Every couple we work with is completely different. From their personality and style to their tastes in food and music and everything in-between, each and every couple is gorgeously unique.
However, there's one thing that all of our clients want to achieve - a day that reflects who they are and what they love and doesn't feel contrived or 'overdone'.
We completely understand why. After all, who wants a wedding that's exactly the same as everyone else's? We can't imagine there's too many couples that want their guests to walk into their reception & feel like they've seen it all before.
While tools like Instagram and Pinterest and inspiration sources like blogs and magazines can be inspiring, they can also fuel the dreaded 'copycat wedding syndrome' where everyone in a given wedding season tries to achieve exactly the same wedding as the next person.
There's no harm in selecting gorgeous on trend wedding elements that suit you and who you are (in fact, if you love an idea and it just feels right, we think you're mad not to do it). In fact, we love a whole host of fabulous trends. However, mirroring entire weddings just because you feel you're expected to or trying to fit something everyone else is doing into your day when it's not you at all doesn't seem right to us.
It can be challenging to think outside the square when you're surrounded by an overwhelming flood of what's on trend. It's hard sometimes to escape 'popular' and embrace unique. So, to help you out, we've put together a little list of ways to stay true to who you are as a couple and blur a few little lines along the way ...
1. Start from the start and list your 'must haves'
It's funny, because it seems like whenever we provide our readers with any form of planning advice this tip makes its way in there somewhere. We can't stress enough how important it is to sit down with your partner and discuss what the most important, can't live without, ideas and elements are for you. This could be a song choice or location that's special to you, a type of food you want to share with your friends or even a feeling or atmosphere you want to create.
Once you've done that, create your 'must avoid' list. What don't you want your day to feel, look, taste or sound like? What don't you want your guests to experience?
Once you have ten on each list that you feel 100% sure about, stick to them wherever possible.
2. Avoid trying to over-define your day or limit your style
Labelling different styles like 'shabby chic', 'vintage', 'indie', 'industrial' or 'modern' can be really handy when you're trying to communicate a certain look or feel to others. But there's no rules that say you can't mix up multiple styles that you love and create a wedding that feels like you. In fact, some styles contrast each other in a way that can be quite beautiful.
Industrial vintage with a hint of glam, organic & indie with a modern edge .... the most unlikely of pairings might just work for you. In fact, pairing seemingly different styles with each other means you won't feel too restricted and you won't end up with a wedding that's a carbon copy of another.
Of course, we don't recommend throwing every style you've ever remotely been attracted to in together, and it takes some skill and restraint to create a day that's unique but beautiful. But don't be afraid to think about traditional styles in a new way.
Our recent modern glam meets art deco wedding in the historic State Library of Victoria and a trendy North Melbourne warehouse is a perfect example. Glam gold met with luxurious marble and fun pops of bright 'radiant orchid' ... not combinations you would necessarily expect. You can check it out here.
3. Find ways to incorporate the things you love (or love doing)
Rather than searching for ideas online or in magazines, think about all the awesome things you love and like to do as a couple and then find a way to incorporate them into your day.
Adore eating pavlova together? Have a 'build your own' pavlova station. Obsessed with vintage films? Create an outdoor cinema and surround with antique lounges and a popcorn machine. Love riding bicycles with each other? Replace your getaway car with a tandem bicycle ... the list is endless. There's no rules and once you realise that, the wedding planning world becomes your little oyster.
4. Look for inspiration in unlikely places
Like every area of our lives, weddings are extremely trend driven. At any given time there's a popular idea that's appearing everywhere in the wedding world and it can be hard to escape it. If you're feeling blinded by the latest fad, look away from weddings and turn to other places for inspiration. Look at the interior design of a cafe you admire, peruse your most beloved home or living magazine, be inspired be the work of your favourite artist or interior designer, take ideas from a festival or event you attended.
Ideas are literally everywhere and who said you couldn't apply them to your wedding? It might take a bit of retro-fitting sometimes, but there's often a way to incorporate something you love into your day.
5. Be ruthless, be brave
Every wedding has a finite timeline and a finite budget. Your aim should be to maximise that time and that budget by concetrating on the best, most important, most high impact ideas and elements. Select the things that mean the most to you and that align best with you 'must haves' and 'must avoids' (see tip one) and drop anything that doesn't feel like it fits you as a couple or you're only trying to squeeze in because everyone expects you to.
Speaking from experience, the absolute best parts of every wedding are they elements that seemed a little left of centre at first or that were criticised by others (generally by people who are stuck in a world of wedding rules and constraints). As long as these elements are really important to you, they will be remembered and cherished by you forever.