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A twist on tradition

Josephine Walsh

Planning your wedding is a beautiful time.  

But let’s not sugarcoat that little almond of truth – it’s also probably the most hectic and question-laded time of your life too.

Will you be a boho bride or modern muse? Will you have hessian covered jam jars holding a tiny monogrammed candle made from Peruvian pink beeswax? What do you mean, you’re not on Pinterest? #Shreddingforthewedding? Pass us another champagne and a donut.

To help you navigate the wilderness of wedding trends and traditions, here are some outside the box ideas.

Your wedding ‘dress’

Credit: Johannes Huebl. Via:

Credit: Johannes Huebl. Via:

Whilst the classic white fairytale gown is breathtaking, it’s not for everyone. Why not wear something which matches your usual style and unique flair?

Ditch the dress. Skirt and top combinations are stunning (see Olivia Palermo above). Why not pair a floaty pastel A-line skirt with a bold metallic crop, or a slim pencil skirt with an oversized blouse?

Don a suit. If you’re game for a sleek trouser and blazer look, go for it. Thank you, Amal Clooney and Solange Knowles.

Be you. It’s your wedding day – you have permission to buy an outrageous pair of amazing, colour-pop shoes. Heck, why not buy two?

You’ve got mail

Although you need to let guests know the details of your big day, you don’t necessarily need to organise (and pay for) multiple cards, envelopes and stamps. 

Go digital. Grab your guests’ contact details and set up your own wedding website – there are heaps to choose from, and they are relatively affordable, making handling RSVPs a breeze.

Keen to try postal? Simple DIY postcards or photo invites directing guests to your website are inexpensive and personal, plus, nothing beats getting something other than bills in the mail!

Get quirky. Blow your guests’ minds by printing your Save The Date on a balloon, keep RSVPs in the front of their mind with a custom bookmark, or give them something handy to use on the big day by embroidering the details on a handkerchief.

Buds and bouquets

Flowers are a really personal choice, but there’s so much out there other than peonies and roses. Many brides are opting not to have a bouquet at all, which leaves them free to move, hug, dance and shake hands with the gorgeous guests! But if bouquets and floral centrepieces are a special part of your day, why not try these options:

Native Flora. Australian natives are a beautiful (and comparatively cheaper) option for stunning decorations.



Rustic alternatives. Seed pods, dried flowers and wooden arrangements are strikingly bold, particularly if you’re going for a more rustic look.

All hail the humble herb! Think fragrant touches of rosemary, thyme, lavender and basil – these divine scents will complement rather than compete with your delicious food.

Pull up a pew

Organising the seating chart for your ceremony and/or reception can turn into a time-consuming and political minefield. Can Auntie Ella really be trusted to sit next to your mother-in-law’s newly single work colleague? How do you enable friends to catch up without becoming cliquey, and make singles feel included?

Communal seating. Long tables make it easier to flow and blend different groups together, and provides a communal atmosphere.

Mix and match. Try mixing up your table settings by pairing different groups who have something in common, for example your childhood friends with his university buddies, or your work colleagues with his.

Skip the formalities. Ditch the seating plan altogether and give your guests freedom to choose their seats. For guests who might not know anyone, ask a friend to make an effort to chat and sit with those flying solo.  

Cake baby

Let’s face it – everyone loves cake. But maybe not after canapés, cocktails, a three-course meal and that lovely little bread roll that you’re convinced will soak up the four glasses of champagne you drank before 7pm.

Skip the dessert option in the function package and stack your favourite wheels of cheese with some crackers and fruit.



Have a donut stand with take away boxes which double as bonbonniere and a hangover cure for the next day.

Go savoury. Ask your caterer if you can have a mini leg of ham with some crunchy bread and mustard as the night and dancing wears on –a sure way to avoid the 2am Maccas run!

Snap Happy

The cost of wedding photography can sometimes instil terror into even the most stylish bride. Here are some ideas to complement the traditional approach to photography:

Create a custom Geofilter. Instead of a wedding hashtag, design and request your own personal Snapchat Geofilter, so that you and your guests can apply a customised design overlay on your pics.  

Get appy. Check out apps which enable guests to see and share their pictures in one central location, saving you the need to trawl across all of your social platforms.

The big toss up

Don’t want to make all your single friends line up to grapple for your wedding bouquet? Try these instead.

Gift your bouquet. Why not hand over your bouquet to a family member who helped you plan and prepare your special day – they’ll be incredibly touched. 

Keepsake. Keep your bouquet, and press the flowers in a heavy book – they’ll be a beautiful and lasting memory of the day.

A kind gesture. Donate your flowers to a hospital or nursing home – they’ll bring unexpected joy to someone who is sick or lonely.

And off they go into the night…

Not too fussed on spending the last hour of your night standing in a circle saying goodbye to everyone?

Save the last dance. Get everyone onto the dance floor for a farewell dance before you go.



Plan a ‘toss bar’ for your grand exit. Guests can make their own confetti mix using rose petals, confetti, rice and sparkles to throw over you and your beloved.

Book a brunch. Organise a recovery brunch, lunch or afternoon tea for the following day. Party on!

This article originally appeared as part in UNVEILED Issue One for Spring/Summer 2016. Read it now here.


Josephine Walsh

Jose Walsh is a digital communications specialist who also runs her own blog, She has a passion for museums and the arts, a deep love of travel and more shoes than sense. Having worked in museums for the past seven years, she loves finding new ways to connect people with their cultural institutions. She loves meeting new people, hunting for a decent espresso, and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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