Anything but typical
Take your wedding from standard to standout with these tips
For the couple who is anything but ordinary, a standout wedding seems only fitting. If you and your spouse hope to create a wedding vision that truly reflects your
personalities, don’t hold back! Get as creative as you like, and plan the wedding that’s truly right for you.
According to Seattle-based alternative wedding expert, Ariel Meadow Stallings, alternative wedding themes aren’t just for alternative couples. “I’m seeing more traditional couples making some offbeat choices,” Stallings says, “whether it’s some funky shoes with their dresses and tuxedos or taking some DIY craft inspiration to make their
Stallings, author of the book “Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides,” considers a Star Warsthemed wedding (complete with storm troopers) to be one of the more unusual unions she’s seen. But that’s just one example; your groom doesn’t have to dress up as Han Solo to make your wedding day stand out.
For a creative alternative to the average wedding theme, choose your own unique alternative, then add decorations, costume elements, and music to compliment your theme. Here are some quick tips to help you choose an alternative theme for your wedding!
GET CRAFTY Instead of flipping through a magazine of traditional decor designs and settling on replicas, try designing your own floral arrangements, lighting concepts,
and table decorations! Incorporate style accents that reflect your interests and taste. If you’re both in the music industry, try folding sheet music to create paper flowers
and bouquets, table settings, and other decorations! If you’re both in the food industry, try edible designs for your floral arrangements and decor! If you’re film buffs or book
worms, theme your wedding according to your favorite love story! Your wedding should be a reflection of your relationship, so get crafty with alternative themes!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BANQUET HALL One of the easiest ways to create an alternative wedding is to host your wedding at less traditional venues. “Thanks to the economy, couples have to be more creative about all aspects of their weddings, and certainly reception venues are included in that,” Stallings says. “I’m seeing more and more bar receptions, as well as receptions at theaters and small museums.”
Chicago has plenty of creative options for your wedding. Try the Mars Gallery in the West Loop or the Garfield Park Conservatory! The Catalyst Ranch, located in a historical downtown loft, specializes in hosting events with an unusual flair. In the suburbs, you could try the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan or the Morton Arboretum in Lisle! Check out local park district and municipal websites for exclusive venues in both the city and the suburbs.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELVES Even though it’s your wedding, not anyone else’s, you should prepare yourselves for the possibility that some people, like old-fashioned grandparents or traditional in-laws, may disagree with some of your choices. Stallings explains, “in weddings, as in life, you simply can’t please everyone all the time, but if you spend too much time trying to, you’re going to end up disappointed yourself.” Don’t get discouraged by anyone else’s opinion, just follow your heart.