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50 Wedding Ideas You've Never Seen Before

While Pinterest has a wealth of wedding planning inspiration, not every bride wants her big day to feel like it’s straight out of a well-curated board. But where’s a girl to go to find the next big thing? The pros, of course! Here are 50 new and super-creative ideas from some of the industry’s top planners, designers, florists, and photographers that will wow you (and your guests), and really get those juices flowing.

By: Jaimie Schoen

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  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    An arch of flowers isn’t the only way to dress up a ceremony location. For a recent bride who was wasn’t a huge fan of blooms, Kehrin Hassan of Jet Set Wed and Sue Bain of Signature Florals combined forces to create this sophisticated, non-floral ceremony design. “We created an intimate ceremony space by arranging dried Pampas grass, anchored in wooden boxes, in a small circle at the end of the aisle,” says Hassan. 

    Related: 100 Beautiful Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies

    Photo Credit: Hunter Ryan Photo

  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Why let a little thing like a swimming pool get in the way of your vision? “One of my brides had a flair for the dramatic and wanted something really surprising, so we had Pink Monkey Solutions install a stage and an aisle over the pool, then sat guests on the deck,” says planner Emily Campbell of Bella Design & Planning.

    Related: 40 Ways to Decorate Your Ceremony Aisle

    Photo Credit: Dreamtime Images

  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Ann Arbor-based VLD Events used lush greenery to transform a birch structure into a magical, organic altar perfect for a Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired wedding. 

    Related: 50 Ideas for a Classic Fairy Tale Wedding

  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    If you can’t decide between an indoor or an outdoor ceremony, why not have the best of both worlds? “The couple asked the florist (Ivie Joy Flowers) to lay grass down on top of the concrete. It made the wedding feel more informal and personal, like it was in the couple’s backyard,” says Jove Meyer, who coordinated the event. 

    Related: How to Bring the Outside In at Your Wedding

    Photo Credit: Aniela Mendiburu

  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Calling all crafty brides! If you’re looking for a new and more personal way to decorate your ceremony (and are handy with a crochet hook), this is for you. A hand-crocheted ceremony backdrop, accented with greenery and hanging plants, will show off your artistic side and can be repurposed as a wall hanging in your home.

    Related: 20 Eye-Catching Ideas for Your Ceremony Backdrop

  • Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Fresh Ceremony Ideas

    Every ceremony needs a little music, and it’s even more meaningful when that music is performed by the groom! At a celebration planned by Viva Max Weddings, the groom serenaded his bride as she walked down the aisle toward him.

    Related: Complete Guide to Wedding Music

  • One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    We’ve seen creatively-wrapped bouquets before, but this bride took it a step further with her bouquet by Mi Mi Weddings. “My parents lent me two watches and a bracelet from my grandmothers, as well as my grandfather’s dog tag as my ‘something borrowed.’ It was a way to honor them and have them with me in spirit as I walked down the aisle,” says the bride. 

    Related: 100 Sentimental Wedding Ideas You'll Love

  • One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    Luscious blooms aren’t the only things that belong in a bouquet. Succulent fruit, like a perfectly ripe Bosc pear or a juicy fig, adds both bulk and visual interest to this bouquet by Hana Style Designs in an unexpected way. 

    Related: Modern Wedding Bouquets With Texture

    Photo Credit: Lisa O'Dwyer

  • One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    Simplicity is making a comeback in a world full of complex designs, and these bouquets are the perfect example. “The bride wanted something more verdant. Olive branches are a symbol of peace, and it lent a feeling of serenity to the day,” says Carissa Jones, owner of JL Designs

    Related: 25 Gorgeous Bouquets for Winter Weddings

    Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

  • One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    Organic, natural designs are all the rage, but this bouquet puts a new spin on the popular trend. Floral designer Laura Clare, of Laura Clare Floral Design, loves adding garlic blooms, sedum, and veronica to bouquets for additional texture, and she recommends including colors like plum or burgundy for some more depth. 

