Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas For Religious and Non-Religious Couples

Jennifer Wyld

In an era marked by a desire for individuality and a celebration of diversity, traditional wedding ceremonies are evolving into expressions of personal style and uniqueness. The usual image of a bride walking down the aisle of a picturesque church in a flowing white gown no longer exclusively defines what a wedding looks like. Instead, today's couples, especially those belonging to Gen Z, are redefining the concept of weddings and are looking for innovative ideas to incorporate into their weddings to embrace their diverse backgrounds.

Currently, one-third of couples are incorporating unconventional themes. Imagine a wedding celebration that marries the elegance of the "Roaring 20s" with the fantastical allure of "Star Wars." Similarly, it was found that 40% of Gen Z couples make it a point to include religious or cultural elements into their wedding.

However, for some couples, a lot of these weddings blend two or more cultures or religions. So, how does one balance it all while planning one of the biggest days of their lives? If you find yourself in 40% of the population in an interfaith relationship (or possibly one where one of you is religious and the other isn’t), here are some non-traditional wedding ideas for a your upcoming nuptials.

Whether you're religious or not, having a wedding that fits your taste and personality can be fun, creative, and romantic. If you're planning to get hitched this year, here are some non-traditional wedding ideas for religious and non-religious couples.

Capture All These Non-Traditional Moments with a Video Guestbook

A wedding this creative deserves to be cherished forever. Have your guests leave their messages and capture all the magical, creative, funny, and heartwarming moments with’s Video Guestbook.

All you have to do is sign up and set up your Video Guestbook. Then print out postcard-sized QR code posters or even one large poster, that your guests can scan. Once they do, they’ll be taken to your virtual guest book where they can film their video messages on the spot.

Of course, they can also upload videos they’ve pre-recorded on their smart phones or even share the candid moments they’ve captured throughout your ceremony and reception.

Then, post-event you’ll have all the uploaded videos in your account where you can then rearrange clips, drag and drop, add GIFs, music, and voila! Export your final video montage and enjoy every single second of your non-traditional wedding ceremony and reception!  

Wear Each Other’s Cultures Instead of Your Own

So, imagine this: you and your partner decide to flip the script on traditional wedding attire. Forget the standard white gown and black tux – we're talking about a fashion swap that's as bold and diverse as your love story.

Imagine a bride adorned in the vibrant colors of a traditional Indian saree or a groom donning a beautifully crafted Hanbok. This exchange not only showcases mutual respect but also visually represents the merging of two distinct cultural identities.

You can even keep your guests on their toes by starting the ceremony in your partner's cultural attire and then surprising everyone with a mid-ceremony switcheroo. It's a fun and unexpected twist that adds an element of surprise to your big day.

Have a Coffee or Hot Chocolate Bar Instead of an Open Bar

Consuming alcohol is forbidden in some religions, so if your partner wants to abstain from alcohol because of their faith, then choose to have a hot beverage bar at your reception instead of an alcohol bar. Respecting your spouse's beliefs and finding a compromise is one way to set a healthy and positive tone in your marriage.

Moreover, having a hot beverage bar isn't only a good way to abide by one's religious beliefs, but it's also a great way to celebrate if you're in recovery, or if you simply want to abstain from alcohol. It can also be a treat for guests, especially if you're having a wedding during the winter season.

You can have a coffee, hot chocolate, or tea bar, or do all three if you want your guests to have options. Have two to three baristas to help make the drinks, and offer at least three types of each beverage in order to cater to your guests' preferences.

For instance, if you're serving coffee, have a black coffee option, like an Americano, a variant with milk such as a cafe latte, and a variant with flavoring, like a caramel macchiato or a mocha. If you're having a tea bar, offer English breakfast, an herbal tea, and Earl Grey, and have lemon slices, honey, regular milk, almond milk, and maple syrup on hand so your guests can customize their beverage.

Meanwhile, if you'd rather have a hot chocolate bar, make a big batch of the beverage and pour it into an insulated thermos bucket to keep it warm. Provide cups and stirrers, as well as toppings like mini marshmallows, wafer cookies, toffee bits, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, hazelnut syrup, and chocolate shavings.

Tie the Knot in Nature

Not every couple dreams of a traditional church or temple wedding. If you're looking for a beautiful and perhaps even spiritual alternative, consider taking your celebration outdoors. While many venues cater to such events, immersing yourselves in nature adds a unique touch to your special day.

Picture this: a hike through nature with your officiant and wedding party leading to a specially chosen spot where you exchange vows and rings. A clearing surrounded by wildflowers or an area with breathtaking views of the ocean or a valley could be the perfect setting for a rugged outdoor wedding.

Ensure comfort for everyone by donning appropriate footwear for the hike, and choose beginner-friendly trails. Since you want your guests to enjoy the experience, keep the hike short and sweet.

For the reception, consider having a picnic at an open space. If you hired a wedding planner, they can be in charge of setting it up so that everything's in place by the time you and your guests arrive.

The food can be arranged on buffet tables, but to make it more fun, think about having everyone sit on picnic blankets for a casual vibe. For music and entertainment, you can play a carefully curated playlist on a phone or tablet, then use a Bluetooth speaker to amplify the sound. You can also hire an acoustic band to play live music, or have a guitarist go around and take song requests from your guests. 

Have Your Wedding and Wedding Reception at a Restaurant

If you're looking to simplify your wedding or just want to save money, consider having your wedding at a restaurant. You can say your vows at a hotel restaurant or a cafe, then have brunch with your officiant and loved ones and toast over mimosas or even a cocktail hour and dinner, depending on what time you’ve chosen to have your ceremony.

Surprisingly, some restaurants and food chains even have banquet rooms which you can rent for your big day. Getting married in a restaurant is economical yet fun, and it's a memorable way to mark a major milestone in your relationship.

Happy Planning

In the end, the key is to make your wedding a reflection of your unique journey, celebrating love in a way that resonates with your personalities and preferences. Thinking out of the box can be a great way to have a fun wedding, whether you're religious or not. Consider these ideas to tie the knot, and get married in a way that fits your tastes, personalities, and beliefs while having the time of your lives.

And of course, capture it all with’s Video Guestbook so you can relive a wedding that was every bit what you wanted it to be, for many years to come.

Having a live event?

Create a Guestbook with the Magic of Video

Our Classic and Q&A styles are fantastic for surprise gifts created before an event! But what about AT the event?

Are you having a Wedding, Milestone Birthday or Anniversary, Retirement Party, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, Celebration of Life or any other live gathering?

Here's a fabulous and low cost way to capture special messages from guests AT THE EVENT and even from friends who can't make it!

Try it now! Test an example of the Guest contributor experience.

Digital Guestbook - $99
Get your custom QR code and QR poster, view, edit, and download videos with our suite! Includes unlimited guest video submissions.
$149 VALUE!
orange video icon
The Bachelorette
Bundle - $119
Buy now to get your digital guestbook AND The Newlywed Gamea hilarious game for your Bachelorette party!
Save 50% on the newlywed game
Learn More
A Video Guestbook is free to start — only pay when you’re ready to download your personalized QR code or QR Poster

All prices in USD.

Continue reading

Get started for free.

Start a free account today to create a group video for that someone special. Don't pay until you're thrilled!

Hear from loved ones, capture the moment, relive them forever.

Get started for FREE

Hear from loved ones, capture the moment, relive them forever.

Get started for FREE

Hear from loved ones, capture the moment, relive them forever.

Get started for FREE