors and a per­son­al­ized Spo­tify sound­track you’ve shared with the driver.


The wel­come bag is a work­horse when it comes to mak­ing outof-town­ers feel spe­cial. Fill yours with re­gional to­kens—think bar­be­cue sauce in Texas or maple can­dies in Ver­mont.


Ask your caterer or co­or­di­na­tor to put out a few high-top ta­bles dur­ing the cock­tail hour—it’s hard to so­cial­ize when there’s no place to set down your gin and tonic and bite-size grilled cheese.


Stock up on af­ford­able photo frames. Use them to hold ev­ery­thing from ta­ble mark­ers to de­scrip­tions of cock­tails at the bar to the plac­ard ask­ing guests to sign your guest book.


No bath­room at­ten­dant? Add a pam­per­ing touch by set­ting out bas­kets or trays with hair spray, breath mints, bobby pins, lo­tions, and blot­ting pa­pers in the re­strooms.


Two words: group photo. If you have a man­age­able num­ber of guests (say, 75 or fewer), have your pho­tog­ra­pher wran­gle an over­head shot af­ter the cer­e­mony.


Speak­ing of pho­tos, en­cour­age snap-happy guests (be­fore and af­ter the cer­e­mony) by cre­at­ing a hash­tag. Print it on signs or have your DJ an­nounce it.


Give them some­thing to talk about—and chuckle over. In­clude fun facts and trivia about you and your groom in pro­grams or on the ta­bles for din­ner.

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Flip-flops aren’t just for beach nup­tials. They also of­fer re­lief af­ter hours of danc­ing. Buy a stack of cheap­ies and put them near the dance floor.


Cater to the kids in the crowd with puz­zles, col­or­ing books, or games at their seats. They (and their par­ents) will thank you.


If any­one else is cel­e­brat­ing a spe­cial day (a birth­day or an­niver­sary), give them a sweet shout-out with a note in your pro­gram or a song ded­i­ca­tion from the DJ.


Min­gle! You’re the ones they came to see. Make sure you drop by ev­ery ta­ble at din­ner as a cou­ple, and speak to ev­ery­one at least once.


Some­time dur­ing the evening, grab the mic with your new spouse and say a few words to thank your par­ents and guests.

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