Weddings are often redundant and full of often ridiculous traditions. For many Wedding professionals it’s the same exact day over and over again with different characters. Luckily for me, I’ve attracted Couples who prefer to create their own traditions and create a Wedding that is intentional to their relationship which means I get really fun and different Wedding Days with a lot of non-traditional aspects.
First let’s dive in and define what “intentional” even means. Merriam-Webster defines intentional as “done by intention or design”.
Ask Yourselves WHY You Are Getting Married
This might seem silly, but this is the start to creating an Intentional Wedding Day. Why are you getting Married? Why are you having a Wedding (or Elopement)? Determining your WHY can help keep you grounded through the Wedding Planning process… your WHY should always be guiding you.
Intentional Wedding Rings
If you’re the type of Couple who cares what their Wedding Day feels like, you’ve probably already started with meaningful rings. Diamonds are the norm, but in recent years, gemstones of all varieties as well as Vintage rings have taken the Wedding Industry by storm.
Passing down family heirlooms is also a great way to create intentionality in your Wedding Day. If you are fortunate enough to still have your Grandparents or Parents around and they are happy and willing definitely consider going this route.
Writing Your Own Vows
I think at least 50% of (my) Couples write their own vows to one another. I’ve definitely seen more Couples reading them privately before the Ceremony these days (hello Introverts, I see you). If you are brave and willing to get emotional in front of your guests, go for it. Writing your own vows is definitely a beautiful and sentimental way to be intentional on your Wedding Day.
Your Wedding does not have to be like every other Wedding. You can literally do whatever you want, whatever feels good to you as a Couple. I have had such a variety of fun things that Couples brought to their Wedding Day that was uniquely their own. From dressing up in onesies during their getting ready to renting a bounce house for the reception. Creating a unique wedding tradition will definitely create an unforgettable occasion for all of your family and friends.
When you are in the planning stages of your Wedding, sit down together as a Couple and journal about your Wedding Day. How does it feel? What does it look like, taste like, smell like? What activities and traditions do you want to include or exclude? Coming together to come up with a vision of what your day will feel like is a huge step in creating an Intentional Day.
Including and Honoring Your Loved Ones
If you are having your loved ones, including them in various parts of your Day will help them feel special. Whether it be special gifts, or having them give a toast or having them walk you down the aisle.
I’ve seen so many Brides wear their Mother’s Wedding Dress, obviously altered to fit and to taste.
For loved ones who have passed or can’t physically attend, there are plenty of ways to include them as well. I’ve seen dedicated tables with framed photos, small photo ornaments attached to the bouquet, framed photos holding a seat at the Ceremony or just a mention during a speech.
Incorporating Your Culture
Let’s face it, the majority of Weddings are religious. They are held at places of worship and involve many out-dated traditions that might not align with your values. For this reason, a lot of Couples pick and choose the traditions they want to include and eliminate the traditions that they don’t care for.
Taking your Wedding out of the Church or Temple doesn’t make it any less of a Wedding. Neither does having a friend or family member officiate your Ceremony.
Intentional Ceremony Traditions
The most popular Ceremony traditions I’ve seen are Hand Fasting, Tequila Shots, Pouring colored sand into a vessel of choice, a Kava Ceremony, tying an actual knot, planting a tree and a Wiccan Ceremony where the Couple was saged & drank a love potion.
Definitely dive in and do your research into different Cultures and Faiths to see what best represents your love and incorporate that.
There is no right or wrong. Stay aligned with the values you share as a Couple and celebrate your marriage YOUR WAY.
Hand fasting is a very popular tradition with non-denominational but Spiritual Couples.
Intentional Values & Beliefs
Your Wedding Day is the perfect chance to share your beliefs with your friends and family. This is where you can get creative. Have a Dry Wedding if you or someone important to you is Sober. Have a Vegan Wedding if you’re a passionate Vegan. Have a Pet Rescue set up a play pen with adoptable animals so Wedding Guests can bring home a furever friend. Whatever your Passionate about as a Couple you can totally incorporate into your Day to make it more Intentional.
A Reception That Reflects You
Hot take: You don’t have to have a DJ and dancing. Or a Bouquet / Garter toss. Or First Dances. Your Wedding Reception can be what you want it to be. Maybe you love being on the water, consider having more of a cocktail hour type Reception on a Yacht. Are you a Couple who games together? I’ve seen Couples do a “First Game” instead of a First Dance and it was pretty epic!
Having a Reception that screams YOU will have your Guests talking for years to come. Be bold and be yourselves.
Be Intentional With Your Vendor Choices
Hiring vendors based on budget alone is one of the quickest ways to create a stressful Wedding Day. “You get what you pay for” sadly rings true with Wedding Vendors. Hire Vendors you align with as a Couple. A Vendor you could see yourself being friends with, someone you feel comfortable around. Your Photographer and Videographer is going to be with you for 6-12 hours so make sure you enjoy their company. Sit down together as a Couple to research the Vendors you think will help you create the Wedding Day of your dreams.
If you are an LGBTQ+ Couple I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is to work with straight/cis vendors who are on the homophobic spectrum. Many of my LGBTQ+ Couples tend to hire all female or all LGBTQ+ owned businesses to keep things comfortable.
Have an Intimate Wedding
Keeping your guest list to only the very important friends and family will keep your Day intentional. Inviting family member you never met or your parent’s coworkers is not the vibe we’re going for. Strangers at your Wedding is the opposite of Intentional. Intimate Weddings and Micro Weddings are the best way to create intention with who you decide to support you on your big day.
If you’re choosing to have a Wedding Party (your best people) choose wisely. Weddings can bring out the best and the worst in people and I’ve seen so many friendships end during the Wedding Planning process. Keep your Circle small for this day and only invite in energy that is loving and supportive.
Have your favorite songs played throughout your Wedding Day. From the Getting Ready room to the Ceremony to Cocktail Hour to the Reception. Live music is ALWAYS intentional. Most Harp & Violin players can play popular songs which is so fun. I’ve witnessed a Bride walking down the aisle to a Pearl Jam song. I’ve seen Wedding Receptions that the DJ created a music through the decades playlist that took them through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and then ended with current jams. It was PHENOMENAL and the most intentional set I’ve ever heard. No one will miss the Macarena, Journey’s greatest hits or Sweet Caroline, I promise. They’ve heard it at every other Wedding. Choose your music to match your vibe.
Intention is everything. Creating an Intentional Wedding Day will keep you Grounded and help you remember your WHY. Wishing you a beautiful Wedding Day!