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two grooms with a dog- non-traditional wedding ideas can include pets

More and more couples are ditching tradition and searching for marriage ideas without a wedding. Sometimes you just don’t want the same old, same old. Think, something old, something blue. Think big white dresses. Think, throwing a bouquet. You know the drill.

While I’ll never judge somebody for wanting these things, some people just don’t dream of these things. So, if you’re one of those people, here are some non-traditional wedding ideas that may inspire you.

Marriage Ideas Without a Wedding- Non Traditional Wedding Ideas

I was going to take a few moments to define “traditional wedding” so you could be sure that it isn’t what you want. However, it’s not easily definable. For some, it means a church wedding surrounded by 500 of your closest friends and a father figure giving you away to your betrothed. For others, it means a ball room reception with a sit-down dinner, a first dance, and at least one inappropriate drunken toast from a second cousin you’ve never met.

Rather than trying to tell you what it is, I’ll assume that you’ve already done your research and ruled it out. So, let’s just dive into how to plan a non-traditional wedding.

Picking a venue

More and more couples are searching for marriage ideas without a wedding. If tradition just isn't your thing, read on for some great ideas!

You don’t need a religious venue to make a marriage official. You can get married in your front room if you really want. So, pick any venue you want, whether it’s personal, weird, or just nice. Whatever floats your boat. Here are a few ideas that I love:

  • Haunted mansion
  • Favorite restaurant
  • Underwater
  • A zoo
  • Your back garden
  • The mountains
  • A forest
  • A beach
  • Drive-in movie theater

When you ditch tradition and skip the grand wedding, a whole new world of possibilities opens up to you. Literally all you need is you, your true love, someone to witness the event, and someone to make it official.

Dress how you want

There’s really no link between how you dress and the validity of your marriage. You could turn up in your pajamas, hypothetically. Here are some dress code ideas:

  • Wear your favorite color instead of traditional wedding colors
  • Ditch the veil
  • Wear dress alternatives (jumpsuits, powers suits, bridal pants)

Of course, if you want to sneak a little tradition into your big day, go ahead and wear that dress or tux. The best part about opting for marriage ideas without a wedding is that you make the rules. Although, honestly, even if you do opt for tradition, you still make the rules. It’s your day, after all.

Create a unique ceremony

A drive-thru bridal shower is such a memorable and neat alternative to the traditional party. Read on to learn how to pull it off in style!

There are many ways to still have a ceremony, but make it totally different from the ones you’re used to attending. By the way,  if a ceremony is something that you’re just totally not about, then I have a paragraph dedicated to what to do instead of a wedding. It’s right at the bottom. Here are unique ceremony ideas:

  • Include your whole family into the vows (I love this idea if one or both of you already have kids)
  • Have both parents give away both the people in the couple
  • Carry something other than a flower bouquet. Some couples have money or pizza bouquets.
  • Play unique/personal music as you walk down the aisle
  • Don’t walk down the aisle at all.
  • Omit any roles from the ceremony that don’t feel right
  • Have a minimomy. Yes, this is a mini ceremony.
  • Have a pet-centric ceremony, if your furry friends are just that important to you.

Make changes to the reception

There are just little changes you can make, which will make everything feel like your very own day, rather than just a string of traditions put together.

  • Change champagne to your favorite beverage. Prefer beer? Hey, it’s still bubbly! Planning a sober day? No problem, switch to sparkling cider.
  • Scrap the speeches and just have a party.
  • Have a casual meal instead of following a formal, set menu.
  • Have a self-serve drink station. Or have a bring your own drink policy.
  • Skip the guestbook.
  • See each other before the wedding, if you’re not superstitious people.
  • Toss something other than a flower bouquet.
  • Instead of that grand tiered cake, opt for your favorite dessert instead.
  • Feed each other something different than cake, or not at all.
  • Have a food buffet table.
  • Mix up the first dance, opting for something more upbeat and lively.


Alternative ideas for a wedding

If the idea of running away to wed has you worried that you'll miss out on a truly epic experience, you'll love this guide on how to plan an adventurous elopement!

If you don’t want a wedding, then that’s okay. That’s not to say you can’t do something at all. Here are a few ideas for those wondering what to do instead of a wedding:

  • Elope.
  • A sporting event, if that’s something you and your partner love
  • Courthouse ceremony
  • Destination wedding
  • Go hiking

More and more couples are searching for marriage ideas without a wedding. If tradition just isn't your thing, read on for some great ideas!

I hope this gave you some inspiration, especially if traditional weddings just do not speak to you. Making your marriage memorable and personal should be the priority.

Remember, there are plenty of options and creative ideas to transform your wedding.



What are some of your favorite marriage ideas without a wedding? Share below!











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