ALTERNATIVE WEDDINGS | The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Alternative Wedding

Updated: Nov 10, 2019


One of you has popped the question, the other has said YES! and it's all on!

Woo hoo! You're getting hitched! Many couples are planning different, unconventional and alternative weddings these days as a way to express their own unique style, or to shun cliched, boring traditions.

Planning an alternative, wild-at-heart and non-traditional wedding can be so fun! However, once you make the decision to get married, all of a sudden life can seem WAY more complicated, even if you refuse to conform do conform to clichéd traditions.

You'll have to sort through a lot of options in the months to come in planning the wildest, coolest party of your dreams. Here's how to keep the big picture in mind when it comes to finding your style WITHOUT going insane or disowning your family.

Time to start planning and dreaming!

The beginning of the process is the dreaming phase, so don't worry about how something will work, or what your parents will think.

If you're anything like me, you're probably the left-of-centre, shunning of tradition and the wild-at-heart type than someone who wants the big formal frou frou wedding with all the bells and whistles.

If you're a rebel, low key, cool cat couple then the thought of all of that white wedding stuff is probably making you want to head for the hills and elope- equally as good!

When I started planning our wedding, I started to imagine how it would look in my head. I knew I wanted to throw an awesome but low key party that represented our love and our style. I knew in our case, we wanted it to be intimate, with just close friends and relatives. And I knew that I definitely didn't want to walk down an aisle, be 'given away', or have any of those wedding game/ dance things that people do.

Choosing a date

First things first- you need to choose a date to party! You'll need to keep in mind your life events, your schedule, any travel considerations, holidays etc. These can all have an impact on when you are looking to get married and how much. Summer weddings during peak season can cost more due to high demand for services, and venues booking out and charging premium rates. Travel and accommodation at this time can be more exxy due to all the holidays, so be mindful of this.

This is the one area of your wedding where you should probably be a little mindful of others and their input on date. If your sis is planning on having a baby the week of your planned wedding date, it may not be the best idea to hold it then. Ultimately, the date is up to you, but you will just have to bear in mind life events that may impact on those that you really want to be there.

Key questions to ask yourselves

Before you start planning your alternative wedding, start asking yourself- if it could be anywhere, where would it be? Outdoors or indoors? At home or away? (hello, destination wedding!) Are you drawn towards sparkly and fun; eclectic and one-of-a-kind; modern and minimal; retro or vintage; or all-out glam? Will it be in spring, summer, winter or autumn? Do you want a big, wild party with everyone you know, or small and intimate with just family and close friends?

Will it take place during the day or at night time? Will it be a no kids allowed kinda grown-up bash? Or a kid friendly party? DO you have kids yourself and will they be involved in the planning and on the day? What about a significant pet? Will it be a one day affair or do you intend on throwing a wedstival over a couple of days? If the latter, do you plan on having everyone stay on the property glamping/ camping, or finding their own accommodation? Once you have a rough idea of these sorts of bigger questions, you can start to drill down and find your style and put the pieces in place!

It's all about you two!

Just remember, you want your personalities and passions to shine through, which is what ultimately makes your wedding stand out and feel special. Do what your heart desires- especially if it's wacky and not wedding-y"!

Don't limit yourself to browsing the obvious sources. Look to designs and styles others have already created, like sets in films, interior design, and graphic art. You can also look at your fave hotels or restaurants and scenes and spaces you love from movies and shows. What 's your favourite music? What are some of your fave things to do together? What does your fave date night entail? Use these as springboards for ideas.

READ MORE: Need some help finding inspo? Here are some of our favourite places to seek inspo when dreaming and party planning!

Choosing a rad theme & colour palette

What shades are you drawn to and what colours do you LOVE in everyday life? What do you wear? What is your aesthetic? If you're an all-black kinda babe, there's nothing wrong with having a dark wedding with heaps of black everywhere. Into neon, psychedelic rainbow fests?Do it! Your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life, so why not incorporate some bright bold colour! Whether you want to make a statement or keep it toned down, it's your day, your way.

Your theme can be anything from a favourite era, hobby or place to your heritage or culture. Once you've got your theme and some fave colours down, you can go wild!

Starting to feel bamboozled? Check out our zero f*cks list here. These are things you really don't need to worry about for an alternative wedding - trust us!

Finding your dream team

Wedding planning can be damn stressful, so make sure you get the right team to bring your dreams to life and turn the pain into fun!

