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Creating a memorable, kick-ass wedding doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated, nor does it require throwing away all traditional or preconceived notions you have about what your wedding should be. It all boils down to the experience you create for your guests and yourself.

In today’s episode, we’re breaking down the concepts of experiential design, experience design and human-centred design and offering tips and examples that you can use to create a wedding that is set apart from the rest.

Be sure to tune in because this could change everything…

To learn more about our movement visit: https://www.unweddingmovement.com/

Transcript

Corina Waldie 0:11

Welcome to the Un-Wedding Podcast. I'm Corina,

Sydney Spidell 0:14

and I'm Sydney.

Corina Waldie 0:15

We're two neurodiverse wedding planners who are committed to empowering nearlyweds to throw the wedding rulebook, shrink their guest lists and create a meaningful, purposeful wedding experience. We're taking the wedding industry by storm and disrupting the status quo. We're the Un-Wedding Planners and we invite you to join our movement.

Sydney Spidell 0:33

We record our podcast from Treaty Six territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples, including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others, whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Corina Waldie 0:57

We're back with another episode of the Un-Wedding Podcast and today we're talking about experience and more specifically experience design. What is it? What are we talking about? And why are there no clear definitions about it on the internet? Have no fear, we will get you through these trying times. So let's start off by talking about what is design? And why should you care?

Sydney Spidell 1:17

Okay, so Oxford Dictionary defines design - I'm not even kidding. When googling Oxford Dictionary defines design as purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object. Which I think especially if we deal with a lot of the homophobic media portrayals of people who like the concept of design, in many recent past, it's a pretty looked down on concept. But that's just such a limited understanding of what design is, it is the intersection of form and function. Everybody who ever created a machine and made it work, designed it and had to think about the principles of design to do it. Every, every bit of us, everything we do, has design involved in it. It's just an inherent concept.

Corina Waldie 2:22

Well, and I think too, when we talk about weddings, there's this like, especially there's this idea that design is how you know, the wedding looks - So the colours that you pick, or the flowers that you pick, or you know what your arch looks like at your ceremony. And really, that is such a small, small portion. Yes, it's part of it. But it's actually such a small, small portion of what actually makes up your wedding day. Because when we're talking about like, design, design is so much more than how it looks. It's also how it functions and how it feels. And -

Sydney Spidell 2:55

It is planning that is what we do as planners, right? I mean, even if we look that's the planning or the intention, or the purpose -

Corina Waldie 3:01

Yep,

Sydney Spidell 3:02

- that is behind an action, right? So every bit of conscious thought that goes into doing something is an act of design.

Corina Waldie 3:15

Very much. And, and I think it's so, so important that when you are talking about planning a wedding, that you really do need to consider how all of the different elements are not only going to look but how they actually work together to ultimately create the experience that you want. And so you know, and that's really kind of what leads us in and why we actually always use this term experience design. Which is actually a relatively newish term, especially to the world of events. It's been around for a long time in software, we hear it talked about UX or you know, user experience. But experience design is actually something that's starting to be applied in many, many different markets and different -words are escaping me...

Sydney Spidell 4:04

In every single area, people are starting to recognize the importance of experience and experiential design. So first of all, let's sort of break down those two concepts of what they are. So experiential and experience design sound exactly the same pretty much, but they are different. So let's start at the biggest part of the umbrella. And that's experiential design. So this is the concepts involved. This is more of that purpose, and intention aspect of things. So experiential design are the concepts that create the structures enabling someone else to have a particular experience. So let's break that down a little bit further. If you think about it, I can't just say you're gonna have a good time at my wedding. I mean, I can, but whether that actually translates into somebody having a good time at my wedding is dependent on so many other factors. So that could could very much come down to whether they have a migraine that day or not, in which case, it's out of my hands. And that's nothing that I can do. But experiential design makes me think of all of the different elements that might go into creating that x, that that feeling of enjoyment, or a feeling of discomfort or a feeling of whatever within these scenarios, and makes me think about what I want to see and what I don't want to see. So what we do when we use experiential design as a concept, and how that is just fully incorporated into not only our services that we provide, but also the actual structure of our business, is identifying how everybody wants to feel throughout the entire process, and looking at ways to facilitate those feelings. So experiential design, very much conceptual. Experience design in the term, when we when we drop that, that suffix there, or switch it up, is then talking about the active parts. So creating touch points. So we are considering and using experience design, when we create a front area at a ceremony that people can access in a way that makes sense for their bodies, but also doesn't put them too high above the audience so that nobody has to strain, and also keeps them in a really good acoustic moment so that everybody can hear. Because that, the standing at the altar, is a major touchpoint of that entire experience, the experiential design concept that we've already come up with. So that touchpoint, we use experience design to create it. And that's where you get that sort of like, tie in with the tech industry. Because experience designers, people that do that job are the people who are focused on creating touch points, and understanding and planning how those touch points unfold, and then working with their engineers to build a product that facilitates that experience.

