Updated: Jun 21
At this point, we've photographed enough weddings to lose count and from our experience, most wedding celebrations follow a similar format as the one before. At our wedding, we wanted to intentionally create some non-traditional elements to spice things up. If it was at a regular wedding, we pretty much didn't want it.
We started with the simple notion that our day belongs to us, and our relationship is the whole reason for the celebration. For this reason, we decided to do private vows. It only seemed fitting since when we got married ten years ago, it was just the two of us. We'll write a whole separate post about why you should have private vows, so I won't take the time right now to go into it. Because of this, we viewed the ceremony as a formality, as I believe most modern couples do. We thought, though, that in ways, people came to see a “show,” so we decided to give them just that. Our guests had zero clue that our ceremony was a scripted theatrical performance. Heather's brother was our officiant and he read [in the priest's voice] through a modified version of The Princess Bride wedding script we wrote. We even wrote additional vows that were basically roasts of each other in front of our friends and family. Some people got it, some people didn't, but that's how it goes. Tip #150394, you can't and won't please everyone at your wedding. Do what you like and let the tortilla chips fall where they may.
One of our biggest pet peeves at weddings we photograph are boring receptions. For most guests, after they eat dinner, they basically are just waiting for the cake to be cut so they can eat and run. If they feel obligated to stay, once the dance floor opens, they sit there at their tables as if they would rather die. That isn't at all what we wanted, so we decided to create a game for those non-dancers. The game was basically a highlight reel of our lives together that involved different challenges modeled after The Amazing Race. For example, at one point in our relationship we moved from Georgia to Florida, so we had our guests make paper airplanes that they had to throw into a bucket in order to advance to the next stage of the game. We then coordinated with our DJ to have everyone line the dance floor and throw their paper airplanes at us for a photo op.
At another point in the game, we had our guests enter a Harlem Shake dance-off competition, which made for amazing photos and provided priceless entertainment for our guests. At the end of the game, the two-person team had to complete a black and white photo puzzle of us in a darkly lit room, solve a riddle, and find the hidden chest with the prize.
The game we incorporated into our wedding gave many guests an opportunity to do something if they weren't dancers, and it was also a way to generate a more interactive experience between guests who may have not known many people attending our wedding. It was a ton of work orchestrating all the different pieces of the game, but it was definitely worth seeing our family and friends struggle through the challenges!
In lieu of toasts, Heather's dad read an epic poem about the evening that we wrote. You can view the poem here:
Our wedding wouldn't have screamed unconventional without us riding through a flower petal toss on a tandem bicycle.
When it comes to your wedding, why not consider making your day uniquely you?! Instead of viewing your wedding as a list of formalities to get through, view it as a giant party dedicated to you. You can have any food you want, any entertainment your heart desires, and you don't have to have anything you don't want. You don't have to do what we did, but you also don't have to do what everyone else does either.
Venue: New Holland Parlor
Videography: Native Tree Films
Florals: DIY by me
Hair and Makeup: Amber Amick-Chavarria
DJ: Three the Entertainer with 1800 Media Group