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7 Offbeat Wedding Ideas for Your Big Day

7 Offbeat Wedding Ideas for Your Big Day

There are certain wedding traditions that everyone assumes they have to adhere to. But what if you were willing to embrace the idea that almost none of them are an absolute requirement? The truth is that there is very little that you’re legally required to do, but social expectations may make you consider having a wedding day that is just like everyone else’s. To avoid this, add in at least a few offbeat touches that allow you and your future spouse to showcase your unique personalities.

1. Alternatives to a Wedding Cake

The average cost of a wedding cake is rapidly approaching $500. Aside from the cost factor, many people admit later on that they weren’t even all that impressed with their cake. Therefore, why should you have one? This is one wedding tradition that is practically begging to be skipped, and there are so many fun alternatives. Doughnuts are becoming increasingly popular, and you could also have a dessert bar instead. Or think even further outside the box by utilizing your favorite sweet treat.

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2. Reexamine Wedding Favors

Many of your guests will not remember to take their wedding favors home, especially if they are of the traditional variety. You can skip the favors altogether if you put something else together to entertain your guests. If you wish to provide a favor or two, though, make it something memorable that people will truly want to keep. Customized slippers are an unusual but thoughtful wedding idea that will make it easier for people to have fun dancing. Add a photo booth or some S’mores to the mix and your guests are certain to love your wedding favors!

3. Skip the Fancy Dinner

Are you and your fiancée fancy dinner type of people? If the answer is no, it makes no sense to serve a black tie event type meal that contains food most people can’t even pronounce. Instead of spending up to $73 per guest for catering, opt for a buffet that has some of your favorites. Pizza buffets are a nice touch for a wedding with a more casual vibe or you could have a barbecue to keep things fun. Your guests would also enjoy a buffet that’s full of everyone’s favorite comfort food such as mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and macaroni and cheese. This will save you money, and it will also provide a meal that people will look back on fondly.

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4. Pick a Personal Theme

Weddings are often over-the-top and are not even a good representation of the couple getting married. Keep your budget in line by avoiding pretty but unnecessary décor that has nothing to do with who the two of you actually are. Instead, select a theme that includes a mutual favorite such as Halloween, football or Star Wars. From there, you can choose appropriate and fun décor that is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. Don’t forget to include the theme in every aspect of your wedding. For example, if you choose Star Wars, you can use music from the movies during your ceremony. Don’t be afraid to mix two themes if this lets the two of you express yourselves more fully.

5. Encourage Conversations with a Quiet Area

Sitting inside a reception venue is usually noisy and not very conducive to actual conversations. To help people have the best of both worlds, have a DJ or band keep the party going indoors and set up a quiet area outside. If you have chosen a reception venue that has the appropriate space outside, you can build a bonfire. If there is nowhere for people to go outside that is safe and appropriate, consider setting aside a room indoors for people who want to take a breather from the reception hall.

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6. Create Something Artistic Together

Exchanging rings is a tradition you will most likely keep, but there are many other things you can add to your ceremony. A prime example for people who are even the slightest bit artistic is to sketch, draw or paint something together after you say your vows. This doesn’t have to be something big that will take a long time. Instead, choose something you can do together in 5 minutes or less. It may not be a masterpiece, but it will be something worth hanging on your wall. And if you want it to be more detailed, the two of you can finish it later.

7. Hide Your Favorite Color under Your Dress

If you decide not to eschew tradition altogether by getting an alternative wedding dress, you can still spice things up by adding a splash of color beneath the dress. This is easily accomplished with a petticoat or a crinoline, and it’s also a good way to add one of your wedding colors to your outfit. Red looks amazing next to a white or ivory dress, as will many other colors.

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Ultimately, your wedding day is all about you and your future spouse. Therefore, it’s wise to put aside any traditions that you aren’t comfortable with. Incorporate your personalities and the history of your relationship as much as possible to make the day truly special. By making some careful choices, you can have an offbeat wedding that is fun and affordable.

Featured photo credit: lindico via pixabay.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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