Corina Waldie 7:13

Well, and I think especially within the scope of experience, design and creating these touch points, you know, we can actually categorize and intentionally create different sections of your wedding where there will be this touch point for your guests where they're interacting in some way with you or the concept of your wedding. And we actually call them the five E's, or the five E's of experience design, which are excitement, entry, engagement, exit, and extension. So I'll break those down for you just a little bit. So excitement -

Sydney Spidell 7:48

Also too, just to interject here and let you go on. If you've worked in marketing before, you may have heard these also referred to as the five E's of the customer journey. So they've been used in the concept of experiential design and experience design. And they have also been used in term, in marketing, from a customer journey standpoint, which is kind of the locus, that consideration of a customer journey is kind of an idea that started formulating in the 80s. And is where all of this experiential design and experience design has stemmed out of

Corina Waldie 8:22

Yep. So like I said, the the five E's as I listed them, there's something in that we, you know, they are applied in different ways to whatever market, whatever industry that they're being used of used in. The way that we like to use, it is really thinking, like I said, thinking about the different guests touch points. So when we're talking about excitement, this is about generating excitement for the wedding itself. So this is usually in the form of your wedding website. This is in the form of your invitations. This is in the form of you know, any communications that you might have with your guests, maybe it's the RSVP process

Sydney Spidell 8:57

The little hints you drop about what might be coming.

Corina Waldie 9:00

Exactly. And so really what the point is of thinking intentionally about creating an intentional experience, using excitement as the focus, is how can you create something that's going to make it you know, stand out and set your wedding apart? So the conversation that usually end up happening with most of my clients as we go through this is we talk about invitations. Because invitations are something that are sort of by many seen as a bit of a you know, this thing that you just send out though, you know, you order 100, whatever off of Vistaprint, for you know, 20 bucks, and you just send them out. But really, when you think about it, if you have the budget for this and the desire to do this, it's a great opportunity to really set your wedding apart from that magnet invitation or whatever generic invitation that you're commonly used to seeing. So you know, and really honestly, like stationary sky's the limit. You can do so many different things. You can spend pretty much as much, like as much as you want there. There is invitations out there that will cost you $100 an invitation - I'm not saying you need to spend that - I'm saying it's possible. But if you're talking about like, within the scope of invitations, we create something that's really unique. We use, like touch. So we actually typically try to engage the senses, especially touch and sight, maybe even smell. And so this could be like, maybe you have a small gift, you could do like a gift box invitation that you hand deliver. Or maybe this could be looking at different textures or different styles. Just ways that you can really create something that's really beautiful and really unique and really sort of sets that out. If you're doing a wedding website, same thing, you've created a website that you're directing them to that is really got a lot of great information about what they can anticipate, what they can expect, and really help them to like feel excited for your wedding day coming up.

Corina Waldie 9:07

Yeah, I think a great sort of thing to think about in real life, whatever, something that you've been excited for - any sort of big ticket items. Generally, the best events, the ones that you remember, the most are the ones that you they got your anticipation going a little bit. So you can think about it like the opening act, this is the thing that is giving you an idea of what's to come and getting you a little bit excited. And you can make it very simple. You could send an evite if you want it or do that $20 Vista printing, or you can have the full gift box, you can even go totally over the top and build it and have somebody hand deliver it dressed in a full uniform with fanfare and trumpet streamers, and whatever, you know, like it doesn't have to be one thing this is going how are we going to not only let people know that they have to be at a certain place at a certain time. Or you don't want to have to, you can just send people like a note saying here is the time of our wedding, and find something else other than an RSVP or an invitation to generate that excitement. Anything that you do that just gives people a taste of what's to come.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah. So I think it's really important that whatever you're sending or doing to generate that excitement, it's really important to provide clear communication about expectations. I think as humans, I will say this over and over and over again, especially attending an event where we might not necessarily be in an environment that we are comfortable with - the more direction we have, in many ways, the better. So for example, you know, saying that, you know, this is where you're parking, these are the hotel, so that you can stay out where we've established room blocks. There is, you know, any number of different things that you can say, to make sure you're communicating clear expectations, will probably do -

