Top 9 tips to have a personal wedding

When you’re planning a fun and relaxed wedding, you want it to be personal and all about you, so here are my favourite top 8 tips to have a more personal wedding, your way!

1. Choose your guests wisely

When planning your guest list, don’t feel like you need to invite everyone you’ve ever met. You also shouldn’t feel like you have to invite people that others may want you to invite. The best advice I heard when planning your guest list is, only invite people you’d be happy to take out to dinner and pay for the whole bill… because that’s basically what you’re doing and it’s not just a random day, it’s your wedding day. When selecting your wedding guests, choose your favourite people and those you couldn’t imagine spending the day without.

2. Choose a wedding venue that feels right

Alternative weddings are my thing, and although I still occasionally photograph some church ceremonies, there’s so much choice now when choosing your wedding venue. When you can get married outside, in a barn, a greenhouse, a bowling alley, a library… in any location or venue that makes you happy and feels right. Your venue doesn’t need to be chosen for you by someone else or dictated by tradition, but it should be somewhere that you can imagine yourself having the best day.

3. Say no to tradition

They say that rules are made to be broken for a reason. Tradition says a lot about how a wedding is ‘supposed’ to happen, the do’s and don’ts of how to get married. Well, I say a big no thankyou to traditional weddings. While it’s natural to include a sprinkle of traditional elements into your wedding (first dance, group pictures etc), you don’t have to follow a rule book or have your wedding the exact same way a relative did fifty years ago. If you want to get ready together in the morning, do it! If you want to walk down the aisle together, do it. If you want the traditional aspect of group pictures but don’t want them to be formal, choose a relaxed, fun wedding photographer who’ll get those pictures in a different, more ‘you’ way. I personally prefer doing group pictures with all the movement, smiles and laughter rather than standing in an awkward line saying cheese. If the cheese isn’t being eaten, it shouldn’t be brought up!

4. Wear what you want

Long gone are the days of brides having to wear a long, stark white dress and the groom wearing wedding tails. Now’s the time to wear whatever you want. Wear your favourite colour or something that means something to you. Break tradition further if you want to and make your wedding even more personal by wearing what you love and say no to the gender stereotype of having to wear a dress or a suit. I’ve seen couples opt for two pieces like a skirt/top combo or a kick-ass jumpsuit and cape outfit.

5. Choose fun activities

One of my favourite ways to have a personal wedding is to incorporate the things you love into the day. If you love going to festivals together, plan a festival wedding with lots of live music and festival vibes, like personalised wristbands. Include the games you love or incorporate the movies, songs or places you enjoy. Your activities can be anything from giant garden games to ice cream carts and glitter stations, or bouncy castles and karaoke machines. If you have an inside joke with your partner about something, include it! I’ve had couples include a popcorn machine because of sweet first date memories. For all of my favourite fun wedding activities, click here. Whatever you like and enjoy, add it. On a day that’s all about you, just make sure it’s full of the things that make you happy and feel personal to you.

6. Decorate how you want

Let your imagination run wild when thinking about how you can Inject your personality into your wedding décor. Think about all the things you love and how they can be adapted into your decorations. There are so many routes you can go down with the styling, whether it’s simple and crisp, bold and colourful or weird and quirky. I love them all and each of these styles can be adapted to make your wedding more personal. I’ve been to Harry Potter weddings, music themed weddings, festival weddings and so many other fun wedding themes. You can add as much or as little fun and personality into your décor as your like, whether you want subtle hints of something or a big wow factor moment. Add fun signs with directions to your favourite travel destinations or fictional places you’d love to visit.

7. Personalise the small things

Making your wedding personal comes in with the small details. I’ve seen custom wedding cocktails, personal ice cream wafers and personalised canapes. Add your personality into your wedding by choosing things that feel like you and make you happy. Whether that’s subtle hints of your pets with ‘hiss’ and ‘purrs’ chair signs, or making your guest book an awesome guitar or vinyl record to sign rather than a paper book everyone forgets about.

8. Eat what you like

Traditionally, the wedding breakfast is a three course, sit down meal which is probably a chicken roast dinner. Who says that what you have to do? If a fun, relaxed and non-traditional wedding is more your thing, maybe consider hosting a BBQ banquet, an outdoor picnic on blankets or hay bales or an afternoon tea. To add even more personality to your wedding, choose your favourite food instead and opt for a taco bar, street food, pizza vans or a charcuterie grazing station.

9. Music matters

Say goodbye to the wedding march and hello to your favourite music. Your wedding ceremony should be full of the music you enjoy and your first dance song doesn’t need to be slow. Choose the music you enjoy dancing to because you and all your guests should be dancing the night away.

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