The Non-Traditional Bride’s Wedding Guide

wedding guide

If you’re getting married soon, you’ve probably already started to think about what you want your wedding to look like. From creating a guest list to putting together color palettes, floral arrangements, and deciding on food and music, there is so much to think about when you’re planning a wedding. But, that doesn’t mean you have to go the traditional route.  With an appropriate wedding guide, you have many options.

The average wedding today costs about $30,000 in the U.S. That’s a price tag some people simply can’t afford, while others just don’t want to spend that kind of money on a one-day thing. Most of that money will go to traditional photographers, videographers, caterers, and wedding DJs. But, you also have to factor in costs for things like invitations, favors, etc.

It’s important to remember that this is your wedding, and it should be a reflection of you and your future spouse’s personalities. If you want something more non-traditional for your wedding, you could end up saving money and celebrating your marriage the way you really want. With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can put together a non-traditional wedding from start to finish.

Rings and Registries

The origin story behind wedding rings is one that will speak to the heart of any romantic. While different cultures have different stories, the most popular comes from the Romans. They believed the wedding band should be placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because there is a vein in that finger that is believed to connect to the heart. It’s commonly known as the “vein of love.” While wedding rings are a great way to symbolize your marriage, you don’t have to stick with traditional rings or diamonds. It starts with the engagement ring. If you and your partner have talked about getting married, it’s important to discuss what you’re looking for in an engagement ring. From cuts, carats, and colors, it should be something you’re happy to wear for the rest of your life.

You might also want to look at options for a more environmentally-conscious engagement/wedding ring. When diamond mining isn’t done correctly, it can lead to soil erosion. This can lead to dust particles getting into the air and water nearby, which can be harmful to plants and animals, and can release toxic chemicals into the air. That’s why some brides are turning toward more ethical solutions for their wedding rings, such as moissanite or other types of gems that don’t harm the environment or ecosystems of the land around them.

Once you have your rings picked out, another pre-wedding activity to put into place is your registry. Putting together a registry is a great way to start your marriage off with some of the essentials for your home. It’s important to build a registry that benefits both you and your future spouse. But, you can also go the non-traditional route here, too. Instead of asking for gifts, you could ask for funds to help you go on your honeymoon with sites like Honeyfund. Or, if you and your partner already have everything you need, you could ask your guests to donate to a charity you’re passionate about.

Non-Traditional Ceremony and Reception Ideas

From the dress to the music, you might know you don’t want to follow the traditional route, but you’re lacking inspiration when it comes to what you actually want to do. It can be hard to break away from some of the “wedding stereotypes” if you don’t have specific ideas in mind to replace them with something unique. If you’re trying to put together a unique wedding on a budget, consider some of the following ideas:

  • Have a small family wedding, instead of a big party with hundreds of guests.
  • Do you have a favorite takeout or pizza place? Call them to cater your event!
  • Make your own bouquet from wildflowers, ferns, or even brooches and paper.
  • Have the ceremony outside in a park or even a backyard.

While you want your wedding to be perfect, some of the most memorable moments of your event will be at the reception. You can choose many non-traditional options for your reception, too, that your guests will be talking about for a long time. Show off your personality at your reception by trying some of these unique tips:

  • Make up a “signature cocktail” for your wedding and have it served to your guests.
  • Forego the cake for you and your new spouse’s favorite dessert. Key lime pie, anyone?
  • Toss candy instead of a bouquet to your guests.
  • Get personal with customizable items that celebrate your special day, like personalized coasters. napkins, or even table arrangements.
  • Set up a sound system and plug in your favorite playlist instead of hiring a DJ to play the old standards.

wedding dj


Putting Together Your Dream Wedding

Your idea of a perfect wedding doesn’t have to fit a standard mold or template. Think about what you and your partner really love, and plan your wedding based off that idea. For some people, that might be Harry Potter or another popular fandom. For others, it could be a world of whimsy and fairytale-esque. Some couples might prefer a country-style wedding, while others want to go a steampunk route.

Whether you’re trying to save money or you just want your big day to reflect who you are, it’s okay to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding.

By working with vendors who share your vision and DIY-ing as much as you can, you can build your perfect wedding from scratch, and you’ll be able to look back on it years later and remember every detail. Keep some of these tips and suggestions in mind as you move forward in your wedding-planning process and they can help to take away some of the pressure you might feel to go a more traditional route. Congratulations, and enjoy your special day!

This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader.  And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.