For centuries, many societies in the West have followed a pre-defined trail of rituals and traditions that lead up to the altar and beyond. For instance – the wedding gown has been white since time immemorial, and the church has been the typical spot to see couples unite in the sacred bond of matrimony.
However, some couples wish to go against the wedding grain. They live by the belief that every wedding is as unique as the people it’s meant to unite, and the event’s ambiance, traditions, colors, and décor must reflect this.
Non-traditional couples weed out aspects of the wedding that do not reflect their personalities and add personal touches everywhere. What makes this type of wedding special is the fact that it feels right for the two stars of the day and will be remembered as their once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Let’s take a look at the top alternative wedding ideas for non-traditional couples of 2023.
Top Wedding Alternatives for Non-Traditional Couples
The 2023 wedding trends show that ‘unconventional’ is going to be the reason for the season. You are right on time to plan a memorable unconventional wedding, and listed below are solid ideas:
1. Rock n’ Roll with an Eccentric Venue
Be it the classic bouquet toss or the much-awaited cake-cutting, certain wedding traditions are simply ingrained in our culture. While you can follow some traditions to respect their origins and significance, others like a typical church, beach, or forest venue can be ditched.
To start things off on the right track, consider some fun and adventurous wedding locations. These would include the top of a mountain, within a deep canyon, or right underneath a breathtaking waterfall! If your guest list includes lovers of beers and spirits and industrial chic is your wedding vibe, opt for a distillery or brewery as the venue.
Other not-so-traditional yet perfectly family-friendly wedding spots include treehouses, conservatories, yachts or cruise ships, aquariums and zoos, and museums or medieval castles. Speaking of castles and palaces, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra wowed their guests and the world alike with their lavish wedding at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, in late 2018. There’s another inspiration to draw from this celebrity duo – host two different ceremonies (and multiple receptions) to honor each other’s cultural roots!
2. Ditch the Suit and Gown (or at least the Traditional Colors)
Here’s another alternative wedding inspiration you never knew you needed – an about-turn from the classic wedding gown and groom suit. You’d be surprised at how many couples are choosing to ditch the classic vibe and don three-piece suits or even jumpsuits.
If that is a bit over-the-top for your aesthetic tastebuds, then you can opt for wedding dresses and groom suits in non-traditional colors. This season’s trending colors are rose gold, steel blue, and platinum. If you can find a gown in ombre tones, then all the better. In case you weren’t aware – even the timeless Audrey Hepburn chose a pale pink Givenchy dress for her wedding!
Moreover, you can match the ensemble with an equally unique wedding ring in hues of mild yellow and rose pink. It’s not mandatory to keep the ring a standard single stone. On websites like https://www.leibish.com/, you’ll find inspiration for double-stone halo rings, cross-over rings, and even three-stone rings.
Also, why are weddings only sealed with a ring? Leibish notes that you can dramatize this once-in-a-lifetime event with fancy and stunning diamond halo pendant necklaces. Choose a color that matches your ring, or take the contrasting route with a mix of rose, yellow, and blood-orange undertones. In any case, going non-traditional means keeping the wedding-wear fun, unexpected, and quirky.
3. Switch the Role of Flowers Girls
Weddings are unique events with a surplus of ancient traditions carefully preserved through the ages. One such tradition is that of the youngest female tots of the family preceding the bride down the aisle with a confetti of colorful flowers.
This tradition dates back to ancient Rome, but the flower girls then used to carry wheat grains and herbs. This means even the modern flower girls are a twist to the ancient tradition. Why not add another plot twist by either switching the goodies they carry or the flower girls altogether?
For instance – you can train your beloved four-legged furry friend to represent the youngest flower girl as she wags her tail and carries a basket of flowers in her mouth. In case you’re not too happy with flowers, you can fill the basket with delicious candies.
If that’s not your taste either, take inspiration from Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed who decided to make their family dog, Snippy, play the ring-bearer on their grand day!
4. Select an Entertainment Option That Doesn’t Involve Dancing
Well, who doesn’t love a killer wedding playlist, right? But, some couples may want to take things up a notch. Does this mean you cannot enjoy your dreamy first bridal dance as a couple? Not at all! By all means, take a bow and a twirl, but don’t let the fun end at the edge of the dance floor.
The best way to keep guests thoroughly engaged is to mix traditional entertainment options with a few eclectic ones. Think of a challenging game of croquet or bocce ball in which all guests can participate. As the atmosphere starts getting a bit competitive, direct everyone’s attention to a photo booth where guests can memorialize the event in the most creative of ways.
Finally (and you cannot miss out on this one!), hire an artist to create a beautiful portrait of the wedding scene. They can also paint a portrait of the star couple of the day! Maggie Smith Kuhn is a famous live event painter based in Atlanta, Georgia, who has recently gone viral on TikTok and Instagram. She unfolds the grand day on a canvas as guests get to watch her at work. Could there be anything more enthralling than that? A live artwork of your nuptials is nothing short of a priceless heirloom!
5. Booze up the Night with Not-So-Signature Sips
Most weddings host a premium selection of craft beer, mouthwatering wine pairings, and tipsy cocktails. However, putting some extra thought into the booze counter (besides the rich flavors) will also make for a day to remember.
What are some ways to spice up the wedding booze? In case you want to keep cocktails, try serving calligraphy drinks, preferably with your “couple monogram” on each. If it’s a summer wedding, you can ditch the typical cocktail glasses and serve booze slushies instead. Try out different flavor iterations, including those with gin, rose, vodka, and champagne.
If booze is off the charts, it’s time to experiment with coconut water and sparkling juices that guests just can’t get enough of. You can even introduce the crowd-favorite – bobas. The heavenly feeling of sipping down customized beverages only to chew on tapioca balls sitting cozily at the bottom is unmatched!
6. Jazz Up the Menu
If you’ve attended enough weddings before your own, you know how predictable the menu in American and Canadian weddings can be – the same ole’ chicken and fish, right? There’s nothing wrong with a tried-and-true menu that is sure to have the guests’ tastebuds dancing, but are you able to relate to the beat?
If not, it’s time to move away from the traditional barbecue and serve something exciting, alternative, and never-thought-before. If the majority of your guests are health-conscious (prep your secret Sherlock for this one!), you can try serving whole grains, pasta, and grilled veggies. For the non-vegetarian folks, bring some smoked salmon, sushi rolls, and grilled chicken. You can also opt for an exclusive vegan platter as served at the royal 2019 wedding of singer Ellie Goulding with Caspar Jopling.
You can also select a menu theme based on preferences for ethnic food, takeout, serving stations, or self-serving counters. For instance – if you choose ethnic food as your menu theme, have different counters that feature two or three specialties from a particular ethnicity, including Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, Mexican, etc.
A Detour is Not Always Bad!
Your wedding day is perhaps the most special day after your birthday. Why lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make things special and personal? Years later when you re-watch your wedding film a thousandth time, there should only be ear-to-ear grins and happy tears.
When all is said and done, don’t forget to snap some goofy pictures to share with your children and grandchildren! Make provisions for loads of late-night entertainment, and remember those who may not be able to make it to the venue with a fun wedding livestream.