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Traditions with a Twist

Traditions with a Twist

Wedding ideas abound but which ones to pick will set the tone and perhaps be the first memories of a couple’s new life together. Their wedding will become the touchstone of the vows they took in front of the people they love. Weddings can be as lavish or as simple as you’d like; what’s important is that it’s a special day for you and your spouse. Keeping things light and interesting is a sure bet in making memories. Giving the wedding traditions a bit of a twist will make your celebration unique–from the venue to the flowers and the send-off. They’ll create a mood for your guests–and one to give them something to remember and look back on fondly. The trends this year are an eclectic collection of elegance and simplicity. They are old favorites with a twist. It all depends on how much you want to wow yourself and your guests!


Planning a wedding is a lot of work in and of itself, but shave off some dollars by making some things yourself! Gather a group of friends and spray paint old wine bottles in different hues–perhaps your wedding color scheme or metallic hues and glitter for use as centerpieces. Then, simply add a flower and some greens to each instead of having a florist design the centerpieces for the dinner tables. Or, get small glass bowls and get floating votives or flower blooms. One can’t escape the pine trees living in the Northwest! Collect pine cones and with a small handsaw, cut into the pine cones to make them into place card holders. Honor loved ones who have passed on with a separate table in their honor with candles and their own centerpiece. There’s so much you can do on a small budget–give your wedding your own handmade touch and save the money for your honeymoon!

The Dress

Through the years, one can see how dresses have gone through a lifecycle of change–from simple to fairytale to anything goes. The styles for 2017 are still elegant but eclectic too. For years, the strapless gown ruled, but now you have off-the-shoulder short sleeves, quarter-sleeve and full. Styles look like they are a fusion of old and new. Think simple tops and long flowing skirts. Or, lacy long sleeves and sheer-to-the knee gowns. There is short and flirty and long and elegant–all with a beautiful, whimsical blend of fabrics–organza, lace and chiffon in all shades of white or for a newer twist, soft pastel colors. Top off your look with a lacy bolero over your shoulders or an oversized bow at the waist. There’s no reason you couldn’t find your dream dress from this year’s styles.

The Locale (Venue)

Brides and grooms are moving away from the traditional hotel reception to different venues in settings that lend themselves to a magical day. Decide your favorite locale–is it a beautiful garden? A large Victorian house? By the beach? An old farmhouse or restored barn? There’s a venue for each, so get creative! Having a big reception doesn’t mean you have to get a castle for your venue. Consider a local winery as each has its own personality and space for parties.

The Menu

Skip the steak and chicken and go for local flavor. What’s a local favorite that you could serve? Is there a farm-to-table catering service? Have some fun designing food bars with tapas style appetizers, a taco bar or even pizza where guests serve themselves. Let them get up and mingle while enjoying healthy eats like fruit kabobs, artisan crostinis or vegetarian spring rolls. Have a table with a s’mores bar for everyone to assemble their own desserts or other smaller dessert offerings such as finger tarts or raspberry cups topped with fresh whipped cream. Guests will be entertained by the various choices, and it also eliminates the need for servers!

The Cake

Cakes are still often three-tiered beauties, but the décor is getting a makeover. Pastry chefs can make these memorable desserts look like gold, marble, watercolor, tree bark or stained glass. Or, go in reverse and have a naked cake encased in a clear glaze with the inner filling for show. Top off the cake with some fresh blossoms for a rustic, whimsical look. Is that layered cake too much? Some couples keep it simple and use a regular-sized cake as the centerpiece for the tables. Either way, let the dessert be an edible sculpture to be revered!

Photos and Film

With the advancement of technology, there tends to come a point where we become nostalgic for “how it used to be.” The photography experts at the SLR Lounge say there is a current trend for the look of instant cameras from our past. Couples often still distribute them for guests to snap their own pics, but they now want that look professionally taken. Ask your photographer about mimicking this kind of film photography through the use of filters or special apps. Couples are also asking for stylized portraits of the wedding party that make everyone look like a high fashion model.

Another trend is incorporating photojournalistic techniques where the photographer acts like a director to stage a scene that appears candid such as of you and your friends getting ready before the ceremony. Don’t think it’s phony. Most of us aren’t used to acting natural in front of a camera, so don’t be afraid to take some direction–you’ll be happy with the outcome! When you’re interviewing photographers, see if they have experience with these trends.

Similarly, with videography, there are a number of unique ways to memorialize the wedding. A wedding video can be shot in documentary style to tell a story of the event. Ask about how such a style can be done for you. You’ll be surprised at how discrete videographers can be so as not to be intrusive on the festivities. You can have a photo montage of yourself and your spouse by submitting a collection of photos from each other’s lives. See what your videographer can do for you based on your preferences.

The Festivities

Dancing doesn’t have to be the only form of entertainment. The possibilities are endless when it comes to simple yet fun ways to keep guests entertained and making memories. Photo booths have been around for some time but now with the addition of a video booth where guests record a story, sing or give advice. As the party goes on, see the “other side” of your guests shine!

Other ideas include having cartoonists and magicians–adult guests will enjoy them as much as any kid will. Treat your guests to a memento that they can take home or wow them with an entertainer that will send them home happy from a good party. Or, have a candy toss for the kids instead of the garter, give the bouquet to someone special instead of embarrassing shy girlfriends, set up a lawn bowling game outside for guests to play. Whatever you decide on, have fun giving your wedding a twist on a tradition. It will give you and your spouse something to smile about on your anniversary.

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