How to Have a Non-Traditional Wedding (Part 1)
You’re about to get married or know someone who is:
If you’re reading this and you haven’t had your wedding yet, I know everything will work out. That seating arrangement making you pull your hair out or having dreams that you walk down the aisle naked? Totally normal. Even if a few things go wrong, you will survive and your wedding will still be fabulous. If you already got married-I’m sure you had the best day ever and I want to see pictures!
I speak from experience when I say things will work out so I’m reliable source. For example: the restaurant where we had reserved for the rehearsal dinner decided to change locations because they ‘thought their other location was prettier.’ We only found after my mother-in-law showed up there to set up. When my mom arrived, they took shots of tequila. The fire alarm went off moments before my soon-to-be-husband and I were supposed to have our private and intimate ‘first look’ and take cute photos before the ceremony. All 300+ people staying at the lodge watched me cry tears of happiness and us make out. Our personal cake and brownies for the guests almost didn’t make it because the woman who not only baked them but delivered them got a flat tire on a small mountain road. Oh, and my cat died the day before we got married.
It was still one of the most magical, picturesque and love-filled days of my entire life. It all worked out.
If you still have some time and planning left to do, consider these few suggestions to kickoff your ‘New Wifestyle’ with some non-traditional flares to your happy day:
1) Have A Couples’ Shower
We live in Oregon but got married in Colorado so my husband and I both traveled to Colorado a few months before our wedding and had a ‘couple’s shower’ (or as my husband affectionately referred to it, ‘our couple’s bath’). This was a fun way to get many of our friends and family together to catch up, open presents and enjoy it all together.
2) You don’t have to go to bars for your bachelorette party
I love a good drink, don’t get me wrong but the whole party-bar scene isn’t my favorite. I had a friend host a BBQ, complete with margaritas and after dinner we went to a place where we learned how to paint! They serve wine and beer as well and I have a memento from that fun night with my closest friends that hangs in our home! My husband and his gang all went zip-lining and then camping for a night. Get creative and do activities that are enjoyable to you.
3) Add some bridesmen or groomsladies!
Both my husband and I have very close friends who happen to be the opposite sex. Initially we were just going to throw them on each other’s sides and call it good but then I realized I can do whatever the hell I want. We had them still dress the same as the bridesmaid and groomsmen because I have OCD but they proudly stood on each of our sides.
4) Pick out shoes that represent you and are comfortable
I love polka dots (and if chevron was available back then I totally would have had a chevron high heels) so I got found shoes that had a little heel and were polka dotted in our wedding colors. I’m already 5’9 so I don’t need the height but my options are endless because I intentionally ended up with 6’4 man. Yes, our children will be giants.
After the ceremony, I kicked those suckers off and put on my Chacos Sandals. These sandals were with me when we first met, I was wearing them when we got engaged, they’d climbed both literal and figurative hills with my partner and I wanted them at my wedding so I had them.
5) Instead of guest favors, use that money for a donation to your favorite charity/organization
Do you have a pile of wedding favors from all the happy couples whose nuptials you’ve been to? A tin that has their name on them with rock solid almonds inside? Maybe some bubbles or a candle or little boxes that look like bride and groom? Yeah, me neither because I threw them away.
How about instead you take that money and make a donation to an organization or charity that you and your partner both believe in! My husband and I believe every person should have the opportunity to get married-regardless of gender so we made a donation to the “Human Rights Campaign” which is working hard on marriage equality. We printed out signs that read “In lieu of favors, a donation has been made to the Human Rights Campaign, which is working at both the state and federal level to achieve marriage equality for all. We are privileged to have this opportunity and believe people who want to make this marital commitment should have the option to do so to celebrate their love. Thank you for celebrating with us-Love Chelsea and Ryan” (feel free to use that language or whatever suits your fancy). The HRC also sent us the well-recognized blue stickers with yellow equal signs on them for our guests to have. Most of our family members loved this while other more traditional family and friends felt some discomfort around it. Nevertheless, this is a deep value of ours so we felt confident in doing this. If your family is helping you pay for your wedding, you may want to be conscious of where you donate the money since some of it may be theirs.
You also don’t need to get all political like we did. If you love polar bears and whales, donate to them. If you feel strongly about ‘being green’ or your religion, donate to them. If you already have your heart set on your super cool favors, more power to you but still consider making a donation as well.
Read Part 2 here because you don’t want to miss having donuts at your wedding!
The New Wifestyle: Celebrate your love and union in a way that represents the both of you
1) What are some other unique ideas you have/had about your wedding?
2) A wedding tradition you love?
3) What did you do at your bachelorette party?