Like many women, I have been to a lot of weddings — so many, in fact, that I even wrote a book, Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest, about my varied wedding attendances: from low-key City Hall nuptials with a dive bar afterparty to the destination wedding in Jamaica where I confronted a nemesis from my past.
The thing about weddings? They are never the same. They come in all shapes and sizes — and like jellybeans, it seems like there are more flavors than ever as people get married later, pay for events themselves, and exercise new control. Couples are making weddings exactly what they want, regardless of what’s been done in the past. As that happens, certain traditions give way to new rituals and the unconventional wedding becomes a legitimized, beautiful, better-than-ever thing — even if your great-aunt in Idaho can’t possibly understand why you’re forgoing cake to serve pie.
The following 11 weddings are varied, even in the way they veer from convention: Some offer unusual themes or unexpected decor; some are startling in their budget-friendliness, or with the ease and speed with which they were put together; some are updated meldings of religions and cultural traditions. Others are, quite simply, just what the bride and groom wanted (A movie theme? Cat theme? Okay!). Not everyone needs a wedding party clad in identical gowns or suits; not everyone cares about a fancy white dress. What these brides and grooms breaking the stereotypes do care about is doing it their way — and, of course, love.