This blog post could get me in trouble. It’s going to shake the very foundation of the modern Australian wedding and question every wedding ever held, this blog post is about the combo-wedding.

The mere fact you can read this means that “they” haven’t got to me in my secret wedding-ruining-bunker yet.

Read on to find out more about this dangerous idea, the biggest threat to boring weddings since the chocolate mudcake wedding cake.

What isn’t a combo-wedding?

A combo-wedding is one event instead of the normal two.

What does that mean? The standard wedding starts around 3pm with a ceremony in an idyllic  location, an event that will last around 30 minutes. The event is beautifully styled, photographed and everyone has a great time as the marriage is solemnised.

Your celebrant lets you both kiss, you sign some papers and you kiss your parents then this event ends abruptly.

Then an hour or three later you reconvene for a reception after a bunch of really pretty photos. This second event is also amazing and beautiful and everyone get’s drunk enough to sleep on a couch.

A combo-wedding is not that at all.

What is a combo-wedding?

A combo-wedding is a single event that resembles a party more than an Olympics.

So the event starts, somewhere inside of the event you party and you also get wed.

The “getting wed” part, we’ll call it the marriage ceremony, can happen at the start, in the middle, at the end. There’s no rules here.

Combo-wedding how-to

Some ideas on how to make your wedding a combo-wedding

  • Start the party with some official proceedings, lead into some speeches and other business, then party until security kicks you out.
  • Start the party then an hour or two in after a drink or two and some food, we’ll assemble the guests and do some official things like a marriage ceremony. Then we eat and drink some more.
  • We begin the breakfast/lunch/dinner and after the main meal we call everyone to attention and begin some official proceedings.
  • The bride and groom, the celebrant, and two witnesses, meet earlier on in the day (or even after the “event”) and we officiate the proceedings, everyone says I do and voilà! You’re married. Now you can party.
  • The marriage ceremony could include speeches and blessings from parents and friends.
  • If you were having a breakfast wedding you could start the breakfast with a few special words while the kitchen cooks the eggs.

The photography issue

So the gap between the ceremony and the reception has traditionally been filled by photography.

Now before the photographers burn me on a stake, I lurvvv amazing photography, and your wedding ceremony is a really special day to capture on film … or SD card … and of course you don’t always dress up like you do for a wedding, plus your family isn’t all in the same place.

So identify what you do want to take photos of, and find yourself a really flexible and creative photographer that can connect the dots.

Is it important to the bride that the groom sees her for the first time in front of their friends and family? Could that reveal happen before the ceremony? Could the photos happen before the party, or after, or even during?

What next?

Tell your celebrant, venue, photographer, stylist, wedding planner, that you want a combo-wedding. They won’t know what that is so send them this blog post and feel really awesome because you just took back your wedding from years of tradition! Congratulations!