The top 5 extreme wedding trends you just might see this summer
"We have a couple kicking off their dance with stilt walkers dressed as robots that shoot lasers..."
For some couples, their wedding day is their chance to let their, um, personalities shine...
Be it linking lives alongside llamas, downing Dom Perignon under drones, or sharing sweet moments at a Star Wars-themed affair, what better time than your wedding – when you're footing the bill and the guests have already RSVP'd – to showcase the quirky side of your relationship?
"Honestly, anything goes these days when it comes to weddings," said Alison McGill, editor in chief of Weddingbells magazine. "Nothing would shock me!"
McGill said as brides and grooms look to personalize their events, the more surprising and innovative ideas they can come up with, the better.
Some of the wildest trends documented in The Knot's 2016 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 13,000 American brides and grooms, include GoPros in bridal bouquets, drones filming the ceremony and live painters on hand for the big day.
To get a sense of the most extreme trends we're likely to see this at weddings this summer, we asked McGill of Weddingbells, Rebecca Chan of Rebecca Chan Weddings and Events and Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events, to share their insights.
Turn your wedding into a circus – the fun kind. "We have a couple kicking off their dance with stilt walkers dressed as robots that shoot lasers and have an LED light show," said Chan. "That's going to be an epic party!" The Knot's 2016 survey shows 41 percent of couples are treating their guests to "custom entertainment" including aerialists, dancer performers and fireworks.
Take your wedding photos to a new level. "Drone photography has become a huge thing for weddings. It's a way to capture your entire wedding from angles once never before thought possible," said McGill. According to The Knot's survey, 22 per cent of couples are incorporating technology into their wedding day. Think: GoPros in bridal bouquets, drones above and video being live streamed for those who can't attend. Manailescu also predicts virtual reality stations will become popular at weddings.
If you can practise yoga with a goat, why not invite a llama to your wedding? "Wedding llamas have made their rounds online – and I have a couple who wanted them a few years back – so I expect to see some live animals as part of wedding ceremonies," said Chan. The llamas she's referring to therapy llama and alpaca duo Rojo and Napolean from Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas in Washington state. The animals are becoming regulars on the wedding circuit, photobombing ceremonies across the Pacific Northwest, but their day job is as therapy animals who visit nearby hospitals, seniors' communities and rehab facilities.
That summer garden party you were invited to just might turn into a full-blown wedding. "Guests think they are invited over for a dinner party and it turns out to be a wedding," said McGill, noting surprise weddings are becoming more common. "These are always the most fun and amazing weddings."
Obsessed with Harry Potter? Make the wizarding world part of your big day. "Couples are taking it over-the-top with fantasy themes and this is definitely a trend," said McGill. "Watch for superheroes and lots of Star Wars!" Hunger Games, Twilight and Game of Thrones are among other extreme themes brides and grooms are incorporating into their weddings.
Katrina Clarke is a Vancouver- and Toronto-based journalist who writes about relationships, health, technology and social trends. Find her on Twitter at @KatrinaAClarke.