Not everybody wants a run-of-the-mill wedding day.
There are elements of every wedding that remain individual to the couple, but often there are brides and grooms who just want to throw all of those outdated customs out the window and make a day that is perfectly applicable to them. (These weddings are always the best ones, by the way). Weddings that are a little off-centre create a day that is focused entirely on love and individuality, rather than an old-timey rule book and a wedding that looks just like the one your cousin had, and your bestie had, and the girl two doors down from you had. You don’t want that. Making your wedding yours will be the thing that you remember the most about it - not to mention the thing that reinforces my absolute love for my job.
I’ve put together a list of my favourite off-beat wedding details that disregard all tradition for any brides looking to mix it up.
1. Dancin’ Shoes
Gotta love a bride in sneakers. More often than not, a sneaker-bride will wear heels for their ceremony and change into some cute sneaks for their reception, their first dance, or for all post-formality jiggin’.
But, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be comfortable all day, particularly if you’re not used to heels already! Take an opportunity to by some sparkly kicks and reach peak bride comfort. I guarantee you’ll wear them again. And again.
2. Not-So-White Wedding Dress
About wedding dresses: white wedding dresses are very quickly becoming a thing of the past. Even traditional brides are tending to edge towards off-white varieties: ivory, cream or peach colours. But you can go even wilder, if that’s your jam.
Dresses with a colourful element really pop - and what better way to go unconventional than with a dress you’ll probably only get to wear once? Have fun with it!
Let’s not forget the groom - they seem to get a little bit left out of all this wedding stuff and it ain’t fair. They’re a pretty important part, after all. In order to tie in the grooms outfit with the bride’s, there is primarily neutral suit colours, plain shirts, with a dab of colour in the form of a floral tie and buttonhole.
My theory is this: don’t stop at the buttonhole; pull your colour scheme into the grooms outfit in some other way that hasn’t been done to death (i.e. fun socks? Go bigger). Mismatched or floral shirt buttons, collar embroidery and a brooch or collar chain instead of a necktie are all ways to steer away from your everyday suit-and-tie option.
4. A Flower-less Crown
Again, you only get to do this once - do it proper. I was very dubious with the idea of crowns at weddings, but I have seen a few now that are just regal without being tacky or overdone. If it is kept thin and intricate rather than heavy-set Disney-Princess style, you can absolutely make it work.
5. Re-Use/Recycle (Your Grandparents Were Cooler Than You Think)
I didn’t use my grandmother’s wedding dress, per-se, but when she showed it to me, I got some very real and exciting ideas for my own. I had my dress underway, at this stage, so asking her to give it to me to chop up and reuse was a little redundant, but I think it’s an amazing thing to do, and I would recommend everybody consider it. Not only are all trends from the fifties and sixties back in a big way, but they don’t look the same as every other twenty-first century dress on the planet, which is a nice change. Wedding dresses can cut into five-digits-worth of savings, and when you only wear it once, why not consider going for the more personal, (not to mention planet-friendly) option? There is an abundance of dresses in grandma closets across the world that are lonely and wondering why they’re not being loved anymore. Do it for them. Do it for the dresses.
Ah, hats. They’re need to either be done well or done zero. It needs to sit well in relation to the entire wedding, and that is where a lot of hats fall flat. For a wedding that is dressed-down, fairly casual, and laid back, a hat is a perfect way to top it off. Otherwise, destination weddings, (aka the desert, YES), are just screaming for the shade of a lovely piece of headwear.
7. Unconventional Portraits
One of my first (and favourite) weddings of all time was that of two of my good friends who got married at nineteen and twenty (can you believe it? Don’t worry, they’re still together and still stupidly in love) down in Shepperton, Victoria. They had a low-key, informal wedding, and decided to have a pre-wedding “first look”, and then went to get a coffee … in their wedding gear.
We sat in a cafe, them sipping coffee and looking fabulous, and me shooting pictures in a beautifully lit, unique location (my favourite thing to do).
Consider taking yourself out of the higgledy-piggledy of a wedding day, and have a breather. Go to a cafe, a burger joint, a sushi restaurant (take your photographer, of course), and get some pictures that you can guarantee will be one-of-a-kind.
What do you think? Send me a note at email@example.com and let me know! Which of these seems like you?
I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours …
All unsourced images are the work of Elk Avenue