For some couples, keeping with the tradition is an important part of their wedding day but for more and more; the ‘set way’ of doing things is less relevant. In this post I share some examples of how you can veer a little away from the norm…
Hire a celebrant
Depending on the type of ceremony you chose, there are likely to be restrictions on what you can and cannot say and include. If you are getting married in a Church of England, for example, you will have little to no option to make changes. If you choose a civil ceremony, there is more scope although there are certain vows that must be said, for it to be legal, and just how much scope you have will depend on the registrar (ensure you check well in advance). If you want to do away with tradition entirely and create a ceremony uniquely your own, one way of doing this is by hiring a celebrant. You will still need to complete the legal parts beforehand (most couples opt for a simple affair at their local registry office) but hiring a celebrant will enable you to design the ceremony of your choice, at the location and time of your choice without restriction in terms of what you must or must not say or what you have to include. Anything is possible!
With social media such a big deal today, some couples are choosing to ‘go unplugged’ as a way of retaining some of the privacy and specialness of their big day – all phones and devices banned from the ceremony (and sometimes also reception) – this is a “leave your phone at the door” policy. I quite like it.
Invite YOUR nearest and dearest
Years ago when it was likely that the parents paid for most of the wedding, it was expected that couples invite each and every (distant) family relative. Now, many couples are paying for a large majority of their day themselves and it is increasingly acceptable to invite only those people close to you or those you can be certain will be part of your lives going forwards. You may still have the family politics to navigate, if you decide not to invite certain people, however, many couples are putting their foot down at including guests at their wedding they either won’t recognise or haven’t seen in over a decade…
Do away with the table plan
The opposite extreme of the table plan is not to have one - reserve your seats (as Bride and Groom) and allow the other guests to sit where they please. Whilst this could work really well for a specific type of wedding reception, it does hold the possibility of being a little bit tricky in terms of logistics and politics. An alternative is to allocate guests a table but not a specific seat – let them decide where they want to sit once they arrive at their table. I love this idea and it can save a lot of hassle redoing seating plans due guests dropping out at the last minute.
Freedom of speech!
If you are a bride with something to say and it is important to you to say a few words on your big day – do it! You don’t have to stick to the Father of the Bride, Groom, Best Man line up!
These are but a few ideas for you, I could go on, the main thing I want to leave you with is – do what is right for you both, enjoy it and don’t restrict yourselves. This is, after all, your wedding day.