Wedding Alternatives for the Modern Couple
Every girl dreams about their wedding day. Or so we’re told. The truth is that each bride is different, and so is each groom. The idea of a royal Kate-Middleton-inspired wedding just isn’t for everyone. For some clients, a gown that makes it hard to sit and a room full of five hundred of their parents’ closest friends sounds like more of a chore than the best day of their lives.
Planning a wedding for the modern couple is challenging. They may have a long list of ideas you’ve never heard of before, expecting you to make each one a reality. Or, they may have no idea what they want, but know all about what they don’t want. The point is, as their wedding planner, it’s your job to make sure that it’s the best day of their lives… or at least that it’s an exceptionally happy day.
For that couple that always seems to be looking for the unconventional, here’s a list of ideas to help you plan a wedding just as modern as them. Transforming a tradition as old as time into something fresh and new can be tricky. We’re here to help and throw all the rules out the window!
The Wedding Dress
While some girls dream about lace and sequins, others cringe at the thought of wearing a dress at all. Still, others just want to make a statement. They want that added wow factor, something that guests will be talking about for a long time.
For guests, the bride’s dress is one of the most anticipated aspects of the wedding. For the bride, it’s one of the most traditional. Some believe that it can’t really be called a wedding dress unless it’s white. However, you may be surprised to learn that brides wear red on their wedding day in Chinese and Indian cultures. So, for that bride that’s looking for something different, suggest a dress in red, or another color of the bride’s choice. We’ve even seen a bride wear black for a Halloween-themed wedding!
For something even more different, suggest an all-white bridal suit or romper. There are even 2-piece dress designs hitting stores lately. These alternatives are becoming increasingly popular as more and more brides decide that being uncomfortable on one of the biggest days of their lives isn’t worth it. Not enough? Maybe the groom can wear white too. Ask guests to wear black to really make the couple pop!
Instead of a traditional floor-length gown, the bride may also want a mid- or short-length dress. When it comes to the modern couple, anything goes. They may decide that a dress and tux is too formal. Ditch the black-tie dress code altogether. A comfortable bride is a happy bride!
Maybe the drone of “till death do us part” isn’t exactly what this young couple has in mind when they think of expressing their love for each other. You can always suggest they write their own vows, but that takes work. Also, bearing their personal feelings in front of all their friends can be nerve-racking. Luckily, the internet is full of alternative wedding vow ideas!
One of the most popular alternatives these days is the unity candle. In this ceremony, the parents of the to-be-newly-weds each light one candle, then the couple takes the candles and uses them to light one larger candle. This represents the bringing together of two families. If this doesn’t float their boat, there are so many other options!
Alternatives to traditional wedding vows:
- Tree planting unity ceremony
- Handmade basket exchange
- Family puzzle unity ceremony
- Painted canvas unity ceremony
- Unity tea ceremony
- Blending white wine and rose
- Blanket unity ceremony
- Sealing away love letters
- Gin box unity ceremony
- Whiskey pouring unity ceremony
- Anniversary box
- Family unity candle
The list goes on and on! Still too traditional for your clients? Why not suggest that they create their own unity ceremony? Like we said, anything goes!
Sitting through a 7, or even 10 course meal can be a drag. Waiting for your food is never fun, especially when you likely just sat through what feels like a billion hours of speeches. The modern couple probably doesn’t consider food catered by a hall their favorite. And, if they’re really modern, the wedding probably won’t be at a hall anyways.
What’s an alternative to dinner you ask? How about, no dinner? That’s right! Replace a formal dinner with a never-ending cocktail hour that’s overflowing with delicious finger foods. It might seem crazy to you, but the newlyweds just might dig it. This can also create a more casual atmosphere and encourage guests to mingle, which may be exactly the kind of atmosphere your clients are looking for.
For the more sophisticated modern couple try a mix of antipasti, charcuterie, crostini bar, sushi platters, shots of bisque, or whatever else you can come up with! For a more carefree, fun-loving couple opt for a carnival theme. Include food like cones filled with fries and chicken fingers, chicken and waffles, popcorn, cotton candy. And for dessert try donuts and snow cones!
Still need more different? Why not turn the wedding into a pizza night? That’s right I said it. Who doesn’t love pizza? Order from some fancy Italian restaurant with a wood burning stove and hand tossed crust. Or, simply get the couple’s favorite fast food joint to cater their special day. How epic would it be to have a wedding catered by McDonald’s? This is definitely not for everyone, but it will sure give the guests something to talk about!
Traditional registries can be great if the bride and groom have a big house waiting for them after they tie the knot. But for many couples, once all the wedding hype is over, they’ll return to their small one bedroom condo. Traditional registry items like dishes, kitchen appliances, and embroidered hand towels are great. Unfortunately, they can also be cumbersome for the couple who has nowhere to put them and really no use for them.
Many couples decide not to have a registry at all, and instead hope for cards filled with money that can help pay for the extravagant night. But, today there are many more creative ideas out there. The modern couple might like the idea of asking guests to make a donation to a charity in their name. The couple can choose a charity that has a particularly important meaning for them.
If the couple doesn’t want a registry, but still wants a gift, there are options out there for that too. Request that, instead of bringing gifts or money, guests contribute to their GoFundMe account and help raise money for their honeymoon or down payment on their first home. The modern couple into wine can also request special reserve bottles that they couldn’t otherwise afford. Encourage the couple to put items on the registry that they’ll actually use and enjoy!
Do you have a modern couple on your hands? Check out this article on Wedding Gift Alternatives for Philanthropic Couples!