Best Of List

12 Unique Wedding Ideas For The Nontraditionalist

Photo courtesy of Ben & Kelly Wedding Photography

Anyone getting married has a vision about what their wedding is going to be like, from the venue to how many layers the cake will have. And while these initial blueprints actually become a reality for some brides, others are seeking creative ways to celebrate marital bliss that serve as a departure from tradition. Case in point, here are 12 unique wedding ideas for anyone who’s willing to color outside of the lines. From an exotic Moroccan theme in the heart of the Utah desert to a Narnia-meets-Game of Thrones winter wonderland, rest assured no one will forget any of these celebrations.


Inspired by the bride’s interest in pirate ships and global intrigue, this wedding used nautical elements infused with the eclecticism of gypsy travelers to create the exotica of an old-world sea port. Pomegranates and figs mixed with aged wood, distressed metals, compasses, sea glass floats, nautical knots and rope. View 32 photos

Photo courtesy of Miki and Sonja Photography

The Great Gatsby theme wedding reception with 600+ guests was held at Union Station in Chicago. The grand reception stage was custom designed for this wedding reception, which included fabric drapery in luxurious fabrics such shimmer gold, navy and damask patterns. Elegance Decor also custom designed mirror panels to add pizazz to the 55 feet wide backdrop. A large focal centerpiece made with feathers, various crystal candelabras, florals and pearl accents was set on top of a large urn to tie in the theme. The cake was also designed with the Gatsby theme in mind: elegant and sophisticated with a white base and navy flowers (to match the rest of the decor) and a splash of metallic gold in the top tiers put to bring in that ’20s glow. View 20 photos

An aptly chosen color story of olive green, antique gold and fig plum was chosen for this Italian-inspired wedding, complete with musical street performers playing the accordion and piano and an artist painting a landscape of the cocktail hour in real-time. Family and close friends caught all the fresh fish (crappie and bluegill) — from the DiSomma family farm in Central Illinois — that was served in the passed appetizers. Keeping the theme flowing, guests picked their table number up from an old wagon cart filled with colorful vegetables. An iced tea station accompanied by fresh fruit satisfied the bride’s love of tea, while a bourbon station accompanied by an antipasto tray featuring some of the groom’s favorite bottles. Guests enjoyed a feast of grilled flat iron steak and pan-roasted cod with lemon scented risotto, chive mashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus, and a merlot peppercorn reduction. Along with the stunning, olive branch decorated 5-tier cake designed by Amy Beck, there was also a cannoli dessert station offering multiple shell and filling flavors. View 13 photos

This wow-worthy aviation themed wedding took place at an actual airport hangar, so when it came to decor, parked airplanes served as one of the main focal points. There was also a stunning monogrammed flower wall and an enormous cake decked out with frosting flowers that matched the same purple color story. View 4 photos





This glamorous wedding at Summerour Studio in the heart of Atlanta was inspired by the classic Broadway musical and movie, Newsies. To capture the vibe, the celebration featured street vendor inspired food (think mini hot dogs, fries and sandwiches) a newspaper ceremony backdrop, vintage styled stationery — even the wedding cake had a newsprint touch! A floral-clad vintage bicycle hung above the tabletop which was artfully dressed with colorful English china. View 150 photos

Inspired by Alexander McQueen and the Chanel 2010 fall runway show, along with the couple’s love of Narnia and Game of Thrones, unsuspecting guests were treated to this Winter-in-August wedding featuring soft whites, grays and a natural wood palette. An aisle lined with birch trees and natural wooden antler chandeliers set the tone for the earthy winter ceremony, while cocktail hour and dinner showcased metallic birch linens, snowy tablescapes of phalaenopsis orchids and white succulents with crystallized tips mixed with birch, slate, quartz, cottonpods, silver antlers, glass cloches and a mix of stainless steel, pewter and silver vessels to bring a contemporary feel to the icy-inspired décor. View 34 photos

This unique wedding took place at the historic Powell House in Philadelphia. Along with a bluegrass band, fife and drummer players dressed as though they came out of the city around the time of the Revolution were moving about the grounds. For the tented reception, long communal tables dressed with lantern-like candle holders and vibrantly colored floral arrangements imparted a vibe from the past while still exuding modern-day charm. View 25 photos

For this Italian countryside-inspired wedding, the aisle was adorned with a bold ombre treatment of rose petals in shades of bright lavender to cream. A birchwood arch — embellished with romantic chiffon fabric tiebacks and fresh blooms — was installed on the Miro Bluff lawn to frame the couple as they exchanged their vows. The use of farm tables, dining al fresco and cafe lights created the perfect ambiance for a Tuscan-inspired celebration. White wooden trays filled with fresh lavender seeds whimsically housed the escort cards. The arrangements  for the round tables were composed of mercury glass footed bowls surrounded by candles at various heights creating interest and dimension —  flowers such as peonies, garden roses, parrot tulips, ranunculus, sweet peas, antique roses, anemones, lilacs and lavender were nestled in each container. Larger arrangements accented with smaller pieces (think bud vases and mercury glass votives) dressed the long feasting tables, where a small cluster of blooms and foliage was artfully tied with silk ribbon and set on each guest’s place setting. View 47 photos

The couple wanted a fun ambiance with a nod to Halloween without feeling too literal (read: black and orange). To accomplish this, Life In Bloom opted to use white pumpkins as vases filled with a floral palette consisting of peach stock, Juliet garden roses, ivory and cream roses and scabiosa pods. Other fun elements included custom carved pumpkins — including a large pumpkin with the couple’s initials carved into it —  which greeted guests as they entered and exited the venue. View 22 photos

This bride envisioned a garden theme that was whimsical yet elegant and unlike anything she has ever seen before. The wedding ceremony aisle decor showcases metal columns covered with fitted sheer organza fabric and miniature candles. Tall hanging fresh floral centerpieces in shades of white/ivory, blush and fresh cascading greenery lead the bride and groom down the aisle, while the chuppah decor featured a criss-cross front and back design with bone mirror fabric tied with Swarovski cuffs. Guests dined at tables dressed with a large gold metal arch, water drop candle holders, gold manzanita branches and fresh floral bouquets.


Photo courtesy of Liz Lui Photography

Rock & Roll: Posted by Hello Darling

A Weezer cover band and Toast and Jam DJs were tucked into the stage nook surrounded by an amazing backdrop of 100 varying height weighted balloons in hues of gold, white, salmon, blush and pale turquoise for this rock and roll themed wedding. But the surprises didn’t stop there! Guests were invited to take Polaroid photos throughout the evening, which were hung from a birch structure adorned with white string and brown clothes pins. Along with a large, illuminated donut wall, a long farm table topped two glass footed bowls for popcorn and candy was on hand for late-night snacking.

Photo courtesy of XO Azuree

This wedding encompasses a feel of the textures and life that come from Moroccan culture, to include the colors and patterns seen through its art and architecture. The location — set inside the Slot Canyon red rock sandstone cliffs of Southern Utah — enveloped a mix of Mediterranean and desert nuances. Colorful pillows, pouf seating, decor rugs and lanterns seamlessly matched the natural environs. Traditional Moroccan cuisine was coupled with a gilded, patterned wedding cake View 70 images.