Sydney Spidell:

Get rid of any potential discomfort that could get in the way of enjoying that experience.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly. So if you're choosing to have a child free wedding, you know, we want to be ensuring that you're communicating this as part of this excitement phase, so that people know what to expect. So they're not showing up with their two year old and all the sudden feeling really awkward, because they have a kid there because you didn't tell them that as a kid free wedding, bad example. You know, there's plenty of discussion about kid the pros and cons of kid free weddings. But you know, it's really about, it's setting your guest up so that they also have the best experience. So this is even cues like telling them what to wear. Now with formal weddings, usually the invitations a great invitation like sort of, we don't necessarily put that it's black tie or white tie or formal or whatever because the invitation is, or the formality of the invitation is sort of like a cue to that. But people do appreciate direct communication. So you know, if you are having you know, a black tie wedding, put it on your wedding website. It might not end on your invitation, but put on like actual attire expectations, on your wedding website. If you're having an outdoor wedding in the end of June, when you know it's going to be 10 million degrees, you might want to think about well, maybe we might not want to have people wear ballgowns to your wedding because that is going to be hot as hell. So you want to communicate that they probably want to wear something a little lighter and a little bit more casual for that day. Or if you're going to be like we do a number of weddings in the mountains. If they're going to be going up, you know up a mountain -

Sydney Spidell:

Footwear!

Corina Waldie:

- it's colder up there, you know, let them know that they need to wear certain footwear or to have a warm sweater, like just things so that they can enter into your experience feeling prepared. And that is one of the best ways as well to also help generate that excitement leading up to your wedding. Okay, so now your guest has gotten there, you know, and when we have entry, so this is the actual like entrance into the experience. So again, this can take several different forms. Usually, so the first off is signage that I would suggest, especially if you are at a bigger venue where there isn't necessarily a clear direction on how to go and where and how to get there, is ensuring there is signage, or there's a person there that can actually like tell people where to go because I think I can speak for everybody when I say there is nothing worse than wandering around lost, not sure where it is you need to be.

Sydney Spidell:

And the fancier the place, the more out of place you feel, just happened to be a very fancy person, in which case, you know, congrats to you. But like, yeah, just giving people that little bit, I think it really does tie in with a lot of the the, you know, communicating to people and setting people up for their correct expectations is always going to be your absolute best way to ensure their comfort. And somebody being just comfortable and adjusted in a moment is going to allow them to spend less valuable brain resources on any of their defense mechanisms and responses. And instead on simply being present and enjoying. So you're doing this actually is actively taking away some of the stuff people need to do that prevents them from being present to enjoy. That entry is kind of like if you had your opening act before that was setting the stage now is the point when the band is coming out, right. So if everybody just kind of walks on stage, and the lights are already on, and they're like, hey, and then they start playing. I mean, it could be an awesome show. But you've already given people this, this awesome opener, that is setting them up, setting their expectations. And then whatever is going to come and in the middle, you're creating this big froop of a lull, that is not going to again set you up for them being continuing to to enjoy that experience. It's pulling them out of it and removing them from it. So that entry is that grand, grand entrance onto the stage. It's the it's the smoke in the ring of fire, and then pneumatic stage spinning everybody around.

Corina Waldie:

And from the from the guest perspective as well. It doesn't necessarily have to be, you know, a quartet performing or whatever. You know, it's even something as simple especially like, this is something we did at a wedding last year that was so well received. It was the end of June. And if you were in Western Canada, at the end of June, you know exactly what I'm talking about and it was like 40 degrees. And we did this wedding. It was one of the weddings, we actually planned it, it was our record wedding that we planned in 19 days. But one of the things that we did was the such a drive for quite a distance to get out to where this venue was. So we actually greeted them with cold drinks and refreshing appetizers. So the guests kind of walked in, and then it was like, Hey, have some cold lemonade, and these wonderful chilled appetizers. So it was like they were also being pulled and engaged into the experience right away by having that sort of that food provided. We actually sort of did like a reverse cocktail hour where they did cocktail hour, and then we did ceremony, and then we did reception. And so but that

Sydney Spidell:

also, that being the entry element too I think made sure it signified the fact that food, and that sort of aspect of it was going to be an important element of the of the entire thing going for it, which it very much was.

