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21 Most Unique Ceremony Ideas

May 17, 2013  32 Comments

Your wedding is a huge part of your amazing, lifelong adventure as a couple. Don’t let your ceremony be anything but extraordinary! Today we’re showing you some fun, practical, and totally unique ceremony ideas for your wedding to inspire your upcoming day. With twenty-one unique ideas for your ceremony, there’s sure to be one you haven’t seen yet! We’ve rounded up unique ideas for ceremony seating, backdrops, bridesmaid bouquet alternatives, a nighttime activity for guests, and much more. So, if you’re ready to take your ceremony to a more creative level, read on to be inspired…

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas

1. Change up the seating.

No two ceremonies are the same, so why should the seating be? This ceremony featured guests arranged in a more circular shape. We like!

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - seating in a circle, photo by priceless photography

photo by priceless photography

We love these unique pallet ottomans for a beach wedding…

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - pallet ottomans

via inside weddings

… and this fun idea of eclectic seating for a backyard bash.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - eclectic seating wedding ceremony in backyard wedding, photo by aimee tietze adams

photo by aimee tietze adams

2. Carry a bouquet that will last forever.

Unlike fresh flowers, a fabric bouquet won’t wilt, fade, or die. A fabric bouquet lasts forever and since it’s handmade it can be customized to your specific color palette. And, you can even have a special heirloom brooch sewn into the brooch to remember someone special on your big day. This fabric bouquet is one of our favorites and is handmade by All for Love, L.O.V.E.. It’s a definite keeper.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - handmade fabric flower bouquet by All for Love, L.O.V.E.

by all for love, l.o.v.e.

3. Perform a ‘knot-tying’ ceremony.

A knot-tying ceremony is similar to the unity ceremony but involves a fisherman’s knot. The couple ties the knot together to form a very strong knot; the knot only gets tighter with pressure and cannot come undone which represents the couple’s strength. Perfect for a nautical wedding!

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - knot tying ceremony, photo by inspired photography

photo by inspired photography via rose a la mode

4. Offer hankies to guests.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - hankies for guests, photo by inspired photography

photo by inspired photography via rose a la mode

5. Write your own vows…

… and turn ‘em into one of these.

6. Have bridesmaids carry something other than flowers.

A clutch purse is way more functional after the wedding than a bouquet of flowers. Money well spent!

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - bridesmaids carrying clutches instead of flowers, clutches by emma gordon london

by emma gordon london

Or, have bridesmaids carry lanterns instead. (At night, they offer additional lighting!)

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - bridesmaids carrying lanterns instead of bouquets, photo by the photo love

photo by the photo love

For a book themed wedding, have bridesmaids carry their favorite book down the aisle.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - bridesmaids carry books instead of bouquets, book photo by cassia on flickr

via cassia on flickr

7. Have your bridesmaid sign the bottoms of your shoes before you walk down the aisle.

Tradition states that the name still remaining after the night is through will be the next to walk down the aisle.

8. Display your ceremony events on a chalkboard (instead of a program).

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - wedding ceremony program on a chalkboard, photo by lauryn galloway

photo by lauryn galloway

9. Have your guest book available at the ceremony.

If your ceremony takes place near your reception, have your guest book display out and ready for signatures. If guests are early, they can get a head start on signing your book. You’ll ensure more guests have a chance to see it and sign it before your reception.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - custom guest book canvas by GeeZees

by geezees

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - please sign our guest book sign by In Or Out Media

by in or out media

10. Pick out an awesome ceremony backdrop.

And don’t be afraid tie in punchy pops of color (see more here).

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - decorative wedding ceremony arch, photo by Izzy Hudgins

photo by izzy hudgins

11. Plan a grand entrance… outdoors!

This ‘entrance’ is the perfect combination of handmade monograms + vintage doors.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - unique backdrop doors wedding ceremony, photo by Lauryn Galloway

photo by lauryn galloway

12. Infuse your decor with unexpected decor — like lace.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - lace ceremony decor by The Papery Nook21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - unique ceremony lace hoops on backs of chairs by The Papery Nook

by the papery nook

13. Play a nontraditional song down the aisle.

Love The Beatles? James Taylor? That amazing song played at the end of this movie? Do it. You don’t have to play Canon in D.

13. Offer ceremony fans instead of traditional programs.

Program fans: the thank-goodness-they-thought-of-this option for guests sitting out in the hot summer sun. Programs by Kama Catch Me.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - ceremony fan by Kama Catch Me

by kama catch me

14. Skip the veil and wear an alternative instead.

This soft feathery fascinator is one excellent alternative. By All for Love, L.O.V.E.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - alternative to traditional bridal veil by All for Love, L.O.V.E.

by all for love, l.o.v.e.

15. Choose an offbeat boutonniere.

Not a flower-loving groom? Skip the traditional flower and opt for a more thematic approach. A starfish becomes a perfect thematic touch for a beach wedding…

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - beach wedding starfish boutonniere by My Windansea

by my windansea

… a key is a great addition to your vintage decor…

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - key boutonniere by Larkspur and Linen

by larkspur and linen

… or, for a whimsical touch, opt for a pinwheel boutonniere.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - pinwheel boutonniere by leah r hood, photo by melissa g photography

boutonniere by leah r hood, photo by melissa g photography

16. Plan a ceremony with a view.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - ceremony with a view, photo by eric kelley

photo by eric kelley via elizabeth anne designs

17. Wear shoes that personify your style.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - wear any shoes you love! TOMS shoes photo via corey ann photography

photo by corey ann photography

18. Remind guests to pick a seat… not a side.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - pick a seat not a side print by lacey fields

by lacey fields

19. Select a non-traditional wedding ring ‘pillow’.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - ring bearer pillow book by pommes frites

by pommesfrites

20. Have guests wave flags instead of tossing rice or seed.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - pendant flags for wedding ceremony by Beta Wife

by beta wife

21. After the ceremony, release sky lanterns.

21 Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding (via Emmaline Bride) - sky lanterns at night wedding ceremony, photo by the photo love

photo by the photo love


What are the most unique ceremony ideas you’ve ever seen?

