The Hippo


Jul 5, 2020








Styled photo shoot shows colorful options for brides.Photo by Brendan Coughlin Productions. Courtesy of Inked Events.

All in the details
Make your wedding a non-traditional affair to remember

By Allie Ginwala

 The white dress, the banquet hall, the ribbon-tied bundle of roses and the three-tiered cake — traditional wedding themes and venues are lovely, but what if you’re part of a couple that marches to the beat of a different drum?

To find out the latest trends in non-traditional nuptials, the Hippo spoke with event planner Leslye Amico of Affordable Occasions and wedding planner Tracy Dapp of Inked Events.
Express yourself
When it comes to planning a wedding that’s different from the rest, it’s all about self-expression. No one else is like you, so sticking with your interests is a surefire way to keep it unique.
“I would recommend that they start with something that they both like,” Amico said. “If they're both cyclists or climbers or boaters or campers or hikers, just start with that kind of feel.”
“I think they just need to be themselves, bring their personalities into the wedding,” Dapp said. 
Whether you’re a book-lover, film buff or world traveler, those passions can be reflected throughout the big day. 
“Instead of using table numbers, use book titles,” Dapp said. “Or they can use movie titles. If they love to travel, [use] places that they've traveled to.”
Dapp suggested taking the personal touches further, perhaps in place of traditional flower centerpieces. “If they didn't want to use flowers being the focal point, they could add movie reels or old books,” she said. “Or if they’re travelers they can put pictures of themselves from [a] particular destination.”
Venue with a View
One of the largest components of a planning a wedding is settling on a venue. It used to be that wedding events were held in churches, at country clubs or in ballrooms. Nowadays, more couples want to try something a little off the beaten path by turning a stark, non-wedding venue into a picture perfect event location. 
“It appears that there are very few ballroom gala brides; the feel lately is very laid back, very comfortable,” Amico said. “They’re renting out space in a public park, either on the water or in the mountain in the woods.”
Dapp has seen a similar trend in the couples she works with. They’re getting married in a museum, on a farm, or in a historical park or garden. 
“And each of those places reflects their personality,” she said. 
Some couples are opting out of the traditional Saturday evening affair in favor of daytime weddings or even a weekend-long event. Amico said if you want a fun and relaxed feel to the big day, rent out a cluster of cabins and turn an outdoorsy trip into a semi-formal wedding weekend.
Dress to Impress
One aspect that helps to set the tone of the wedding is the bride’s dress. The style, fabric and color all help portray not only the personality of the bride but the mood of the wedding. Lately, Amico has noticed brides forgoing the grand white gown in favor of simpler white dresses, or dresses that aren’t white at all. 
“I’ve seen adding color to the dress -- a bride in a white or ivory or champagne gown -- and incorporating color through the dress,” Amico said. 
She’s also seen brides wearing the gowns in the wedding’s theme color.
“I would love to see brides in colored dresses,” said Dapp, who thinks a red wedding gown would make for a stunning and memorable event. She understands that letting go of white altogether may be a drastic choice, so she recommends adding color in unexpected places. Try wearing a tea-length dress with bright and colorful shoes or have the tulle on the underside of the skirt pop with a bright color. 
Bold and bright colors like aqua blue, yellow and magenta are a great way to bring a bit of whimsy to a wedding, Dapp said. Choosing uncommon wedding colors is a simple way to make sure your aesthetic stands out. 
To make the decorations cohesive, Dapp suggests taking one bright color and pairing it with a lighter shade as well as a neutral.
Even though the bride is the one taking the stroll down the aisle, grooms can have fun with their wardrobe as well. 
“The big popular trend with the guys is the funky bow ties or a shirt, tie, suspenders and the socks,” Amico said. “The socks seem to be a huge thing for the guys lately.” 
Keep the good fashion vibes going and bring some variety to the entire wedding party. Instead of having five bridesmaids lined in a row in matching dresses, choose a color family (blue, perhaps) and let them pick a dress within that hue (robin’s egg, navy or royal). This adds a bit more pop to the aesthetic and lets the bridesmaids dress to their body types. 
“As far as the bridesmaids go, they are girls and guys, guys being in the bridal party or vice versa,” Dapp said. “They can be in different style dresses or they could be in the wedding color palette in different styles.” 
Many couples are choosing to break from the ordinary for their food. 
“I had three brides last year who did not want a wedding cake,” Amico said. 
A traditional tiered cake isn’t the only sweet tiding to bring to the ceremony. If cake isn’t your thing, serve platters of cupcakes or mini fruit pies. Dapp had a bride and groom recently who cut a ceremonial wedding pie instead of a cake. Amico saw couples opt for an interactive dessert with a make-your-own s’mores bar or a take-home colorful candy display. 
For the main meal, it doesn't have to be a formal chicken, fish or beef option. The best thing is to eat what you love. Give guests a taste of your family favorites or meals you and your significant other enjoy together. 
“There could be barbecue, clam bakes or even gourmet food trucks,” Dapp said. 
Have a taco truck or grilled cheese vendor serve up appetizers or even a late night snack to refuel after the reception.
Ceremonial Charm
The perfect place to get personal in the wedding planning details is the ceremony. A non-traditional wedding ceremony can highlight family traditions as well as religious customs. 
“There are a lot of couples writing their own vows,” Amico said. “A lot of the weddings these days [are] mixed religion [so couples are] trying to take aspects of both religions and incorporate it into their day.”
One final touch that will make the exchange of “I do’s” all the more special is to have a loved one perform the ceremony. 
“One of the things that seems to be huge right now is having a family member or friend be licensed as an officiant for a day, which I think really adds to the meaningfulness of the day,” Amico said. 
As seen in the January 22, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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