Corina Waldie:

Absolutely. So just even something as like looking for ways to engage your guest upon walking into the space. So like I said, food could be a great way to do this. Potentially, if you are going the route of having some kind of guestbook, you know, you could have that there. You could but like, you know, I think it's important

Sydney Spidell:

where it's like later on in your evening, a big part of it is going to be to have entertainment, like some sort of performer there, then you can have like a little teaser of an act coming in at the very start. And you're creating through lines that way again, your first of all, it's just a smart way of using resources is to find multiple purposes for them. But beyond that, it also creates continuity between every element, which is going to help give you that overall experience that you're looking fpr

Corina Waldie:

Very much. And that sort of actually kind of really leads into the next one, which is engagement. So because you know, we've talked about it many times where, you know, weddings typically take a very expected format, where are you going to go do this, do that, do the other thing. And most of the time as a guest, you're left idle, because there really isn't anything to necessarily engage you. So you're just you know, chatting with Great Aunt Martha, who you haven't seen in five years and finding out you know, she's got her sixth grand baby, right? So you know, and you kind of end up in these boring unengaging, half the time conversation

Sydney Spidell:

No one cares about your grand baby,

Corina Waldie:

Right? Like, you know, that you just really, you know, kind of float almost through the experience. So thinking about again

Sydney Spidell:

You want to give people who might need something to do something to do

Corina Waldie:

Exactly. So this can be things like, you know, obviously dinner is a great thing. We're making sure that you have good food, if you're choosing to serve alcohol, that there is alcohol available. You know, just -

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah alcohol tends to involve people pretty well.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah. Oh yeah, very much so.

Sydney Spidell:

So with that,

Corina Waldie:

there's other great ways. So actually, one suggestion that I have made many times is, for cocktail hour, if you're doing something a little bit different is you could have something like a roving magician who goes around to your different groups, as they're all kind of gathered and does close up magic, which is a great way to entertain your guests and do something a little bit different. There's things like, you know, you can obviously have photo booths, that you can have some form of music, food, always a win. But it's just so those are kind of like great and easy ways to create engagement

Sydney Spidell:

It's actually a really, a really good moment to just touch on how to tell what a good DJ is, versus a not good DJ. I mean, bands too still interact with their audience and, and perform that way if they're good. But I think oftentimes, when we're, people think like, oh, a DJ isn't as, as great as like live music would be. But there's some really amazing things to be said about DJs, especially the ones who understand what their role is. In that, the whole purpose there is to not just spin a good playlist, but to read the room, and to find ways to engage it and bring the energy level where it is. So oftentimes, for example, if you do have a DJ as part of your reception, they'll probably work with your emcee or be the emcee, even, and keep things in order and moving along. Because they're in charge of the big loud stuff that's going to help direct people's attention in a certain way. So even if you are going to have, if you do find an amazing DJ, you can have this person throughout all of these times being like, okay, my goal, the thing that they have really asked me to is to focus on this crowd engagement. So what can I do to get people in and maybe that means a little bit of line dancing, you know, never hurt nobody. You know, things that get people a little bit more interactive. But anything, even if you've maybe written it off in the past, it could be just that somebody, the example you saw wasn't the best at their job. But a really good DJ is like trained to keep people engaged. So shout out to DJ's out there,

Corina Waldie:

And honestly a DJ can make or break your wedding. So it's something that if you're choosing that, choosing to have a DJ, who is going to be providing, especially if you're doing like a dance or a party after the dinner portion, you really want to ensure that you're you work with somebody who has the reviews and the experience to back it up. Because a bad DJ, shout

Sydney Spidell:

out to Johnny from Johnny from talent productions here in Edmonton, you get a chance to work with him or his team. He's phenomenal.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, we have some amazing DJs here in Edmonton, and Johnny is just one of many. But also, you know, outside of your DJs if you're choosing not to have a dance because you don't have to have a dance. I know we do dancing kind of by default. But you know, a wedding, the wedding coming up - the wedding that I have referred to so many times, because I'm so excited for it. That's coming up in September that we're doing. We're doing ax throwing, we're doing activities for kids, we're doing bonfire, we are doing right now I'm actually researching into hiring somebody who is going to do tarot readings. So we're really looking at creating a whole bunch of different and unique activities to engage their guests as they move through the space beyond just sort of the typical wedding. You know, or wedding dance

Sydney Spidell:

