A couple months ago, I coordinated a wedding for a lovely free-spirited couple. Upon our first meeting to discuss their wedding details, they had lots of ideas on what they wanted. Not a traditional couple, they needed to find an officiate for the wedding and reached out to friends and acquaintances who could provide other vendor services for them. Smart thinking when it comes to budgeting!

As the wedding date got closer, they were considering some nontraditional elements, like the “first look” photo. This moment, captured prior to the wedding ceremony, has apparently become a popular choice for couples. They enjoy the intimacy, the privacy of revealing themselves to each other for the first time in their wedding attire. Some couples who choose to do the “first look” do so because they want to share that special moment with nobody but their spouse. While I understand that, I can’t help but wonder, are the  many, many years of timeless wedding traditions actually dying? Or maybe they are just evolving.

Another thing I noticed at the wedding of my young couple was that when I asked how guests should be seated (groom’s guests on the right, bride’s on the left?), I received a “people can sit wherever they want” response. This makes sense to me, since a marriage is the merging of two families. Especially in cases where one of the spouse’s families is much smaller, it would be more visually appealing to integrate the guests. I fully support a “free for all” style seating arrangement for weddings.

The list of unconventional wedding practices is definitely growing. I have seen everything from including pets in the ceremony to letting the bridal party choose their own attire. These are not necessarily bad practices. To each their own, right? What is the most unusual wedding “tradition” you have seen?

Oh, and that couple I mentioned in the beginning? They ended up foregoing the “first look” photo. I know it wasn’t my wedding, but I am glad they made that choice.

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