How To Plan A Non-Traditional Wedding

From focusing on having mismatched decor to spending the night before her wedding with her husband-to-be, top model and blogger Portia Freeman describes how she's planned a 'non-trad' big day

18 Apr 2018

Model Portia Freeman has appeared on the pages of British and Italian Vogue, and has her own successful blog, Platforms and Pushchairs. In August this year, she'll marry her fiancée, Pete Denton, bassist for The Kooks. Read on to find out how she's creating her dream wedding - and how she's dealt with defying tradition. She says:

The day my boyfriend, Pete, finally got down on one knee, (it only took him eight years and two children!) I was bouncing off the walls. First, we decided to get married on our 10 year anniversary, then planning was underway...

Princess Portia!

"I've triggered some odd reactions"

So, I've been chatting with my close friends and family about my ideas for my wedding (or, should I say, my lack of fixed ideas), and, I have to say, I've triggered some odd reactions. Who'd have thought there'd be so many opinions?? There have been lots of scratched heads and confusion when I utter the words, 'Non-Traditional'. However, while our wedding planning hasn't had much direction or order so far, things are, thankfully, starting to take shape… Well, if the mismatched bits and bobs we've been collecting can be called 'shape'.

"Don't get me wrong, I don't want my wedding to resemble a jumble sale..."

As much as I respect strict colour schemes, complementary napkins and place settings or matching crockery, I'd rather be a little more spontaneous and go for the things we just like the look of! Don't get me wrong, I don't want my wedding to resemble a jumble sale. We're just not spending too much time worrying about it.

Coffee at The Pig

"Why follow traditions when you can create your own?"

The only tradition I am set on is the outrageously beautiful wedding dress. And, of course, the first time my fiancé will see it will be on the day… He'd better cry! Seriously though, Pete's opinion matters to me; he's got a great eye for detail and is honest, so it's been hard work choosing it without him. Why should it be kept a secret? Bad luck? Meh. It's supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day but no one freaks out when it doesn't… My point is this: why follow traditions when you can create your own?

"It's what we feel is best for

The night before we say 'I do', I was originally going to share a room with my mum. A lovely evening of quality time between mother and daughter before the big day. I thought it was the obvious thing to do and, believe me, as lovely as that sounds I just couldn't help but feel that pang for my partner. The idea of him sleeping in the same place but not in my bed just didn't feel right. For starters, I know for a fact that I won't be able to sleep properly without him by my side. And I don't want to wake up on the morning of my wedding day looking and feeling totally unrested. After all, we've been together for nine years and have two children together! Besides, we spend enough time apart when he's on tour, so why spend a night apart when we don't have to? So that was that, we decided we'd stay together. Who cares about tradition when it's what we feel is best for us?

Sleepy heads

And seeing as we were already staying together, Pete and I decided to have a champagne breakfast at our venue's beach hut on the morning of the wedding. Just us. Alone on the morning of our wedding. What better way to start the day?

"I sometimes don't know how it's all going to take shape"

With time flying by so quickly, I sometimes don't know how it's all going take shape. I knew that I wanted a flowery meadow to walk through and our venue, The Pig on the beach, is planting wild flower seeds as I write. I wanted a special perfume for the day, and staff at Jo Malone helped me narrow down my options. And thank goodness for Lotte Martin, my wonderful wedding stylist, who'll be putting all our disparate ideas and untraditional methods together in the end. Thanks for your patience in advance, guys!

Scent selecting at Jo Malone

Read more by Portia about her wedding planning process, from designing her own dress to planning her bridal skincare regime. She also runs her own blog, Platforms and Pushchairs, on motherhood, modelling, getting married and more!