Alot of people can feel kind of trapped by dances, if that's not your vibe, if you're not comfortable in the dance floor, then don't plan for one. Doesn't mean that if there's music people aren't going to dance though keep that in mind,

Corina Waldie:

Oh very much so

Sydney Spidell:

people can bougie and groove,

Corina Waldie:

but what we're doing simply because there isn't that necessarily that formal dance component is we're actually doing cocktail style reception. So there's no formal sit down dinner, we're just going to be serving food continuously throughout the entire evening. Whether it's food station,

Sydney Spidell:

Keeps everybody moving everyone mingling,

Corina Waldie:

Exactly, so that people can really kind of engage the space and really sort of move around the space in a way that feels right for them. And like I said, eat if they want to eat, drink, if they want to drink, you know, go do an activity if they want to do an activity. You know, we're really looking -

Sydney Spidell:

This is that, that event that is a little bit or sort of garden party renaissance fair themed, so that helps explain, give a little bit more context to that wandering too like, it really does suit it when you kind of come up with this, this idea of the experience that you want to give people when they're thinking of this ren fare, obviously they're not going to then plan a big dance. Right? That's, that's not really part of that story. So it helps narrow down some of the choices that you'd make too it helps. I'm sort of going back to our last episode. Coming up with that purpose helps you narrow down your choices and figure out exactly likely how you're going to make those touch points really, really zing.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, other ways to that you can look at engaging your guests is you can look at formal entertainment as well, especially if you're going for traditional format, sit down dinner, and then whatever afterwards. And what I mean by this is you could look at, you know, to borrow from, you know, these desire from our purpose episode about having a magic show. You know, you can have a magician, you can have a mentalist, you could have dancers who are coming to perform, you could do just

Sydney Spidell:

Magician to make your food appear in front of you.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah. There's no

Sydney Spidell:

nobody's like battling in the buffet line that way. Like, it's you get it when the magic happens, or you shut up and wait, you know.

Corina Waldie:

But also, which when you say buffet line, that actually is a great kind of also brings in the food element, right? Food is a great way to engage as humans we like to eat. Yes. So you know, is having enough food for everybody having, you know, ensuring people do have access to good food that they can consume, you know, adjusting, of course, for your dietary needs as well, ensuring that those people are attended to, you know, you know, these are all other great ways to think about how you are going to engage your guests and make them feel very special throughout this experience.

Sydney Spidell:

Also, we talked in that last episode as well about when when you're going through those questions, or you're asking who you want to involve, and what impact you want to have on we talked about a couple that was maybe going to, you know, bring their people in to actually be a part of that wedding ceremony and have proper roles within it. That's a form of engagement, too, is is making your people an active part of the way, the night, day, evening, afternoon, whatever evolves. Obviously, if they have something to do, their intentions going to be on it. So it's a good way of like keeping them immersed into it.

Corina Waldie:

All right. So now that you're kind of sort of getting to you know, we've talked about engagement, that brings us to the next E, which is exit. So here's sort of my kind of opinion on this. I think we've all been to the wedding where you know, you kind of done, you're tired, maybe dance for an hour or had a few drinks, you just want to go back to your hotel, maybe you want to lay down but you're not sure what's happening. And so you're just kind of floating there going flip flop, like Okay, can I go now and it's just turns into this like really awkward moment. So one of the most powerful things that you can do is to create a formal conclusion to the evening that ideally is communicated in some way. Whether there's signage with a schedule of events, you have programs of some kind that are distributed to people that really can communicate that we are cutting this experience off at this time. Now a lot of people do choose to do this like a last call kind of thing. And then the party sort of fizzles out after last call, but it's really informal. I do prefer to see something that is quite formal, or a formal way of ending the party. So you know to borrow from you know, sort of more older things we've talked about the couple leaving the party at the end of the night you know, something formal around that. We see sparkler exits, if all the way up to you know if you've got the budget for it, fireworks displays, why not? But really sort of creating this set, picking a set time and having a final end to the evening. One of the best ways actually to do this as well you know, if you're having this like going away moment is to if you're providing guest transportation is you got the buses showing up at that time, right so that, you know, the transportations ready to go Party's over, you know, everybody on the bus, let's go there, but it's really about the the say creating a conclusion to the events. With our smaller weddings one of the best ways that we like to do this because they often skip most of the formalities, we just do dinner and you know, kind of whatever, we sort of end it by having the couple go up and get up and give a thank you speech, just thanking everybody for coming and for engaging and then it's like, Thanks, guys. Have a nice day and have a nice night. Thank you for being here. And we move on. So it's very much about you know, really thinking about how, sorry, my bad, about how you want to conclude things.

