19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas To Make Your Wedding Day Uniquely Yours

November 10, 2022

Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life. So, hey, why not make it even more special by doing something a little different? To help you out, I’ve come up with 19 non-traditional wedding ideas to get you started. Let’s get into them!

19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas For A Unique Wedding

Okay, I just want to let you know these non-traditional wedding ideas aren’t in any particular order. I just wrote them down as I thought of them. Let’s start with the first one: arranging a theme.

#1 – Go With A Unique Theme

One of the best non-traditional wedding ideas to make your wedding unique is to have an out-of-the-box theme! Why not try something from a specific period in time? 

Maybe something Victorian or medieval? You could even go with something from a movie or book you both love. A wedding theme will help you pick out decorations and activities to make your wedding stand out. Thankfully, doing that is a lot of fun, too!

#2 – Do A Unique Unity Ceremony

Unity ceremonies represent the joining of two people or families. They’re also a great addition to one of many non-traditional wedding ideas that put your wedding over the top. There are many ways to do a unity ceremony too, so get creative! One non-traditional idea is to wash your feet together, just like these two did! 

Groom crouching down to wash bride's feet during their traditional wedding ceremony, taken by McKenna Christine Photography

Your options here are endless. Just go with what makes sense to the both of you. You could even make a PB&J sandwich or do a worship song together.

#3 – Skip The White Dress

Although white may be the traditional color for wedding dresses, that doesn’t mean you have to wear it! If you want to stand out from the crowd, go for a dress in a bold color. Red, black, and even blush wedding dresses are becoming more popular nowadays. Wearing a wedding dress in a color other than white is one of the coolest non-traditional wedding ideas you can do on your big day! So, before you get there, try some colors out and see what you think!

#4 – Marry In An Unusual Location

Say goodbye to stuffy old churches and repetitive banquet halls! There are many other options for where you and your partner can tie the knot. How about getting hitched in a rustic barn, on a secluded beach, or even in a hot air balloon?! 

Groom planting a kiss on bride's forehead in vineyard, captured by McKenna Christine Photography

No matter what you choose, the sky’s the limit for non-traditional wedding ideas when it comes to venues! For example, check out this vineyard wedding in Nebraska for some inspiration!

#5 – Do A Dress Change For A Surprise Twist

For the ladies who want to keep their guests guessing, do a dress change! This will add an element of surprise and give you a chance to show off another beautiful gown. 

What would be really cool is whether or not you decide to tell your groom. Maybe you do so he can be in on it when guests see it. Or maybe you want to see his reaction, too. Either way, have fun with this non-traditional wedding ideas option!

#6 – Let Guests Help Plan The Reception

One way to make your wedding more unique is to let your guests help plan the reception. This non-traditional wedding ideas option can be having the guests vote on the menu or allowing them to pick the music. 

This is a great way to get everyone involved and make sure they have a good time. You could even send out a poll with several options, then go with the ones most people pick. 

#7 – Have A Smaller Wedding

Big weddings are always a great time, but they’re not for everyone, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a smaller one. To be honest, smaller weddings have a lot of advantages. When you don’t have to plan as much, you get to have a lot more fun!

19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas To Make Your Wedding Day Uniquely Yours. Groom planting a kiss on bride's cheek as she wraps her arms around him.

Plus, smaller weddings are more intimate, and they’re a great way to involve more people. So, consider having a smaller intimate wedding with only your closest family and friends. Going with this non-traditional wedding ideas option will definitely make your day even more special.

#8 – Enjoy A Grand Exit Or A Last Dance

End the night on a high note by having a grand exit or last dance. This is a great way to get everyone involved and excited as you make your way out of the reception.

If you want to do something non-traditional, opt for a more unique exit like playing with sparklers (which looks great in photos, by the way) or jumping and swimming in the water!

#9 – Hold Your Wedding On A Holiday

If you really want a non-traditional wedding ideas winner, why not get married on a holiday? This could be anything from Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s, just like this romantic NYE Discoball Wedding!

Couple smiling as they hold up champagne glasses and disco balls for their NYE discoball wedding

Just keep in mind that if you’re getting married on a busy holiday, you’ll need to give your guests plenty of notice.

#10 – Incorporate Your Hobbies Into Your Wedding

Do you and your partner enjoy a shared hobby? Incorporate it into your wedding! Adding this non-traditional wedding ideas option to your wedding also means showing off your personality as a couple! And, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

So, if you’re both lovers of board games, why not do a fun game with your guests? Is cooking one of the things you both love to do? Ask your caterer to create a special menu with your favorite dishes!

