You’re doing WHAT for your wedding?

Last week I wrote about the sixties and how that era ushered in more self-expression, which, in turn affected weddings. I often write about doing things a little differently, how your wedding can be uniquely you. But what does the mean exactly? Beyond, say, unique signage or cool guest books, interesting décor… can you imagine a completely different approach? Here are two great examples from couples I worked with, who, while not reinventing the wheel, certainly broke the mold. 

First, while meeting with a couple and discussing the ceremony I would create for them, they shared their vision of what the entire day would look like – exactly how they saw it and planned it.

We all do this, all the time. We fantasize about an upcoming trip or some future event, and its especially enticing to envision one of the most important days in your life – your wedding. But often that vision is based on what we’ve seen, or how we’re told it ‘should’ be. It’s difficult to reimagine something when there are no alternatives to inspire you. It’s a rare person who can think differently.

But this couple had no trouble breaking the rules! They truly were able to prioritize what mattered to them and how that impacted the entire day.

They chose a beautiful hotel with the ceremony to take place on an outdoor deck overlooking a stream (with an appropriate indoor back up plan of course). The small group of family and friends will then go from the ceremony to another gorgeous space – set up with one long table for all. They will be served what they characterized as ‘small plates.’

Lovely little taste. Photo: Rhinehart Photography

Small plates refers to the trend of serving many tasty dishes resembling appetizers. You can taste a variety of food and still not over-eat. It’s a bit like tapas. In fact, I think it is tapas. The food selections would be off the venue’s menu, because they loved it and felt they wanted what the chef does best – the regular dishes made there, rather than a specially prepared meal for the masses. I understand their reasoning, but this is only possible with a small group of guests. If you are having 100 or 200 or more guests your venue has to prepare a limited catered menu.

Neither the couple nor their family wanted to have dancing. It just doesn’t suit them – they’d rather sit around and talk. Older family members or anyone tuckered out will be able to adjourn to their rooms at the hotel, and others might hang out at the hotel  bar. 

They chose not to have music, and they are even skipping flowers. They set a budget and put their money into the high-end menu and venue with limited guests. I was very impressed with their ability to make these choices, and I know it will be fantastic. Personally, I can’t imagine a celebration without music – but that’s me. The whole point is they knew what theywanted.

On the other end of the spectrum is the couple who are very focused on the music and dancing, because it is a musical family. Their Latin roots combined with family members of musical abilities, they knew their day would be full of jam sessions and joy. And that is exactly how it should be for them. They are a fun-loving out-going couple with friends and family who want nothing more than to play and dance the night away. So they are hiring one of their favorite bands, well known to the community who will get their party started. Throughout the evening family and friends will be sitting in with the band – guest singers, players, lots of speeches and toasts and special dances. A wedding festival on the highest order. I’m so happy for them and glad to get to know them and be a part of it.

Dance the night away if its your thing! Sure looks fun.
Thanks to Lisa Rhinehart once again for her awesome photography.

Some other good examples of extremely non-traditional weddings I’ve been a part of include one at a campground with all the guests camping out, a few by waterfalls, a ceremony in the snow, a picnic wedding, and a surprise wedding – just to name a few. Just to be completely clear – the wedding is not a surprise to the couple, only the guests! 

My point is that you really don’t have to follow the conventional form for a wedding, unless that is what you want. Certainly, doing it in the classic style is wonderful – there is much to love about sometime traditional – it makes us feel comfortable and connects us in many ways. Whatever direction you go in, for both ceremony and reception, take some time to think through what makes you happy. Even wedding venues that have packages for you will be surprisingly flexible. You just have to ask.  

As they say: you be you!

find me on facebook – Lois Heckman, Celebrant, and Instagram – Lois Heckman

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Thanks again to photographer Lisa Rhinehart for the use of her stunning photographs.

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