We are each individuals and should show it on our wedding day. It is certainly okay, of course, to go with an all-traditional wedding, but many these days want to express their uniqueness with nontraditional details. Here I share 24 products that can bring out your individuality on the big day.
I have become more of an Etsy fan over the past several months, and when I saw their #DifferenceMakesUs campaign, that clinched it as my current favorite website. As rhetoric against and bashing of certain ethnicities; religious groups; and people who are generally different threatens to take over our society, we need more movements like this. Differences are not to be feared or fought against, but embraced.
Difference truly is what makes us. Imagine if everyone had the same tastes, strengths, or passions. We’d be doomed as a civilization. What if certain people throughout history were plain-vanilla “normal?” We would have no electricity, slavery would still exist, computers and social media like Facebook would definitely not exist, and the list goes on and on. We need differences to advance and to make life interesting.
It’s true that most of us aren’t techno geniuses or revolutionary leaders and have no desire to be anyone but ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we have to be normal and boring (unless that is your preference, which is okay too). We are each an original in our own way, and expressing our individuality is what the Difference Makes Us campaign is all about.
Note: As with most links on MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com, the links in this post go to this site’s shop section or directly to a merchant (In this case, Etsy). My Online Wedding Help will receive a small commission from Etsy if you click and buy. I will also be entered into a drawing for writing this post, along with other bloggers, for an extra bonus.
It is now time for me to get off the podium and share those items, in no particular order, that I found especially difference-making.
Traditional fresh flowers are nice, but if your creativity leads elsewhere, there are other options. Silk flowers is one, of course, but for a different look there are wildflowers. Dry them and you have a distinctive look that announces “this is not your grandparent’s wedding.”
- One route is Rebekah McCune’s Spring Wildflower Bouquet. She keeps 100-150 varieties of plants on hand so she can make your dream bouquet come to life from her basement workshop.
- The bottom photo is Rebekah making a Lavender Boutonniere.
Modern Romantic Headpieces
Veils are perfectly lovely on any bride. But if this leaves you somehow wanting more, there are ways to have modern bridal headwear, yet still create that traditionally romantic aura.
Felicite Desjardins’ floral crowns and headpieces are an example. Although she has specific styles in her store, many have options that allow you to adjust how you wear them, so you can accommodate a hairstyle or choose to go with or without a veil. She is also open to requests. Felicite explains, “Everything I do is made to order; my pieces aren’t something that I grab off the shelf, put in a box and mail. I make everything with the specific customer in mind…”
She enjoys drawing inspiration from the way different colors and flowers work together in nature. That inspiration often begins in her garden, followed by sketches to sort out different ideas. The end results are items she offers through her Etsy shop, two of which are in the photos. Both are sold in your choice of headband, halo with ribbon ties, or closed halo.
- The bottom photo is a crown featuring little white berries and petite mulberry paper roses.
Unique Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands
Another way to show you are an individual is through wedding ring design. About 90% of the rings out there, while often swoon-worthy, have a look we’ve seen before. Wedding bands is one of my favorite Etsy categories because most of the rings have a unique style. Plus, there is something decidedly special about purchasing direct from the craftsperson who designed and made the piece.
Ash Hilton is one such artisan. He and his family source sustainable materials for the etched wedding bands they design and sell. Their specialty is bands engraved with tiny native trees and their goal is for each wedding band to become a family heirloom for generations. They will even add trees to your bands as your family grows. And if you do not see a ring in their shop that hits your fancy, Ash will even custom design an etching for you. How cool is that?
- Top, 14K gold diamond unisex engagement ring or wedding band. You can get it in a matte, satin, or high polish finish. Available in silver, palladium, titanium, yellow gold, white gold, or red gold.
- Middle, love birds in tree 9ct white gold wedding band or engagement ring. The same options as above are available, plus you can get diamond(s) or gemstone(s) as well.
- Bottom, wedding set of rose gold engagement ring with diamond and white gold wedding band. You can get the inside engraved on any ring for an additional charge.
Custom Wedding Invitations
Your wedding guests’ first glimpse of the difference that makes your wedding you is when they open the invitation. What better way to show your individuality than with your own custom design? Alizabeth will not only create a custom design for you, she will put a drawing of you in it!
Her process is very hands on. “Before I start a custom illustration, I ask my client a lot of questions. Once I have a grasp of their vision, I move to my sketchbook and do a rough drawing. From there, I create a design digitally, working from my sketches and the client’s descriptions and photographs. After the design has been approved, I print, cut, assemble and ship the finished product.”
To get your custom cards started you first pay a design charge. Once that is approved, there is a separate charge for digital files or prints.
- Save the date illustration. This image is a design Alizabeth created for a previous client.
- Custom wedding invitation illustration. She draws in flowers to match yours, as well as a background showing your wedding or reception site (or a landscape, whichever you want). If you’d like a child or pet in the picture, that is included as well.
