Congratulations on getting engaged to be married! Saying yes to a wedding proposal is the best decision someone can make, I think marriage is one of the most important threads in the fabric of society. As you start planning your big day, it’s worth noting that weddings today are a weee bit different to your friend’s wedding last year, your parents wedding 25 years ago and that wedding you went to that you thought was terrible a few years ago.

Here’s how weddings are different in 2014:

1. The majority of weddings don’t happen at 3pm on Saturday now.

From the wedding bookings in my diary, more and more weddings are happening outside of 3pm Saturday, the old school traditional time of bridal bliss.  The new popular times are 5pm Saturday, 9am Sunday, 11am Saturday and 5pm Friday. Tuesday, Thursday and Monday are becoming crazily popular as well!

It’s just a reflection of modern society where a good handful of the population don’t work Monday to Friday, 9-5 anymore. Shift workers, hospitality and retail workers, the self-employed and people that just have really cool jobs can get any old time off to party.

2. Weddings are being celebrated outside of (gasp) wedding venues! (gasp)

The rising trend is to celebrate your wedded bliss in venues that aren’t your traditional wedding venues, golf courses and function rooms. Look out for more art galleries, warehouses, concert venues, backyards, restaurants and parks on wedding invites this year.

3. Not everyone’s exchanging rings

Some people don’t like rings. They’re exchanging other things, and some people aren’t exchanging anything except for their undying love.

4. Only 28% are religious

72% of all weddings being celebrated in Australia this year will be officiated by a civil marriage celebrant.

Please don’t confuse celebrant with celibate.

5. You’ve got the power

There is no “standard wedding” or normal layout today. Where it happens, when it happens, whether you take photos before or after, or anything like that, it’s all up to you. You have the power as you plan your wedding in 2014!

6. Wives are taking their husbands names again

This is a trend that comes, then goes, then comes again. We’re on the rise at the moment, with most wives wanting to join their husband not only on a marriage certificate but also with the same last name.

7. 100% (of my) brides and grooms already live together

This comes purely from my records, but 100% of the brides and grooms I married last year,  and this year, live together already. Don’t tell your priest!

8. Weddings are no longer weddings, they’re actually marriage-starting-parties

The word wedding arrives on your doorstep wanting to stay for a few months and brings with it more baggage than that weird friend from high school that just broke up with her boyfriend and needs a place to crash.

Stop planning a wedding, start planning a party to celebrate the beginning of your marriage!

9. Guest lists are getting smaller than ever

The average guest list 10 years ago was more than 120 people. Today I’m surprised if I see a wedding with more than 40-50 people. Everyone knows that it costs and people don’t get offended as much when they’re not invited to your wedding. Its’ totally ok to not fill an A4 piece of paper with a guest list. Heck, most of my family didn’t come to my wedding!

10. Weddings are freaking cool, today

Weddings used to be shit. Now they’re not. Get amongst it and plan an awesome wedding!