Non-Traditional Weddings: At the Races

October 10th, 2016
Horse racing, anyone?

Horse racing, anyone?

A friend of mine told me recently about a wedding that her daughter had attended:  It was at the race track.  She said it was a nice, relaxed day.  They had the ceremony in one of the party rooms available for rent.  After that, there was  a very nice reception, and the guests could also watch the races.

Looking at the website of the race track nearest to me, I see that they have done quite a few weddings.  It seems to be an all-inclusive package:  They provide the rooms, the catering, and a great many extras, including tables, chairs, linens, and parking.  And racing provides the entertainment.  (Who knew you could place bets at a wedding?)

Best of all, it looks like a very affordable option that is also easy to plan.  Sometimes, you can do something a little different and not have it break the bank.

Lake House Wedding

September 19th, 2016

We had so much fun a few weeks ago working with a couple whose wedding was unlike any I’ve ever seen.  The reception was more like a big carnival for the kids.  The adults had a great time, too!  Here are a few photos of the day.

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What is a Non-Traditional Wedding?

September 12th, 2016
Lawn games are definitely non-traditional.

Lawn games are definitely non-traditional. Photo by Allison Williams Photography.

Non-traditional weddings are getting more press these days, as someone seems to think it’s a trend.  But what does “non-traditional” really mean?

I’ve been reading blog posts about non-traditional weddings, and ideas range from the bride wearing flats instead of heels to mixing genders in the wedding party.  I notice that a lot of the suggestions are purely decorative:  have smaller cake; make your own decor; wear a color that isn’t white; have the men wear suits; carry a bouquet that isn’t flowers; go bareheaded.  There are also online lists of non-traditional wedding themes, which mostly seem to relate to various pop culture phenomena.  Those are good starts, if you’re planning to go the non-traditional route.  But there are lots of other options open to you.  Here are some ideas I’ve seen implemented at weddings that are definitely out of the box:

  • The guests gathered in a building in the park with a gorgeous view of the lake and the skyline.  There were snacks to eat, and the bar was open.  After half an hour of cocktail party, when everyone had arrived, the bride, the groom, and a judge stood in the middle of the room and got everyone’s attention for a brief wedding ceremony.  Four minutes later, the buffet (from the couple’s favorite restaurant) opened, and everyone ate, talked, and hugged the bride and groom.
  • The guests sat in chairs on a lawn in the forest preserve facing the woods.  The bride and groom came out of the woods to face their guests, where they were married.  Then, everyone adjourned to the nearby picnic shelter, which had been decorated by the bride’s family.  A taco truck and a gelato truck provided dinner, and there were games on the patio.
  • The bride and groom rented a vacation house on a lake for the weekend, where all their close family stayed.  Chairs, picnic tables, and picnic blankets were set up facing the lake for the guests.  The bride and groom greeted the guests as they arrived.  Each person in the processional was introduced by the officiant with a few words.  After the ceremony, the photographer took a group picture of everyone there, with the lake as the backdrop.  For a couple of hours after the ceremony, there were lawn games, boat rides, a face painter, and a Bozo Buckets tournament.  Then the barbecue truck showed up and grilled a big buffet dinner, with funnel cakes for dessert.  The kids decorated cookies in the house.  At sunset, everyone went home, having enjoyed a beautiful day on the lake.

Of course, if you do decide to break the rules (such as they are), expect a certain amount of pushback from family and friends.  Here’s an article written by a bride about how she is coping with some of that.  The short version is this:  It’s your wedding, so do what suits you.  The nicest weddings I’ve ever been to have been the ones that reflect the true personalities of the couple getting married.  If you’ve never been the normal one, then why should your wedding be normal?  It will be much nicer if you are true to yourselves.

Non-Traditional Weddings: Bicycles!

June 20th, 2016
Wedding biking! Photo by Johnny Knight.

Wedding biking! Photo by Johnny Knight.

If you’re a cyclist (as I am), you might be interested in incorporating bicycles in your wedding plans.  To keep things simple, you could just have your bikes as props in some photos.  Or, you can use your bike as some or all of your wedding transportation.

Here’s a blog post from Seattle written by someone who organized a ride for his bride, himself, and their guests as part of the wedding day festivities.  The bride is wearing a dress of an appropriate length for cycling, some of the bikes are decorated, and everyone is smiling.  Looks like a lot of fun!

I’m sure there are plenty of ways to bring your enjoyment of cycling into your wedding day.  Of course, if you need a planner who also cycles, you know who to call!