While most everyone seems to have a general idea of how a wedding should be held, especially from what we see in the media, the truth is that every wedding is different. There are lots of different types of weddings, and each couple tries to make theirs uniquely special. From location to religion, mixed cultures, styles, and choices; all of these factors can make choosing your type of wedding pretty difficult.
Do you want something traditional or romantic? Outdoors or indoors? Would you like to incorporate as much of your culture as you can into the wedding ceremony, or would you like to keep things simple and small? Answers to these types of questions could also help you when choosing from either of the wedding categories below.
Most Popular Wedding Types
A Traditional or Classic Wedding
Even though lots of couples are choosing to have unique and alternative weddings these days, there is still quite a number that stick with traditional and formal weddings.
- In general, these usually entail a beautiful white dress for the bride and tuxedo for the groom.
- Getting married in the church or any other religious location, and a reception that includes a three course buffet or sit down meal.
- Groomsmen in formal attire, bridesmaids, ushers, flower girl and page boys all dressed accordingly.
- The wedding reception will usually hold in a ballroom, conference hall, hotel, castle or event center.
Some activities that are prevalent at such classic or traditional weddings include speeches, readings, toasts, cutting of the cake, first dance, mother-son, and father-daughter dances, as well as a bouquet and garter toss. Sometimes other rituals like a handfasting ceremony, jumping the broom, or sand ceremony can also be incorporated into the wedding.
Some couples choose to have their wedding at a completely different location from their hometown. It could be a different city or different country, but couples choose the destination wedding for lots of different reasons.
Sometimes a destination wedding takes away most of the stress of planning a regular wedding as most activities are booked for and handled by the host resort or location of the wedding. Sometimes destination weddings can also be cheaper for a couple as it would involve only close friends and family who are able to travel, and the couple might choose to also honeymoon at the same location afterward.
- Usually involving a lot of activities, relaxation, and a general laid-back atmosphere, destination weddings are usually not as formal as traditional weddings.
- Couples can create the theme of the wedding around the vibe and ambiance of their chosen location. Most destination weddings take place at sandy beaches, tropical locations, and sun-kissed islands, which encourage guests and wedding proceedings, in general, to be as spontaneous and laid back as possible.
While this is a great idea for a wedding, couples need to keep in mind that not everyone might be able to afford the logistics like plane tickets, time, and perhaps even visas to attend their wedding.
A DIY wedding is usually a simple “Do It Yourself” wedding where the couple has decided to make virtually everything needed for the wedding themselves. From the décor to the catering, stationery, even the cake, entertainment, the reception bar, and other essential styling elements for the wedding.
This option is great for a couple on a low budget, as they would be able to keep their spending at a minimum.
- While there are many different types of ceremonies for weddings, DIY weddings are usually smart casual occasions and not as formal as the traditional wedding.
- The bride can handle her makeup herself, perhaps with help from her bridesmaids, and also make the wedding party favors and any other needed accessories.
- The reception can be a simple dinner or a cocktail party, depending on the choice of the couple.
Vintage Style Wedding
For something more fun and interesting, some couples choose to draw some inspiration from the style and candor of decades past. Choosing a certain bygone era for the theme of your wedding can add some flair and color to an otherwise formal and traditional occasion.
- Whether a couple choose the 20’s, 40’s or even the Victoria era, the hair and makeup of the bridal party, garments, venue styling, decoration and style choices of all participants, possibly even the guests, will be dictated by the norms of that era.
- The venue decoration can be enhanced with antique looking décor, and if possible, the couple can drive off in a vintage wedding car.
- The reception can be a vintage themed cocktail party or a sit down dinner.
- The music as well for the entire occasion would have to fall in line with the chose era to better incorporate the theme.
The word elopement is usually followed by thoughts of a couple running away to get married in a secretive manner, away from their family and friends who have no knowledge of this union. However, in modern times, not all elopements are done without informing friends and family.
Elopement sometimes suggests that a couple forgoes the formal type wedding and elopes only for the ceremony. This could involve them informing or not informing friends and family so that they can attend the wedding ceremony.
Some couples elope because it is cheaper and they do not want to deal with all of the fanfare involving both families can bring. Traditional weddings can be quite expensive to undertake, and some couples don’t see the necessity of such expense when it is much better to save for their future lives together. Some other couples choose to elope because members of their family do not approve of the union.
While some people assume that an elopement is usually because the bride is pregnant, this type of wedding usually happens between two people who feel the choices for their union should be theirs, and theirs alone.
A Beach Wedding
The sand, weather, and scenic views always encourage a relaxed and laid-back occasion.
- Beach weddings usually entail the couple and guests wear beach appropriate clothing, so it isn’t normally a formal event. Some couples choose even to wear no shoes at all, and for the bride, a beach wedding is no place for a big wedding gown. Also, for better pictures and even comfort, something light and flowy is usually best at a beach wedding.
- Most beach weddings host the wedding ceremony by the water and have the reception at the same location or a nearby hotel.
- A beach wedding and outdoor wedding are usually pretty similar and sometimes factors that apply to an average outdoor wedding can also apply to a beach wedding.
- The décor, to entertainment, food, and drinks at an outdoor wedding can easily work as well for a beach-type wedding.
- Like a destination wedding, beach weddings are usually intimate occasions that involve mostly close friends and family to witness and celebrate the union.
While the wedding reception is an important part of your special day, keep in mind that the ceremony is all that a wedding is about. And so when choosing from types of weddings to guide you in the decision on the type of day you want to have, use your wedding ceremony as your guide.
Keep in mind that there are different types of attire for weddings depending on which you choose, and also different formalities.
A religious or civil wedding is not the only type of wedding available to couples. The overall theme of the wedding also dictates the types of weddings receptions that follow the ceremony. So we hope that this list will be helpful to you in coming to a decision on your special day.