Fresh flowers at every place setting not only guarantee a wow factor, but also preclude fighting over who gets the centerpiece
. Find bowls like the one shown above at Jamali Garden Supplies, $8, JamaliGarden.com.
Bouquet Toss Alternative
Serve up mini wedding cakes
to your most eligible friends -- guys and girls. The one who finds the ring inside is next in line to marry. Gail Watson Custom Cakes, $5–$10 each, (212) 967-9167
Combine two varietals (one for the bride, one for the groom) that have special significance (try ones from your ancestral land) to create a special blend.
Low-Tech Slide Show
Let guests follow your love story from childhood to courtship with a framed photo wall. It’s the perfect welcome to your reception space, and makes for enjoyable eye candy as they wait to sign the guest book. Frames, $25 each, PotteryBarn.com
Real idea: Capture the spirit and style of a garden wedding by using herbs in unexpected places. A eucalyptus leaf wreath is a fresh alternative to a classic pew marker -- plus its lovely scent will waft through your ceremony space.
Presentation is everything, and your cocktail hour is no exception. Follow the latest food trend and serve light bites in a cone, like tuna bites dressed with a dollop of wasabi crème fraîche and placed in a bed of black sesame seeds.
Crystal Escort Cards
Straight from the pages of decorating magazines, crystals are praised for their multifaceted beauty and spiritual powers. What we see them for? An innovative (and gorgeous) escort card display. Prisms, $0.80–$8, ChandelierParts.com
Fans for Maids
Real idea: A twist on the bridesmaid bouquet? Instead of flowers, give your attendants beautiful fans to carry. They make a dramatic fashion statement while providing cool relief for an outdoor summertime ceremony.
A sweets buffet filled with secret family recipes and childhood indulgences is one of our favorite foodie favors. Add small bottles of milk and you have one memorable midnight snack. Mike’s Wife's Cookies, $18 for one-dozen bag, (646) 387-4080; old-fashioned milk jugs, $2.50 each, RonnyBrook.com
Serve guests a refreshing coffee cocktail (ours blends ginger ale and Starbucks Coffee Liqueur) at the end of the night, along with a heartfelt thank-you. For an added bonus, you can flag the after-party address on cocktail stirrers. Wineglasses, $10 each, CrateandBarrel.com; glass swizzle sticks, $4 each, Broadway Panhandler