Unique and Strange Wedding Ideas

My boyfriend and I are contemplating the initial plans for a wedding sometime late 2009. (Probably December considering that I will be working this around semesters.) I’m not the type to want to do everything traditionally, so I figured I’d question the unique masses! What unique or just-plain-strange concepts have you placed into or have you seen at a wedding?

Goth Wedding, in all black & red, set in a cemetery?

Well, there is always this thread.

There’s the be sensible, entertain in the style in which you enjoy being entertained, steer clear of the “bridal industry” approach.

Ooh, and cupcakes on a stand instead of a big ol’ cake.

How about a morning wedding? (I’m always pushing this idea, and nobody ever takes me up on it.) Vows, brunch, a little champagne but nothing too liability-inducing, and an early afternoon flight to the destination of your choice.

It wasn’t particularly strange, but my husband and I greeted all the guests at the door when they walked in (and it was a traditional church wedding). They were rather puzzled, but we figured we were the hosts of the shebang, we should welcome people. We also walked down the aisle together; I have no immediate family, so there was no one to escort me.

We took our photos before the wedding so as not to hold up the reception. I hate it when people make their guests wait for hours while they swan around elsewhere. Rude, rude, rude.

You might like the Offbeat Bride .

I’m not a fan of theme weddings unless that is who you are.

The best advice I can give is take a long, hard look at who you are as a couple and what you like. If you stick with that, everyone will have a grand time and happy memories. If you try to force yourself into some kind of mold …either traditional or unique… you’ll not enjoy the day and neither will your guests.

Or have a big ol’ cake made up of lots of little cakes; a croquembouche (link goes to google images for croquembouche). :slight_smile:

Had one of these for my wedding – assortment of sweet fillings and all glued together with toffee. Looked cool, tasted great, and was much cheaper than a more standard wedding cake.

My buddy had cheesecakes instead of a normal wedding cake. This let people choose flavors, and they themselves liked cheesecake, and cheesecake had become sort of an inside family code for sex, which they were forestalling for this ceremony…

Although this wouldn’t exactly work for you, what with the December target date, my wife and I’s wedding was different than most. We rented a B&B for the 2nd weekend in July and invited our wedding party to stay from Friday night through Sunday morning. The ceremony was on Saturday before noon, outside, with the rest of the day spent as a family picnic-type-event. It was a bit warm, but a nice day overall, and the bocce-ball set ended up being rather popular for the unplanned purchase it was. We also designed and made our own invitations, in addition to making six different themed CDs of the music we played throughout the day (we didn’t have a DJ or band), with enough copies so that everyone got to take one home as a gift.

Since we’re both atheists, we didn’t want any part of a religious ceremony (not only would it have been hollow to us, we felt it would be slightly offensive to those of faith). A local Justice of the Peace agreed to come out and performed the ceremony, but we weren’t familiar with anything outside of a “standard” church wedding. My wife did some reading and came across a description of The Rose Ceremony (that’s the first link Google returned), in which the bride and groom exchange a rose after their vows and keep them as a symbol/reminder of their wedding.

We did something similar, but also handed a rose to each person in attendance before the ceremony. After exchanging our vows (and roses), we walked through the crowd, meeting each person and gathering their roses into a bouquet. Once we visited everyone, I briefly speechified about the bouquet as a symbol of being surrounded by friends and family and how much it meant to us. We’ve kept our two roses separate from the others, adding one each year. The (dried) bouquet from family and friends is in a vase on the other end of the shelf; hopefully, we’ll eventually equal and then surpass the number of roses in that vase, but it’ll take another four decades or so. :slight_smile:

All told, I think it cost between $5K-8K, which was really important since we had just graduated from college and were about to embark on a not-very-lucrative period of time in graduate school. As one of my cousins and family was leaving, her son (around 16 at the time) thanked us. He somewhat inadvertently blurted out, “I wish all weddings were like this – this one was actually fun!” Which is everything we had hoped for…certainly much better than the tacky crap that the “wedding industry” presented to us.

I’ve always imagined I’d do the following;

Find a sleepy little town nearby. The kind of place with historic homes and leafy streets. It should have one decent restaurnt, a couple of B&B’s/ hotel/motel and at least one attraction in town (beach, museum, shopping, old churches, waterpark, anything really). I think I’d only want about 20 - 30 persons at the most. As it’s nearby, it won’t be a hardship to your guests, and often, the nearest attractions are the ones we never visit.

Scoop up a couple of bunches of nice flowers on the way into town, (before hand you should scout out the prettiest spot in town), hold the ceremony right there, your guests in a circle around you, done in 20 minutes. Half a dozen casual pictures of the group and it’s off to the nicest restaurant in town for a great meal. I’d love the cupcakes instead of cake, maybe from a local baker/bakery. Wander through the leafy town back to the hotel. Bring some of the latest movies on DVD, for the guests once back at the hotel/B&B, and have some late night snacks arranged, in a small town the offerings could be very limited. A little bit of prep for this will really pay off.

