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Traditional & non-traditional ways to celebrate a wedding

Today's weddings are largely planned, financed and executed entirely by the couple getting married. Therefore, it is up to them how to celebrate their special day.

Here's a look at some of the traditional wedding elements and how they can be shaken up for a different spin.

Traditional: Father walks the bride down the aisle.

Alternative: A son, daughter, friend, or even both parents walk the bride down the aisle. She can also traverse the white carpet solo, if desired. Perhaps the groom meets the bride halfway and they walk the rest of the aisle together.

Traditional: "The Wedding March" ("Here Comes the Bride") plays when the bride enters.

Alternative: Any favorite classical or modern song is played when the bride enters, as long as it is approved by the venue where the ceremony is taking place.

Traditional: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Alternative: Wear all new items, all antique items or borrow all of your wedding day apparel - it's your choice.

Traditional: Mother-son, father-daughter dances at the reception.

Alternative: Welcome everyone present to dance with a special member of their family so all eyes are not on the bride and groom, who may be self-conscious about dancing with their parents. These dances also can be skipped.

Traditional: Bouquet toss for the bride and garter toss for the groom.

Alternative: Toss beads or treats in the style of Mardi Gras to all of the guests, so it's not only about single men and women.

Traditional: A three-tiered wedding cake all in white.

Alternative: Choose cupcakes, a festively colored cake that matches the wedding theme or another desired dessert.

Traditional: Reception at a catering hall or hotel.

Alternative: Reception at an alternative site, such as an aquarium, zoo or museum.

Once a couple thinks about what is important at their wedding, they can cater the event toward their personal interests. Tradition can be followed or they can do something completely unique. (MS)