Sydney Spidell:

How you want to give people that Yeah, well we've talked about also before about giving people multiple outs. So this is an option for that too - is going okay, you know, not every demographic that is present in your community at your wedding is going to be wanting the same time to leave or the same situation to leave under. So getting the important stuff out of the way a little bit earlier so that the ones with kids or people who are a little bit older or who need to work early the next morning or whatever it is. Still feel as though they've gotten to be involved but don't feel rude, exiting. And then creating you know, an option for your later partiers and then maybe even giving instruction stands for some sort of after party to transition the rest of people out who are just sort of hanging on and still want to jam. So you can, considering the community that you are bringing into this, the people that you are inviting, and the kinds of stuff that they like to get up to you and what you know about them, you can make a pretty informed decision of if you do just need one really firm exit, or you want to add a couple of scattered opportunities throughout it. But the idea there is that even saying goodbye, is still giving the same sort of level of attention as every other portion of it.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, there's also honestly like great ways to even like work meaning into this in a way. So like, one of it's actually been a it's more recent trend that I actually quite love is having a private last dance. And this is really great if you're pairing it with like a sparkler exit or something like that. So you have all your guests file out at the venue, they start getting lined up, they get their sparklers and whoever's managing the fire, find a responsible, sober person to do that, please, and thank you for your wedding planners. You know, but you get everybody sort of lined up with their sparklers, or if you're doing, you know, some kind of toss, whether that's, you know, we want to think organic materials, of course, so maybe leaves or flower petals or something like that, unless you really hate your venue. But the you know, you can sort of line I guess up until that happens, you and your partner can have a last dance was, you know, just sort of wrap up the evening. So you do your last dance, and then you go out, you have your exit, and then you get in your car and you go off wherever you're going to go afterwards. So that's a great way to sort of create something a little bit more formal. Or like I said, you can look at like Sydney mentioned, you can have different opportunities. So maybe you have multiple buses, for if you're doing guest transportation, maybe one comes at like nine o'clock at the conclusion and the majority of the festivities, and then another one comes, you know, at the end of the night, so that people have a choice if they want to leave early, or they want to leave later. So those are all great options. But it's about being intentional and creating formality.

Sydney Spidell:

And then finally, you get that extension, which is about making sure that your experience doesn't just end where the timeline ended, right? We think about the best memories, we enjoy them, because they are still memories, we haven't forgotten about them. So there's something lasting

Corina Waldie:

Yeah,

Sydney Spidell:

in that.

Corina Waldie:

So one of the great ways, it really depends, again, on how much you want to invest. But like a great example of Extension is your thank you cards, you know, that's something that kind of really wraps up the experience for the guest who's receiving that thank you for attending. You know, I'm kind of like anti-favor, necessarily, we didn't kind of haven't really touched on favors necessarily because they're often left behind at the wedding itself. But maybe, with the Thank You card, you send them a small gift in place of a favor. And maybe this can be like a photo of them from your wedding. Once you get your gallery back. Maybe this can be some kind of a, I don't know, some kind of a treat or an edible, but the intent behind extension is thinking about that way to bring back that memory. And to literally extend the experience beyond the day itself.

Sydney Spidell:

Hey, I'm honestly such a stoner, because you said or an edible and I'm like that's so nice. You're sending somebody a little edible. How kind!

Corina Waldie:

oh, I meant chocolate. But you know, I guess if you wanted too.

Sydney Spidell:

I mean weed gummies, but I think you should do that.

Corina Waldie:

Just make sure it's marked so they don't go give it to the kids.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, we don't need any of that. But yeah, like any of those things that again, you're going back to this whole what was this feeling? What was this, this experience that we wanted people to have? And how can we sort of remind them that they had that. And I love the idea of like sending them a photo of them from the wedding. I think that's we've talked a lot about like that whole like photojournalism sort of approach to wedding photography and getting those really candid shots. And I think if you have the budget to like, have enough photographers there to really cover your crowd, that would be such a cool thing to have just a beautiful candid image of each person who was there looking fly, you know, what a sweet touch that would be. I mean, they're gonna find it in your wedding albums anyway, let's be real, we all search other people's wedding photos to make sure we look good and the pictures in the background but still -

Corina Waldie:

Let's be honest though,

Sydney Spidell:

That you notice them is cute.

