The Buzz: Your Most Nontraditional Wedding Choice

The Buzz is a Weddingbee series created by the hive, for the hive! Each week, we’ll head to the boards and ask a series of three questions””one geared toward pre-engaged, one toward engaged, and one for newlyweds. We’ll look to you to quickly provide your expert advice, and compile a selection of great answers into blog posts. Learn more here, and contribute your ideas for future “Buzz” questions you’d like to see answered!

We asked and you answered! This time we wanted to know:
What was your most nontraditional wedding choice? How did your family/friends/guests react to it?

evallance (wedding date: August 31, 2013)

We chose to have a native chief do our ceremony and to include a blessing to the four directions. People seemed to really like her and commented on how “us” that was. Neither of us is actually native.


Bee Icon Mrs. Dragon (wedding date: September 22, 2012)

Rather than focus on inviting a ton of family members, we opted to invite the nearest and dearest and fill the rest up with friends, instead. We only had a 50-person guest list, and if we had invited all the aunts and uncles and cousins, we would have gone over that limit. So we had our immediate family members, grandparents, a few cousins, and a few aunts—we probably hurt some feelings, but it wouldn’t have been our wedding otherwise!

mylittleviolett (wedding date: May 19, 2013)

To our family, everything about our wedding was nontraditional. I’m from a big Italian family and our wedding was not the typical Italian wedding. Our ceremony was outside in an apple orchard and all of our guests loved it.

rosie.jonesy.9 (wedding date: June 28, 2014)
I have a man of honor instead of a maid of honor. We have been best friends since middle school and I couldn’t imagine having else standing up there with me on my big day.
NowDontLetsBeSilly (wedding date: August 17, 2013)
For the wedding world, our wedding wasn’t nontraditional at all, but my friends and family hadn’t seen a lot of the little things we did. Things like place names for table names, having my brother stand on my side as a bridesdude, a ring warming before the ceremony, a cookie table, ribbon wands, glow sticks, family-style dinner, brooches in my bouquet…probably more. I felt like such a genius because everyone was complimenting every aspect, especially the more “offbeat” things, when in reality I probably saw many of them online first! But nonetheless, the nontraditional things were minor enough that they were very well received.

LadyBear (wedding date: September 2, 2012)

We didn’t do anything crazy, but afterward a lot of people told my parents and in laws that it was the most personalized wedding they’d been to (which is a compliment, I think)—we did popcorn-style vows, we had opposite-gender friends in our parties, our ‘maids carried books, I walked the aisle barefoot…most of it was just unique, not nontraditional.

mu_t (wedding date: February 12, 2014)

Our wedding isn’t too unique—the most nontraditional thing is we’re doing a destination wedding. My whooooooooole life I wanted to get married in a church (both of my grandfathers are ministers) so doing it this way is VERY not me. I also HATE sand, haha. So everyone is a little taken aback by it. We have 85 people coming, though, so it doesn’t seem like our friends & family are too anti!

Jacofblues (wedding date: November 17, 2012)

Our wedding was pretty traditional! The most nontraditional thing we did is despite having a Catholic ceremony (my husband is Catholic; I am not religious) I really tailored the ceremony. I changed traditional words, didn’t have parts of the ceremony I wasn’t really comfortable with, and chose readings/reflections that reflected us. For instance, instead of the traditional blessing we had an Irish blessing. :) “May the road rise up to meet you…” I just always loved it.

SaugaBride (wedding date: August 1, 2015)

Our whole wedding since it won’t be a traditional Italian wedding…and my engagement ring, which is a gemstone instead of a diamond.

bibbleskip (wedding date: May 17, 2014)

My blue shoes, black bridesmaids’ dresses, not being in a church…all of these seem to be causing some drama somewhere in my family, but it’s our wedding so I’m OK with it. :)

MissAnnabelLee (wedding date: June 14, 2014)

We’re not planning on having any flowers at the reception. We’re having a ’20s themed wedding, so our centerpieces will alternate between having low candelabras and tall ostrich feather arrangements.

sweetchiquita12 (wedding date: April 27, 2013)