Happy Planning!


-E.

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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (Oct. 2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (Sep. 2014).
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Comments

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Hi Jeanette! What about an outdoor garden ceremony? Or, an evening outdoor ceremony with lanterns lit by candles down the aisle, followed by cocktail hour and a sit down dinner?

  • Emily

    I like everything but the sky lanterns. They may look pretty, but they’re just litter being released into the sky. No one ever thinks of where that paper or metal ring goes afterwards.

    • Sandra

      Same goes for balloons. Sky Lanterns are also a fire hazard, one landed on a friends gazebo a few weeks back, luckily they got to it with the garden hose in time.

    • Emily

      There are actually ECO Wire-free lanterns that are 100% biodegradable. Obviously you need to be smart about where you let them go and when. Technically, the lanterns shouldn’t lower until the flame has gone out so unless you let them go in close quarters to trees or buildings, or on a windy day, it wouldn’t be a fire hazard.

      Balloons also come made of rubber tree sap (aka 100% latex) which is biodegradable.

      Back in the day they would both be terrible environmental decisions, but now we have smart options!

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Hello! Great question. You can get the white sky lanterns here (http://amzn.to/1kmN9B6) or the colorful ones here (http://amzn.to/1nx2HVA). It sounds like a beautiful touch to your wedding decor! :)

    • pryncess

      thank you!

  • deanne

    Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas.

  • deanne

    Thank you very much for your wonderful ideas.

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Hi Deanne! Benches or hay bales (covered in white sheets) are just a few ideas to consider! I think either of these would look lovely for a beach wedding in Moyie, B.C.

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Renita, I love that idea! Congratulations and have a wonderful wedding!

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Connie, I love this idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Brailee, Sounds like your wedding will have plenty of personal touches! Which song from Glee? How fun!

  • http://www.discountfoldingchairsandtables.com/ Star Lyn

    SUCH GREAT and UNIQUE ideas!!! O my goodness! I am inspired!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Great, Star! Glad you like the post!

  • http://www.kamacatchme.com Kama Catch Me

    Thanks so much for sharing our “Kama catch me” stationery design of the Ceremony Fans :)
    X

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      You’re welcome!

  • http://www.dressforthewedding.com Sukey

    Great collection of ideas! I wish I had done the knot tying idea at my own nautical-themed wedding!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Sukey,
      Yes! The knot-tying was one of my favorites from this list. The knot could then be framed in a shadow box and displayed in the couple’s home afterward as a keepsake.

  • http://www.amsindiana.com/indianapolis-wedding-dj.html Indy

    I love these ideas! Especially liked the picture with the saying “pick a seat not a side”.

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Indy,
      The concept of ‘pick a seat not a side’ is a more modern twist and we love the idea. Why separate when you’re all becoming one big family? Thanks for stopping by – I’m so glad you liked the ideas.

  • http://princessonamission.wordpress.com Kari

    I love this post! I am getting married in about a month with a unique backyard ceremony. We are using several of these actually for our ceremony. We are dancing down the aisle to “Lovelier than you” by B.O.B. and then washing each others’ feet during the ceremony. Our seating is all eclectic choices, with a couch, hay bails, a bench, chairs, and blankets on the ground for people to gather around us intimately where-ever they choose. My bouquet will be fake so it will last forever, and I made the boutonnieres out of burlap, twine, buttons, and dried baby’s breath. I love my unique look as the bride; I will be wearing a crown of flowers! :D And our guests will be able to sign our “guest book” (which is a guitar) as they come in. I am very excited. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Kari,

      Your wedding sounds like it will be absolutely beautiful! I especially love the guitar ‘guest book’. And, seating where-ever guests choose is also a great idea. So excited for you! :) I hope it’s a perfect day from start to finish. Thanks for stopping by!

      -E.

  • http://www.occasionsinprint.com Occasions In Print

    These are just wonderful! Thanks for sharing! Love the idea of a boutonniere being something other than a flower. I will be passing this link on!

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Thanks for your comment. We also love the idea of a boutonniere that lasts rather than one that wilts and is thrown away. Thanks for stopping by and for passing on the link. :)

      -E.

  • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

    Stephanie,

    You’re welcome! I’m happy you liked them. September weddings are gorgeous! Fall weddings are so pretty, and in September you have the added benefit of slightly warmer weather than October or November. I, too, like the sky lanterns. We did this at my sister’s wedding off the water and it was incredible. It was a fun activity for guests and the photos were amazing!

    All my best,

    Emma

  • http://moneysavingmayhem.com Stephanie

    Thank you, Emma for these fantastic ideas! I’ll be getting married in September and will keep this in mind. My favorite is the sky lanterns, I never would have thought of that! :)

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Stephanie, you’re most welcome! Sky lanterns are one of my favorite wedding ideas. We did them at my sister’s wedding and it was so much fun for guests!

  • http://leahrhood.etsy.com Leah R. Hood

    Love all the ideas here! Thanks for including my pinwheel boutonniere.

    • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Leah,

      You’re welcome! It’s such a fun take on the traditional bout. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      -E.

  • http://EmmalineBride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

    Hi Gina!

    You’re most welcome! I’m sure you handcrafted many of the wedding items yourself, too! :) Thanks for stopping by.

    Emma

  • http://allforloveLOVE.etsy.com Gina

    Had a unique ceremony myself, I love this. Thank you for including me! :)

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      You’re welcome, Gina!



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