- 12” x 16” guest book alternative. You can use the same illustration from the save the date or invitation for a print that you can use as a guest book. Guests sign their name or short message, then you can later have it framed and hang in your home as a keepsake.
The traditional bride and groom cake topper has gone a bit to the wayside in favor of monograms, love birds, or other designs. A delightfully unique alternative is animal couples, and Sofie Skein-Hall creates some of the cutest. She uses a polymer, adding pigments and other materials to create color. Amazingly, she uses no paint or varnishes, so these cuties can be placed directly on cake icing.
Alizabeth work is never “cookie cutter.” She says, “I make each character by hand, one at a time, which is always a surprise and a delight.” Each has a unique personality that comes out as she works. For this reason she photographs every piece individually so that you know exactly what you will receive. Consequently, if the particular pairs in the links below are sold you will find similar work in her other listings. She also makes a limited number of custom figurines each month.
- Red fox and arctic fox. The eyes are Swarovski crystals. And, as with all wedding couples, you can designate two brides or two grooms and she will set up a separate listing from which you can purchase.
- French bulldogs wedding cake topper. This adorable pair has black Swarovski crystal pearls for eyes and stands three inches tall.
- Freyja’s blue cats. In Norse mythology, these two pull the chariot of the goddess of love and beauty. The cats are attached, making them ideal for a bride-bride cake topper. This pair also makes a wonderful wedding or anniversary gift.
Photo Gifts and Bouquet Accessories
One difference that makes each of us is our family. Lauren Beacham understands this, making brooches, cufflinks, and bracelets adorned with photos you supply. “Since so many of the custom pieces we create for people are either memorializing a loved one who passed away, celebrating a new life, or capturing a fond memory, we feel a great intimacy with our clients. They are letting us into this very personal piece of their life, and allowing us to take this moment in time and turn it into something tangible and lasting,” she says.
- Vintage style gold or silver tone brooch with custom photo. Lauren mounts a photo or illustration you supply under magnifying glass. The brooch includes a pin back to easily attach to a bouquet handle or wear as an actual brooch. You can also get a discount if you would like to order a set to give as bridesmaids’ gifts.
- Set of four photo cufflinks. These come in silver or bronze tone and she will gift wrap them individually to give as gifts to groomsmen, groom, fathers, or grandfathers.
- Antique look bouquet pin or boutonniere. This is the same type of item as the brooch above, with a different pin style.
Bow Ties with Character
Given that the guys usually have fewer accessories than the gals, it can be more difficult to put your unique spin on their look. Menswear designer Deedee Thamm has that covered with her line of bowties, neck ties, and pocket squares. If rental and store-bought styles leave you wanting more, take a look at her work.
- Blue and white geo print bow tie. It’s a self-tie bow, but comes pre-tied as in the photo.
- Navy and salmon print bow tie. Deedee’s bow ties come with a contrasting triangle piecing tip for a different look.
- Blue chambray bow tie. This one provides a vaguely classic look with an unexpected twist. The contrasting triangle tip is made from lavender and pink stripe fabric.
Unique Ring Boxes
While it’s true the primary focus should be on the rings themselves and not their container, it cannot hurt to increase anticipation with a unique wooden engagement ring or ring bearer box (especially if said ring is one of Ash Hilton’s from above or a wooden wedding band).
Audrius and Virginija hand make a variety of boxes. They make each box from scratch, out of a plain piece of wood. “Our inspiration comes from a strong desire to create new and better things,” they say. “Our task is to think not only about the ring box itself, but also all of the small details, like packing everything carefully to avoid giving any clues about what’s inside. In fact, the most common request from our buyers is to send the package to neighbors or parents!”
- Top and middle, walnut proposal ring box with custom engraving. This box will hold an engagement ring up to 1.1” high and .9” diameter. If yours is larger they will make you a box with different dimensions. You can also specify an engraved message, as well as the type font and location of that message.
- Bottom, walnut ring bearer box. This unique box holds two wedding bands and can be engraved as well.
Custom Hand Stamped Necklaces
There is no doubt that pearls and crystals add flair to the bride and bridesmaids’ jewelry and many choose those materials for the wedding party. For more character and individuality, however, you may want to go with hand stamped jewelry. Ceci makes a line geared toward family relationships. These heart message and name necklaces are ideal for bridesmaid and parent or family gifts.
- Two-tone double heart hand stamped necklace. One to three names can be engraved on these hearts (up to one on the smaller and up to two on the larger). It’s shown as a mother’s necklace, but any type of loving relationship can be represented. Include a single name for bridesmaids gifts or purchase as a couple’s necklace, for example.
- Hand stamped relative’s birthstone heart name necklace. This relationship necklace includes the loved one’s birthstone and heart charm. A third charm signifies the recipient’s relationship to the named: daughter, son, mom, sister, grandma, brother, aunt, uncle, grandpa, or dad.
- Custom message hand stamped necklace. While “love is eternal” is a perfect wedding message, the hand-stamped disc may include any equally short inscription instead.