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7 Unconventional Wedding Planning Tips

Starting to plan your wedding and already feeling overwhelmed? Don't know where to even start?

I'm a Perth wedding celebrant who specialises in non-traditional weddings - here are my top unconventional wedding planning tips that you probably won't find anywhere else!

Elopement in Western Australia with Sally Bruce Celebrant a groom in a brown suit with a bow tie and a beige vest is piggybacking his bride who is laughing and pointing to the sky. Her black Doc Marten boots are visible underneath the chiffon of her wedding dress.
C & S had a small, family-focussed elopement in an epic location while away for the weekend

1. The biggest unconventional wedding planning tip, and the most important: Focus on the marriage, not the wedding

Remember that a wedding is one day; a marriage is forever. Please don't go into debt for your wedding or let it stress you out so much that you get sick/are so tired you can't enjoy the day. Planning a wedding should be easy and fun - if it's not, you might consider scaling the whole thing back and eloping!

2. Make your own traditions

Are you including a lot of 'shoulds' in your plans? Things that other people expect, or that you've seen at other weddings, but that don't really mean anything to you?

I encourage my couples to throw away any traditions that don't reflect who they are as a couple.

Make your wedding truly yours by only including things that light you up. If you're thinking about including something in your wedding simply because 'it's tradition' or 'because everyone else does', I strongly recommend you don't do it!

Find vendors who will support you in making your wedding 100% about you and your relationship, not a cookie-cutter version of every other wedding.

And use the phrase "we're making our own traditions" to answer anyone who tries to make you include an outdated wedding tradition!

3. Use the Wedding Footprint Calculator when planning

Check out this awesome free tool from Mindfully Wed - Less Stuff, More Meaning. The Wedding Footprint Calculator lets you plug in some numbers for your wedding and calculates the carbon footprint of the event, which you may then choose to reduce and/or offset.

elopement in Perth with Sally Bruce Celebrant standing on a large rock with two brides in navy suits who are holding hands. A large sheepdog is sniffing at their feet.
L & S elopement footprint was very small - a private elopement and a new outfit for each of them that they'll wear again

4. Choose a dream team of wedding vendors

If you’ve already picked one vendor who you love, ask them for recommendations for any other vendors you’re going to be including. We are industry professionals and know lots of people who work at weddings! Vendors working with other vendors they love will make communication easier and the planning and the big day run smoothly (and be more fun!)

Tip: you can check out my favourite vendors at this blog post.

5. Have a solid Plan B

No one wants to be uncomfortably hot, cold, wet or blown away as they get married.

If your ceremony is going to be outside, you MUST have a back-up plan for extreme weather – including heat as well as rain, storms and wind.

Perth weather can be extreme and changeable. Please don’t risk yourselves or your guests getting heatstroke by standing directly in blazing sun for the ceremony!

If your Plan B is a change of venue, have a strategy for how you will tell guests about the change.

Don’t believe you need a Plan B? Trust me - many of my couples have had to go to their Plan B as their Plan A became an actual risk to health and safety.

I cannot stress enough how important these back-up plans are - they need to be realistic and reliable, and you have to be happy with them because we quite often need to use them!

Sally Bruce celebrant officiates a backyard wedding under a large gumtree. Guests are seated on mismatched retro chairs either side of carpet aisle runners. A bride in a long white sleeveless dress and long veil and her two bridesmaids, in dark and light pink dresses each hold a bouquet of sunflowers. The groom is in a brown jacket and pants and his two groomsmen are in white shirts.
B + Z's guests were focussed on the couple, not their phones

6. Consider an Unplugged wedding

At an unplugged ceremony, guests are asked to put aside their cameras and phones and not take any photos during the ceremony.

There are a few reasons you might want to consider this:

  • You've hired a professional photographer and you don't want anyone to obstruct their work.

  • You want your guests to be truly present during the ceremony rather than fiddling with Instagram filters/getting distracted by a message.

  • When you look at your guests, you want to see their faces rather than the backs of their devices.

This is absolutely not compulsory (you might want guests to go crazy with pics and post them all over social media!) but definitely something to consider. Make sure you talk to your celebrant about your decision so they know what the deal is!

Tip: If you’re comfortable with your guests posting pics to social media, create a hashtag for the day so that you can easily search for and find those images later on.

7. Nail your invitations

The more info you can provide on your invitations, the better! Make it easy for your guests by giving super-clear instructions about the address and any helpful info about parking, access etc.

Tip: be very precise when talking about timing on your invitations - when to arrive, and when the ceremony will start, eg. “Arrive at 4.45pm for a 5pm ceremony.”

I hope you've found these unconventional wedding planning tips helpful! Avoid stress, stay true to yourself, and make it all about you, focus on the marriage and not the wedding, and you'll be well on your way to planning an awesome non-traditional wedding.

Still looking for a celebrant for your non-traditional Perth elopement or wedding? Get in touch now by filling in a Booking Enquiry Form.

All photos on this post by Kat at Red Eclectic


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