We had two wedding ceremonies. One a religious one in my husband’s mosque where I wore a traditional sari and another one a destination wedding in Cuba with 67 family members and friends!!! Everyone loved both of the weddings, and it was very different from what people are used to.
malibukayla (wedding date: June 28, 2013)

We skipped out on the bouquet and garter toss; some people didn’t like that idea too much. We also didn’t have a receiving line, and did a sweetheart table (in our circle, most don’t like this). We skipped out on speeches during the rehearsal dinner (no one missed them). Also for my DH’s family, they are from Trinidad, so they usually have certain traditions, like a black cake favour. We didn’t have it…I heard people complain about this. We also didn’t have any island food—we had Italian, because I like Italian, and some of his family actually told us they didn’t really appreciate we didn’t have island food, the day after the wedding.

*eye roll*

I loved MY wedding…


We walked down the aisle together (loved doing that!), we served dinner family style, and our table was just a regular round table with our bridal party and their SOs, no head or sweetheart table (I loved that too!). Our centerpieces weren’t floral, and we skipped the bouquet/garter toss. I’d do it the same all over again!

Member Icon sherryberry (wedding date: August 17, 2013)

We skipped on the garter toss and the parent/child dances, and we had an ice cream cake for the main wedding cake. Our guests loved that, and now every year for our anniversary we are buying ice cream cake. :D

Mrs. Hermit Crab (wedding date: June 2010)

The most nontraditional thing we did was to not have a wedding cake (or wedding pie or wedding cupcake tower), and no “cake cutting.” We had plated desserts and passed desserts on the dance floor but no official wedding cake—and I don’t regret that decision for a minute!

Pixienickie (wedding date: September 21, 2014)

  • Sunday afternoon wedding
  • Welcome picnic for everyone instead of rehearsal dinner
  • Letting bridesmaids pick their own dresses
  • Bridal party walking into the reception with their dates
  • Ribbon wand send off
  • No real flowers
  • Group photo of the entire guest list
  • Unplugged ceremony

NurseMandie (wedding date: September 27, 2014)

A friend of mine who is an ordained minister because he got his master’s degree in religion (but teaches elementary art) is going to marry us. My immediate family doesn’t care, but my grandmother about had a stroke. To her it’s not a “real” wedding/marriage because we aren’t having a “real” minister at a church. ((shrugs shoulders))

housebee (wedding date: April 26, 2013)

I didn’t see what my bridesmaids were wearing until the day of the wedding, we did a bouquet toss that included everyone (guys, girls, single, married, etc.) and gave away a prize, my groom helped pick my dress, my best friend walked me down the aisle, welcome dinner for everyone (no rehearsal), no first dance (did the shoe game instead), no head/sweetheart table (we sat with our bridal party and their dates at a round), sweet n salty snack buffet (DIY using my recipes), Friday night wedding, and boutonniere alternatives.

I’m sure there’s more I’m leaving out (we’re not very traditional, LOL), but our guests sort of expected us to do things our own way. Everyone loved the nontraditional aspects and I got so many compliments about how wonderful our wedding was. In fact, everyone had so much fun that our videographer actually stayed for seven or eight hours after he was supposed to leave (we only paid him for three).

Bee Icon Mrs. Hyena (wedding date: May 2011)

We had faux flowers, and no parent-child dances. My dad’s not interested in dancing, so it wasn’t worth trying to push it, and Mr. H still got to dance with his mom later in the reception. No one has said anything about the flowers—at least not to my face!—though putting them together was quite the ordeal.

Ms. Sloth (wedding date: May 14, 2011)

I had a hard time answering this question because it feels like nothing is traditional or nontraditional anymore. We did a few things at our wedding that I suppose could be considered nontraditional (walking down the aisle together, skipping the cake cutting/garter and bouquet toss, having the bridesmaids carry fans instead of flowers, having an ordained friend perform the ceremony), but in this day and age of wedding blogs, I’ve probably seen or read about THOUSANDS that have done the same thing.

Bee Icon Mrs. Wallaby (wedding date: November 2012)

We had some room left in our budget for something fun, so we decided to hire an ice cream truck since we are both HUGE ice cream lovers. Our guests LOVED the surprise—I think it was one of the best decisions we made! I found a lady who runs her own truck and serves a ton of options, even organic locally made ice cream in adult flavors (boozy eggnog! spiced rum!). Yummm.

