Thursday, July 25, 2013

15 Non-Traditional Choices We LOVED for our Wedding

Since I've been a little overwhelmed with the packing and the loading and the preparing for a new job and getting ready to move and everything else life has brought up in the past few weeks, it's been a while since I've written a post about our wedding.

From some of the pictures I've posted before, Patrick and I opted to go for a rather non-traditional wedding- and we loved it.  Here are a few things that we did that were slightly different from the norm.  If you're planning your own wedding I urge you to incorporate a few into your special day, too.


1. Have your dad AND mom walk you down the aisle.  

I never understood why the dads got all the glory with walking their daughters down the aisle at their weddings.  I mean... what about Mom?  She raised you, too!  I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle, but it just didn't feel right if I didn't have my mom there too.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze to get us all down there, but I'm so glad we did it.

Photo taken by Misty Como at Focused Photography

Photo: Misty Como

 2. Opt for a tea-length dress

Most weddings happen tend to take place in the summer - which generally means sweltering heat.  Since Patrick and I decided to get married outside in an amphitheater, I decided to go with a tea-length dress that wouldn't end up dirty, snagged, or damaged while I was walking over the rocks.  Plus it just wasn't my style to have someone carry my train for me or fluff it once I got to the front.  My dress allowed me to move freely, it was cool in the heat, and it didn't seem too overly "princess-y" or high maintenance.  The bonus was my dress was cheaper than a lot of the longer dresses I tried on, too!

Photo credit: Misty Como Dress: Oleg Cassini for David's Bridal

Photo credit: Misty Como Dress: Oleg Cassini for David's Bridal Personalized hanger: etsy

3. Take your mom AND dad dress shopping 

Both of my parents came with me when I went dress shopping - and I'm glad they did.  Trust me, my dad isn't much of a shopper, but I'm glad he was there to offer a man's point of view.  Plus it was another special moment to share with him.  Again, you don't have to fall into the normalcy of taking your mom with you to get your dress and have your dad walk you down the aisle.  Plus, because I chose not to wear a veil - it went back to the seeming too "fussy" issue for me, my dad picked out the accessory to wear in my hair, which made it all the more meaningful.

Photo credit: Misty Como Hair Accessory: David's Bridal

 4. Wear your hair down 

Since my hair was short, there weren't too many options with what I could do with it, but I didn't want a style that was going to need so much hairspray it would attract bugs or would need to be fixed a million times after hugging everyone.  Trust me - there will be a lot of hugs and your hair will take a beating.  Opt for something that you won't have to worry too much about.  I went with a half-up waterfall braid crown that was done at Blaze Salon in Coralville, Iowa.  All of the bridesmaids had their hair done that morning and they did a great job of taking care of us.

A front/side view of the hairstyle I chose for the wedding.  Hair: Blaze Salon

5. Wear flats 

One reason I chose to wear flats was because my husband and I are close to the same height.  Also, I knew I would be on my feet all day and I didn't really want to trip and fall on my way down the aisle.  I searched forever for the perfect flats to wear with my dress and I finally found them on Etsy at a shop called Becca and Louise.  I was able to pick the color I wanted and the girl through whom I ordered them stitched the daintiest beautiful vintage lace on the heel and toe.  I couldn't have been happier with them.  My feet couldn't have been happier by the end of the night that I had worn flats, too.

Photo: Misty Como Shoes: Becca and Louise
Photo: Misty Como Shoes: Becca and Louise

6. Give your bridesmaids some freedom

I wanted my bridesmaids to be comfortable in what they were wearing - meaning their make-up, their dresses, their hair and their shoes.  After much deliberation and consultation with my bridesmaids about what dresses they wanted to wear, they all actually ended up liking the same one in the same color, with the exception of my maid-of-honor, who wore a different dress.  I LOVE how our pictures turned out when all of the girls wore their hair differently and wore different shoes.

Photo: Misty Como

Photo: Misty Como

7. ... And let your groomsmen be comfy, too!