Corina Waldie:

The vast majority of us we have tons of digital pictures that we never look at again. So, you know, by printing it off and framing it and sending it to them. It's something tangible.

Sydney Spidell:

Kind of special thing in this day and age. Yeah, for sure. I think to like the good way of looking at these five E's and and then thinking about so you can you can look at it and you can apply them to the experience design and each of those concepts is, are those touch points as we have been talking about throughout this, and then you can also go through and bring it back to the experiential design overall and go okay, now that I've created these different touch points, am I still bringing all of these E's through? Like, from a big story? Now I'm looking at it? Does it say this? And then at each touchpoint? Does it give them a little bit of excitement? And a moment of entry? Does it wrap up? So you can think about it? And sorry, we've been talking about it and like the experiential design concept way of sort of your overall night. But if you want to think about an experience design way, on those touch points, think about okay, if the touch point is the guest book, for example, what is the moment that is going to build their excitement for wanting to write in the guest book? What is the moment that is going to say, Yeah, I am here gonna do this. And, and, and I've got the pen in my hand, and it's, you know, exciting. What engages them as they're doing it and makes them think that and why does it matter long term? All of these things, you can expand these concepts really large and make it about your overall experiential design concept. Or you can narrow them in and focus them in on each one of your touch points. And use them to really refine every single step along the way. But they're just they're their life purpose, such a multi useful tool.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, very much. And I think honestly, all of these concepts, experiential design, experience design, you know, really kind of tie in to another concept that's been talked about a lot, too, is this idea of human centered design. So one of the things about design, like we were talking about at the beginning of the episode is about form and function and how those two intersect. But you know, oftentimes weddings, because they are typically very commonly common and templated. And we sort of have a lot of these expectations, we don't necessarily think about how that design is impacting the person as an actual human. So for example, you know, maybe you have, you know, like you mentioned earlier in the episode, Sydney, talking about the ceremony, making sure that people are positioned in a right way that they can see that they can hear, so that they can engage in the experience. This is looking for actual, you know, sensory engagement. So, you know, how do we want to, so maybe you have somebody who gets overwhelmed. So if you've got lots of lights, or you've got lots of bright, whatever going on, is creating a space that they can retreat to, it's really, you know, there's a saying that goes, which I actually firmly believe, and is that good design is accessible design, that's what we're ultimately talking about. And accessibility also goes beyond, or goes into, you know, even just making sure that if you do have children, at your wedding, that there is activities that are age appropriate for the children, that are there. Creating intentional engagement for them, you know, maybe having some kind of

Sydney Spidell:

Children are humans too

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, you know, maybe they have some kind of separate party or separate room that they can retreat to. So if you're having the loud, crazy party, everyone's drunk, the kids can have a space that they can kind of retreat to, and have their own activities and safety, maybe have that supervised with some kind of a babysitting service or nanny service. And just ensure that, you know, the kids are taken care of as well. If you have breastfeeding mothers even, or you're breastfeeding people, that they have a space that they can go and privately feed their child, right. So it's just thinking about the actual specific needs of the people who are coming, and ensuring that they're taken care of, because I can promise you if you have a specific need, that is going to that you have seen that there's an intentional, you know, it's intentionally seen to, that's going to make all the difference in your experience. You can have all of the fanfare and expensive food and whatever. But if I have a specific need that excludes me from that experience, that isn't seen to that is the fastest way to make me disengage, or not necessarily have a good time.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, so your experiential design is considering all of the impacts on a person who is interacting with your experience. And your human centered design is considering the person who is interacting with your experience. Now, that doesn't mean that you are then designing an entire thing for one person specifically, but it means that rather than thinking of people as some sort of homogenous bubble, instead, you're thinking there are some people who have these needs. There are some people who have these needs and there are some people who have these needs and how can this touch point? How can this thing work for all of them? So yeah, I mean, you're, when you consider that, you help to navigate around certain implicit biases that we all might have, because if I am totally able bodied, then when I consider what needs to be done for step ABCD, I'm not necessarily considering somebody with mobility difficulties, who needs a certain kind of grippy flooring to be able to make it up the stairs that I've laid out all shiny and new. So I'm creating a bad experience for that person, but everybody who then needs to awkwardly be like, Oh, I can engage in this and someone else can't. And then you're also creating, need to create contingencies for every single person. So human centered design is just like, think about people, and actual people and what they need. And yeah, and just consider things a little bit more deeply. I think your good experience and like good experience design specifically is kind of impossible to do without human centered design, and experiential design, because it is so conceptual. I mean, it's either gonna find its way in there or won't. But like I said, if you're getting down to those touch points, you can design something that you think is going to be fantastic, and it doesn't meet the needs of everyone. And therefore what use is it really?

