Twists on Tradition

2011 Guide to Tying the Knot

By Deena C. Bouknight

By DeenPhotography by www.greggmartinphoto.com

For most, weddings are – and always have been – about pomp and circumstance. The wedding day is the time to go all out, to create a special moment for everyone involved. And, even though most brides-to-be dream since girlhood about fairy tale, traditional weddings, more are pushing the creative envelope to come up with themes that don’t fit any particular mold. As a result, the wedding supply and service industry is accommodating needs, equipping weddings with anything and everything imaginable to make the day daring and unique.


Creative Cakes

Not a huge fan of the traditional white, tiered wedding cake? Since the cake is the centerpiece for the wedding reception, you can make a major statement with something that doesn’t fit into any mold. Go for taste, theme or drama.

Here are some suggestions: 

All organic confections, with placards listing the ingredients

Layers filled with Godiva liqeur, Kahlua, key   lime cream or fruit purees

Tiers of brightly colored cupcakes or frosted doughnuts

Stacks of cheese adorned with grapes, berries,nuts and flowers

Molded Jell-o “cakes” made with tropical fruit and champagne

Fountains in lieu of cakes, with chocolate or other syrups surrounded by heaps of fruit, marshmallows, short breads and brownie bites

Cake toppers that move – a couple on a dance floor, for example  

Distinct towers that hold a variety of different cakes for guests to try

Fun Flowers

Floral bouquets have come a long way from roses with sprays of babies’ breath. Brides will often choose a theme and a color scheme and then figure out how florals fit into it. Can’t find a flower to suit the bridal party palette? Flowers can now be hand-colored. Or, you can choose something entirely different to dress the day. 

Fancy these ideas: 

Organic or locally grown flowers, or snipped greenery from yards

Exotic flowers like birds of paradise or orchids for beach and island settings

Leis instead of bouquets

Bouquets created from shells

Rainbow roses artificially infused with bright colors

Tissue paper arrangements

Venturesome Venues

Although church weddings still rank as the number one choice for weddings, locations are becoming more and more obscure. When the new bridge opened in Charleston, couples clamored to say their “I dos” there. Often the venue itself has meaning, but sometimes the chosen wedding spot is just a way to express oneself.

Consider these locales:  

Naturally green settings, such as The Riverwalk, Adams Pond, Saluda Shoals, Wintergreen Woods and Finlay Park

The deck of one of Lake Murray’s charter boats, such as The Southern Patriot or The Spirit of Lake Murray

City life settings like The State Museum,

EdVenture or Canal & Senate

Artsy avenues, including HoFP Gallery, City Art and the Columbia Museum of Art

Historic backdrops, like the Mitchell House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Garden, Robert Mills House and Park, Seibels House, Caldwell-Boylston House and Lace House 

Attention Grabbing Attire

Traditionally, wedding dresses were white or a version of white. For the modern bride, almost anything goes in terms of dress and accessories. This has become a day when some feel compelled to boldly convey a distinct fashion sense and even stretch the limits of daring and outrageous. Today dresses are offered in every hue, from pale yellow to metallics like gold or silver.

Liven up your attire with these fun fashion tips:  

Splashes of color in the veil and/or wedding dress

Tea-length dresses that allow distinct and/or fashionable shoes to be shown off, such as leopard-print pumps, or flip flops for a beach or outdoor wedding

Weddings dresses with layers of ethereal, sheer ruffles

Print dresses for bridesmaids

A feather parasol as an accessory

A monogrammed train

Hairstyles with vintage or artsy barrettes, combs or headbands

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