Although there are many accepted (and expected) traditions that surround weddings , who says you can’t buck convention and create your own traditions? Don’t want to wear a white dress? Wear any color you want. Want a ‘no aisle’ ceremony? Go for it.
Here are a few unconventional ceremony ideas to take you down the aisle less traveled.
1. Let your guests mingle over cocktails before the ceremony. (Ideal if you are not having a church wedding.)
2. Greet guests as they arrive at the ceremony site.
3. Face your guests during your wedding vows ..
4. Have your guests sit or stand in a circle around you during your vows.
5. Have both parents walk you down the aisle.
6. Have your husband-to-be escort you to the altar.
7. Don’t have bridesmaids.
8. Have an uneven number of attendants. (Maybe you just want a maid of honor, but he wants three groomsmen.)
9. Have a “man of honor” instead of a maid of honor. (Your brother? A good male friend?)
10. Have the groom choose a “best woman.” (His sister? A good female friend?)
11. Don’t wear a veil.
12. Have bridesmaids carry candles instead of bouquets as they walk down the aisle.
13. Write your own vows.
14. Have a ring warming. (What’s a ring warming you ask? There are different versions of this, but generally the rings are placed in a small bag and are passed around to each guest prior to the ring exchange. Each guest blesses the rings or says a prayer.)
15. Choose unconventional processional and/or recessional music. (Love U2 ? Use a favorite U2 song. Love Leonard Cohen ? Choose one of his songs. You don’t have to stick with Pachelbel’s Canon or Ode to Joy.)
Find some creative ways to infuse your ceremony with elements that are distinctly you.
Hey – it’s all about you; take back your ceremony! It is a ritual – time honored and sacred – but that does not mean your wedding ceremony has to be like every other. Of course, some couples choose to be extremely original and opt for exchanging vows on a roller coaster, while bungee jumping or even dressed as trekies. We say – good for them for such uninhibited displays of originality. But even if you prefer a more traditional and “scream-free” wedding ceremony, you can still add a touch of personality.
Not every wedding ceremony must take place in a house of worship. Outdoor locations and other types of ceremony sites can make for ceremonies that are both spiritual and memorable. Consult our list of unique ceremony site ideas for inspiration.
Welcome and refresh your guests by serving lemonade, iced tea or water. It’s a nice touch, and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Depending on the season or nature of your wedding, you can use your refreshment of choice to tie in the theme or style of the day.
Personalized Pew/Row Decorations
Who says your ceremony decorations must be floral? How about draping framed photographs of the bride and groom tied with ribbon over the ends of each row? Our complete wedding flowers and wedding decorations guide can help you create a unique and memorable decor scheme.
Customize your Wedding Programs
Summer brides – how about the shape of a fan? Or keep the shape and style traditional, and include personal letter or poem to add some interest to this often overlooked detail. Our complete wedding programs guide offers even more ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
The Grand Entrance
There are other ways to make your entrance beyond the traditional march with your father. Ride in on a horse. Or be escorted by both parents, a close uncle, brother, friend—even a pet!
Personalized Aisle Runner
You will know this is your ceremony while walking down the isle on a runner personalized with your monogram or logo.
Beyond “Here Comes the Bride”
If walking down the isle to the same song as thousands of brides before you doesn’t sound appealing, there’s no reason why your favorite tune can’t make a memorable substitute!
Mix up the Bridal Party
Who says your maid of honor must be a “maid?” If your best pal happens to be a guy, have a “man of honor.” Same goes for the best man; there’s no reason why there can’t be a “best woman.”
Not Crazy about the Unity Candle? Try the Sand Ceremony
Instead, combine sand into a beautiful bowl or vase. The sand can be of two colors, creating a visual representation of the joining of two families and something you can keep and cherish forever.
Write your own Wedding Vows, Readings, Poems
Nothing puts that special personalized stamp on a ceremony quite like vows and readings prepared by the bride and groom themselves. These spoken words expose your mind and your heart to each other and to your audience. Get started with our tips onwriting your wedding vows and list of popular wedding readings in our wedding readings and speeches guide.