The word 'unique' is overused and overrated. Unique centerpieces, unique table names, unique colour schemes, unique food stations for every ridiculous impractical food ever. Couples (more commonly brides) swarm to the word like a moth to a flame, in a constant race to have the most unique, totally personal wedding out of all their friends.
Here's my conundrum... My unengaged friends love to share with me (and I love to hear) all their big ideas for their imaginary wedding days. These people are fresh, they're unscathed and as yet, uninfluenced by the great wedding planning world. I hear their ideas, and then, their faces drop as I tell them: "it's been done", "it was huge last year", "here are 5000 other couples who did just that", and then show them endless Pinterest boards of the exact thing they're describing from their imaginations. But far from being a dream wrecker (at least I hope not...) I actually just intend on opening up a world of bigger, better ideas, and, in the process, unwittingly unleash a hunger within these not-yet-even-brides-to-be, a hunger for the illusive, unique.
So there lies the problem. The closest to unique you're ever going to get is this early, naive wedding planning state, when you're blissfully unaware of escort cards and charger plates. Your ideas at this point are as organic as they come, and will truly embody your personality and tastes as a couple.
What's the solution? Pack up Pinterest and banish blogs? I think not! (I'd be out of a job for one..) What we need to try and do is curb our obsession with everything being unique, and make it an obsession with things you love!
Don't forget that average Joe and Uncle Bob will only frequent a few weddings a year at most, and that anything you do with your day which is even the slightest bit creative, is likely to be unlike anything they've ever seen at any other wedding.
Think about you, think about your fiancé, think about the parties you throw, the way you decorate your house and what a wedding means to you. I've seen couples who channel a 1920s vintage wedding vibe when all their clothes are from Gap, their furniture is from Ikea and they've never watched a classic film in their life just because a blog post recommended it on the internet. You get my point? It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the fabulous ideas floating around the web that you lose sight of your own unique theme; you.
Weddings have been celebrated since, well, forever, so why now the obsession with unique? As you can probably tell, I blame the internet for the proliferation of unique, but there are other factors which are undoubtedly implicated.
For example; age. The average age one gets married in the UK is 28 for women and 30 for men. It is then highly likely that by this age you've attended your fair share of friends' weddings and so feel a natural urge to make yours stand out.
With age also comes money. What with the average couple being 28-30 years old thus presumably financially independent, gone are the days of the Bride's parents choosing the menu and invitations. Autonomy with the budget results in freedom with style and more couples than ever before are expressing their own identities in their weddings as opposed to the traditional nuptials their parents may have planned.
A combination of these factors amount to the insatiable urge to be 'unique'.
So, what do we suggest? Well, there are numerous ways you can add personal touches to a wedding without having to obsess over it being unique. This can be as simple as adding a personalised monogram stamp of your initials to well, everything, or, by choosing favors, table names and music which all have sentimental value to you as a couple.
What makes this special day unique is that it is personal to you. So here's to the best day of your life, to the personal story of you and to creating your perfect day. You can find many ideas about how to personalise your wedding littering the WWW, and some especially super fabulous ones here.