Unique, bespoke, unusual weddings are terms we hear a lot – but when you think about it, do you want different for the sake of it, or is what we’re really talking about personalisation; making one of the biggest days of your life as personal and meaningful to you as a couple, reflecting and telling your own love story rather than following an established way of doing things.
It’s one of the main reasons couples choose a celebrant-led wedding; a civil or church wedding offers very limited opportunity to bespoke any element other than choosing your readings or music, and of course a celebrant-led wedding means you can hold it when and where you want!
The first step for you as a couple is to brainstorm what really does stand out in your love story and defines you as a couple (ideally this step is done over a nice meal and bottle of something!). Think about your heritage, your culture, how and where you met, your favourite memories, your hobbies, and when you’re at your happiest together!
The on to the fun bit, how to incorporate into your wedding. Stick by the ‘no idea’s a bad idea’ for now, just let your imagination run wild! The final stage is rationalise and research to make the ideas reality. A lot might be DIY (fantastic!) but a good celebrant will often be able to help or know creative suppliers up for a challenge if you need support.
Here’s three key areas to think about breaking with wedding tradition and reflect the couples involved, good luck!
A celebrant-led wedding can be anywhere! A lot of couples have great memories from festivals and this can now be an entire wedding theme with plenty of tipi wedding hire specialists. Spend a lot of your life on the water? How about a lake or riverside wedding, or even on a boat!
Your celebrant-led ceremony can also be when you want; if you’re party animals then maybe cut the daytime formality completely and hold your ceremony under the stars (or disco lights!)
I always recommend ‘owning’ a space in an open or outdoor ceremony for example with a simple arch. It helps you feel grounded and frames your photos! This is also a fab area to personalise. Decorate with paper lanterns from your travels, get guests to tie on a meaningful charm/button, or hang with bunting made from friends and family fabrics (a good hen-do activity?!).
I love that kilts are an accessible and popular way to reflect family heritage; those lucky Celtic families! For the rest of us, take inspiration from the gorgeous Faye (pictured). Big on the Manchester fashion scene with a vintage clothing shop, she gave her ideas to Kiku Boutique who created this stand out dress from Yorkshire tweed, embroidered with Manchester Bees.
If your entire wedding party are fitting with a style then consider looking for a celebrant up for getting involved and reflecting this in some way, we don’t want to stand out but we also don’t want to completely spoil your ceremony photos!
The ring exchange is the most common wedding ritual; but there’s absolutely no obligation to do this, or to exchange anything for that matter! Of course it has a lovely symbolism, but if there’s something more meaningful to you to exchange then do that!
Sand blending and tree-planting are both nice rituals for combining earth/sand respectively from your family homes. Wine blending can be adapted to your favourite tipple. Think about the container for sand or drinks; if you’re scientists how about mixing in a conical flask?! Are there any glasses / flasks passed down in the family (granny’s crystal sherry glasses?!).
The exit confetti is another tradition ripe for personalisation. You could use flowers local to you or a favourite holiday spot, or use something else entirely (that’s not sharp, heavy or liable to damage your dress!). How about doing something different; guests ringing bicycle bells as cycling fans leave on a tandem, or waving giant glow-sticks at that evening ceremony under the stars?!
As you can see, anything goes, and the only person who knows what’s meaningful and personal to you…is you! At your first celebrant planning meeting you will discuss your ideas and how to perfectly reflect these in a special ceremony carefully written and personalised to truly celebrate your love story.