21 Ideas for a Non-Traditional Wedding That's Totally You

Make your wedding as unique as you are with great ideas for your ceremony, reception, outfits, and so much more.

Published April 20, 2023


You're not the same as everyone else, and your wedding doesn't have to be either. Whether you're planning a small ceremony or a major event, there are so many non-traditional wedding ideas to make your day totally unique. From what you wear to how you decorate, your wedding day can be totally you.

Wear What You Love at Your Wedding


Sure, it's traditional for the bride to wear a wedding dress and the groom to wear a tux, but we don't live in that cookie cutter world anymore. Wear what you love, whether that's a floral sundress and sneakers or a pair of overalls. It's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin on one of the biggest days of your life.

Rethink White for a Non-Traditional Wedding Dress


White is the traditional color for a wedding dress, but you don't have to limit yourself to that color. Break out your favorite shade and show off your sense of style. Think pink, black, blue, green, or any color you love.

Let Your Attendants Be Themselves


Gone are the days when bridesmaids had to wear the same unflattering dresses. For a non-traditional wedding, let them choose their own outfits. You can tell them to stay in a color range or just let them go crazy. They'll feel comfortable and cute, and you'll have a totally unique posse standing up with you.

Quick Tip

Not sure if you want to go the random outfit route? Ask your attendants what they think they'd like to wear and have a little input on their choices ahead of time.

Break Out Your Funky Wedding Accessories


There's no rule that says you have to stick to standard white shoes and a veil for your wedding attire. Show your unique sense of style with vintage heels, an antique handbag, funky costume jewelry, and anything else that strikes your fancy.

Embrace Rain on Your Wedding Day


No matter what that old Alanis Morissette song says, rain on your wedding day isn't a big deal (it's not ironic either, but we won't get into that). If you know the weather might be a bit on the damp side, embrace it with clear umbrellas for everyone. It's romantic and memorable, and you won't even believe how awesome the photos will be.

Carry a Pomander Instead of a Bouquet


Don't get us wrong - bridal bouquets are gorgeous. But if you want something a little different, have your florist make a pomander or kissing ball for you to carry. It's a totally modern and stylish look that has its roots in the middle ages.

Hold a Sheaf of Wheat


Another great flower alternative is a bouquet made of wheat. It's an old-fashioned and super symbolic choice. Wheat can stand for a plentiful harvest and fruitful life together, and it's a lovely neutral color that works with any wedding color scheme.

Carry a Bouquet of Balloons


Sure, flowers are the classic choice, but they aren't the only options. If you want a playful and unique non-traditional wedding bouquet, carry a bunch of balloons instead. They'll be colorful and whimsical.

Get Comfy With Your Wedding Decor


You don't have to get married at an altar and have your reception at a big hall. You can do something totally different and take the whole thing outside. And by whole thing, we mean the furniture too. Grab those comfy living room chairs and sofas (borrow some from friends too) and arrange them outdoors. Hang some ribbons or pennants and sit back and relax with your nearest and dearest on this special day.

Decorate a Non-Traditional Wedding Arch With Macrame


An arch or arbor makes a great frame for saying your vows (and an awesome photo backdrop too), but you can take it beyond the standard flowers and trellis. Get crafty and make a macrame decoration for your arch or pick one up at a craft show. It will give your wedding that one-of-a-kind, handmade look that shows just how special this moment is.

Let Your Less Serious Side Show at Your Wedding


We all know this is a lifetime commitment and a big deal, but if you love to laugh together, don't feel like your entire ceremony has to be serious. It's traditional to do solemn vows and sentimental readings, but you can go the non-traditional route with your favorite silly things about each other or a hilarious story about how you knew they were the one. Funny vows are a wonderful way to start your life together, too.

Say Your Vows by Lantern Light


Most weddings happen during the day, but yours doesn't have to. It's super romantic and unique to have a wedding by lantern light. You can both carry lanterns and have them hanging in the trees or sitting on tables around your venue. That flickering light will add a touch more magic to your already magical moment.

Choose a Non-Traditional Wedding Venue


Is there a place you enjoy spending time with the one you love? Make that your wedding venue, even if it's not a traditional choice. Think remote places you love to hike, parks with incredible views, even the bowling alley or arcade where the two of you love to hang out. Where you hold your wedding can say a lot about you as a couple.

Include Your Furry Friends in Your Day


If you and your partner have a pet you adore, you can make your furry friend (or not-so-furry friend if we're talking about a snake or bird) part of your ceremony. Attach the ring to their collar, dress them in something festive, or just hold them instead of a bouquet. It's a non-traditional choice that will charm everyone.

Make Your Wedding Into a Picnic


Make your wedding a picnic for an alternative to the traditional vows ceremony and reception. You can hold it in the afternoon and just make everything super chill and fun. Think picnic blankets, baskets, lots of great food, and all your best friends.

Hold a Small, Non-Traditional Country Wedding


Weddings don't have to be formal affairs. One great small, non-traditional wedding idea is to make the whole thing country and casual. Dress in simple sundresses and laid back, untucked shirts. You don't even have to announce it ahead of time. Just invite your friends for a BBQ or party and make the whole thing a super simple, low-key country wedding.

Skip the Cake and Serve What You Love


That giant cake with all the white frosting and fancy decorations? That might not be for you, and serving something else is perfectly okay (delicious, even). Break away from the standard wedding cake by serving a pie, a mousse, a selection of treats, or whatever seems sweet to you.

Get a Little Old Fashioned With Your Wedding Photos


You know those old-fashioned tintype photos you might have in your family archives or see in antique stores? Those pictures are one-of-a-kind works of art that have lasted more than a hundred years, and you can have one made of you and your new spouse. Photographers around the country specialize in tintypes or wet plate photos that can capture your special day in an incredibly unique way.

Serve Pizza for Your Wedding Reception


It's a classic choice to have a buffet or plated dinner for your reception, but this is totally a rule you can break. Everyone loves pizza, and you can make your evening stand out by serving this favorite food. Order a ton of options from your favorite pizza place and let guests choose what they want.

Rethink the Get-Away Car


Skip the limo or classic car and choose a mode of transportation that's completely you. If you love to bike, that can be a perfect non-traditional wedding get-away option. Share a tandem bike or ride your own. Either way, decorate your ride with flowers or streamers to make it super special.

Try a Boat Instead


If you're getting married by water, you can make your get-away vehicle a boat and have an ultra-romantic time. Break out your canoe, rowboat, gondola, or anything else for some great photo ops and a wonderful and unique transportation option.

Try Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas to Make It Your Own


Your wedding is your day, so you should do it your way. There's no wrong answer with these things, even though they feel important. The details are just a great way to express yourselves as a couple and make your big day super you and super special.

21 Ideas for a Non-Traditional Wedding That's Totally You