    Related: Garden-Gorgeous Wedding Bouquets

    Photo Credit: Carolina Rivera

  • One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    One-of-a-Kind Bouquets

    For a truly personalized bouquet, Alyssa Thiel, owner of Parris Chic Boutique, wrapped the stems with a customized ribbon. “We wrote ‘The voice of the seas speaks to the soul’ in calligraphy to reflect the seaside location and the way the ocean can make you feel alive,” she explains. 

    Related: 50 Ideas for Beach Weddings

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Bar design is often an afterthought, but not at this wedding by VLD Events. “This event was designed to feel like a garden, so we created a statement bar with a living wall to bring the outdoors in,” says Alison Laesser-Keck, the company’s creative director.

    Related: Stylish Ways to Display Your Food & Drinks

    Photo Credit: Jess + Nate Studios

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    “During cocktail hour, a large portion of the décor will be the cocktail tables and, let’s face it, they’re not super cute,” says Teissia Treynet of Firefly Events. “So we put our heads together with our floral designer, Putnam and Putnam, and came up with something that was both beautiful and functional.” Oversized floral arrangements were placed on the floor, then covered with clear Lucite tables. Add a little pin-spot lighting, and they were completely transformed.

    Related: 25 Creative Ways to Light Up Your Wedding

    Photo Credit: Scott Clark Photo

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    You don’t always have to bring in extra rentals to transform a space — just make good use of what’s already available to you. “We’d designated this pergola-covered patio for cocktail hour and a bar, so we created oversized decals of the bar menu and installed them on the glass doors. It created a fun focal point, as well as a backdrop,” says Alison Laesser-Keck of VLD Events.

    Related: 50 Clever Wedding Signs Your Guests Will Love

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Six-packs aren’t just for beer. Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event used local craft brew carriers to serve savory snacks like chips and popcorn during cocktail hour and the after party.

    Related: 7 Unique Ways to Display Your Wedding Food

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Are you a beer lover? Share your passion with your wedding guests by offering a menu of local craft beers instead of a signature cocktail. This groom’s favorites were from a lesser-known brewery, so a series of tasting notes helped guests find their perfect brews.

    Photo Credit: Jess + Nate Studios

  • Cocktail Hour Makeover

    Cocktail Hour Makeover

    At a summer wedding, there’s nothing quite like a cool drink to take the edge off. Planner Teissia Treynet of Firefly Events added a dose of nostalgia to a July celebration, serving up snow cones flavored with boozy syrups like piña colada and spicy watermelon margarita. 

    Related: 100 Ideas for Summer Weddings

  • Make a Grand Entrance

    Make a Grand Entrance

    Sparkler exits are nothing new, but what about a sparkler entrance? To make it even sweeter, the wedding party at this event by Bluebird Productions held champagne buckets full of cotton candy, with sparklers glowing, as the newlyweds made their entrance into the reception.

    Related: 150+ Ways to Make Your Wedding Unforgettable

  • Fantastic Lighting

    Fantastic Lighting

    A creative lighting plan will really elevate a design scheme. “We used strands of twinkle lights to create a glowing canopy over an outdoor reception, which brought it to a whole other level,” says Becky Navarro of Pearl Events Austin.

    Related: 25 Ways to Transform Your Wedding With Lighting

  • Fantastic Lighting

    Fantastic Lighting

    Lighting can also transform one big room into multiple unique spaces. To highlight the dance floor without leaving guests with two left feet in another room, Belovely Floral & Event Design used strands of lights to create a glowing, airy curtain effect. 

    Related: How to Reuse Wedding Items as Holiday Décor

  • Fantastic Lighting

    Fantastic Lighting

    Look to the walls of your venue as a blank canvas for a show-stopping lighting installation. “Investing in an amazing lighting display will have a huge impact on the space,” says Viva Max Kaley, creator of Viva Max Weddings.

