What happened to the days of conventional weddings when a couple married in a traditional church with friends and family all dressed to the nines, and where religious readings, hymns and over the top flower displays dictated the ceremony. Men wore stiff collared penguin suits and the bride took up the whole aisle in her stunning white meringue style gown. The tribe of bridesmaids with matching dresses and hairstyles, which usually suited none of them, followed closely behind whilst also trying to keep the lively little pageboy in order. The photographer kept everyone waiting hours whilst he arranged family members from great aunt Ethel who everyone thought had died years ago, to the family’s favourite pet Chihuahua. Well now those days are gone…
Today, the wackier the better is the fashion and some couples purposely look to find the strangest locations and weirdest themes. Weddings abroad are becoming increasingly popular, especially as they can work out cheaper than getting hitched in the UK and you also have the bonus of eliminating unwanted friends and relatives from the guest list, knowing that some people simply won’t travel abroad (cue great aunty Ethel and the pet Chihuahua).
But getting married on a beach in a foreign country isn’t even that unusual these days, some people need to take it one step further. One couple chose to get married whilst riding an elephant in Bali, another picked an ice chapel in Lapland to say their vows, whilst a third opted for a sumptuous palace in India for their nuptials. If you fancy being dragged off for a shot gun wedding by the sheriff and his deputies, then Nevada, USA is the place for you.
Back in the UK, one imaginative couple from York who met in their local supermarket returned there to walk down the ‘aisle’ to say their vows; luckily the supermarket was the first one to receive a license to perform such ceremonies. There were plenty of tin cans handy for the back of the wedding car too!
If skydiving is your thing, or you have nerves of steel, then you might want to get married at 12,000 feet having just jumped out of an aeroplane. You probably need to have done this a few times before though, and gained a skydiving qualification before you try it. As if wedding days weren’t stressful enough…
Wing walking on British wartime planes was the perfect location for another very daring and adventurous couple. They were attached to two separate planes with the vicar on a third, all able to communicate with microphones. Not sure you’ll have too many guests at this wedding though.
From the dizzy heights of the skies to the depths of the ocean, if you are in possession of a PADI certificate then you also qualify to get married at the bottom of the sea. This is the chance to show how deep your love really is with guests including the odd brightly coloured fish, hammerhead shark and squid, depending on your preferred ocean bed location. Go on…take the plunge.
Back on dry land many people choose a theme for their wedding and ask guests to dress appropriately. Medieval weddings are extremely popular; the bride a princess and the groom her knight in shining armour. A portly monk will show guests to their seats as trumpeters herald the arrival of the newly wed couple to their lavish feast and celebrations.
Starwars is another favourite theme, wonderful to attend if you are a fan, not so good if you’ve never seen the film, however not many people can boast being married by Yoda with Queen Amidala, Darth Vadar and an army of Stormtroopers on the guest list.
Perhaps Shrek and Fiona is more your thing with all guests dressed as magical fairytale creatures, definitely one the kids will enjoy, as long as the fairy godmother keeps her spells and potions to herself.
Perhaps the couple who have taken the biggest plunge into married life though are the Belgian newlyweds who had the vicar, guests and orchestra hoisted up by crane to 160 feet in the air, only to bungee jump off after the ceremony ended. Talk about a leap of faith. Fortunately for the guests, they were all safely lowered back to the ground.
Whether you choose traditional or wacky, classy or tacky (and that can be a matter of opinion), and whether you arrive in a traditional car, horse drawn carriage, VW van, bucket of a JCB digger or open topped London bus, your wedding day will always be one to remember be it large or small, home or abroad, wacky or wonderful.