Couple having an alternative wedding ceremony outside under great trees

Alternative Wedding Ideas: 6 Ways to make your day unique

The increasing popularity of the ‘alternative wedding’ in the UK has been growing year on year with more and more couples opting to do it their way. We thought at Ivy Leaf it was about time we look into providing you with some alternative wedding ideas.

What is an Alternative Wedding?

First off though, what do we mean by ‘alternative wedding’? Well, basically anything that throws the traditional wedding rule book out the window. It doesn’t have to be crazy or a story people will tell for years about how fun it was. It just means you don’t want to do what everyone else traditionally does on their wedding day. You can choose what makes you happiest and best suits you as a couple.

Alternative Wedding Ideas | Our Top 6

With that in mind, here are some of our alternative wedding ideas to combat the traditional.

1) The Venue

This is a biggy and can really help to make your day unique. No rules are saying you MUST get married in a church and go to a hotel for your reception. Make your wedding venues all about you.  Want a wedding ceremony in the woods? – Why not? Fancy hosting a marquee wedding at home with a BBQ? – do it. Want a friend to marry you on a fishing boat at sea – then rock on? Love industrial looking buildings like Faye and Adam or how about a photo studio like Chloe and Nicolas that you can customise? – choose it

There are some legal restrictions about how and where you can get married. That said if the venue you love isn’t licensed there is nothing to stop you doing the legal side of things a few days ahead of the wedding party, then absolutely doing what YOU want and where YOU want.

2) Create A Unique Theme

Alternative Weddings frequently have some sort of theme. Love festivals like Emma and Tom then have a festival themed wedding. Like the programme, Downton Abbey then go vintage or ask for Black Tie & Glamour from your guests. It really opens up a world of possibilities if you want something a little different.

3) Invite who you want to invite

Want to escape the crazy big wedding with your parents insisting on inviting relatives you haven’t seen since childhood? Elope – Make it romantic and just the two of you. If that doesn’t appeal or isn’t possible only invite those people that you REALLY want to be there.

4) Do something different with your clothing & shoes

Bridal shops are what everyone thinks of when you say outfits for the couple, but for someone planning an alternative wedding, it might not be right. Not everyone likes the idea of the big white wedding gown or top hat & tails from a bridal boutique, nor can everyone justify the cost.  So if you’re looking for alternative wedding ideas for clothes… Why not consider pre-worn vintage wedding dresses or renting a one-off couture piece? Perhaps ditch the bridal shops altogether and head to the high street for a white dress or suit that you love. Of course, ladies, if you want to wear a leather jacket and bright neon skirt or gents you want to rock up in Bermuda shorts, nothing is saying you can’t.

It doesn’t stop at Outfits. Shoes can be an enjoyable way to personalise your day or do something a little alternative like Emma who opted for gold light up shoes for the dance floor at her Glitter and Gold themed wedding at Bellinter House in Ireland.

5) The Traditional Wedding Breakfast isn’t the only option

No really – we mean it. You don’t have to have the chaos of sorting seating plans or traditional multi-course wedding breakfast. Have a picnic or BBQ in the summer on blankets. Opt for a “help yourself” hog roast with one long table where guests decide where they want to sit. Perhaps a Mediterranean feast of cooked meats, olives and Hummus appeals more? Get some catering vans and let your guests choose what they want from a selection. Food is a superb opportunity to explore alternative wedding ideas to the traditional wedding breakfast.

6) Travel in Style

If you’re looking for some alternative wedding ideas – transport can be fun. Opt for the horse & cart and feel like royalty. Hire your favourite classic car for the day or hop on a Red London Bus and travel to your venues in style. Emma didn’t hesitate and took the opportunity to arrive to her wedding on her beloved horse.

Your Wedding Day – Your Rules.

Ultimately if you don’t like something or don’t know why other couples do it on their wedding day, then don’t do it! It is YOUR wedding day and YOUR rules. Find the cutting of the cake boring? Ditch it. Don’t want the pressure of a first dance – don’t have one. Want to spend more time of your day chatting and laughing with your guests – make it happen.

We hope this post gives you a little encouragement to think outside the box, do something a little different or be brave and do something really alternative. For those of you that want some inspiration check out these weddings below, or feel free to tell us what alternative wedding ideas or hints and tips you have.

Tarik + Hax

More Wedding Day Hints, Tips & Advice

As a wedding photographer and wedding videographer, we get asked for our opinions and advice all the time.  If you are looking for more wedding day planning advice from tips on doing your own makeup to whether to choose a band or a DJ for your wedding reception check out our ADVICE HUB.  Lastly, feel free to get in contact with any specific questions.

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