As many newly engaged ladies (and dudes!) know, wedding planning comes with a fair dose of opinions from everyone, and we mean everyone — your mom, your BFFs and even that distant aunt you haven’t spoken to in years. While many brides revel in classic wedding traditions, making these details more you doesn’t have to mean skipping them all together. We’re sharing the ultimate compromise in rebellion: Scroll on for 16 modern ways to give popular traditions an upgrade.
1. Make Escort Cards More Fun: They don’t have to be drawn in cursive on cream-colored paper anymore. Your guests will love looking for their names on these brightly colored bottles. (via Green Wedding Shoes)
3. Let Them Eat (Something Other Than) Cake: There is certainly one special sweet that you like to share with your sweet. Seek out local bakers or artisans who make it best and have that served at your reception. Bonus points for a cool food truck that’ll lend itself to great pictures. (via Abby Jiu Photography)
4. Ditch the Linens: Your reception doesn’t have to be ritzy; at least, you don’t have to spend lots of money on linens. That’s what this garden wedding goes to show. Walk barefoot to rustic wood tables set in the grass and dance right under the stars. (via Tec Petaja)
5. Spiral Your Seats: Most brides walk down a straight aisle, but you’re not most brides. Check out this spiral aisle that will allow you to see every guest, and vice-versa. It makes for some pretty incredible photos, too. (via Gideon Photography)
6. 50 Shades of Suits: You will probably wear white, but your groom? He can have a little fun with his suit. In fact, a colorful jacket can make your big day feel fresh and lively, just like you two. (via Love My Dress)
7. Give a Little Back: For years, wedding guests have brought gifts to bestow upon the happy couple. Perhaps you already have a stocked apartment, or you simply would prefer to give back on your big day. Either way, this QR reader makes it easy for guests to donate on your behalf. (via Caroline Ro)
9. Mismatch Your Maids: Gone are the days of matchy-matchy bridal parties. Instead, brides and their bridesmaids love the opportunity to choose a handful of different gowns to flatter each individual. Choose an inspiration color and length and let your girls go shopping. (via Erich McVey)
10. Why White?: Your bridal gown doesn’t have to be traditional, either. Add some color for additional flair. Choose a pastel or other light color — even a white gown with a hint of blush or peach — to spice things up. (via Blush Wedding Photography/Style Me Pretty)
11. Return the Rice: … or the bubbles. Or the sparklers. Instead, have your guests throw something a little different as they celebrate your exit from the church or reception. This couple had guests throw wildflowers, though you can get creative with confetti, streamers, glow sticks… (via Rock n’ Roll Bride)
12. Return Your Guestbook: Let’s be honest: You probably won’t flip through your wedding guestbook in the future. You will, however, look at a displayable keepsake that all of your family and friends signed. (via C.R.A.F.T.)
13. Don’t Follow the Program: A bi-fold program in a sensible font? Not anymore. You can have lots of fun incorporating images, colors and fun fonts into your program. Of course, you’ll probably want it to match the big day’s overall theme, but it certainly doesn’t have to be boring (via Angela Renée)
15. Lace Up: Your toes will thank you for this one: You don’t have to wear heels on your big day. You’ll walk more comfortably and confidently down the aisle and you’ll probably have an easier time dancing once you tie your shoelaces (via Invites Weddings)
16. Cake It Off: Say goodbye to your wedding cake altogether. Guests will remember, say, a three-tiered tower filled with donuts too. And you’ll remember just how perfect and unique your big day was. We think that’s what it’s all about. (via Dove Wedding Photography)
Do you plan to break any traditions in your wedding? Let us know in the comments below!