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Planning a Wedding to Suit Your Alternative Lifestyle

Planning a Wedding to Suit Your Alternative Lifestyle

Weddings are one of the key milestones of life. Most importantly, they are a celebration of the love you share with your partner. As such, there are various traditions and activities that make up contemporary matrimonial events.

This doesn’t mean to say you need to sacrifice your values, ethics, and ideals in favor of a wedding in a style preferred by the majority. Not to mention, it’s certainly not necessary for you to spend the $22,000-$30,000 that is the average cost of a wedding in Canada. Your wedding is about sharing the joy of bringing you and your partner closer together — nothing more. It’s worth making some adjustments to create an event more reflective of your love and your shared life. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to plan a wedding to suit your alternative lifestyle.

The Ceremony

The core element of any wedding is the ceremony. This is also an aspect of a wedding that tends to be most deeply rooted in tradition. However, the usual structure may be too rigid for your lifestyle and may not reflect what marriage means to you. The good news is, your ceremony can be tailored to meet your needs.

Firstly, though, it’s important to understand the legal requirements of a marriage ceremony. This has to form the basis of your wedding to make it official. You can then build your customized aspects on top of this foundation. Legislation can vary between provinces, but all will require you to obtain a marriage license which must be completed and returned by the officiant.

Some locations, like Ontario, require the officiant to be a justice of the peace, a city clerk, or a recognized member of the clergy. However, in Alberta, any friend or family member can be an officiant by registering with the government. This isn’t the only way you can personalize the officiant of a ceremony. If you live in an area that requires a specific official, you could arrange a small administrative ceremony with them and arrange for a more meaningful joining with an officiant of your choosing later.

This is really your aim when tailoring your ceremony. Create something meaningful to you as a couple, rather than based on traditions. Particularly if each of you has different religious or spiritual customs, it can be positive to design a form of hybrid ceremony. Include rituals to reflect your individual values but that are collectively unique to you as a couple.

The Theme

The idea of a themed wedding might seem hokey. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to set your wedding up like a kid’s party. Rather, you can utilize the idea of a theme to create a more representative structure and look for your wedding. Choosing even a loose theme can help you to focus the various parts of your wedding to meet your spiritual or lifestyle needs. It also sets expectations for the events for your guests.

Often the choice of dress is an integral aspect of a theme. If you and your spouse-to-be are keen cosplayers, this can play an important role in creating a dress code that represents you as a couple. If creativity is a central part of your life together, you can encourage outfits decorated or made by guests. Of course, it could be as simple as suggesting clothing choices most suitable for the tone of the day. Wedding dress codes vary in levels of formality, from white-tie to smart-casual. If your theme is celebrating your love amidst nature, garden attire that has a more relaxed and comfortable level of formality could be practical.

The important thing about planning your theme is to be clear with your guests. Giving them a little guidance on the reasons and beliefs behind your theme can be key to getting them on board with it. Remember to be as inclusive as possible here. The alternative aspects of your lifestyle may not be as familiar to some of your guests as others. Explain terminology and send images of clothing suggestions for the day. Remember, some of your guests will certainly be on a budget, though, so provide options on how they can engage no matter their means.

The Reception

The reception is usually the point at which you and your guests really get to let loose. Even if you’ve been largely traditional in every other aspect of your wedding day, the reception is a time that can best reflect your alternative lifestyle.

Start by making certain the venue meets your needs. If caring for the planet is central to your lifestyle, it’s important to confirm with the management what their sustainability standards are. Talk about their energy efficiency standards and waste disposal practices. The same goes with your vendors. Make time to discuss not just vegan options with caterers, but also the ethical standards of their food sources and staff treatment. It’s difficult to have a positive wedding if there are negative elements contributing to it.

The activities during your reception should also reflect what is important to you in your lives. Music and dancing can be wonderful forms of expression here. Hiring a wedding DJ can mean guests stay entertained throughout the day and you can usually make playlist requests. Many also specialize in certain types of music, though the cost of services can vary depending on your needs. If you and your guests live creative or artistic lives, you could make some live music together. This enhances the community spirit and a more memorable experience for everyone.

The Honeymoon

The wedding doesn’t finish once all the guests have left the venue. A honeymoon is a great opportunity for you and your new spouse to spend some time together away from the pressures of the world. Not to mention you’ll probably need a break after the stress of planning a wedding. While a honeymoon is traditional, this doesn’t mean to say you have to go for the recognized forms.

Firstly, you don’t have to head out on a honeymoon as soon as you’ve gotten married. This may not suit your lifestyle, family commitments, or work expectations. One alternative approach to this is spacing your honeymoon out over the course of the year. Take small trips away each month leading up to your first anniversary. You’ll find this makes for a more varied experience and one that helps you celebrate your union for longer.

That said, you don’t have to go away at all. Your relationship may be spiritually rooted in the location you live in. In which case, you can arrange a staycation that sees you planning vacation activities without having to travel away. Spend some time camping in your favorite local nature spots to enhance your relationship with extra closeness to the earth. Start each day with a leisurely and revitalizing yoga session. Visit parts of town you haven’t had time to previously. These are opportunities to discover your home in a new and more meaningful way.

Conclusion

Your wedding shouldn’t be steeped in traditions contrary to your lifestyle. When planning your ceremony, theme, reception, and honeymoon, consider what is most important to you. There are ways to adjust the details of the event to reflect your values in a more authentic way. This not only helps you create great memories with your guests. It also empowers you to start your married life together on the most positive footing.


About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 

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Submitted Exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Frankie Wallace © 2022 crystalwind.ca

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About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 

© 2022 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

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