Add a pinch of modern, and a dash of chic to your wedding ceremony with these fun ideas.
Planting a tree as part of your unity ceremony symbolizes growth and is a great way to give back to the environment.
Nix the tossed rice and have your guests wave ribbon wands in different colors or sparklers as they walk down the aisle. Embroider your table names or wedding date on napkins that double as a wedding favor for each guest.
1. Handfasting Ceremony
A handfasting ceremony is a unique wedding idea that is great for couples that want to have a non-traditional ceremony. Derived from pagan traditions, the handfasting ceremony is a symbolic gesture of binding two hearts and two lives together. You can use string, ribbon, or even jewelry for the binding, and it’s a beautiful way to show your love and commitment to one another.
Another fun way to incorporate the handfasting ceremony is by inviting family members to join in on the ritual. This gives your loved ones an opportunity to show their support, and you can even have them tie the cords with specific colors that represent certain meanings, such as green for fertility and luck, yellow for joy and charm, red for passion and love, brown for stability and home, and silver for inspiration and creativity.
You can also use the handfasting ceremony to exchange vows in a more intimate way. For example, instead of a unity candle or sand pour, you can have your officiant guide the couple by having them warm their rings in their hands and think of good wishes for each other.
This can be done in place of a reading, and it is a great way to get your guests involved and create a memorable moment for you and your partner. You can even have your guests leave their ring with the officiant after the handfasting, and you can display it as a reminder of your special day.
2. Sand Ceremony
The sand ceremony is one of the most creative and beautiful wedding ideas. This is a simple ritual that involves the couple pouring different colours of sand into a single container to symbolise two lives becoming one. This can be done at any point in the ceremony, before, during or after the ring exchange and vows. You can also choose to add pebbles, shells, flowers or plants into the sand as well as personalise the vessel that you use by adding a message, photograph or design on it.
Unlike the unity candle, the sand ceremony is not limited to just the couple and can include the parents too. Each set of parents will have their own vase with their sand colour and then they will each pour it into the central vase creating a gorgeous layered effect.
You can find a wide variety of vases, sands and other materials for the ceremony at most craft stores, toy stores or art-supply shops. The great thing about this idea is that it can be completely customised to suit the individuality of every couple and their beliefs.
The beauty of the sand ceremony is that it leaves room for a lot of creativity for the officiant who will be conducting the ceremony. Depending on what the couple have in mind for their wedding they can choose readings, vows, poems or music to help bring their vision to life during their special day.
3. Unity Candle Ceremony
One of the most popular unity ceremonies is lighting a candle together. This is often done just before the exchange of rings, as a way to symbolize your commitment to each other + your joining of two distinct families into one. However, you can take this classic idea and put a unique twist on it!
For example, rather than using long taper candles you could use small tea lights. This will make it more affordable and work well with your theme. You can also add a personal touch by having music playing during this part of the ceremony. This could be a song that is special to you both or a favourite piece of music that is a reminder of your first date.
Another great option is to plant a tree as a symbol of your new start. This can be especially meaningful if your wedding is outdoors. You can even get creative and include the planting of your flowers, adding soil from both your hometowns, or other meaningful elements that are important to you as a couple.
Lastly, you can create a unity puzzle to represent your merging family. This is a great way to include children from previous marriages and makes for a fun, interactive part of the ceremony. You can have the puzzle made in advance + then assemble it during your ceremony. Alternatively, you can have your guests create their own personalized puzzle to celebrate the day with you.
4. Flower Girls
Flower girls are typically the youngest members of your wedding party and they proceed down the aisle after the maid of honor and last bridesmaid, adorning the pathway with flower petals (or other fun things!) as she goes. Many couples choose to pair their flower girl with the ring bearer so they walk together, which can help them feel less nervous about their big role. It is also a great idea to let your flower girl meet and get to know the rest of your bridesmaids before your ceremony so she feels like she is part of something bigger than just her family.
If your flower girl isn’t comfortable scattering petals you can always have her carry a small posy, basket, pinwheel or even blow bubbles instead. You can even have her float down the aisle with her favorite doll or teddy bear dressed in a special coordinating wedding outfit; little girls tend to be braver with their best friends by their side!
It is also a nice gesture to get your flower girl or boys a thank you gift, especially if you are getting the other members of your wedding party something too. It doesn’t have to be expensive, a small keepsake or a new toy is all that they will need! You can also have them greet guests as they arrive, man the guest book or even hand out programs if they are old enough!
5. Performing a Song Together
Whether your song is the song you first danced to at your bachelorette party or the one that plays in the background of all your relationship photos, performing it together during your ceremony gives guests something to cheer about and makes for a sweet keepsake. For a fun twist, have each of your friends and family members contribute a line to form the song’s chorus.
Planting a tree, flower, or seedling as part of your wedding ceremony is a great way to celebrate nature and the promise of growth. Derived from Celtic roots, this non-traditional tradition is a beautiful way to symbolize your new marriage. You can even tie your hands together (also known as handfasting) during the planting to convey your enduring union. Tie your hands with ribbon, a piece of fabric from a special memory, or a woven scarf for added symbolism.
Instead of throwing rice, have guests wave sparklers and cheerleader-style pom poms as you walk out of the ceremony. Another fun idea is to place tambourines, party blowers, and kazoos on seats so your friends can make a joyful noise while you exit the ceremony!
For some couples, walking down the aisle is a highlight of their ceremony. But for others, it can be a dread-inducing moment they’d rather skip. If you want to buck tradition and walk down the aisle as a couple, consider doing so to the tune of a live string quartet or other musical accompaniment.
6. Mixing Modern and Classic
If you love the idea of a unique wedding ceremony but still want to incorporate some traditional elements, there are many creative ways you can mix it up. One popular trend is incorporating a vibrant color palette in your decor, with couples choosing eye-catching shades that reflect their personalities and complement the aesthetic of the day.
Similarly, a growing number of couples are choosing to ditch the traditional song choice and choose more modern wedding songs for their ceremony. This could be anything from a current Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift hit to a funky gospel choir performance that’s sure to wow your guests!
Another way to combine modern and classic is to choose a non-traditional location for your big day. Museums are a fantastic option, with stunning backdrops including dinosaur fossils and priceless works of art. Nightclubs make for a cool wedding venue, too, and if you choose to host your reception at one that doesn’t have noise restrictions, you can party well past the typical wedding venue curfew!
If you’re looking for a way to give your wedding a meaningful nod to your family history, try adding a personalized wooden unity puzzle to your ceremony. This is a great option for couples with blended families and will serve as a beautiful reminder of the ties that bind you together. You can also plant a tree after your ceremony as an eco-friendly symbol of growth and commitment.