For many brides (and grooms) there can come an underwhelming feeling that their wedding has to be a traditional affair with all the usual customs and an enormous guest list. For most of them, straying from the traditional white wedding would seem incomprehensible, especially when you throw in pressure from close family. The net result is they find themselves at logger heads with their nearest and dearest over what they really want.
It is true to say that traditionally if the bride’s parents paid for the wedding then they would have the most say over the theme and feel of the day. These days however most couples pay for the wedding themselves or at least a significant portion of it, which means that they should actually have more control over the wedding planning and the day they want. Many bride’s will point to feeling they have to plan a wedding that pleases other people more than it does themselves, such is the pressure to ‘keep everyone happy’.
But it doesn’t have to be this way and more and more couples are breaking free from the constraints of the traditional white wedding and choosing something more unconventional.
The modern wedding can be very diverse with brides becoming more innovative and creative with their choices of venues and details. Being original has become the key objective and with the internet now playing a major role in wedding planning, inspiration comes from many different (and surprising) sources!
So what do I mean by unconventional?
Destination weddings are now hugely popular but were perhaps one of the first types of ‘unconventional’ wedding, as many couples chose to rebel against the traditional local chapel ceremony and hotel reception. The lure of sunny shores and stunning backdrops has proved too tempting and destination weddings have now become big business.
But if you wanted to stay at home there is still plenty to inspire you when it comes to non-conventional wedding planning! From venues to wedding cakes, wacky themes to DIY details and alternative ceremonies, these days anything goes, you just need to be brave! A wedding should be a reflection of the couple’s personalities, their likes, interests and hobbies and although you do not have to go so far as dressing like Shrek and Princess Fiona you shouldn’t feel you have to go down the path of formality and tradition either. Today many wedding photographers say they receive more bookings for contemporary photographs than they do traditional, formal posed shots. Couples are loving the quirky nature of photographs taken in unusual poses or with props because the style really helps to make their wedding album unique to them.
Dealing with family expectations……
You may come under pressure from your closest family to put on a wedding day that appeals more to them than it does to you and many couples will relate to an influx of people suddenly putting forward their own ideas and ‘suggestions’ in a bid to influence you. If you know the kind of wedding you want then you need to put your foot down from the start and tell everyone, politely but firmly that this is how it will be. They may not like it, but most will come around in time and I have read stories of brides who met fierce resistance from the family only for them to absolutely love the wedding day when it finally arrived! Your wedding should be about the two of you so you need to stick to your guns.
The trend for the unconventional…….
There have always been a percentage of couples who choose to do ‘something different’. The most wacky and unusual often end up in the media somewhere, such as YouTube or the national press. Recent trends have included choreographed ceremonies which include all the guests and officiants dancing and singing together; weddings full of vintage or retro details; unconventional first dances and even sky-diving ceremonies! For those who want something a little less extreme, pets at weddings, invitations printed on tea towels and swapping vintage cars for bicycles are just a few ideas!
Don’t be afraid to flout tradition and do something different. You will only plan this day once (hopefully!) and it should be all you want it to be. Some may have to compromise somewhere along the line, whilst others will find they are met with little or no resistance, in either case however, you shouldn’t allow others to influence your decision making. Make your wedding day as unique and original as you are!