Your wedding can be such a monumental day in your life, which is why it’s so important to make sure it’s personalized! Including elements that are uniquely meaningful to yourself and your partner can really ensure that your big day is sentimental.
With that said, to achieve this uniqueness, introducing some non traditional wedding ceremony ideas are always a great way to achieve this! There are so many creative ways to introduce new ideas into your ceremony and reception to make it an unforgettable event.
Non Traditional Wedding Ceremony Ideas
There are many non traditional wedding ceremony ideas you can add to your wedding to make your day unique. Even if you still want to keep some of the more traditional aspects, adding in some surprises here and there can really make it fun for both you and your guests.
1) Have a friend Officiate
Having a best friend or the best man/maid of honour officiate your wedding can add a really unique personal touch to your big day. Before jumping on this idea however, there are a couple of things to consider:
1) Legalities – depending on your region, you may need to get married at city hall to obtain a marriage license beforehand in order for the marriage to be legal. Your friend can then officiate a vow exchange on your wedding day.
2) Research – research if the officiant can become ordained online or in person. Next, make sure to cover the costs involved.
3) The Speech – prepare the speech together so that everyone is on the same page.
2) Bride & Groom Gift Exchange
Gift exchange is a fun way to get your significant other excited for the wedding ahead. The gifts are typically exchanged before your ceremony and should be unique to you. They can honor your relationship or add to the wedding itself.
Typically, gifts are given while the couple is getting ready in their separate suites, however, they can also be given at the rehearsal dinner or leading up the to wedding.
3) Sand Ceremony
When you think of a sand ceremony you’re probably thinking beach wedding. However, the unity sand ceremony actually has long standing ties to Christianity.
To complete the sand ceremony, the bride(s) and groom(s) each receive a vessel filled with sand. They then combine their sand into a shared vessel to represent combining two lives and the lifelong commitment they are making.
There are so many different ways you can do the sand ceremony. For example, you can use colored sand that goes with your wedding theme or you can use sand from locations you’ve travelled to. There are so many ways you can make this memorable.
4) Flower Girl Alternative
Traditionally flower girls are usually the youngest person in your bridal party. They typically precede the bride down the aisle. However, the “flower girl” is a role that can easily break out of this mold.
Anyone can be a flower girl, even your pets! Additionally, instead of one designated flower girl, you could have all members of the procession decorate the aisle with petals.
5) First Look
The first look has changed a lot over the last couple decades. Traditionally the first look happens as the bride walks down the aisle. However, a lot of couple are opting to do the first look beforehand, making it just for them. This sweet sentiment allows the happy couple to have a moment to themselves before celebrating with friends and family.
6) Love Letter Time Capsule
Before the ceremony, you and your partner can write love letters and collect keepsakes to put into a time capsule during the ceremony. Set a date (for example your 5 year wedding anniversary) to open the capsule. This is a great way to remember your wedding day.
7) Change up the ceremony structure
Traditionally, weddings are structured with an aisle in the middle with guests sitting on either side. A way to make your special day unique is to have your guests surround the couple in a circle. That way everyone can have a great view!
8) Preserve Your Bouquet
Skip the bouquet toss and instead preserve your it! A new up-and-coming trend is drying out the flowers in your wedding bouquet and making them into a stunning art installation. That way you can enjoy your bouquet forever. Wedding flowers can be incredibly expensive, which is why being able to enjoy them for years to come can be really special!
9) Wine Box Ceremony
If you’re looking to do a unity ceremony but want to add a fun and unique spin to it, why not try a wine ceremony. This involves sealing a special or favorite bottle of wine into a box during your ceremony. You can then open the wine at a later date. This is another way to remember and celebrate your special day years later.
10) Include Loved Ones
A beautiful way to make your wedding unique is to include a family member. A great way to do this is to have select loved ones read a bible verse, poem, or favorite lyric during your ceremony. It adds a real personal touch to your wedding day.
11) Secret Messages
A fun way to get your partner excited for your ceremony is through a secret message only you and them know about. A cute way to do this is to write a message on each other’s wedding shoes, that only you know about.
12) Picture Perfect
While your guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin have them participate in a paint by numbers! Each guest can paint a certain area of the picture. This gives you a memorable gift after the ceremony is complete.
13) Date Jar
A cute way to keep guests occupied before the ceremony is to create a date jar they can contribute to! Each guest can share their unique ideas you get to try out once you become a married couple!