    Related: Must-Play Reception Songs That'll Get Everyone Dancing

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    An intimate guest list doesn’t mean you have to cut down on the wow-factor. Says Melony Sebastian of Pink Monkey Solutions, “We were creating an evening of enchantment for just 45 guests, so we rented a huge tree from a Hollywood prop house and erected it in the middle of the reception!

    Related: 130+ Spectacular Decoration Ideas

    Photo Credit: Little Mad Studios

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Though it’s not an option at all venues, having the opportunity to decorate upward is one Amy Zaroff of Amy Zaroff Events + Design loves. “We hung branches, orchids, ranunculus, and roses in deep shades of purple and fuchsia over long farm tables, giving guests plenty of space to talk across the table and still enjoy the gorgeous arrangements and bask in the glow of candlelight.”

    Related: 75+ Gorgeous Tall Centerpieces

    Photo Credit: LaVie Photography

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Centerpieces aren’t the only way to add life to your reception tables. Looking to make a statement at an event with an upscale cowboy vibe designed by Canvas & Canopy, JL Designs used tumbleweed to create desert-inspired chandeliers that were striking — and totally budget-friendly.

    Related: Beyond Flowers: 50 Unique Ideas for Your Centerpieces

    Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Chandeliers can be much more than crystals and candles. “A bride wanted a floral chandelier hanging over the dance floor, so we embellished boards with LED pillar candles and Edison bulbs and topped them with ombré flowers and smilax,” says Melony Sebastian of Pink Monkey Solutions.

    Photo Credit: Little Mad Studios

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    For a more rustic take on the ever-popular flower wall, swap out the blooms for soft moss. Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions added white hydrangeas and roses around the stone fireplace to bring the lush forest feel to life. Bonus points for an elk wearing his own flower crown over the mantle!

    Related: 75 Ideas for a Rustic Wedding

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Venues with high ceilings have a lot of space that you might not think to use, but Jove Meyer found a way to add life far above the guests. “The light color of the fabrics was the perfect contrast to the dark wooden ceiling and transformed the industrial space into a magical and romantic one.” 

    Related: Wedding Inspiration: Intimate Urban Affair

    Photo Credit: Sasithon Photography

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Weddings are about bringing families together. Says event designer Amy Zaroff, “As a unique way to showcase the family history, we brought a family tree to life at this Tuscan-themed wedding. We incorporated orchids, branches, photo frames, and lighting effects to build a creative installation, and placed the tree in the reception so that guests would pass it throughout the evening.” 

    Related: 7 Fun Ways to Decorate Your Wedding With Photos

    Photo Credit: LaVie Photography

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    The only thing better than a well-appointed ladies’ lounge is one with a stunning view. Here, Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer of Pure Luxe Bride set up an intimate tent, complete with beautiful furniture and a chandelier, where female guests could dab on a little perfume or freshen up their lipstick.

    Related: 5 Must-Haves for an Outdoor Summer Wedding

    Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage Weddings

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Using color is a no-brainer, so take it to the next level by adding color in unexpected places. “Rather than using flowers or linens to brighten up a table, move the bright hues to the place settings instead,” says Becky Navarro, founder of Pearl Events Austin, who used purple goblets to pop against green and white centerpieces. 

    Related: 200+ Color Combinations for Your Wedding

  • Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    Gorgeous Reception Ideas

    “Brides shouldn’t be afraid of color!” says Laura Clare of Laura Clare Floral Design. “Blues, purples, and greens are a hot palette for 2016. It evokes a lot of emotion and passion, which is a great way to represent your wedding.” Here, she combined Vanda orchids, delphinium, green trick dianthus, grape hyacinths, and sweet peas. 

    Related: Wedding Ideas by Color

  • Memorable Seating Plans

    Memorable Seating Plans

    Why limit yourself to tables and chairs? This laid-back couple wanted community and family to be the focus of their wedding, so they invited everyone to a gorgeous outdoor space for a picnic potluck, where guests could kick off their shoes and grab a seat on a colorful blanket.

