“What is an alternative wedding? NOT a wedding???”
This was the reaction when I first discussed the topic of alternative weddings with a fellow wedding professional. As much as it might sound controversial, it occurred to me that perhaps the term isn’t as clear to everyone as it is to me, so what better way to start my first ever blog than by explaining what an alternative wedding is to me.
First off, “alternative” suggests “different” or “unconventional” and when we talk of weddings the best way to describe it is “non-traditional”. But what is traditional now may not be traditional in 100 years time – today’s “alternative” may well be 22nd Century tradition! For example, the idea of a white wedding only dates back to Queen Victoria and before this wedding dresses were all the colours of the rainbow.
Alternative weddings to me are creative, unconventional, accepting of all genders, spiritualities, sexualities and lifestyle choices. I see no end to the possibilities when designing your special day and one of the best things about being creative is it gives you the opportunity to be thrifty – if that’s your thing.
I loved planning and designing our wedding. I work best with a theme to tie my ideas together so we chose a 50s diner theme. We booked a local cafe restaurant where we were friendly with the owner and they helped us every step of the way. We made placemats out of old vinyl and personalised labels from eBay and table centres from sundae glasses, twisty straws, cocktail umbrellas and brightly coloured sweets. I called in the troupes and put together a kickass 50s rock n roll band featuring all my awesome muso friends. We shopped for vintage inspired dresses and arranged a menu of burgers, chilli, nachos, cheesecake and ice cream. We also eschewed the official register office in favour of a brief legal ceremony with the registrar in the morning and a custom-designed handfasting ceremony in front of all our friends and family, written by my good friend and independent celebrant Roxy Cawdron (www.roxanne-angelique.co.uk).
But that is just one idea. If I got married again tomorrow I’d probably do something different. I always start with the music so maybe I’d go 60s next time – arrive on a Vespa, in some vintage BIBA, with a 60s rock band (who let me do a turn as Cilla). Or we might head out to a hilltop in medieval dress with flowers in our hair and dine al fresco.
Now, I have nothing against traditional weddings – far from it – I have been to and enjoyed many over the years, but you don’t HAVE to do what the magazines say is fashionable this week. Just do you. Fashions change – you will always be you.
If you would like to talk ideas for your alternative, themed or vintage wedding then get in touch via the contact page and while you’re here have a look around – you may get inspired.