The Elements of Throwing an Unconventional Wedding: Part Two

The Elements of Throwing an Unconventional Wedding: Part Two

Part two of the guide to celebrating your wedding in a way that’s unconventional to most.

By Gloria Vazquez-Abrams

 

To start at the beginning and view ideas for your ceremony, attire and wedding party, see The Elements of Throwing an Unconventional Wedding: Part One, here.

 

The Reception

Sweet and rustic outdoor cottage wedding reception

This is the best part. No, you don’t have to host an ordinary seated reception and follow the standard ‘eat-speech-eat-speech’ format. Remember, this is a party and you can throw it any way you’d like. Heck, you could limit your entire wedding to the party if you wanted! This is your chance to really bring out the personal touch of you and your partner. Try not to be bound by what you’re used to, unless there are expressly specific elements that you want to keep. For instance, if you think seated receptions are stuffy and impersonal, host the entire reception cocktail style - just make sure that there is ample seating for your guests (i.e. instead of seating for 15-30% of your guests, which is normally allotted for a 1-hour cocktail reception, opt for a minimum of seating with tables for 65-75%, in addition to extra lounge seating and high-top cocktail tables without seats).

Alternatively, having an unconventional wedding could mean that you just opt for a mansion party held at a gorgeous estate. You might include a mini concert, or hire stage and acrobatic performers. Or you might opt for a weekend-long camping/cottage celebration in the muskokas, or hold your reception at an amusement park and include some thrill rides - you wouldn’t be the first, after all, to host your reception at Canada’s Wonderland. It’s your wedding and it can have and be anything you want it to. Heck, you could even go the extra mile and include some Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.

 

The Photos

Just because other couples' engagement photos follow the trend doesn't mean yours have to! Throw some fun into it and let your personality shine!

Just because other couples' engagement photos follow the trend doesn't mean yours have to! Throw some fun into it and let your personality shine!

It seems to be a timeless trend, taking photos in unconventional locations, such as those with graffiti art like that which sprinkles the city. But what about the stylization of the photos? This is where even unconventional couples don’t usually put as much thought or much or their own personal character, but this is an area where creativity can thrive. There’s so much room for personality, such as taking photos with your pets or impersonating your favourite works of art (or movie poster, or… for those of us nerds who love our humour, memes). If you feel like this is too complicated or incompatible with your wedding day schedule, use your creative muscle in your engagement shoot instead. If you didn’t have an engagement shoot, consider a post-wedding shoot to commemorate your marriage. Or do something a little more high-end and hire a live-event artist like Live Art by Najma to capture your wedding in painting format. You’ll be left with a beautiful keepsake to hang on your wall afterwards and it will be so much more special and priceless than a photo.

 

The Décor

Cultural dancers or performers in colourful costumes like this one can and should be considered an element of your event decor.

Cultural dancers or performers in colourful costumes like this one can and should be considered an element of your event decor.

Playing with lighting (and different modes of it) is always a tried-and-true way of establishing an atmosphere, but a typical wedding includes a mix of colour and texture to create a look that comes together. Florals and candlelight are almost always a part of that, as there is so much that can be customized, and let’s be honest, what’s not to like? That said, you can mix things up based on your taste and change them altogether if it suits you. Breaking such boundaries is always expertly accomplished with art. If you’re a modern/industrial art fanatic and it’s within your budget, you might forego flowers to have a welding artist create custom centrepieces for your tables. If you’re a lover of performance, you might opt to have roaming artists or performers, all dressed to coordinate with your colour scheme; cultural performers are a great option for this. People can be decorative too - ever heard of a living statue or a strolling table? Finally, while some couples opt to decorate their event walls with up-lighting, you can always surround the room with lighted art instead, like these exquisite lit-up canvas works by mixed media artist, Dani Cooperman.

 

The Little Things

Last but not least, sometimes it’s the little details that count - like opting for an experience-based gift registry instead of a conventional choice, including a tequila bar at your reception, or tossing in a slew of quirky bride/groom games that bring out the love and humour. From food and drink to guest comforts and laughs, there are so many ways to be original with your wedding and let your personality shine. Sometimes, for those of us that still want a fairly, somewhat traditional wedding, these little details are what we need to focus on to feel like ourselves, and as long as it makes us happy, that’s all that matters.

Remember… What matters most is staying true to yourself! At the end of the day, your wedding is a celebration, and a day about you. So do what makes you happy and what makes you feel comfortable. Never be afraid if it hasn’t been done before! Trendsetters keep the world turning.

Bride trendsetter in bright red shoes
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The Elements of Throwing an Unconventional Wedding: Part One

The Elements of Throwing an Unconventional Wedding: Part One