10 Non-Traditional Things You Can Do With Your Wedding

Spend one second Googling “wedding planning” and you will find a slew of How-Tos and What-Not-To-Dos. Article after article, guide after guide.

Sometimes, though, it can feel overwhelming to feel like you’re following a playbook that someone else created. Sure, there are certain required elements to every wedding (for instance, a wedding officiant), however, the lines are increasingly blurred as to WHAT is required and even HOW it’s done.

As a wedding photographer in Los Angeles, I have surveyed several former brides and asked them what were some Non-traditional things they did at their own weddings.

So in case you’re questioning your own sanity, know that brides who have gone before you have actually done these things and lived to tell about it 😉

Once you’ve gone through this list, you can see how life is after their wedding and find out what quirks you can expect in married life that will keep your relationship interesting!

los angeles wedding in nature


  1. No Dollar Dance– Whether you don’t like dancing with random people or think it’s tacky to have people slip you money for a dance, several former brides ditched the dollar dance.

  2. Someone Else Walks You Down the Aisle– Several people mentioned they had other people walk them down the aisle in lieu of their Father. Whether their Dad was not around anymore of was uninvolved their life, they had someone else of importance walking them down (i.e. Brother, Uncle, Son, Mom, etc.) Alternatively, some people incorporated Step Dad along with Dad to walk them down the aisle.

  3. Unfancy Food- Fancy food isn’t for everyone. Some brides mentioned having a Chinese buffet, food trucks, pizzas delivered, or even the pancake man at their weddings. This was partly due to budget constraints and partly to spite traditional norms.

  4. Wedding Theme– Who says your wedding has to be delicate and graceful? Some brides said they had a pirate or superhero themed wedding.

  5. What Wedding Cake?– If wedding cake isn’t your thing, there are plenty of alternatives others have used. Several people had things in lieu of a wedding cake including tiramisu, truffles, macaroons, pies, or ice cream.

  6. Morning Wedding– We’ve all been to evening weddings and occasionally an afternoon wedding, but what about a morning wedding? Serve a brunch and have the rest of the day to enjoy with family and friends!

  7. Get Married Anywhere– Forget the Chapel or Reception hall. Several people mentioned getting married in non-traditional places such as the restaurant of their first date, on a family farm, lake, or even right at the courthouse. 

  8. Clever Invitations– Aside from specifying if you were coming, how many guests, and potentially what entree you preferred, some bridges included a section for people to request songs for the DJ to play at the wedding.

  9. Table Decor– Sitting at the table (especially during cocktail hour) while you observe can sometimes feel boring, so why not accessorize the tables with functional things such as board games, playing cards, or even candy centerpieces.

  10. Kid Activities– I’ve seen these emerging a lot recently at weddings that I’ve been to and that is with consideration for people with young kids who easily get bored at weddings. People have included a coloring table, glow sticks, flashlights, or even Pinatas.

If you enjoyed these non-traditional wedding tips, you’ll love reading about what 5 things other brides want you to know before you wedding day.  

Caution: Tread these waters carefully. In fact, if there are a lot of stakeholders involved in planning your wedding, I suggest you read our previous post “How to Not Piss People Off When Planning Your Wedding

What other unique or non-traditional things have you seen at weddings?!

About Author

huy nguyen los angeles wedding photographer

Hi, I’m Huy! I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Los Angeles. I love sharing wedding planning tips inspired by my experiences shooting weddings. Happy to have you here!


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