Wedding ideas to ditch

Your day should be about you. Photo: iStock
Your day should be about you. Photo: iStock

If you've ever seen a movie or rented a DVD about weddings, you might think they're incredibly stressful and hard to get right.

Well, apparently they are hard. But as a wedding celebrant, I stand in front of 200-odd weddings a year, and call me crazy but I don't think weddings are as hard as Hollywood makes them out to be.

Here are six problems I think that can be easily fixed by ditching something simple.

Ditch the rehearsal

The wedding rehearsal exists either because we needed something to name the "before the wedding dinner", or because wedding venue co-ordinators and planners needed something to prove their value! While they have valuable skills and are talented people, a wedding rehearsal isn't needed. I've been to hundreds of wedding rehearsals and not one of them made the wedding better, and most of them made the wedding more stressful.

Celebrant Josh Withers shares his thoughts on the making it the best day ever. Photo: marriedbyjosh/Instagram
Celebrant Josh Withers shares his thoughts on the making it the best day ever. Photo: marriedbyjosh/Instagram

You've walked and stood before, so that bit is looked after. Get your wedding DJ to look after the music so you don't have to time your walk. Hire a professional and awesome marriage celebrant that doesn't need to rehearse the ceremony.

I can guarantee you that you'll have a better wedding day if you ditch the rehearsal- because your wedding isn't a stage show or a musical on Broadway, it's a real life family event that cannot be stage or rehearsed. Your best bet is to get professionals in that can pull off an awesome wedding.

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Ditch the bridal party

Best friends and siblings have revolted at the thought, but wouldn't it be crazy if on the day that you begin and celebrate your marriage, everyone present was your best friend, and anyone that you didn't like wasn't there, so you didn't need to segregate the crowd between BFFs and everyone else by dressing your BFFs in the same clothes?

Why do your friends need to match? Photo: iStock
Why do your friends need to match? Photo: iStock

Here's the blessing you uncover when you ditch the bridal party: you don't have to choose, you don't have to co-ordinate, your BFFs can still hang out with you on the day and help you get ready, and you can say that everyone there is your bridal party, if that helps.

Bridal parties add unnecessary organisational stress, clothing decisions that they could look after from their own wardrobe (or a good sale if you know what I mean).

And if you eliminate the bridal party you're drawing a line in the sand and saying that your marriage is a fresh, new, awesome marriage not bound to tradition and weird old fears of demonic spirits attacking your marriage ceremony so you need to bring in duplicate friends to confuse the spirits.

Ditch mum's traditions

I love your mum, she's no doubt a legend and an awesome human in her own right, but if I may generalise, most mums make weddings hell. They do it unintentionally and it's all in the name of "doing it right".

The truth is that if on your wedding day you and your partner are standing there with a marriage celebrant and your closest pals, then you're doing it right.

Mum just wants you to have a great day, but she wants you to have a great day thirty years ago. I love you mum, but perhaps you could be an affirming, loving, positive power for good on the day instead of taking on the role of wedding police?

Mum will only know this if you tell her. Take her out for a macaroon and break the news to her gently.

Ditch dad on the aisle

Everything I said about mum, let me say the same about dad. Top bloke, he's one of the best.

An ancient tradition. Photo: iStock
An ancient tradition. Photo: iStock

But on this most stressful of weird days, why would you spend the whole day apart from your favourite human? Because of an ancient and weird sexist tradition where the father brings the daughter down an aisle to a waiting man?

Why not walk in together like the two consenting adults you are?

Ditch the traditional wedding photos

Picture it, you've just had the best wedding ceremony in the world, all your friends are there, the drinks are flowing and the canapés despite their minute size are looking mighty delicious. But before you can party you need to run off and pose for three hours.

So, you're the boss of your wedding, and all of your wedding vendors, and in the end you get to choose how this all works so here are some options.

You could get photos before the ceremony, and perhaps move the ceremony closer to sunset. Photos before or after the day, or here's a crazy option: just have a photojournalist cover the whole day from the shadows, paparazzi style.

Maybe you duck out for 20 minutes to get a few "hang on the wall" shots around golden hour (the hour before sunset) but in the end you get to spend the day with your favourites, not the photographer.

Ditch the iPod

It's everyone's favourite budget saver on wedding day, ditching the DJ and plugging in the iPod.

You want people to dance. Photo: IStock
You want people to dance. Photo: IStock

I've been to enough weddings to tell you to ditch the iPod. Throw the cute little thing back in the centre console for your next road trip and hire awesome entertainment.

No iPod has ever filled the dance floor, and not many iPods have created an awesome mood over canapés, Most iPods don't get the timing right for the ceremony, and many iPod DJs get the songs wrong.

Hire awesome wedding entertainment so you will be entertained. Yes, they are probably a lot of money, but they're totally worth it.

Ditch the boring ceremony

Finally, I need to put a good word in for myself and my friends that aren't terrible celebrants. I know most marriage celebrants, officiants, pastors, ministers, priests conduct boring as hell marriage ceremonies.

Make the day special. Photo: iStock
Make the day special. Photo: iStock

Many of us don't. Seek out an awesome marriage celebrant so that your guests aren't sitting there waiting for the ceremony to end but instead they're all talking about how fun and meaningful it was.

Marriage ceremonies can be fun and personal, it's up to you to find a really good marriage celebrant.

The best place to start is by looking at the byline on this article or Googling 'fun celebrant'.

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