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, well, I think too also, especially if your purpose is to a into your guests have a good time or to make your guests feel cared for, by going through this intentional exercise, or being intentional about experience design and purpose design, or sorry, experience design and human centered design really fits into that purpose. They really tie hand in hand into why you're having this wedding in the first place. Right? So this is why we constantly bring them up, you know, throughout all of our podcast episodes of talking about these different elements when you're planning your wedding.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, and then okay, yeah, is there anything else I think, I think really the last thing that we had there so is this is what the concept is, this is why we talk about it so much when it comes into interaction with your wedding, it's because we truly believe in intention. We, we believe in these things that we organize for people and in their meaning. And if you do just end up making something that is so templated, or it's so easy to make the same wedding everybody else has done, it's just so easy. But you have nothing then to distinguish your wedding from the people that are there making those vows. So your if you even if you don't have people involved if even if you're just considering your own experience and what you want it to be or you're considering the experience of the limited vendors you're working with, as you go through this, like including your officiant and stuff, please consider them. You know, that is where you can just totally leave behind the limitations of the these templates, and begin to build something that means so much more.

Corina Waldie:

Well, like I said, We talk all the time throw out the wedding rulebook, stop following rules and expectations and plan for yourself. You know, there's this preconceived notion that weddings need to be certain things, you need to do certain things, you need to check off certain lists, you need to you know, this is like a lot of this, you know, templated wedding planning stuff, which is great in its own way, can really limit your creativity or limit what it is that you want to achieve by because like you literally just going down the checklist photographer, check, flowers check, you know, you're not necessarily you know, thinking about ultimately about the experience you're creating. And like said, this is where you get these super, super generic weddings, especially if you're following a lot of trends and pinning and I'm not saying that that's not okay. You can totally do that if that's the kind of wedding that you want

Sydney Spidell:

Oh my god, we love Pinterest

Corina Waldie:

Pinterest is crack let's be honest, I can, I'm a little shame talk about the size the number of pins and the size of many of my boards, but I digress

Sydney Spidell:

No shame. Beauty is love

Corina Waldie:

But honestly like I said when you're thinking about these experience, the experience and purpose is what really gives you a starting point to make this event yours and make it personally yours and something that will be memorable both now and 10 years from now so that you know your family be like oh yeah remember you know like Sydney and Corina's wedding and how awesome XYZ was. Because they you did something that was so unique and so different.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah. Yeah, I think if you want to have a wedding that is totally different. Stop planning a wedding. Stop planning a wedding, and instead create your purpose then like uses this episode and the last one. Create your wedding purpose. Come up with these, this feeling, this concept for your experiential design, and then go from there. And if you then start using those like more templated wedding tools, at least you'll be doing some from a place where you've already detached yourself from the need to have certain things. And you'll be coming at it from a hey, but this is something that is a structure in place that I can utilize to get to my goal that I came up with. And yeah, and then you're then you're planning something for you.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly.

Sydney Spidell:

All right, well, I think it's me signing off this time, I really couldn't remember that

Corina Waldie:

Yes, yes it's you.

Sydney Spidell:

So I guess, listeners, lovely listeners. So sweet listeners. I'm going to say goodbye to you now. Because that's it for another episode of the Un-Wedding Podcast. So hopefully your obsession with experience. No, not your obsession. Our obsession with experience makes a little bit more sense now if you've been listening to us throughout this podcast journey. But if you just can't handle it, you're like 46 minutes is not enough. Let's talk more. Then you can follow us on TikTok, Instagram - our handle is @unweddingmovement. You can also visit our site for more information on us in what we do, book us as a planner, you know, check out some of our amazing free resources. The website is unweddingmovement.com. You can also subscribe to our podcast because you know you like listening to our voices. And we're gonna be here every single week chatting with you. All you need to do is look us up on your podcast platform of choice. But until our next topic and the next thing we need to serenade you with, we're gonna say cheers.

Sydney Spidell:

You can find us on the Internet at unweddingmovement.com or on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest @unweddingmovement. Our podcast episodes are released weekly, and available wherever you like to stream.