Miss Circe (wedding date: May 31, 2015)

Our most nontraditional wedding choice would have to be the colours of my ceremony and reception gowns. I will be wearing a red dress for the ceremony and much of the reception, and then when we get down to dancing, I’ll be changing into a black dress. I don’t see my dress choices as being nontraditional, but I know a number of people do and white/ivory/cream are still the preferred choices for wedding dress colours. I’m thankful that my fiance and my friends have been supportive of my choice. The only person that has expressed strong opposition has been my mother, but that’s because the only thing that she has been exposed to are white dresses.


My dad is still getting used to the idea of us having a civil ceremony (officiated by my cousin) and then having the Catholic ceremony the next day. For us, it’s important to NOT have the religious ceremony be the legally binding one, which he understands but is trying to wrap his head around. My cousin’s mom actually “pretend officiated” her own sister’s wedding. (She wasn’t ordained online or anything. They got married at the JOP and she sort of “emceed” the public ceremony the next day.) When I told Dad I was having a civil ceremony first he actually said, “OK, but you’re not having your aunt officiate right? Hardy har har…” Yeah. When I broke it to him that I was having her daughter do it, he was fairly annoyed. I’m sure it will be awesome in the end.

Bee Icon Mrs. Funnel Cake (wedding date: October 29, 2011)

My family hadn’t heard of most of the blogging wedding traditions like colored crinoline, DIY caketoppers, having a wedding photographer (from out of state?!), or the thumbprint tree guestbook, but I think the one that my relatives got the biggest kick out of were our VIP RSVP replies. My family were honestly so surprised that I thought to invite the president and Mickey and that they actually replied and sent us things that we had on display at the wedding. The Democrats in the family thought it was especially cool! And I guess my parents had a really hard time understanding that civil and religious ceremonies MUST be split in Switzerland with two different days. That was a hard one at first.

Member Icon Missymalumba (wedding date: January 11, 2013)

I had a lot of my older relatives like my grandma comment on our choice of putting our bridesmaids in black dresses. Black and white was our color theme, and it looked great in the photos. :)

Bee Icon Mrs. Boa Constrictor (wedding date: May 2012)

Most controversial to the internets was asking all of our guests to wear our wedding colors and requesting monetary gifts. None of the guests complained about the requested clothing colors—they thought it was fun to have everyone match and gave us great pictures. In our invitation we had a small note expressing that although the greatest gift would be their presence, if they wished to give a present we’d prefer it to be monetary. Asking for monetary gifts is customary in Puerto Rico as the closest Macy’s is two hours away from my hometown. It’s expected to give cash at weddings in PR, but in the US it is seen as a wedding etiquette no-no.


Did any of these surprise you? What was your most nontraditional choice? Are you taking any flak for it?

Stay tuned to the boards to participate in our next round of The Buzz!

The Buzz

Add a comment


  1. Member
    iloverocks 1311 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:11 pm

    Eloping after a 2 month engagement (though we had been together nearly 4 years). My blue wedding dress. Having our friend marry us as a ordained minister through the Church of the Latter Day Dude (It is a Big Lewbowski thing. He didn’t dress up or anything, it was just the most practical solution for us).

    Our friends and family I think were a little sad they didn’t get to share our big day with us, but except for a few people who were more sad, everyone was very supportive of our decision.

    Also, people liked my dress and our photos.

  2. Member
    iloverocks 1311 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:16 pm

    Oh, and with that said, I wanted to add, we did have lots of traditional things too! Like my husband wore a suit, we had personalized vows, a photographer, a bouquet toss, a cake, a wedding cake topper, a mini-moon, champagne.

  3. Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 7:24 pm

    What are popcorn-style vows??

  4. Member
    scottishmrs 2823 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:51 pm

    Some things we did were seen as non-traditional, I guess. We had a semi-potluck reception (common in our area), I had a brooch bouquet, I had a bridesman, we had uneven sides, we didn’t have a ring bearer but we had 3 flower girls, we had a 19 person wedding party, we had guests sign a blanket chest instead of a guest book, and maybe one or two other things, but the majority was probably pretty traditional. :)

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors