5 super quick tips to bin traditions and OWN your wedding!

Published by Claire Gould on

Writing a wedding website means it’s second nature to me to question everything about weddings! But a lovely email from my friend Ross Willsher Photography got me thinking today.

If you’re new to the wedding world – say, for example, you’ve just got engaged – it can all be pretty confusing, especially when it comes to rules, regulations and traditions.


After a little while, you’ll realise many of the things you see at every wedding are optional. For example:

  • wedding rings
  • speeches
  • cutting the cake
  • a first dance
  • changing your name(s)
  • food

That’s right: you don’t have to exchange rings; you can skip the speeches and save by not having a wedding cake. If you’re introverted, by all means ditch the first dance. Keep your names (or imagine up an entirely new one if you like!) and go for a boat ride instead of a meal if that’s more your thing. Weddings can be ANYTHING!

“You can walk down the aisle with your father, mother, best friend, each other or on your own. You can cut the cake before the wedding breakfast, get ready together at the same time, wear outfits that go against gender stereotypes, and write your own vows.” ~ Ross Willsher Photography

Here are the essentials:

  1. to be married in UK law, you need a civil or church ceremony (ie a registrar or vicar). (Couples who follow other religions may need a civil ceremony in the UK at present.)

That was it for the essentials!

Everything wedding is entirely optional – which means you can go crazy planning an out-there wedding which is completely you! – or have a lovely holiday instead, if you don’t fancy a wedding! Let’s say you do though…

“Don’t feel the need to keep up with others. There really are no rules anymore, other than keeping your event personal to your taste.” ~ Mark Niemierko (UK luxury wedding planner)

Forget every wedding you’ve ever been to. Avoid Pinterest. Stop reading wedding blogs! (After this one… we’re a bit different!) We’re a huge fan of Mark Niemierko because he has an incredible imagination, and reinvents weddings for his couples. There might be parties and after parties, themed rooms and more… but they are certainly a world apart from traditional weddings – and all the more amazing for it!

5 quick tips to OWN your wedding!

  1. Think of your dream day. What would you do? Who would you see? Where would you go? That could be your wedding…
  2. Focus on your favourite people. There’s no need to invite 80 people you’ve never hugged, just because it’s ‘the norm’
  3. Wear what you like. Jeans or sequins – your choice. Liberating, right?!
  4. Meet a celebrant. Just for a chat. We’ll leave that one with you… but trust us – a wedding celebrant will change your life!
  5. Plan together, as a couple. Whatever you do, when we say it should reflect YOU, we mean BOTH of you!

So there you have it: 5 tips to help you own your wedding, inspired by two of my wedding favourites Mark Niemierko and Ross Willsher. Thinking differently to the wedding ‘norm’ is the way forwards, and both of these two amazing human beings inspire me with the refreshing approach they take to weddings!

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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