Contrary to popular belief, your wedding doesn’t have to be perfect. At least, it doesn’t have to be perfect according to traditional, societal wedding standards. It can and should, however, be perfect for your lifestyle. While unconventional weddings used to be controversial, they are quickly becoming accepted and even celebrated as modern alternatives to tradition.
Unconventional Ideas for the Modern Couple
The expectations for marriage ceremonies are changing with each new generation. For instance, the majority of millennials reject traditional, western wedding practices. They feel pressure to either have a perfect, conventional marriage ceremony or forgo marriage altogether. As time has gone on, the way people think about weddings has changed and grown positively.
Now, couples are encouraged to organize a wedding ceremony per their own level of comfortability and preferences. If you and your spouse-to-be don’t fit into the traditional wedding mold, it’s time to consider some unique ideas.
1. Ditch the Flowers and Personalize Your Decor
Traditionally, flowers have been a fixture at weddings, but the reality is that some people are allergic to pricey floral arrangements, and some couples may not even like flowers — and that’s okay! There are other wedding decorations to peruse. You can craft centerpieces with candy, line aisles with faux greenery, or adorn table runners with handwritten wedding vows. It’s truly up to you, and decor personalization can make you and your partner feel as though your wedding is authentically representative of you as a couple.
2. Elope, Then Party Later
If you or your partner aren’t into being the center of attention, consider eloping and having a private wedding with just the two of you. After all, relationships are best built on a foundation of trust and understanding. For instance, if you know that your partner’s depression and anxiety don’t bode well with large crowds, you can make mental health considerations on your wedding day to put them at ease.
Eloping isn’t a secret or scandal anymore. You can elope and tell people about it beforehand. This way, nobody will feel left out, and you can choose to have a party to celebrate with friends and family after the fact.
3. Exchange Alternative Wedding Bands
When it comes time to exchange rings, you are presented with another opportunity to show off your unique style and express your personality in a way that lasts a lifetime.
It’s perfectly okay to forgo traditional wedding bands. You should look into purchasing practical, alternative wedding bands that suit your unique needs and will last for years. For instance, more durable jewelry is suitable for an active lifestyle, while black diamond rings might compliment more edgy and eclectic brides and grooms.
4. Find a Unique Wedding Venue
Oftentimes, event spaces specifically marketed as wedding venues will look cookie-cutter, providing similar decor and lighting situations for each wedding held there. These wedding-specific halls can be a nice pick if you bring your own personalized decor, but there are other options. Here are some unique venues to consider:
- State parks;
- Virtual ceremonies;
- Ice rinks;
- Coffee shops;
Get creative with your venue search. Look for businesses that also happen to provide event space rentals. Of course, you can nix the venue altogether and have a backyard wedding. This could be particularly exciting if you have recently purchased a home with your future spouse.
5. Plan Fun Wedding Reception Games
If you do invite a larger number of people, it can be helpful to have wedding reception activities planned. This can relieve the pressure that comes with traditional first dances and awkward glass-clinking, beckoning the couple to kiss for the millionth time. Instead of breaking the silence with nerve-racking speeches or cheesy wedding DJs, you can provide the entertainment yourself. Some unique reception ideas include:
- Flashlight tag;
- The Newlywed Game (your version, of course);
- Musical chairs;
- Photo booths.
Feel free to put your twist on any of these games or activities. For example, instead of a photo booth, try a video booth. This can be a great opportunity for guests to leave a quick message for the newlywed couple.
6. Serve Food You Enjoy
Instead of adhering to a fancy dinner menu provided by caterers, explore other options to feed your guests. While it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy, you can provide a fun experience and include foods that you love. Food exemplifies tradition, and guests will be delighted to take part in a new tradition that screams “you.” Some alternative wedding food ideas might be:
- Food trucks;
- Taco bars;
- Sushi platters;
- To-go bags;
Whatever you and your partner prefer, it will be a hit. It’s your day, and the menu should reflect that.
7. Slice Up An Alternative Wedding Cake (Or Other Dessert)
The quintessential dessert at every wedding is cake. Couples go cake taste-testing, and the ornate buttercream is piped to perfection. Your cake can be customized to match your decor, or you can opt for a dessert that isn’t the traditional cake at all. Consider:
- Fault line cakes;
- Cupcake towers;
- Donut walls;
- Cookie tables;
- Ice cream bars;
- S’mores carts;
- Fondue fountains.
The options are endless. Whatever your sweet tooth desires, you can likely make it into a wedding-appropriate dessert.
8. Switch Up the Bridal Party
When drafting your bridal party, remember that there are no hard and fast rules. You can have anyone, regardless of gender or relationship, stand next to you as you exchange vows with the love of your life. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are classic components of a wedding, but you don’t have to adhere to these traditional additions. Go with your gut on this one — not the way you want a line of blush-colored dresses and crisp suits to look.
9. Wear Whatever You Want
Speaking of attire, you should wear whatever your heart desires on your wedding day. While there are rules for selecting formal wear at a wedding, you don’t necessarily have to follow them. While the bride is conventionally expected to wear white, that might not mesh with your style. There are more colorful options, or you can choose to add unique jewelry or sashes. Grooms can also stray from the traditional tuxedo, and may opt instead for a crisp shirt, suspenders, and slacks.
Another thing to consider is the weather. In warmer climates or venues, cooler clothes may be the smartest decision. You don’t even have to dress formally. If your wedding is on a beach, for instance, you might choose to get married in shorts. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable and happy.
Remember That It’s Your Wedding Day
Modern weddings allow for customization. This allows the couple to relax and put smiles on their faces instead of wrinkles in their brows. As societal norms advance, lovers deciding to converge in holy matrimony don’t have to abide by traditional, perceived constraints anymore. With the freedom to choose your wedding day decor, rings, activities, attire, and more, you can express your unique style as a modern couple. Rest assured knowing that your non-traditional wedding day now has the potential to be the best, stress-free day of your life.