Many couples have friends of all sexes and often have a unisex wedding party, so attendants can stand on either side of the couple, regardless of gender. This is a great way to honour your friends without putting them into a stereotypical role that doesn't reflect them or your relationship with them. It also tends to be a lot of fun even if taking a little bit of co-ordination with wedding attire.
This is especially a good practice where the couple have very uneven size families so that it balances out the numbers on either side if seated. Another good tradition is placing the couple’s parents and close family diagonally opposite them (not seated on the side their child is standing) so that they can see their children more clearly as they say their vows.
Some couples like to make an entrance together rather than having one partner waiting for the other. Each time this has been done in a ceremony I have conducted, the guests have greeted them with spontaneous applause.
Or one partner can make an entrance, followed by the other after a suitable interval. Or both can enter at the same time, meeting at the area where they will stand together. I have fond memories of a groom who walked with his groomsmen down the aisle to “I’m Too Sexy”. Another courageous groom and his men made their entrance cantering down an embankment on their horses. The bride and her bridesmaids followed after an interval to their own songs and entrances.
One partner can walk half way up the aisle or path, where they meet their partner and then both walk together to the ceremony area.
One couple I married led a procession of their guests through New Farm Park to their wedding venue, accompanied by an Andes band.
You can walk down the aisle with both parents, with a grandparent, your children or a best friend. Both of you can walk down the aisle together or separately or with your parents. You can dance down the aisle or or not.
If you are uncomfortable walking down the aisle, you can gather with your guests or get there ahead of time to greet them before the start of the ceremony.
Some couples like to include their dog as the ring bearer, to walk them down the aisle or simply be there. Others might ride their favourite horse to the ceremony area.
There are some great hire options now for DIY weddings and receptions now. Many couples choose to have their ceremony at home with everyone helping with catering. Another popular option is holding the wedding ceremony and reception at a friend's rural property where guests stay and make a weekend of it.
I have conducted several weddings where the ceremony was a surprise for the guests. You can’t surprise each other as you both need to sign paperwork at least a month before your wedding. You can have an engagement party and get married, or invite the family for Christmas and get married or have a birthday party and get married! It’s super hard to keep the secret however. In one wedding I did, the only surprise was for the couple as all their guests knew they were getting married but managed to keep it a secret that they had found out about the wedding!
If you and your partner are from different cultures or backgrounds, you can design a wedding ceremony that honours both heritages. For example, I did a coin ceremony for a couple from the Philippines and China. We used 8 coins (a lucky number in China) while the coin ceremony itself was from the Philippines. Another couple used an Andes Band in their wedding procession to honour the groom's heritage.
For another couple, I did a four winds ceremony to connect them in their new country to their country of origin in South America, in a renewal of vows for a new start in Australia.
It's becoming more common for couples to request that guests put away their phones, sit back, relax and be in the moment to enjoy the ceremony. A lot of planning, time, effort and expense goes into a ceremony and there's usually a professional photographer, who doesn't need to navigate lots of phones being held up obscuring the best photo angles and shots. Many couples prefer their guests to just take in the moment instead. Often guests can then capture the after party :). Another common request is for guests to refrain from posting anything on social media before the couple has an opportunity to or without their consent. Couples may set up a wedding website where guests can post photos instead.
Themed weddings can be a lot of fun. A viking celebration or fancy dress, star wars or a medieval touch. What would your theme be?