Tips for Non-Traditional Wedding Planning & Mid-Century Modern Wedding Inspiration


Don't Be Afraid to be Different

Article & Images by Edit Denning

Do you ever get frustrated and lost when searching for wedding inspiration? Every post and Pinterest board starts to look the same and nobody is giving you practical or alternative ideas. As a wedding photographer I see trends come and go, but nobody is thinking through what is truly important and meaningful for them!

I wanted to encourage couples to bring their own ideas, vision and personalities to the wedding planning process. So I organized an inspirational photo shoot filled with non-traditional ideas that can help you. I won’t call it styled shoot, because the main focus wasn’t styling and trends. It was all about motivating you to go bold and make your dream wedding come true. And it’s ok if not everybody understands that!

The Venue

My initial inspiration came from an iconic, newly rebuilt mid-century resort in the middle of the desert. Mountain Shadows was originally built in 1961. I’m in love with their mid-century modern style, and appreciate all the original pieces they kept untouched. It’s a perfect blend of my minimalist taste and desert lifestyle. The resort also has monthly art gallery exhibitions, which was also really appealing to me as an artist myself. 

Tip: Finding the venue or the place where you want to get married is one of the first and most important decisions you’ll need to make. Take your time to search around and pick something that fits your personality and lifestyle as a couple.

The Clothing

One thing that was very very important to me was to find non-traditional wedding outfits. We have seen enough white dresses and black tuxedos, haven’t we?

When I contacted Anna, one of the owners of Antique Sugar Shop, she immediately understood my vision. Anna not only loved my idea, but got so excited and was willing to go out of her way to make sure we have every little detail styled out perfectly. Now this is what I call finding the perfect vendor! Her vintage shop had a ton of options that would fit our theme. We were going for a 1960s bride and groom look.

Tip: You don’t have to search for that perfect wedding dress at a traditional bridal salon. Really anything can fit the occasion if it speaks to your personality. And I’m a really big advocate of colored dresses. Yaaay!

Meet the Lovebirds

When I met Melli and Ryan there was no question that we found the perfect match for our themed photoshoot! Both of them are geeks at heart with a love of everything vintage. Melli was glowing in her 60s pink dress and Ryan’s blue vintage suit was just the perfect match! They seriously looked like they just stepped out of a 60s movie.

The Bouquet

Alongside those colorful outfits the beautiful bouquet made by Bloom and Blueprint was just the icing on the cake. Kate did a phenomenal job! She wanted to stretch her creativity and create something bold and unique and I think she did a fantastic job with this peace.

Tip: You don’t necessarily need a bridal bouquet, especially if you are not planning to have a bouquet toss. You can hold a wreath, lantern, mason jar, feathers, balloon, parasol, leaf or vintage fan, wand, brooch, embroidery hoop or dream catcher, paper flowers … The list is endless! You can have whatever feels good to you. But there's is something very romantic in holding a good smelling flower bouquet in front of you, when walking down the aisle. 

The Dessert

When it was time to find a unique idea for wedding dessert or treats, I contacted Ashley from Amour de Luxe. I wanted to stay away from the traditional wedding cake, so when Ashley suggested “cake donuts” I was sold! She dipped them in colorful, matching fondants and the top was decorated with some very cool mid-century modern design elements.

Tip: I’ve see lot of weddings with both tiered cake and little treats options, so you don’t have to decide one or the other. Small desserts are also easy to hand them out as favors.

The Jewelry

Being ethically conscious and donating or  giving back when it comes to big events, like weddings, is very important to me. When I met Rhonda from Redemption Market, I knew that bringing her into this project would be a perfect finishing touch for this photoshoot.

Tip: Think about purchasing conflict free diamond engagement and wedding rings, or accessorizing your outfit with fair trade jewelry. What a great feeling to support those in need! 


Giving back

One of the goals of this inspirational photoshoot was to encourage couples to give back and consider planning an ethically conscious wedding by donating the leftovers, using recycled product and giving back. After the photo shoot we donated the donuts to the children of the Hungarian School of Phoenix, and the bouquet was given to a new mom at our regional Hospital’s Birth Center

Never give up!

When you are planning a non-traditional wedding, just like some of your friends will think that your ideas are weird or unreasonable, you can also run into vendors who won’t understand your vision.

Don’t give up! Describe your vision in the best way possible and don’t be afraid to go bold. There is no wrong or bad idea! It’s your and your fiance’s celebration! If the vendor is a good fit, they will most likely not only be willing to get outside the box for you, but also get really excited about it! If they seem to argue or try to talk you out of it, just simply move on, and look for somebody else.


About the Author: I’m a documentary style wedding photographer with the mission to show people that relationships and family are what really matters in life. I believe weddings are not a photo shoot and they don’t have to be Pinterest perfect. I’m Hungarian, living in Phoenix, Arizona with my husband and two daughters. As I learn so much from my multicultural marriage, I have a passion photographing couples with similar background, who share my beliefs and are not afraid to break some traditional wedding rules.

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If you’d like to learn a few tips about how to better document your wedding, click here to grab a free copy of this E-Book I’ve created for all of you awesome Bridechilla readers!

“6 tips to better document your wedding”

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