Every year, more than 2 million marriages take place in the United States of America. If you want to have your own this year, or even in the year after, now’s a good time to start planning.

Weddings and the way we celebrate them have evolved considerably over the years, and you’ve got so many types of weddings to choose from.

We understand how overwhelming that can be. That’s why we’re going to break down the various types of celebrations out there, to help you choose one that’s right for you!

A Traditional Religious Ceremony

Do you and your partner like to keep things classic? Do you both consider yourselves religious? If so, this might be the type for you.

A traditional wedding is one where the vows are performed at a religious institution. While for Christians this would mean a church, for jews, it might be a synagogue, and for other religions, it would mean other things.

Generally, the wedding receptions happen within a formal setting at a hotel or other formal wedding venue. For most people, it would involve the bride dressing in white and the groom wearing a tuxedo. Some other common traditions include having an entourage of bridesmaids and groomsmen and having the bride’s father walk her down the aisle.

Beach Wedding

A beach wedding is a type of informal wedding where the nuptial, as well as the reception, take place at the beach. Here, a registered minister will be able to officiate.

The reception can either be formal where the beach simply serves as a nice view for the reception or can take an informal turn, where the guests switch into beachwear and bathing suits, in true beachy fashion.

It is common for beach weddings to have barbecue-style dinners instead of the standard buffets.

Celebrations in the Sea

If you’ve got a love for the sea, consider a cruise wedding. You and your partner, out on the sea with the people you love. How romantic is that?

These types of weddings happen on a ship, where the wedding ceremony is officiated by the captain or another minister. Given the size of the ship, or yatch, your number of guests can be limited.

This is a great idea if you want to keep your guest list short and only invite the people that matter to you. Keep in mind that this may not be ideal if you’re on a budget.

Destination Wedding

Destination weddings are all about turning your wedding into a vacation. While they’re known to be expensive, the cost really depends on who’s on your guest list, and your choice of location. It involves travel, booking hotels, and planning itineraries.

While this sounds like a lot, the right planners can help make destination weddings a simpler, more affordable affair.

If you and your partner have an immense love for travel, and family vacations, this is definitely worth the consideration. Generally, the guestlist for these weddings is restricted to the two families, making it a great time for bonding.

Keeping it Civil

If you want to keep things really simple and straightforward, consider a civil marriage. These usually happen in a courthouse, or a similar place, and are officiated by a judge, or sometimes even a mayor.

Depending on what you want, you can either follow this up with a formal or an informal celebration. It’s a great alternative for couples who are not particularly religious but like the idea of a traditional wedding. You could have the ceremony at the courthouse, and then follow it up with a party with your friend and family.


Eloping is all about getting married quickly, easily, and more importantly, in secret. If you and your partner do not care for big, conventional celebrations and want your ceremony to be a very intimate affair, eloping is a great choice.

The popular movie trope of getting married in Vegas is not far from the truth. A lot of people get married in Las Vegas, however, you can also choose to do it elsewhere, if you don’t like the sound of that.

Find a place that means more to you and your partner and elope over there.

Combining Different Types of Weddings

There are several other kinds of informal celebrations out there that don’t necessarily take place on a beach. Some couples choose to celebrate at night clubs or bars. Others design their own kind of weddings, borrowing elements from different types of weddings.

Some even choose to do everything themselves to create a more home-style wedding. This could include having the reception in the garden and inviting fewer guests than a conventional wedding.

If you and your partner are not too keen on following any rules, this is probably your best option. Borrow elements, combine ideas, and create your own type of wedding.

Do What Makes You Both Happy

Now that you’ve got an insight into the different types of weddings out there, be sure to choose one that makes you and your partner happy. Talk it over, listen to each other, and try to find as much common ground as possible.

Ultimately, it’s a day that celebrates the two of you together, and you both get to define what that entails.

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