6 Non-Traditional Elements You Can Bring to Your Wedding

Non-Traditional Weddings Are Gaining Momentum

While non-traditional weddings are on the rise, there are still plenty of couples sticking to time-old traditions with their weddings.  Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle; stuck on the fence, and lacking inspiration (or the confidence to do what you want to do). This article is for you.


Tradition Itself Is Different for Everyone

Maybe for you it means a large wedding, with everyone you’ve ever known (and then some) in attendance.  Maybe it simply means you have an indoor, church ceremony surrounded by friends and family.  Whatever tradition looks like for you, just know – if you are wanting the best of both worlds – it’s possible!

Here are 6 ways to maintain tradition, while making your wedding day as special and unique as you are.


1. Get Ready Together in the Same Room

Fort Dodge Wedding at St. Olaf's with Baileigh and Luke snuggling by the window

I know, I know, pearl-clutchers would have a hay-day with this one.  But wouldn’t it be awesome to spend one of the happiest days of your life with your chosen person?  (Like, a major portion of the day, not just the ceremony and a few dances).


2. Get Creative with Your Bridesmaids

Different but cohesive bridesmaid dresses

Add a pop of complementing colors to your bridesmaid bouquets! You could also include berries, other fruit, or opt for frozen-dried florals (which are super fragrant and pretty!)  You could also swap out the bouquets for lanterns, fabric umbrellas, succulents or brooch bouquets, do wintery shawls/stoles. Your options are honestly endless.  Non-traditional level 1000: let your bridesmaids wear different dresses (colors, cuts, the whole shebang) with a little guidance so it still flows well.


3. Skip the Processional (Or Just Mix It Up!)

wedding processional dance in waverly IA

Choose a fun song to dance down the aisle with your Dad.  Or maybe have both of your parents walk you down the aisle.  Or your siblings.  Or your dog.  Maybe your nephew (or your grandma!) would rather toss a handful of flowers than carry a ring.  This is one area you can really get creative while paying tribute to the people who matter most!  And don’t forget to choose a great processional song to reflect your personalities.


4. Choose Ceremony Readings That Feel Authentic to Your Relationship

Waterloo IA Wedding Photographer Photography by Chelsea Dawn Weddings

Not at all saying steer away from Bible verses, especially if that’s what you have your heart set on. Maybe find a verse that has significant meaning for both, instead of going with the most popular ones. Maybe you’d appreciate a reading from one of your favorite books.  I’ll say it again for the people in the back – it’s okay to be different.


5. Do a Teddy-Bear Toss Instead

Teddy bear toss instead of bouquet toss

Do you have a lot of single friends? Yes? Cool! The garter and bouquet tosses might be something you want to still do!  But for the couple who might be the last in their circle to marry, or those who just don’t want to throw things at their single friends, a teddy-bear toss (or something similar) could be a cute alternative.  Disclaimer: this one will probably only take off at kid friendly weddings.  For obvious reasons, haha.


6. Choose a Venue That Makes Your Heart Sing

Hickory Hills La Porte City IA LGBT Wedding

Popular wedding venues are booked out for good reason – they are (hopefully) accommodating, inclusive, and easy to find.  But they aren’t your only option.  If you’re having a smaller, more intimate wedding, you can nearly marry just about anywhere!  Have a favorite spot that you think would lend well to your ceremony? All you have to do is ask. My favorite non-traditional Iowa wedding venues (so far): The Cedar Rapids Public Library rooftop, the Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids, Hickory Hills Park in La Porte City (pictured above, see Emily & Tiff’s wedding here), & Three Rivers Park in Waverly.


What other non-traditional elements have you seen and loved recently?  Let me know in the comments!

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