Your wedding day is a celebration of your love. It’s the day when you two come together with the most important people in your lives and create unforgettable memories. It’s your day, so why not celebrate it your way? Don’t be afraid to do it differently. Traditions are great, but putting a spin on them and adding more of your personality will make your wedding day even more memorable.
Over the past 7 years I have photographed over 170 weddings. I have attended and captured thousands of images of many beautiful and memorable weddings. In this blog post, I want to share with you some of my favourite non-traditional ideas that you can incorporate into your own wedding day.
Do your day your way!
Non-seated dinner – cocktail hour reception.
If relaxed and intimate is the vibe you’re going for, why not choose a format where your guests really mingle all night long? A non-seated dinner is a great alternative to going straight into party mode. You can opt for a variety of savoury finger foods that are unique and just as filling as a formal meal. A non-seated dinner creates many candid photo opportunities, because your guests don’t stay in one place for long.
Include your dog in your wedding ceremony.
This is my favourite. I can’t imagine having my best pup not being part of one of my biggest days. Having the option at my ceremony only adds the aww factor! If he’s not actually the ring bearer, at least I’m looking for the best wedding pupsuites! Some time ago, I gave some tips on my blog about how to include your dog in your wedding day celebrations.
Incorporate something you love to do.
If you can avoid a strict schedule and incorporate something you love to do, DO IT! How special would it be to step into a familiar element that you both enjoy on your wedding day? I can guarantee the wedding jitters will swiftly disappear; and being in your natural element produces great candid shots for your album. Bonus points for unique bridal sessions!
Ice cream truck or cart after the ceremony.
As you know those Toronto summers are no joke! A great way to beat the heat – especially in suits – is to hire an ice cream truck. It’s a wonderful idea for your guests to cool off and mingle, and of course it offers great shots of everyone having fun.
First Dance under the stars.
Picture this: your wedding guests around you with sparklers under the moonlight for your first dance. How dreamy! It’s a super-romantic way to open up the dance floor and invite dance-offs, since everyone is already on their feet. It’s a must-do!
If you don’t have sparklers, your wedding guests can use the flashlights from their phones as an additional source of light that adds a little bit of magic to the images.
Night session in the city.
A great alternative to sunlight are street lights. If a backdrop of trees isn’t what you’re into, how about a night session in the city? Less room for photobombs and an arty lit-up skyline adds a very editorial look to your wedding day photographic record.
If you’re looking at an intimate number of wedding guests, a lunch wedding could be a huge hit. Your venue choice can be wider than the typical banquet locales, bringing into scope great restaurants that offer amazing photo backdrops and diverse catering choices.
Check out my top choices: 7 Top Toronto Restaurants for the Wedding Day of Your Dreams!
Lunch weddings with a more relaxed schedule can provide more time for your photo session and more time to include the things you like to do.
Elopement! Go for an adventure and take your photographer with you.
These are my more adventurous couples, the ones who really want to go off the beaten path: ‘Let’s just go, get out and get married!’ Whether you want to take your vows with a view, or long for nuptials by the beach, remember to take me along to capture those special moments you’ll want to relive always.
Shake up the timeline. Pre-ceremony cocktail hour: guests have a drink before the ceremony.
For the wedding with back-to-back ceremony and reception, having a pre-ceremony cocktail hour is a great way to greet your guests and lose the wedding jitters right before you walk down the aisle. This gets the pressure of family photos out of the way and helps your timeline flow smoothly.
Family member or friend conducts the wedding – of course, you need the official there too.
For non-traditional weddings, an exclusive way of getting rid of the wedding stress is having a familiar face (aside from your future spouse) there to marry you. It’s a meaningful way to incorporate a sibling or lifelong friend and makes it all the more special. Although it may take a few steps to get ordained, the moments will be magical.
Tip: have tissues ready!
Trends come and go but every so often I help at a wedding that will stay with me forever. If you want to be the talk of the town, Go Bold! Colour is the best tool for your wedding and definitely sets up the vibe for the party! Breaking tradition of white and black isn’t going to hurt; it will only add flare to your wedding photos – a feeling of ‘forever young’ when you look back 20 years from now!
I always encourage my couples to get married their way, and mix some traditions with a modern approach. At the end of the day, it’s your special day that you’ve been planning for months, so why not shake it up a little bit and enjoy it as much as you can!
Everglow Photography. Wedding and Couple Photography For Adventurous Couples.