A Nontraditional Bride's Guide to a Traditional Wedding

You can go new school without absolutely shocking your old-school grandma

Updated 03/24/17

Photo by Kallima Photography

So you’re planning a wedding, yay! But what if you’re not a traditional bride? You may not want the cliché white dress and church wedding, but you do want a night to remember while celebrating with family and friends. If this sounds like you, there are some ways you can modernize your wedding without offending your grandmother.

Ditch the flowers
You don’t go nuts for floral arrangements and perfectly dyed peonies? You’re not alone. Although flowers are a long-standing mainstay of wedding activities, they are by no means mandatory. If you’re looking for ways to make your big day nontraditional, think about skipping the ornate bouquets and flower petals scattered everywhere. Not only do you save money (that you can allocate toward something you actually love), but you also don’t have to worry about wasting a bunch of flowers that will only be used for a few hours.

Do a first look
You can get straight to the drinking after you leave the altar, thanks to the convenience of a first look. If you don’t care about the superstitions about seeing each other before that monumental walk down the aisle, then you should consider getting your photos out of the way with a first look before your ceremony. This is a particularly good idea if you have a reception that is in the afternoon—or if you and your wedding party are dying to head straight to the open bar.

Opt out of a registry
Whoever thought it was fun to run around a department store scanning a bunch of random home items is no friend of mine. Likewise, many brides-to-be shudder at the idea of creating a wedding registry. Although you can now do much of the process online, this is still time-consuming for a busy bride-to-be and her fiancé. Skip the registry and focus on enjoying your time with your future spouse. Don’t you worry—you’ll still receive gifts. Family and friends may even enjoy the freedom to dictate what they’d like to gift you in celebration of your nuptials.

Get creative with your venue
Out with the old and in with the new! There is no need to go traditional with your venue in the form of a banquet hall, for example. Choosing a barn, theater, or other space that has significance in the eyes of you and your significant other (or that you simply admire) is a great way to switch things up.

Go with an unconventional bridal look
Wedding dresses have come a long way, and crop top two-pieces and jumpsuits have become increasingly more popular. If you’re a daring bride, springing for a unique bridal look may be the perfect way to dazzle guests and provide an unexpected surprise. And don't feel locked in to a white wedding dress; a colorful wedding dress makes an amazing statement!

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