Many of us go into the wedding planning process with set ideas and a formula in mind based on traditions that have been passed down or features we’ve seen at other celebrations. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating wedding traditions that have spanned the ages, more and more people are choosing to put a twist on conventional plans. If you’re keen to put your own stamp on your wedding, here are some suggestions to make your big day truly unforgettable.

Big Day Plans

Your outfits

Some people will head into a suit store or a bridal boutique knowing exactly what they want, but for others, it can take time to put the perfect outfit together. When it comes to wedding outfits, there is scope to show off your personality, celebrate a theme or design a look that complements the venue and feel of the day. It’s tradition to wear a flowing white gown or a princess dress, but there are no set rules, and if you’d rather think outside of the box and opt for something more relaxed, casual or eye-catching, don’t hold back. You can choose from a vast array of styles of gowns, you could swap a dress for a tailored jumpsuit or you could add a pair of trainers or wellies instead of Cinderella style slippers to complement a farm or festival wedding.

Take some time to browse and try on different styles, use accessories to make your outfit unique and don’t be afraid to inject your own sense of style. You might want to wear a traditional wedding dress, but jazz it up and make it personal to you with a statement necklace or a pair of show-stopping vintage heels, for example. You can be as imaginative as you like, and you can put your own spin on your outfits, as well as those selected for the bridal party.

Your photographer

When you hear the words wedding photographer, what kinds of images spring to mind? Many of us will automatically think of staged portraits and family shots, with aunties, siblings and cousins arranged in age or height order. While this style of photography is very popular, and many couples want to have a selection of family photos, you don’t have to opt for a traditional vibe. Some people prefer a more subtle approach, and they want to flick through photos that document stories and really give an insight into the day. Rather than asking guests and brides and grooms to pose for snaps, a natural wedding photographer will click away while the vows are being said, the cake is cut and the first dance is in full swing to capture those magical, intimate moments and tell the story of the day. Before you decide on a photographer for your special day, view portfolios and think about the kinds of shots you want to look through in years to come. 

Your vows

Many couples will book a wedding wanting to stand in front of their family and friends and recite vows they’ve heard numerous times before. Traditional vows have meaning, and for many, they represent exactly what marriage stands for. For others, that moment is a chance to share how they feel and put those feelings into words. Writing your own vows gives you an opportunity to tell your partner what the day means to you and to celebrate your relationship using your own, unique words. If you do decide to write your own vows, try not to panic or overthink. Just be open and honest about what that person standing opposite you means to you and how you feel when you think about spending the rest of your lives together. You don’t need to be a poetry maestro or a best-selling author. 

Big Day Plans

Your theme

When you think about a wedding, you might conjure up a vision of a church or a country house, long tables with candles and vases of flowers and vintage cars. Traditional weddings remain very popular, but they’re not for everyone. Introducing a theme is a means of planning a unique or quirky event, which offers something different. Many couples are now straying from the conventional wedding template and there are all kinds of themes you can explore. From ethereal outdoor gatherings and rock and roll concerts to laid-back al fresco festivals, beach weddings and family-friendly winter wonderlands, there’s something for everyone. Use your wedding to celebrate your relationship and opt for a theme that means something to you. You could tie the knot at the zoo if you’re both animal mad or you went to see the animals on your first date, or you could plan your own festival if you’ve spent the last few years touring the country watching bands and sharing tents. 

Your playlist

The speeches are done, the first dance is out of the way and it’s time to get the party started. For many couples, there’s nothing more fun than getting onto the dance floor surrounded by family and friends. Creating your own playlist is one of the simplest and most effective ways to put your stamp on your wedding party and get everyone involved in the celebrations. Choose songs that mean something to you, trigger memories by including tracks that take you back to holidays, family parties, memorable dates or hilarious times at school or university, and encourage all ages to get up and dance. Ask your guests to provide suggestions when you send out your invitations and finish on a high with a song that all your guests know. You want to look back on the night with fond memories and reminisce for years to come every time you hear songs from your wedding playlist. 

Your wedding breakfast

In days gone by, the wedding breakfast typically involved sitting at a designated table, eating a three-course dinner, making small talk with other guests and raising a toast while listening to the speeches. Today, there are all kinds of options available for those who fancy doing something a little less formal or structured. From mobile food vans, sharing boards and roast dinners to afternoon tea and casual brunches, you can serve any kind of food in almost any setting. If you love the idea of your guests queuing up for a hot dog before they get on a merry-go-round or listen to a live band while sitting on a hay bale, or you want to channel your inner Alice and create a wonderland in which to enjoy a vintage tea party, go for it! Informal catering options are often a lot cheaper than sit-down meals and you can provide a wider range of dishes to cater to different dietary requirements and tastes. There’s also an opportunity to channel your theme and to offer something your guests might not have seen before. 

There is a reason why traditional weddings remain hugely popular. Many couples love the old traditions and what they stand for. The great news is that, today, there’s an opportunity to put a twist on the conventional and personalise your plans. If you want to do something different, or you’re keen to combine traditional concepts with contemporary ideas, there are myriad ways you can put your stamp on your big day. Take your time to think about what you want the day to be like and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. From your outfits and your venue to the food you serve and the music you play, your special day should be a unique celebration of your relationship. 

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