If there's one thing that I recall about planning my first wedding, it was the number of conventions and practices that you were "supposed to" follow. You know, the clothes, the church, the cake, etc. It was a really fun wedding, but I didn't realize at the time that we were certainly free to stray from those conventions. When I got married again, I suppose our age made it more obvious that we could really do anything we wanted to do. And that's what we did.
Diana and I had a very nearly perfect wedding. The only serious issue we had, aside from a few friends not being able to make it, was that we had rectangular tables on the boat instead of round (it felt a little cafeteria-like). Otherwise, we got married barefoot, in the sand, by the boat captain, in about 10 minutes. We had one "best" each stand with us. My father-in-law wore his tux, I wore beach attire. We had the reception on a boat, minus cake, plus two kinds of pie. We had 50 people instead of 150. My iPod was the DJ. A budding photographer friend shot a thousand fantastic frames. While people talked about it for a long time, it was a win because Diana and I had a great time. That's what really mattered.
We haven't been to many weddings since. We went to one last year for two dudes, which I'm sure for a lot of people was about as non-conventional as it gets. They had a french fry bar late in the reception, which was the best idea ever, if you don't count having the wedding and reception at Walt Disney World venues you probably never think about. There was cake, too, that we ate while a scuba Mickey watched from the Living Seas through the glass. We're still talking about that one!
Now, my best friend is planning her wedding, and I'll be in it as a bridesmaid bridesman. That word is a thing now, because the wedding party need not be composed of same-sex members. They're hoping to have a mashed potato martini bar, which sounds amazing. Indeed, they too will make the wedding what they want it to be, free of the conventions that an industry pushes as the "normal" things you're supposed to do. And most importantly, I'm sure it will be a wedding that they'll love.
I know that it may seem like I have something against tradition, and it's not that. It's just that tradition has a way of blocking your view of something better. You don't want to miss out on better.