Creative Weddings
An Up-to-date Guide for Making Your Wedding As Unique As You Are

Chapter 1: Creative Couples, Creative Weddings

All weddings celebrate the best of what life has to offer love, passion, intimacy, and companionship. No matter how small or large, flamboyant or low-keyed, orthodox or off­beat, these joyful events symbolize the communion of two separate lives. For centuries, these ceremonies have been con­tained by a strict set of traditions and religious conventions. We first learn about the “cultural ideal” as soon as we are read our first fairy tale. From then on, a never-ending stream of im­ages introduces us to the strict do's and don'ts of wedding etiquette. By the time we are grown, these images are deeply embedded in our consciousness.

“Perfect weddings” are defined by elaborate rules that explicitly dictate their form and content. Matrimonial road maps, otherwise known as wedding planners, can take you every step along the way, along the same path as everyone else. These planners leave no details to chance. Everything is codified. From how many ushers escort the mother of the bride to her seat to who reads the congratulatory telegrams and in what order. But what do you do if the advice from etiquette books doesn't fit your circumstances, beliefs, or values?

Well, move over Martha Stewart, Emily Post, and Amy Vanderbilt. Weddings are changing. Increasing numbers of newlyweds-to-be have taken matters into their own hands and are liberating themselves from the stifling confines of bride magazines and wedding expos. Instead of collapsing under the pressure to follow “wediquette” to the letter, many couples are adapting and reshaping traditional wedding ritual to reflect their own personal values, individual preferences, and life circumstances.