Weddings are a traditional event in themselves. Beginning as a solely transactional occasion for many families, it has evolved into an expression of love and celebration with your friends and family. Every wedding has elements that are familiar to the popular world, but that doesn’t mean that your style aligns with them as a couple.
The wedding industry as a whole defines “traditional” in many ways – through fashion, ceremony schedule, guests and more. But what do you do if you aren’t (and have never been) traditional? Here are a few options to help you go against the grain.
A great way to cut out some of the noise of wedding planning is to go without traditional bridesmaids and groomsmen, and allow room for simply you and your fiancé. It cuts out wrangling 10-12 people across the country, group text messages, and additional costs. It also ups the peace during wedding planning.
Since COVID-19 began, we’ve seen more and more couples make the decision to not have a wedding party, for public safety reasons. The decision is starting to grow beyond health and safety, as more couples have decided what they want to prioritize during their wedding.
On the flip side, if you’re concerned about support outside of your wedding planner, you can always appoint a close friend or relative to help you move things forward. A nice alternative we’ve witnessed is having a dedicated “inner circle” – a group of the closest people in your lives who support you throughout the wedding planning process, but can avoid the matching suits and dresses. Some folks’ inner circles attend the wedding in color coordinated fashion, to still have uniformity.
Although we all swoon over the traditional white wedding pictures, those don’t have to be yours. Traditionally, white has been worn at weddings to signify that brides were “pure.” In modern society brides, grooms and everyone in between, should feel the freedom to wear what makes them happy.
You could switch the white dress for an ivory, blush, bright, or even black colored outfit. Don’t be afraid to make a statement. It’s your day!
Who says you have to get married in a church? If it’s your aunt that used to change your diapers, take that advice with a grain of salt. During our Purposely Designed process, we encourage our clients to explore different venues. You could choose a place that’s important to you, like where you first met, or a place you’ve spent your whole life, like your childhood home.
Where we’re located, in North Carolina and the surrounding areas, there are thousands of beautiful wedding venues. Mountains, elegant barns, botanical gardens, lakes, beaches, wineries, castles, and more can make your day feel even more magical.
You don’t have to stick to the superstition that you mustn’t see or interact with your future spouse the entire day. This is a day of celebration, and if you two want to connect before the ceremony, you have every right to!
A first look with your spouse is a private moment before the ceremony when you get to be surprised by how amazing you both look. Take a few minutes to take in the tuxedos, dresses, or jumpsuits. Admire each other’s makeup, hair, nails, shoes and jewelry. All before the big day begins. This is a great way to relieve some wedding day jitters, and even utilize the time for photos before the ceremony, so you can enjoy more of your cocktail hour.
If a first look isn’t your thing, a first touch is also an option. This is where you have an intimate moment of physical contact with your future spouse, but you’re not able to see each other. You can hold hands, or brush fingertips from around a corner, or even blindfolded.
Both options give you a chance to bask in that intimacy and sit in that moment with your soon-to-be spouse.
Cue ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyoncé! If you want to save your guests the delicate dance of the entire wedding’s eyes on them as they head to catch the garter or bouquet, you can choose to. It can sometimes bring unexpected pressure or awkwardness to your guests, if they aren’t comfortable with that display.
And most importantly, if you’ve never been a fan of it, or want to try something different, stick to some non traditional reception moments. A newlywed game, or even extra time on the dancefloor can replace the tosses.
We love when couples decide to try something different with their wedding desserts! This is perfect if you’re a foodie couple. Swapping out traditional cake with other sweet treats is a great way to showcase some of your favorite delights. It also gives guests who aren’t a fan of cake, other options.
If you still want to have a cake, you could have a bride and groom cake of your own. This allows you to still enjoy that German chocolate goodness, while having assorted options for your guests to choose from. Some of our favorites we’ve seen from clients are mini funnel cakes, cupcakes, donuts, brownies, and assorted desserts.
It’s time to jazz up the old school guest books where folks usually sign on the dotted line. There are so many great options to replace the book you’ll probably never look at again.
Something that could be more meaningful is a telephone guest “book.” Your guests can press a button and leave a voice message. You could also try a “confessional” style video with individual guests. Your videographer would travel around the reception gathering well wishes and video messages from your loved ones. You could also have artwork that you can hang in your home, to collect signatures. Use this opportunity to acknowledge the ones that support you, and create even more memories.
Be as traditional or untraditional as you’d like, when planning your wedding! Purposely Designed Event Planning is dedicated to ensuring our couples show up in their best possible way, and if that means breaking all the “rules,” so be it.
Let us know what non-traditional elements you are planning to incorporate in your big day!