We’re all guilty of falling back on a cliché now and again when things are a bit too hectic for our creativity to flow – but when it comes to such a personal celebration as your wedding day, it’s worth making that extra effort to be original.
Of course, there are a few tried and tested traditions that have stayed popular for a reason – cakes are pretty and delicious, flowers are pretty and smell nice, bridesmaids are pretty and helpful – we have no qualms with these. But we do have qualms with the following, and we have a feeling we’re not alone:
1. First Dance Phone In
Sure, as romantic as it may sound, picking the one song that perfectly sums you up as a couple can seem like a tall order, so it’s ok to seek assistance. However, there’s taking a few useful tips, then there’s phoning it in completely. To clarify, if you’re a couple of pop darlings who love tuning into chart radio, find out what was number one when you first got together. It’ll be a nice little trip down memory lane you can take together, and it’ll mean something to you both.
Don’t just find a list on the internet and choose the top one, because then you’re just following the crowd of unimaginative couples into obscurity, and the rose-tinted glasses through which you look back on your first dance will be smeared with boring grey sludge. Not everyone has to kick off their reception to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’
Of cake, that is. We’re not sure who started this bizarre practice, but it’s time for it to end. First of all, it’s a waste of good cake. It will have either eaten up a hefty slice of your budget, or will have seen your dear old grandma/auntie spending hours in front of a hot stove – so the least you could do is chow it down.
Secondly, are you really going to risk ruining your beautiful wedding dress with cream and crumbs? This is one of those rare instances where you can have your cake and eat it too. And instead of the ceremonial destruction of the wedding dress, think of some fun ideas of how its legacy can be continued – you could hand it down when a close relative gets married, or make it into a christening gown, or even return it to the shop. None of these options, however, will be available to you if you cover it in cake.
3.Every Rose Has its Thorn
Thanks to people like Shakespeare, roses have their thorns dug pretty deeply into the skin of romance. While they’re colourful and fragrant, they’re also a bit safe (conceptually, though, thanks to the aforementioned thorns, not physically). With an estimated 400,000 varieties so far identified, you can surely get a bit more daring with your floral choices.
Going for the seasonal option is always a winner – sunflowers and gerberas do a gorgeous job of reflecting the summer sun, whereas carnations and tulips lend a bit of warmth to the cold winter months.
4.Bouquet – No Way
Now we’ve planted some alternative seeds in your brain, let’s challenge a tradition that has its roots even more deeply in your mind: the bouquet toss. Just because it’s the ‘done thing’ doesn’t mean you have to do it too – or that you should. There are a few reasons for this, which you can read more about here, but the most applicable of them is: it seems a bit mean to single someone out for being… well, single. The focus has been on the happy couple all day, which could already have brought feelings of loneliness to the forefront of your single guests’ minds, so don’t rub it in any further by making them stand in the middle of a hooting crowd clutching second hand flowers! Why not hand out the flowers one by one so everyone gets a little something, or drop them off a bridge and watch them float down a river, or even keep them?
5.Worn Out Wedding Music
Particularly if you’ve got your heart set on a traditional white wedding, it’s hard to separate the imagery of confetti and vol-au-vants from the inescapable strains of Wagner’s ‘Bridal March’ played on the church organ or Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ played by a string quartet. Yes, they’re classics; yes, they’ve worked for hundreds of years; yes, they’re heard in literally every movie wedding we’ve ever seen.
It’s time to change the record and find a piece of music, be it a love song, a classical or romantic piece you’ve both fallen in love with, or even a piece taken from the score of your favourite film, that actually means something to you specifically, and isn’t just played because you thought it had to be.
6.Churning Out the Cheese
In a similar vein (a blue one, if we’re talking absolute stilton), the aptness of the term ‘crowd pleaser’ very much depends on the crowd. These days, you can’t just assume that everyone will want to participate in a round of ‘YMCA’ or ‘the Macarena’, or even that everyone will know the actions.
There are plenty of other songs that will strike a chord with the vast majority of your guests – and the best way to find out what these are is to ask them. Ask them to write down their top tunes when they RSVP to your wedding invitations, and you can ensure your floor will be with guests rather than devoid of ‘guesseds’.