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Ten Non-Traditional Ideas To Consider For Your Wedding

Of course there are our classic wedding traditions such as waiting to see each other down the aisle, wearing a veil, matching bridesmaids dresses, a multilevel wedding cake, sparkler exit, etc. There are so many ways to celebrate getting married and many couples choose to continue on with the classic traditions. However, with the rise of TikTok, and social media trends in general, couples are coming up with fun and non-traditional ways of celebrating their wedding day, many of which are kicking old traditions to the curb! Keep on reading for 10 non-traditional ideas to consider on your wedding day!

1. First Look

The beauty of a first look before walking down the aisle is to have a private moment with your soon-to-be to shake off some of the nerves and to hype up the excitement that you are about to get married!! There are also many things to consider going into a first look. If you have a ton of family photos that will take up a great deal of cocktail hour, a first look can help to alleviate the wedding party photos so that you are not crunched for time. Maybe you want to read your vows together privately and not in front of all your friends and family and opt to read them together during a first look. There are so many things to consider with this non-tradition!

Pictured below, Maci and Nathan celebrated their wedding on New Year’s Day, so lighting was a major consideration into their first look. They wanted the majority of their pictures outside, but did not want to start the wedding at 4:00 pm, so they opted for a later ceremony inside the Gallery and had a first look to get all their pictures outside before the sunset. They also shared a sweet moment where Maci tied Nathan’s bowtie for him!

2. Mismatching Wedding Party Outfits

The tradition of matching wedding party outfits is still alive and well, but this is a great tradition to twist into your own. Something as simple as a different color for the best man or maid of honor goes a long way in the overall design of the wedding ceremony. Take it a step further and let the wedding party decide what they want to do all together, you may be surprised at what they come up with!

We love what Ali Sue and Xander did with their parties! They gave them a general color palette and let them run with it so that everyone wore something that they felt beautiful in. The colors worked perfectly together and fit this handsome group flawlessly!

3. Ice the Groom

We love a good prank on the groom or a way to highlight him in some way. A traditional take on this is a groom’s cake, but we much prefer Jess’s approach with this surprising ICE! Better yet, she incorporated this into the garter removal, so trust us, Nic sure was surprised!

Kelley Blake Photography

4. Wine Box

Traditional wedding unity ceremonies include the unity candle, sand pouring and hand fasting, but this is quickly becoming a way for couples to get creative and incorporate a personal detail about themselves into their marriage ceremony. For example, a wine box! A wine box is perfect for the nostalgic and sentimental couple who likes to enjoy a bottle of wine together and reminisce. Essentially, you will write each other letters before the ceremony, place them inside the box during the ceremony with your favorite bottle of wine and then on your one year anniversary, you open the box, enjoy the wine and read the letters. It is a great way to look back on your wedding day and see how far you have come in the past year together. There are other unity ceremony ideas out there ~ this is just one of our favorites!

Photography by V

5. Tower of Cookies

Real talk, is it time to ditch the traditional wedding cake?? Some say yes, others say no and then there are some in the middle who want the cutting cake, but also want to have little bites for friends and family to take with them. Cue the tower of cookies! A small snack such as cookies is perfect for a wedding day (and a tradition that folks from Pittsburgh have practiced for quite some time). Not only are these great favors for guests to take with them, this is also a fantastic way to be sensitive to dietary restrictions. It is so much easier to make a few cookies or cupcakes that are vegan or gluten free than trying to incorporate that into a layer a wedding cake!

Photography by V

6. Ditch the Veil – Get a Cape!

One of the oldest wedding traditions alive is the bridal veil. This tradition is traced back to Rome where the bride would cover her face with a veil as she walked does the aisle to disguise herself from evil spirits. This has been a classic wedding tradition ever since and has taken on many forms. Now, brides are looking for other ways to add some flair, while not wearing the veil. The next best alternative ~ a wedding CAPE! This is an incredible fun and epic way to walk down the aisle! Can we take a moment to appreciate how stunning Catherine looked in this cape from Urban Set Bride in Richmond!

7. Send Off After the Ceremony

Sparklers are such a fantastic and fun way to have a grand exit at the end of the wedding, but the biggest complaint is that many guests leave before the end of the night and miss the exit. That was exactly what Theresa and Joey thought about when they decided to have their grand exit at the end of their ceremony! They did not want anyone to feel that they had to stay around until the end of the wedding, so they opted to pass out dried flower petals before they walked down the aisle and….. the results speak for themselves!!

Chloe Malsick Photography

8. Fully Seated Dinner

The most traditional dinner styles at weddings are buffets, family style and plated dinners. However, there is a new dinner style that is growing in popularity and that is cocktail style paired with food stations. This is where 60% of the guests have seats (with just a few of those seats reserved for immediate family) and the remaining 40% are standing around cocktail tables. The idea is that dinner, dancing and mingling all happen at the same time and is perfect for a talkative family, a young crowd or a large guest count. This is also a great way to incorporate a ton of different types of food into the reception. For example, you can have a beef station, chicken station, vegan/vegetarian station and grazing station with 4-5 options on each station! Let’s face it, food is such a huge part of wedding days, so having many different options is sure to be a fan favorite!

9. Dance With Your Siblings

Parents are definitely important on wedding days, but often times our relationship with our siblings is unmatched. Siblings do not have a traditional role in weddings other than being in the wedding party or escorting family during the ceremony. A sweet and meaningful way to honor these close relationships is a choreographed dance with the siblings after parent dances or to get the dancing started! Eleanor was the only daughter with four brothers, so obviously they had to have a collective sibling dance. We are all in favor of making this a new wedding tradition!

10. Bridal Hoops Instead of the Bridal Bouquet

Similar the bridal veil, the bridal bouquet is also a wedding tradition that is traced back to Ancient Egypt and has a plethora of meanings from bringing hopes of fertility, happiness, and fidelity to masking not so friendly body odors! Nowadays, bridal bouquets are the centerpiece of the overall theme and design of the wedding and an incredible compliment to the bride. Many brides will preserve their bouquet immediately after the wedding to keep the colors and feelings alive and to create a gorgeous piece of artwork for their home. Other brides want the ability to keep their wedding bouquets without having to preserve it and are opting for faux flowers or bridal hoops from the get go.

Ginny did both with her wedding party and opted for a faux floral bouquet that she could keep intact after the big day and then had her ladies carry bridesmaids hoops! The hoop is an eloquent alternative to the bridesmaids bouquet and can make for fabulous décor for the ladies homes as well.

What other wedding traditions can you think of to twist, turn and make your own?