14) Plant a tree or flower
Let love grow! A lovely unity ceremony that you and your partner can participate in during your ceremony is to plant a tree or flower that can grow as your marriage grows! If you have a green thumb and can keep a living thing alive (this is not me) then this is a beautiful option.
15) Include your pet
A feature to include in your wedding that makes it a little different is to include your pet! There are so many ways they can be a part of your big day from the ring bearer to helping you get ready! Have all your immediate family there on your special day!
16) Pass the rings
Another unique way to create a nontraditional wedding is the passing of the rings. This typically consists of the wedding rings being passed to all of the guests who hold the rings and give them a blessing. The act is typically overseen by the ring bearer.
17) Create your own vows
Many opt for traditional vows during their wedding ceremonies especially if specific religions are being honored. However, choosing to create your own vows can really make your ceremony special and heartfelt. It’s a great way to be able to speak to your love story in your own way.
18) Surprise Wedding
If you want to make your wedding truly memorable for your wedding guests, a surprise wedding fun way to do this! This is a great way to keep your wedding plans secret and completely yours. Invent an event to invite your close friends and family to and then surprise them with the ceremony!
19) Nontraditional bridal party
Typically the bridal party consists of all women and the groom’s party consist of all men. Why not have mixed parties. That way all of your closest friends can participate and aren’t restricted.
20) Choose your own attire
Another tradition that’s typically followed is the bride and groom choose what the bridal party wears. Why not let the wedding party choose their own attire, allowing them to feel confident and comfortable throughout the event! You’ll get an eclectic mix that can also add uniqueness to your photos.
21) Candle Ceremony
The unity candle ceremony become popular in Christian ceremonies in recent years however you don’t need to be religious to partake. The ceremony consists of each partner holding a lit candle (typically taper candles). They then together, both lighting one main candle. It’s a symbolic gesture of unity and coming together as one.
22) Handfasting Ceremony
The hand fasting ceremony is a Celtic tradition where the couple’s hands are fastened together to represent unity and a lasting bond. The officiant starts by asking the couple to hold hands which indicates that the couple is entering this unity willingly. The officiant then says vows as the couple’s hands are fastened together. It’s a really unique ceremony idea that’s memorable.
23) Unique wedding venue
Tired of the classic church wedding?
Why not celebrate at a unique wedding venue? For example, get married in a hot air balloon with close friends. Or have an outdoor wedding in a forest. There are so many location you can now get married in that can really be special to you and your partner.
24) Water Ceremony
The water ceremony is another unity ceremony that’s very similar to the sand ceremony mentioned above. To join in unity both bride and/or groom pour water into the same vessel which represents the joining of two lives.
To make this ceremony unique each couple can choose their favorite color and dye the water. Just make sure the different colors blend well together.
25) Fun Guest Book
Your wedding planner or close friends can help you set up a fun and interactive guest book that your guests are sure to remember! Signing the guest book is a great activity to do during cocktail hour and can easily be made interactive! Why not provide a polaroid camera and have a picture book!
26) Memorable Wedding Date
A cute way to add some uniqueness to your wedding is to choose a memorable wedding date. This could be your anniversary date of you or a family member or just a date that’s meaningful to you!
27) Unique Wedding Dress
Who says you have to wear white on your wedding day? Why not wear a colored or black wedding dress! Wedding colors are always so specific so why not change it up to be unique. This is the perfect way to let your personal style shine on your big day.
28) Fun First Dance
The first dance is one of the staples during the wedding reception. Why not make it unique by adding some flair! Tear up the dance floor with a choreographed dance. Your guests won’t be expecting it.
29) Unity Shot
If you want a unique way to unite your relationship at the altar, why not do a unity shot! It’s a fun way to calm the wedding nerves before the vows. A unity shot could consist of anything from alcohol to an energy booster.
30) Incorporate Your Own Traditions
An easy way to make your wedding a little more non traditional is to add in your own family traditions. These can be things passed down from parents and grandparents or traditions you make up yourselves!
31) Unique Wedding Favours
To finish off these non traditional wedding ceremony ideas, we wanted to talk about wedding favours! Typically wedding favours consist of chocolate, candles, soaps etc. Why not make your wedding memorable by providing unique favours. Some ideas include hot sauce, breath mints, your wedding cake (it’s never eaten anyways!), dried flowers to throw at the end of the night, cactus or succulents etc.
We hope you enjoyed all of these non traditional wedding ceremony ideas. The important thing to remember is that your wedding should be unique to you and represent your love.
In recent years weddings have gotten so lavish and sometimes it’s the little things that can really make your wedding memorable.