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Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas for the Modern Bride

Posted by Antoinette Abrahamsen on

You’re engaged—congrats! You are probably feeling a huge combination of excitement and nervousness as you embark on planning the big day! Weddings are a lot of fun and a lot of work—especially when it comes to sticking to family or common traditions. But here’s a little secret: no one is making you stick to traditions just because they are “the way it has always been done.”

The problem with that mentality is that you would be putting every engaged couple into the same little box and telling them that THIS is how their wedding should be. THIS is how it’s always done. We know better and the modern bride is looking for a way to stand out on her wedding day, not blend in!

Here are some non-traditional wedding ideas that can help individualize your day and create a memorable experience for both you and your guests. Besides, your wedding day should reflect you and your significant other as a couple.

Ceremony Ideas that are less traditional and more fun!

First, what IS a traditional wedding ceremony? The basics: it usually takes place in a church with guests on either the bride or groom’s side, it includes a lot of organ music and the pairing of bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle in the same attire, and a religious leader conducts the ceremony including vows, ring exchange, and sometimes even a communion.

Let’s break this down and find some other non-traditional methods that are magical and modern.

  • Try out a family wedding. Many couples have children from previous relationships or choose to do the family before the wedding. Include your children in the vows and make it a moment you will all cherish.
  • Carry a unique bouquet. People have gotten so creative with their bouquets these days—the really do not have to be your typical fresh florals. Try a bouquet of ferns, buttons, brooches, or paper instead.
  • Dance your way down the aisle. Gone are the days of throwing rice (it kills birds) or birdseed (this option is okay). Bubbles and ribbon wands are still options that are common but encouraging your guests to dance you down the aisle may add a bit of fun to the end of the ceremony.
  • Ditch the veil. Instead, go bareheaded or opt for a floral wreath in your hair. Veils are the traditional method, but the modern bride is sleek and simple and needs no enhancements on her head.
  • Have a mixed-gender wedding party. Ditch the typical bridesmaids and groomsmen and call them something along the line of bridespeople and groomspeople. Fill your wedding party with people you love and have them accompany you any way you please.
  • You don’t need to include the little people. If you have nieces/nephews or sons/daughters that are appropriate for the job of flower girl/ring bearer, then go for it. If not, don’t stress on finding them, just ditch the roles altogether.

Make a statement with your wedding attire!

Tradition dictates that the bride wears white, the groom and groomsmen are in neutral-colored tuxes, and bridesmaids are decked out in a specific color with matching dresses. Choosing these ‘wedding colors’ becomes one of the most important decisions for the bride and her bridal party.

But you don’t have to make it that stiff. Shake it up at your wedding with some of these non-traditional options!

  • Swap the gown for something chicer. These days, brides aren’t all opting for your typical bridal gown. Though saying yes to the dress is always a big deal, there are other ways to make an entrance. Bridal jumpsuits are a huge hit or having a separate cocktail dress for the reception is an option as well.
  • White is so last season. White, ivory, and champagne are some of the most common colors of wedding dresses. Even blush has a place up there. Stand out in your favorite color—even if its Robin’s Egg Blue. Choose a bridal dress in color and put your bridesmaids in white for a twist on the traditional wedding party.
  • Wear the clothes again. Help your bridal party save money by allowing them to select something they can wear in the future. For bridesmaids, let them select a cocktail dress with a color or style theme vs. them all looking like clothes. For groomsmen, consider swapping tuxes for casual suits, jeans, and suspenders, or no jackets.

Your Reception can stand out from the crowd

A typical wedding reception usually includes a family-style meal, a lot of speeches, guest books, and the whole nine yards. However, some people are ditching these traditional methods for something more personable and quirkier. Some couples prefer less spotlight and more intimacy. Whatever works for your non-traditional reception, these options have seemed to work for others!

  • Your signature cocktails. Champagne is typically used for toasting, but not many people actually enjoy champagne. Work with your venue to craft a signature cocktail that celebrates you and your spouse and toast with that instead!
  • Skip the traditional guest book. There are so many ideas out there for creative guest books. A thumbprint wishing tree, polaroid pictures, wishes for the newlyweds, and other options are just a few we’ve heard of. Try looking for a guest book idea that suits you and your partner.
  • Self-service drinks. Opt for a self-serve bar verses a full-service bar. These work nicely at backyard receptions and intimate gatherings outside of your typical reception hall. This saves you money on hiring a bartender and allows guests to grab drinks as they please.
  • Nix the speeches, it’s storytime! Instead of allowing the best man and maid of honor to take over speech-making, open the floor to your entire bridal party. Allow them to share stories of the bride and groom with the guests. This is memorable, fun, and sentimental for all involved!
  • Take a timeout. Before the reception, spend a quiet moment with just you and your significant other. Many couples spend very little time together at the reception. Steal away for a private moment after the ceremony where you can relish in your wedding day—just the two of you!
  • Skip the traditional wedding cake. Many people don’t even eat cake. Save your pennies and design a sweets table with single-serving desserts and pastries available for guests to choose from. Tailor the desserts to favorites of you and your partner to celebrate your day!
  • A sweet centerpiece! Instead of using florals for centerpieces, make the centerpieces mini dessert stations. This allows guests to choose their treats at the table and allows you to skip making a dessert station or favors.
  • Add in some special dances. Why has no one thought to make some changes to the suggested ‘traditional’ dances at weddings? If you have kids—do a special dance with them. Swap parents and do a son-mother-in-law and daughter-father-in-law dance to celebrate the joining of two families.

Skip the wedding shenanigans entirely!

For some couples, it is enough to know they are in this together and the big show of a wedding is not in the budget or on their minds. Maybe you want to get married quick or somewhere your family cannot afford to go to. Maybe the idea of being in front of a crowd doesn’t suit you and your partner.

In the end, you are planning an intimate moment where you legally pledge your love and life to another human. You should make that happen the way you want it to happen.

Eloping is one of the many routes that modern-day couples choose to take. Whether it’s a short weekend trip to Vegas or a two-week retreat to Europe, they decide this moment is for them and them alone. Eloping is a cost-effective and private way of starting your new life with your significant other.

Pack your bags with just your immediate family and head to a destination spot where you can do a small ceremony and spend the rest of the time on vacation. This is a fun and spontaneous way to share your moment with those closest to you!

You can also simply go to City Hall and legally get married in the simplest of ways.

Simply make your day all about you!

If you are following the laws in the state, country, or county where you are being wed, anything goes when it comes to creating your dream wedding. Combine your favorite ideas from a traditional and non-traditional wedding and create a day that celebrates the people you and your significant other are.

We would love to hear about your unique and creative ideas! Give us a shout and tell us how you plan to make your day something to remember.


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