There are many non-traditional wedding ideas to consider for your big day. Your wedding is meant to be a beautiful expression of who you and your partner are as a couple, which means these can be worth exploring. But, if you don’t want to throw out all the tradition—you’ve been dreaming about your first dance since you were a kid—but you want to bring in some unique aspects, you’re not alone!
The Knot’s 2022 Real Wedding Study found that while couples are starting to embrace old traditions again, they’re also making new ones, like:
- Requesting an unplugged ceremony
- Offering vegan food options
- Incorporating more vibrant colors and themes
Incorporating a combination of classic and unique details can make your day even more memorable -for both you and your guests. If you are looking for some ideas on how to make your day individual to you, here are some of our favorite non-traditional wedding ideas to make your big day more “yours.”
1. Opt for a Winter Wedding
Caption: Winter wedding at Edlynn Farm
Summer is often known as the wedding season, but you can buck that trend with a winter wedding. Incorporate your favorite Christmas traditions or create a “Winter Wonderland” theme that just wows your guests. Glistening snow can create a wonderful backdrop too!
Read our Snowy Wedding FAQ if you want to embrace the cold-weather season for your big day.
2. Involve Your Pet
There are so many ways to involve your pets in your wedding. Your dog can walk you down the aisle or serve as the flower pup. For many couples, their pets are like family, and don’t want them to be left out of this important event. And the good news is, if this is you, you don’t have to!
3. Wear a Colorful Wedding Dress
White is the most traditional wedding dress color, but you don’t have to follow this tradition to look stunning on your wedding day. Consider brightly-colored or even multi-colored dresses that thoroughly reflect your personality and make the day even more special.
4. Rethink Your Bridesmaids Outfits
Some brides want all the folks in their wedding party to match in both color and style. However, this can be challenging to find the perfect for everyone’s body types and complexions. Instead, share your wedding colors with your bridal party and let them choose the shade and style of the outfits. This allows everyone to choose what they feel best in and makes your photos more interesting!
5. Ditch the Traditional Guest Book
Caption: An audio guest book at an Edlynn Farm wedding,
Instead of asking loved ones to sign a guest book, set up a phone booth where they can leave you an audio message instead. You could also create a video booth where loved ones can record their best wishes and advice. How much more special will it be to hear and/or see the people you love sharing their well-wishes with you?
6. Offer Unique Mocktails
Non-alcoholic drinks can be just as memorable as boozy ones! Get creative with fun mocktails that use a variety of ingredients and reflect who you are as a couple. This is also an easy way to accommodate guests who cannot (or prefer not to) drink alcohol. Check out our blog post, How to Get Creative With Your Non-Alcoholic Wedding Drinks, to find some fun ideas.
7. Bring in a Coffee Cart
We did a whole blog post on wedding coffee carts because we’ve seen so many couples doing this at Edlynn Farm. Whether you’re planning a morning wedding or simply want to keep your guests caffeinated, look into hiring a coffee cart. This could also be a cute nod to you and your partner’s relationship if you met working at a coffee shop or had your first date over a cup of joe.
8. Set up a Hot Cocoa Bar
If you’re planning a winter wedding, a hot cocoa bar is an adorable way to keep your guests warm. They can pack their cups with marshmallows, whipped cream, or crushed candy canes and feel cozy (and nostalgic) while you and your partner exchange vows or while waiting for the reception to start.
9. Opt for a Special Dessert Table
Challenge your friends and family to create their favorite desserts and bring them to share— along with their secret recipes. This is a great way for grandmothers, friends, and matriarchs of your families to share recipes while giving the young couple a unique dessert spread for their special day.
10. Get Ready With Your Partner
This may sound like the most unusual suggestion on our list of non-traditional wedding ideas, but hey—it can be perfect for some couples! While couples usually stay apart on the wedding day, getting ready together can maximize the amount of time you spend together on your last day as fiancés.
11. Hire Unique Entertainment
Entertainment is a great way to make your wedding feel a little different without veering too far from tradition. For example, maybe you bring in a solo acoustic artist for dinner hour or an MC to facilitate games throughout the reception. It’s also fun to have friends or family sing your processional and/or recessional songs to make it more special.
12. Get Creative With Your Food
One way to get creative with your food is to focus on bringing in what you love, rather than what the venue provides or what’s “typical”. Maybe you want to set up a mashed potato buffet or a taco bar. Better yet, hire your favorite food truck to stop by for a late-night snack or order take-out from your favorite restaurant for lunch while you are getting ready.
13. Highlight the Bridal Table With a Neon Sign
Caption: An Edlynn Farm wedding couple, Precious Pics Pro
A neon sign is on our ultimate wedding decor checklist for a reason—it’s such a fun way to announce you as a couple! Not only is this a unique decoration for your wedding, but you can then display the sign in your home for years to come.
14. Create a Scavenger Hunt
Encourage people to mingle during cocktail hour or the reception itself by creating a scavenger hunt. You can create this to include fun facts about friends, relatives, the wedding party, and yourselves. You can also make this a photo scavenger hunt so your guests take funny pictures throughout the night, leaving you with photos you’ll cherish forever!
15. Look for Non-Conventional Party Favors
Instead of simply monogramming something cute, find on-traditional party favors that your guests will use for years to come. You can give away small saplings that will grow into strong trees or beautiful bowls for holding keys and loose change. Of all the non-traditional wedding ideas here, this one might be the most expensive, but it could be worth it to provide something really special for your guests.
16. Ask Your Guests to Wear White
If you’re opting for a non-traditional dress, ask your guests to wear white so you stand out. This creates a high-glam white party look while making sure you still shine as the bride.
17. Host a Breakfast Wedding
Caption: Delicious dessert table at an Edlynn Farm wedding
You don’t need to have an evening wedding with dinner and cocktails. Instead, you can opt for a morning celebration with breakfast following the ceremony. This is ideal for setting up after-parties throughout the day so you can spend even more time with your loved ones.
18. Opt for Wedding Band Tattoos
Hire a tattoo artist to design wedding bands instead of buying traditional rings. You will never have to worry about your ring accidentally falling off. Even better, get those tattoos during the reception by hiring a mobile tattoo artist!
19. Plan an Adventure Wedding
Bring your guests along on an adventure instead of inviting everyone to a single venue. Hike up to a beautiful vista to exchange your vows or charter a boat to snorkel along a vibrant reef. Keep in mind this idea might not be ideal if you have a large guest list, older relatives, or guests with mobility limitations.
20. Throw a Surprise Wedding!
If you really want a non-traditional option, plan a surprise wedding! Put together a Halloween party or summer barbecue without telling anyone you plan to get married during the event. Once everyone has arrived, start the ceremony.