Weddings are meant to be several things.
1) A celebrating of two people in love
2) A public declaration of love and/or a bond
3) A reflection of a couple and their life together now and in the future
All of these things are true and should be the core of the wedding planning process.
So let me remind you, that it’s about you and your partner, so that means you can have what you want. There really aren’t any hard rules to a wedding, not legally (check your state/country maybe?) and not necessarily culturally. While we like to throw traditions around like a crucifix in the exorcist, the truth is that traditions bend and change with time and that means its okay to make new traditions or throw them out completely.
My examples are as follows:
Ryan is a huge Star Wars Fan, so we included these elements. We had a Millennium Falcon crashing into our cake, and our entrance included Ryan in a Darth Vader Mask to the Imperial March. I am a huge Alphonse Mucha Fan so we included his artwork as a “theme” with vibrant florals and romantic outfits. We also got married in October so we utilized the autumn and Halloween vibes of that time of year.
Finally, we’re both Harry Potter nerds so we did some photos with our wands that we are so excited to get from the photographer.
It ended up being a perfect blend.
Other things we changed:
-Both of my parents walked me down the aisle, which is common in the Jewish tradition, but not so much in Protestant/U.S. Midwestern style.
-We used a Quaich (Scottish/Gaelic tradition) which meant more to me because of my travels to Europe instead of a candle, rope, sand or other ceremony. (This also comes from most of my family coming from the British Isles, specifically Scotland)
-We used music we liked that was not traditional for our ceremony and dances because it had meaning to us, and others enjoyed it having a stamp of cleverness, humor, and wit to it.
-We started our ceremony with the ceremony from the Princess Bride, the cool kids got it, everyone else was confused. But it made us happy. We also had one of my best friends marry us, making it even more special.
-We never said “I do” because it seemed to simple, so we wrote our own vows, exchanged rings in a traditional manner, and sealed it with a kiss.
-I said vows to my stepdaughter because I am marrying her too, for better or for worse, for sickness and in health (do you know how much kids can puke?!?)
-We did first look photos so that we looked our best and so we had more time just to have fun, this helped calm our nerves for the ceremony too. As best friends, you want to be near them at exciting time.
-One of my sister’s acted as one of Ryan’s groom’s attendants. This was awesome because it showed just how closer everyone is. My sister also looked BOMB in their suit and makeup.
-We let kids run wild at the reception. Though we had a kid’s table, kids want to be everywhere but where you stick them. So we let them go crazy (within reason) they danced, they took photos, they ate food, and they all left with giant smiles and glow sticks. Also, kids make parties better because they are so damn cute.
-We celebrated love triumphing over all other issues, moments, scary days, hard days, tears, death and more. Which is the ultimate battle.