Patrick and I got married in July... and for those of you that have experience July in Iowa it's hot, and it's not a dry heat either, it's a sweat like a pig because they humidity is 80% kind of hot.  There was no way we were going to make the groomsmen die in tuxes... or in suit jackets for that matter.  We ended up having our guys wear white shirts, black pants, black belts and black converses because, according to my husband, no one wants to wear uncomfortable men's dress shoes.

Photo: Misty Como Shoes: Converse All-Stars

Photo: Misty Como

Photo: Misty Como

8. Let your groom wear a suit

Patrick and I got married the summer after I graduated and this was about the time we were both starting to interview for jobs, so Patrick needed a suit anyway.  We decided to buy that he could wear at the wedding and use later on.  Every guy should have a suit that fits him well, and by the time it was all over, the purchase of the suit cost about as much as it would have to rent a tux.  There are usually deals between David's Bridal and Men's Warehouse, too.

Photo: Misty Como Suit: Men's Warehouse

9. Get your flowers through a flower farm 

One aspect of wedding planning that motivated Patrick and I was price.  Purchasing wedding flowers through a florist is pretty expensive.  We found a beautiful little flower farm near us that had exceptional prices.  Plus the bridesmaids and I were even able to go out and have a "flower shower" before the wedding where we created the centerpieces with the help of the florist/flower farm owner.  I LOVED the idea and the way our flowers turned out.  I was even able to pick out what flowers went in the centerpieces and bouquets!   

Photo: Misty Como Flowers: St. Bridget's Flower Farm
Photo: Misty Como Flowers: St. Bridget's Flower Farm
Photo: Misty Como Flowers: St. Bridget's Flower Farm

 10. Have a wooden box ceremony 

Most weddings seem to have a unity candle or sand ceremony.  This just wasn't quite what Patrick and I wanted.  While planning the wedding, I ran across the idea of a wooden box ceremony.  The general idea is that you write each other letters before the wedding and place them inside the box.  We asked my dad to make our box.  He even included a place to hold a bottle of wine for us to drink on our first anniversary -which we did last Saturday.  We're going to continue the tradition by writing each other a letter every year and purchasing a new bottle of wine to place in the box.  Trust me, you'll appreciate the sentiment when you open it a year later.

A photo of the top of the wooden box my dad built

11. Have a first look moment with your dad

This is a moment that I'm so glad I included before the wedding.  My dad isn't one to show a lot of emotion, and a "first look" moment was a great time to share a little one-on-one time with my dad during the hectic day.  I love the picture our photographer was able to snap, too.  It ended up being one of my favorite wedding pictures and we have it framed in our living room.

Photo: Misty Como

12.  Include some of your favorites

I love cotton candy.  So Patrick and his dad, Joe, came up with the idea of having a cotton candy machine at the wedding.  It was a HUGE hit.  We had people from the wedding next door crashing ours just to get some cotton candy.

Photo: Misty Como

13. Don't make dinner too formal

At our wedding we served pulled pork, baked potatoes, mac and cheese and salad.  It was simple, it was summery, and it was tasty.  People enjoyed it and we ended up only spending about $7 a plate, way cheaper than the $20-$30 for a more expensive meal that people will enjoy just as much.  For catering we went with A Guy and a Grill based out of Muscatine, Iowa and the food was fantastic.

14.  Capture the imperfections 

Some of the pictures that I love the most from the wedding are when things went wrong.  An entire room full of women couldn't find the clasp on the back of my dress, then during the first look Patrick asked "Why didn't you clasp this?" and clasped it without a problem at all.  Capture the awkward comments, laughs, and the bride and bridesmaids stuffing their faces with bagels.  They're the parts of the wedding you'll remember.

Photo: Misty Como
Photo: Misty Como
Photo: Misty Como

15.  Get your outdoorsy man a wooden ring 

Patrick is an environmental scientist and he loves anything and everything outdoors.  He was intent on getting a wooden wedding band.  At first I was pretty skeptical - we sized his finger, sent in the custom order, and when it arrived it fit perfectly and was beautiful.  Plus, they're more sturdy than you think!  A year later Patrick's band still looks brand new.  He gets compliments on it constantly.

Photo:Misty Como     Bride's Ring: Helzberg Jewelers     Groom's Ring: Stout Woodworks

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