Next day have transport arranged to the local attraction for those up to it, in the afternoon. Snap another half dozen amateur photos. When they get back, have a BBQ planned for them at some nearby public space, half dozen more photos. Eat, drink and be merry. Hugs, kisses and well wishes. And it’s only a short drive home. You’re done and a good time was had by all!

Not much planning required, really only a BBQ to plan, scout out some locations, etc. Not very expensive. Everyone will have fun and remember a great couple of days. You’ll have a great, and nearby, location to return to for anniversaries over the years, if you like. I think people would remember it fondly.

Not truly a destination wedding or themed event, very much casual and a lot of just ‘going with the flow’.

This is great advice. Being offbeat for the sake of being offbeat is just as silly as being traditional for the sake of being traditional.

The main things I would suggest:

  1. Find an officiant you really like who will work with you to create a ceremony that’s meaningful to you and your groom.
  2. If you’re having a reception, you have to feed people. A cookout in your backyard is awesome; a tea is fabulous; lunch at a restaurant (if it’s a small wedding) is grand. But make sure there’s enough food for folks.
  3. Make your guests feel welcome and appreciated. Meaning not a a gap of 3 hours between wedding and reception, among other things.

As long as you keep those three things in mind, you won’t go too far wrong.

Our wedding is in August and we have a few things that are a little non-traditional. First we are putting up a bouncy house for the kids. We are expecting 30+ kids and this is something that they can do and have fun while the adults dance and party. We are also serving a kids buffett of mac and cheese with hotdogs. We aren’t having a limo for the wedding party, instead we are using that money on a shuttle at the end of the night to run guests from the reception hall back to the hotel. Our cake is cow print. I have a guy standing on my side and my sweetie has his sister standing on his side. We have a slide show that is going to play in the church before the wedding ceremony. So all in all not to far off the norm but some different things that stand out.

My daughter was going to have her wedding integrated into a murder mystery weekend at a small B&B - but her boyfriend’s father just died. They’re still getting married, but that idea went right out.

My wife’s cousin had her ceremony privately, but then invited lots of people to a pig roast/picnic. No suits there.

Getting married in September – the main non-traditional thing we’re doing is getting married in an Aquarium, but the wedding is NOT “Aquarium/Aquatic themed.” Themed weddings are… not for me.

I belong to kvetch.indiebride.com and find them a good source of ideas about alternative approaches to weddings, not kooky for kooky’s sake but more like a dissenting voice on the “you have to…[wear white/be given away/register/spend $30,000/etc]” comments* you’ll start to hear from family, vendors, and of course, strangers on the internets. :slight_smile:

*(colllectively known non-affectionately as the WIC or Wedding-Industrial Complex).

Do what you want to do. That’s the best advice.

j00licious and I had a VERY small ceremony (fifteen people counting us and the minister) that blended a lot of aspects of Jewish, Buddhist, and Christian traditions (for her, me, and our shared families respectively), then we had a casual 120-person BBQ at a nearby park. Total cost, even with catered BBQ, was well under $2k, and people STILL talk about it enough that we’re thinking of just having another park party some weekend this year.

That’s pretty much what we did. I wanted a) a Christmas-time wedding (12/9), b) a really really small wedding (18 people including the minister and violinist) but I didn’t want to alienate the rest of the family, and c) a sorta- destination wedding, but again, I didn’t want to invite a bunch of people who’d feel obligated to come and would have to travel too far. So we did a the small wedding and then had a bbq/picnic the following August.

Part of the problem is that I’m from Upstate NY, my husband’s from Wisconsin, we live in Minnesota, and my parents now live in Pennsylvania. So there was no location that wouldn’t involve some people traveling. So we went with the one that involved *everyone *traveling. :smack: Well, at least it was fair. And only involved 18 of us.

So we had our really little wedding in December at a wonderful little historic inn in Massachusetts and it was beautiful and romantic. And short… the ceremony was over in probably 20 minutes. We had the ceremony and reception at the inn so we didn’t have to travel from a church to the reception. We had a violinist (friend of my husband), and a friend of mine took pictures.

Then, when we had the picnic the following summer, we invited all of the extended family and friends and so on. That was really casual, and everyone came in shorts since it was the hottest day all summer. And everyone said how much fun it was.

Although, given that I always tell the bride & groom that we had fun (even after the wedding where there was a 3 hour gap between the ceremony and reception), they may have been saying that just to be nice.

The good thing about a December wedding - at least if you like Christmas colors - is that most venues will be decorated so you can save a BUNDLE on flowers. We just picked up probably a dozen potted poinsettias (at Lowe’s for $3 each!) to put in front of where we were going to stand and then told people (those who hadn’t flown in) to take them home. We did buy corsages for the mothers, and I had a bouquet of roses, but that was it.

Oh and if you put a mirror on the table with candles on it and then sprinkle kosher salt around it, it looks like snow, which is really pretty at an evening reception in the winter. (And also cheap to make as a centerpiece!)