A wedding of your own

Weddings don’t all need to be the same

Illustration by Gabrielle Funk

The dress, venue, décor and more are all crucial details when it comes to wedding planning. But do you conform to what the wedding industry presents as standard or create a new version of how your day looks? 

When the Wonderful Wedding Show hit the floor at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Jan. 23 and 24, the industry behind weddings presented itself as inspiration for brides and grooms. 

What is presented by the industry comes with a hefty price tag, while straying from the norm can be easier on the wallet. 

Janine Kropla, a local photographer, says wedding trend trenches run deep. She’s noticed that it’s hard for people not to fall into them with so many sources showing closely related ideas. 

“Instagram, Pinterest and wedding blogs have created a very trendy wedding industry where everyone is doing similar things,” Kropla says. “Mason jars, barn venues, chalkboard signs, string lights are all very common.” 

With trends taking the forefront of wedding planning, it’s more challenging to look outside of them and down a more personalized avenue for that special day, Kropla says. 

“You have to stay away from websites and industry and figure out what you value the most. I think you can almost get too overwhelmed with imagery and the latest trends that you lose the ability to identify what you love and what’s important to you,” Kropla says. 

Some brides are opting for non-traditional dresses they can wear on other occasions, which may be more true to them and are cheaper. 

One of the ways to anchor a personalized touch in weddings, even alongside some trends, is to transform pre-existing objects or upcycle items from the past. 

Wendy Ryder of The Old House Revival Company says she sees brides come in all the time scouring the store for original items and antiques to incorporate into their weddings. 

“What the brides are looking for here when they’re shopping are items that they can use forever,” Ryder says. “So rather than investing in a bunch of decorations that get put in a box or they try to sell, they’re buying the windows and using the windows for backdrops and then they’re able to reuse them.” 

Ryder says she’s seen everything from dressers being used as a guestbook check in table, to teacups as centerpieces. 

“I think that if you could get two purposes for one thing, obviously it’s a better bang for your dollar,” Ryder says. 

Kropla agrees, saying she’s photographed both larger and smaller budget weddings and that, if done well, they turn out beautiful no matter what the sum spent. 

But with all the weddings Kropla has attended as a photographer, she says in the end, details are only the side dish to the main: love. 

“I think the details are great but I think that atmosphere and the experience is way more important,” Kropla says. “That’s the food, the music, the people and the venue. Choose things that have meaning to you because when you look back on the photos or video from the day, you’ll remember how you were feeling in those moments and the details will be less important.” 

One day that celebrates love is incredible, so do it your way.

Published in Volume 70, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2016)

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