9 unconventional ideas for your wedding party, inspired by real couples

SolStock/Getty ImagesConsider adding ‘community vows’ to your wedding ceremony.
  • Weddings in 2019 are becoming increasingly modern and personalised.
  • As part of that trend, more couples are ditching tradition when it comes to their wedding parties – or forgoing them altogether.
  • INSIDER recently spoke with three experts to learn more about how people are customising their wedding parties.
  • If you’re planning your nuptials, consider throwing out dress codes for your bridesmaids or groomsmen and letting them show off their personal style.
  • You may also want to consider asking your wedding party to participate in a “flashmob ceremony” instead of walking down the aisle.

One of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding can be choosing who’s in your wedding party.

For some couples, deciding who to include, and who to leave out, can be an agonizing process. Others may be hesitant to ask their loved ones to take on the cost of being a bridesmaid or groomsman.

But, as weddings become increasingly modern and personalised in 2019, more people are ditching tradition when it comes to their wedding parties – or forgoing them altogether.

INSIDER recently spoke with three experts to learn more about how people are customising their wedding parties.

Here are nine unique ideas from couples who have rewritten, or thrown out, the wedding rulebook.

Honour your loved ones with an ‘I Do Crew’

Victoria Lartey-Williams, the owner and lead event planner of Victorious Events NYC, told INSIDER that some of her clients have opted to honour their friends by having an “I Do Crew” in place of traditional wedding parties.

Instead of wearing matching dresses or suits, people in this group will wear the same colour, or hues from a specific colour palette, as well as boutonnières or corsages to “signify their importance” to the couple getting married, Lartey-Williams said.

Members of the “I Do Crew” may also read scriptures or poems or give speeches during the wedding reception and rehearsal dinner.

Incorporate ‘community vows’ into your ceremony

Wedding speechjacoblund/Getty ImagesReplace traditional ‘I dos’ with ‘We dos.’

Amy Shackelford, the founder and CEO of Modern Rebel & Co., said she and her partner John decided not to have wedding parties when they tied the knot in November 2018.

Instead, the couple picked out readings for their siblings to do during their ceremony. Shackelford’s sister also performed a song the two wrote for John.

Then, at the end of their ceremony, the couple’s friends read vows out loud to everyone about themes like loyalty, honesty, and sustainability. In turn, guests responded, “We do,” to acknowledge that they would help Shackelford and John uphold the values they hold dear.

Have a ‘flashmob ceremony’

Shackelford told INSIDER she’s seen an “uptick in folks who choose to nix the aisle.” Instead, these couples opt to have “flashmob ceremonies,” where the wedding “starts out of nowhere” or people in the wedding party “come in together on the side” instead of walking down the aisle in pairs.

Ditch bouquets and spend your money elsewhere

According to WeddingWire, the average cost of bridal bouquets in the US is $US150. Bridesmaid bouquets cost an average of $US75, which can quickly get pricey depending on the size of your wedding party.

Speaking to INSIDER, Shackelford said she decided to forgo bouquets when she got married and she’s seeing many other brides do so, too.

“It just didn’t make sense to spend $US250 on something I’d hold for maybe five minutes,” Shackelford said. “I considered replacing [floral bouquets] with cotton candy but ended up nixing all together.”

Opt for edible bouquets or other alternative arrangements

Lollipop bouquetsBrett & Emily PhotographersFaheema Chaudhury, the owner of Unicorn Crafts, made lollipop ‘bouquets’ for her bridesmaids.

For couples who value sustainability, choosing edible bouquets over lush floral arrangements can help reduce waste at their wedding, Terrian Freeman, an event manager at Dream Plan-It Events, previously told INSIDER.

Edible bouquets are also a creative way for couples to add a personal touch, or nod to their personalities, on their big day.

Read more: Brides are ditching flowers for cotton-candy bouquets and other unconventional edible arrangements

For example, Faheema Chaudhury, who owns an accessories brand called Unicorn Crafts, previously told INSIDER that she made her own cotton-candy bouquet, as well as lollipop “bouquets” for her bridesmaids.

Choose white dresses for your bridesmaids

Lartey-Williams said one of her clients wanted her bridesmaids to wear all white, one of the more unique wedding-party ideas she has seen.

“What was once a modern taboo has now become a chic fashion statement,” the Victorious Events NYC owner added.

Throw dress codes out the window

Patterned suit wedding 2019JKorotchenkova/ShutterstockExpect to see more printed suits at weddings this year.

According to Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy‘s in-house trend expert, more people are showing off their “unique style and personalities” at their weddings.

As a part of that trend, couples are encouraging their wedding parties to express themselves through what they wear, instead of donning conventional suits or gowns.

This year, expect to see more jumpsuits, prints, and unisex bow ties at weddings as tradition flies “out the door,” Isom Johnson told INSIDER.

Include groomswomen and bridesmen

“Not everyone identifies with a gender, so we’re seeing mixed-gender wedding parties, non-binary individuals in wedding parties, and people wearing whatever they want,” Shackelford said.

“It’s less presentational and more community focused,” the Modern Rebel & Co. founder continued. “It’s exciting and adds an even more personable element to the event.”

Lartey-Williams, who has also had clients include groomswomen and bridesmen in their wedding parties, said it is “really refreshing to see a mixture of genders on both sides of the aisle.”

Invite your parents to join your wedding party

Shackelford told INSIDER she’s also seen clients ask their parents to be in their wedding parties.

“People are throwing out the old rules,” she said. “We could not be more excited.”

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