There are TONS of options here. In the end, it’s really just up to what you want to do.

#11 – Have A Custom Wedding Cake Made

Your wedding cake can be one of the most fun parts of the wedding celebration. So, make your wedding cake extra special by having a custom cake made using an unusual flavor, color, or design! No matter what you choose, a unique wedding cake is a non-traditional wedding ideas option that is sure to be a showstopper, leaving great memories for you and your guests!

#12 – Rent A Food Truck Or Ice Cream Truck

If you want to add a fun twist to your wedding, rent a food truck or an ice cream truck.

Bride and groom holding hands and standing in front of a food truck they hired for their wedding, taken by McKenna Christine Photography

This is a great way to cure any late-night cravings and will surely please all your guests. This is also a fun way to end the night at a reception. It could even be a great surprise! 

#13 – Head For A Dream Destination Wedding

Have you and your partner caught the travel bug? If yes, then head for a dream destination wedding! You can tie the knot in a dreamy, beautiful location and then spend your honeymoon exploring it. Or better yet, do it in a destination you both visited before and would love to bring your family and friends to experience the same magic you did! Either way, it’s a great option when it comes to non-traditional wedding ideas.

Also, make sure to pick a destination that’s easy to get to so your guests don’t have trouble getting there! Check out this link for a list of visa-free countries to help.

#14 – Have An Unconventional Wedding Reception

When it comes to non-traditional wedding ideas, your reception is another chance to make your wedding truly unique. Instead of the usual dinner and dancing, consider doing things a little differently! There are many options, from an outdoor picnic to a casino night. 

#15 – Use Props At Your Reception

Make your reception even more fun and festive by using props! Glowsticks are a great way to get everyone dancing, and they look really pretty in photos. You can also use confetti, balloons, or money pistols to add some extra excitement to the night. Another option is poppers like you might see at a New Year’s Eve party. 

19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas To Make Your Wedding Day Uniquely Yours. Glowsticks held up by guests dancing at wedding reception.

Props are also a good choice if you decide to have a photo booth set up at the reception too. Although you’ll still want a wedding photographer, photobooths provide lots of fun photo opportunities too! 

#16 – Give Out Creative Wedding Favors

A great way to show appreciation to your guests for coming to your big day is by giving out some wedding favors. But instead of giving them something they won’t really care about, give them something they won’t expect! 

Some examples of creative wedding favors are special chocolate bars, pink Himalayan salt in cute little jars, aromatic rustic candles, and sleek sunglasses.

#17 – Do An Eco-Friendly Wedding

When it comes to non-traditional wedding ideas, making your wedding eco-friendly is a really great choice! You could, for example, send out paperless wedding invitations, go with a sustainable wedding dress, choose local foods, or donate leftovers at the reception. 

If you’re not sure how to do an eco-friendly wedding, this could also be something a wedding planner could help you with. Whatever you choose though, doing something is better than nothing, so try to work in a few options you’ll feel good about.

#18 – Buy A Unique Wedding Ring

What’s a wedding without a wedding ring? Traditional wedding rings are great, but this is a list of non-traditional wedding ideas. So, why not get a unique, custom wedding ring? 

You could choose the metal, gem, gem quality, clarity, and setting. You can really go as custom as you want with these things. So, give it a shot, and see what’s out there!

#19 – Consider An Elopement!

If you really want an non-traditional wedding, you might give an elopement a shot. And here’s the thing, you might see the word elopement and think I mean the old way of eloping, but that’s not what elopement means anymore. It does in some ways, but a lot of elopements these days are very small weddings done in unusual spots. 

Couple holding hands as they pose during their dreamy elopement shoot with McKenna Christine Photography

Elopements can be a lot of fun if done right too. I’ve shot a few myself, so maybe I can give you some ideas. Just take a look at this dreamy elopement I did!

Endless Possibilities For Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas

There are endless possibilities to make your wedding day unique. Let your imagination run wild, and pick something you and your partner will love. With a little effort, slip in a few of my non-traditional wedding ideas on your BIG day, and you’ll ensure it’s one to remember!

Do you have any non-traditional wedding ideas in mind? Need a great photographer to shoot them for you? If you do, give me a shout and let me know what you’re looking for!

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Bride and groom walking through entourage lined up; image overlaid with text that reads 19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas for a Unique Wedding
Bride and groom diving into the water; image overlaid with text that reads 19 Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas for a Unique Wedding

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Hey! I'm McKenna! I am a gal based in Nebraska who is passionate about traveling here, there, and all over the world to capture YOUR story!

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