Following wedding trends isn’t my passion. Mostly, I really like to focus on the meaning of the wedding and marriage. But I must admit it is fun to look at what different couples are doing from time to time, and I have found a few ideas to share.
Here’s an easy and simple one: At the reception, instead of two chairs for the newlyweds why not use a love seat? How cozy and cute is that?
Have a Dixieland, Mardi Gras Brass Band, Mariachi band or other musicians who can be mobile, to lead you out of the ceremony or into the reception. Bagpipers do this all the time. I love this! Or how about entering (or exiting) on a motorcycle, tandem bike, horses, fire truck (yes, I had a couple do that one!) or other special mode of transportation.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – non-matching bridesmaids dresses are fabulous! I don’t know why I love it so much, but when the colors blend it just looks cool. Also it allows the women to choose what they truly want to wear. No small thing.
Fireworks! What a great ending to a special evening, or have them for the kiss at the conclusion of the ceremony. Confetti cannons are great for the kiss as well!
Unusual venues. Weddings can take place in art galleries and museums, universities, libraries, parks (make sure there’s a back-up rain plan, though) conservatories or botanical gardens. I’ve officiated in a tree house and in a horse stable. I’ve also officiated weddings in theaters – at Penn’s Peak, the Civic Theatre of Allentown, the Mauch Chunk Opera House, the Shawnee Playhouse, and probably a few more I can’t remember.
And of course barns! The barn wedding is no longer unusual, but it is still terrific. Barns can mean many things, but if it means farm, you could consider an orchard for the ceremony location. To complete the barn wedding feel, plan a hayride and other outdoor activities; hire a bluegrass band to play through the day!
Party first, ceremony second. Yes, you can do this. Or perhaps just the cocktail hour first, then the ceremony followed by the reception or full meal. It’s a great way to relax before the nuptials, and not over eat, at least not all at once!
And for the ceremony itself – include rituals that reflect your theme and your worldview. Use elements from nature – pebbles, branches, water and trees; it is both beautiful and meaningful. I’ve written about rituals endlessly in Pocono Wedding Talk, but I can’t stress enough how much personalized ritualistic elements add to the ceremony experience.
Support a social cause, issue or anything meaningful to you. Couples can dedicate their wedding to a family member with a difficult diagnosis by asking for donations to finding the cure, rather than gifts for themselves. This is especially great for (somewhat) older couples who don’t really need more ‘stuff’. Think of it as “I give” along with “I do.” Help the homeless by asking for a day’s wages from each guest for your local shelter. Or if you don’t want to your guests to give, you can give favors that support a cause.
Your wedding can be an exciting and fun expression of your values and love as you begin the journey of lifetime.