There are WAY too many details to be handled by one person. Whether it be a tried and true vendor or a trustworthy friend or family member, finding the right team members to help you plan and execute the tasks for the wedding is critical. Getting professionals in to handle things like décor, catering, music, styling, photography, beauty etc will save you so much stress in the long run, and it will allow you to concentrate on the things you are good at, while letting them do the things they are good at!

Give ownership of the wedding plans and projects to the people around you and don't be afraid to ask. Start sending enquiries to key vendors to check availability on your chosen date AT LEAST 6-12 months out.

And remember, as you plan your wedding, you'll be talking with a lot of different people. Vendors, friends, family, co-workers will want to give their input and advice about your wedding. While it's cool to listen and take advice from others, it 's way more important to stay true to what YOU want. Plan the wedding you want, not the wedding everyone else wants for you!

Need vendor recommendations? Check out our ultimate list of wedding friendors here! (LINK)

Knowing when to stop

There are so many opt ions out there- stop looking once you've narrowed it down. A huge source of wedstress comes when you continue to search and re-search for ideas once your decisions have been made, so save yourself the headache. It's about finding what you like and what works in your space, and being happy with it.

What the hell do I wear?

There are ZERO rules on your wedding day, no matter what anyone says, it's about you and your lover and what you LOVE. Bridal perfection simply has nothing to do with looking "classic.

You don't have to sacrifice your style or your sanity to please others. GETTING HITCHED is the perfect opportunity to bring out the more adventurous, playful side of your style. And who says more can't be MORE on your wedding day? It's YOUR day. When else are you going to get the chance to wear whatever the hell your heart desires?

As an alternative bride, you may be drawn to sequins, metallics, clashing prints, wearing black or colour, layering up textures, or throwing on a cape and cowboy boots. There's no need to be afraid to go wild with what you wear! Say FU to stereotypes and YES to expressing yourself to the max.

Before you do anything with hair or makeup, it's always a good idea to pick your outfit, and then everything else (hair, makeup, shoes, accessories) will fit around it.

Visit your the websites of your favorite stores and check out their latest ranges. Remember, it is 100% okay to not book appointments at traditional bridal boutiques and instead opt for fun days spent at vintage shops instead.

READ MORE: Check out our ultimate list of cool wedding threads

Don't be afraid to be bold!

Don't be afraid to wear what the hell you want for your wedding, and step outside of your comfort zone! I think it's really important not to change your personal taste on your wedding day to suit others or tradition. You certainly don't need to be bound by any rules whatsoever. Alternative brides who show personality and have the confidence to be unique and adventurous have the most fun! Wearing something you LOVE, that reflects the alternative, rebel, wild-at-heart babe you ARE is key.

Channel a style icon

More Bianca Jagger in a white tux than Cinderella in a frilly gown? We hear ya! It 's totally cool and fine to shun the traditional wedding vibe and formal wedding attire. When I got married, I just KNEW I wouldn't be wearing white. I'm not a white dress kinda person. With that in mind, sometimes it can be helpful to look at some of the rad rule-breakers and style icons for inspo rather than what's 'on- trend' or what 's all over Pinterest. Don't be afraid to channel a cool retro vibe and stand out from the pack if that's your thang.

Check out out ultimate wedding day muses and icons list here

Choosing hair & makeup to complement your outfit

On your wedding day, you should look like the very best version of yourself. Even more importantly, you want to FEEL amazing and confident when you marry your squeeze.

Just remember to tune out any well-meaning advice from friends or family about how you want to look on the day. If you want extensions, get them. If you don't want to grow out your short haircut, don't. If you don't want to wear that family heirloom, don't. This day is about you and your partner, not about what others want for you.

READ MORE: Check out our guide to booking a makeup artist and hair stylist (LINK)

Go forth and party!

Getting married is a big deal and we're honestly so stoked for you. Now, let's get this planning cracking shall we?

We hope this guide has helped you with some ideas to send you on your way to creating an amazing alternative wedding in Melbourne (or beyond).

Even if you've already begun organising your big day, these steps will hopefully help you help you hone in on the things that are important to you and provide plenty of inspiration. Grab a wine, knock that stress on the head and happy planning!

Further questions?

Killer Queen are the wedding day makeup experts in Melbourne for alternative brides who play by their own rules. There's nothing we love MORE than an alternative, unconventional wedding!

We are passionate about creating the perfect vision completely customised to YOU and that speaks to your style and individuality.

We love meeting cool cats, and wild-at-heart couples who wanna shun tradition and do things their way!

If that's YOU? Let's chat!


contact us

0410 127 572

Melbourne AU

killer queen creative

coburg north beauty studio

melbourne, AU

EST 2018


Coburg North