Marriage is an age old institution, one which has undoubtedly changed for the better over the centuries (did you know that marriage was, at one point, a form of a socio/political deal made to form alliances and build bonds between families?) Long story short, in the 19th century marriage became about love (and thank goodness for that). While weddings can take all sorts of forms these days, the word modern is injected into bridal rhetoric everywhere we turn. So what does it mean to throw a “modern wedding” anyway? In our opinion, it means stripping away all the expectations and planning a thoughtful celebration that means something to you and your future spouse — a day that revolves less around appeasing conventions, and more about celebrating your love in a way that feels personal.
We’ve compiled a list of practices you can implement to make your day your own.
- Maybe this is easier said than done, but try to remind yourself throughout the whole process to have fun and appreciate the experience. If the preparation and the day itself becomes more about accommodating others or adhering to rules, the real purpose is being forgotten.
- Spend the months before your wedding preparing yourself for marriage, too. Chat with longstanding couples that you admire, consider pre-marital counselling, and talk about the things that aren't fun to talk about, like money.
- Abandon tradition and personalize your wedding by focusing on the things that come naturally to you. Establish what your priorities are. For example, do you guys love food and drink? Put a chunk of your budget towards that, and go low-key and minimal on the florals.Minimal florals | Photo via Kayci Decker and real bride Bekah
Guests and The Order of Events
- Alter the day based on what makes sense to you two. If you’re mainly holding a ceremony because your family insists, think about having a small family ceremony, and then holding a big party for the rest of your circle later or on a different day.
- Gone are the days of 300 person weddings. Ok, maybe not entirely, and we know it’s not this simple, but ask yourself if you really need to invite the second cousins and your parents’ former neighbours.
- Write your own vows and let your officiant have fun with their words. (Tip: You can have them take out the part about the bride being given to the groom because..2019.)
The Wedding Party
- Who has been an integral part of your life and who do you want to honour on this day? Do you want both parents to walk you down the aisle? Do you want your stepdad to step in halfway through the father/daughter dance to show your love and appreciation toward him?
- Nix the customary acts that don’t matter to you. If there are kids in your life that you’re close with, then having a flower girl and ring bearer make sense. If you don’t, forgo that part! And don’t stress too much about having equal sized bridal parties on each side.
- Don’t feel like you have to take on some persona of yourself on your wedding day. Choose a dress that feels like you. And keep in mind that some dresses can be customized, so you can feel like you’re getting exactly what you want. (Pssst...all LAUDAE dresses can be customized!)
- Let your bridesmaids choose their dresses based on a colour palette. Allowing them to choose will also mean that they’re more likely to be excited about the dress, and to wear it again.
- Have fun with your accessories and switch it up throughout the day. For a traditional look, start with a veil for the ceremony, then have your hair put up in a chic bun and throw on some statement earrings for the reception.
Desert toned bridesmaids | Photo via Kaley From Kansas and real bride Ferrell
- You might as well make these as personal as you can! You should definitely include your dog in your wedding photos like our bride Bianca did.
- Or, do you and your partner have “a spot” or an inside joke? Try to incorporate that into your wedding photos. Our bride Jen took her bridal party to their local ice cream shop for playful summer photos.Wedding photos with your pup | Photo via Nomad by NK and real bride BiancaFun photos at your favourite local spot | Photo via Kaley from Kansas and real bride Jen
- Do you and your fiancé love pizza or tacos more than a fancy 3 course meal? Think about having a cool food truck instead of dinner service.
- Don’t care about cake? Consider donuts, macarons, cannoli, or a cheese platter for dessert!Personalized sweets for dessert | Photo via Roxana B Photography and real bride BriannanWedding food truck | Photo via Rouxby Photo and real bride Ashley
Make it Eco
What's more modern than being sustainable? Here are some ways to be more eco-friendly at your wedding:
- Opt for dried flowers instead of fresh ones.
- Forgo individually bottled drinks and use glassware rather than plastic cups.
- Have a plan for wasted food: throw a brunch the next day, donate any untouched food to a local shelter, etc.
- Don’t trash your dress — plan to pass it down to someone in the family at some point, have it made into a cocktail dress if that’s suitable, or sell it on a wedding consignment site.
- Use e-vites instead of paper invites (this makes it easier to track RSVPs anyways!)
- Choose a sustainable caterer —maybe they source locally, limit waste/packaging, or are vegetarian.
There are countless ways to personalize your wedding day and make it feel modern. If ever you feel overwhelmed throughout the process, try to circle back to the reasons you're planning this celebration in the first place. Remind yourself that your wedding doesn't have to resemble everyone else's, and that the months leading up to your marriage are not just for planning a wedding, but for strengthening your relationship.