    Related: 6 Creative Ways to Seat Your Wedding Guests

  • Creative Menu Additions

    Creative Menu Additions

    Don’t be afraid to weave in your heritage, no matter the theme. “We planned a classic Southern wedding for a British bride, so we served individual Shepard’s Pies as a nod to her home country,” says Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer of Pure Luxe Bride.

    Related: 101 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

    Photo Credit: Hyer Images

  • Creative Menu Additions

    Creative Menu Additions

    Sundae bars, take notice! Parfait bars are an elevated twist on an interactive sweets bar, with a vintage twist. Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event served cubes of cake alongside flavored whipped cream and fresh fruit and nut toppings.

    Related: 25 Delicious Wedding Cake Alternatives

  • Dance Floor Magic

    Dance Floor Magic

    Programs are a great way to explain cultural traditions during the ceremony, but what about the reception? For a crowd with different backgrounds, Viva Max Weddings enlisted Jennifer Rozbruch to create a diagram of the Hora basics to make sure everyone was on the right foot once the dancing got going.

    Related: Modern Twists on Popular Jewish Wedding Traditions

  • Dance Floor Magic

    Dance Floor Magic

    70% of your reception — from the first dance to toasts to the all-night party — will be spent on the dance floor, so make it a real centerpiece instead of an afterthought. A gorgeous ceiling treatment over the dance floor, like this display of Edison bulb lights by says Becky Navarro of Pearl Events Austin, is a backdrop that will set the mood and really pop in photos.

    Related: The Most Romantic First Dance Songs

    Photo Credit: Jake Holt Photography

  • The Welcome Wagon

    The Welcome Wagon

    Why limit yourself to a standard welcome bag? If you’re a child of the '80s or early '90s, let nostalgia lead with a fanny pack gift bag instead. “Our clients added the survival necessities: Jerky, brownie crisps, a trail map-inspired welcome booklet, an emergency kit and, of course, Fireball!” says Virginia Edelson, founder of Bluebird Productions.

    Related: Awesome Wedding Ideas Inspired by the '80s and '90s

  • Unique Escort Cards

    Unique Escort Cards

    Event designer Hollie Raulerson of Elleson Events came up with a gorgeous new way to display escort cards for a boho bride. “We wanted to find the perfect balance of rustic, bohemian, and glamorous, so we draped the display with a eucalyptus and grass garland, brightened up with Coral Charm peonies and blushing bride protea,” says Raulerson. 

    Related: 10 of the Most Creative Escort Cards

    Photo Credit: Hunter Ryan Photo

  • Unique Escort Cards

    Unique Escort Cards

    Looking for a creative way to make sure your guests remember where they’re supposed to sit? Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions has one for you. “Guests lose escort cards all the time, so a recent bride decided she wanted something guests wouldn’t be able to misplace: Slap bracelets!”

    Related: Have the Most Fun Wedding Ever

  • Unique Escort Cards

    Unique Escort Cards

    Got a sense of humor? Then you’ll love this escort card display from Alicia K Designs. “The couple loved Cards Against Humanity, so we personalized cards with guests’ names and table numbers. They took the cards home to use the next time they played the game!” says founder Alicia Falango.

    Related: 15 Ways to Make Your Reception More Fun

    Photo Credit: Josh Gruetzmacher

  • Unique Escort Cards

    Unique Escort Cards

    When it comes to escort cards, paper isn’t your only option. At this Provençal reception designed by Jesi Haack, escort cards were tied to individual baguettes, then displayed in an antique hutch that JL Designs decorated with greenery and potted herbs. 

    Related: 75 Ideas for a Rustic Wedding

    Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

  • Unique Escort Cards

    Unique Escort Cards

    Think outside of the box (and above your head) for your escort cards. “We had table assignments written on vintage window panes, then hung the panes from the ceiling. A few additional blank window panes transformed the display into a piece of art,” says event designer Amy Zaroff

    Related: 50+ Eye-Catching Seating Charts

    Photo Credit: Matt Blum Photography

  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    Instead of treating table numbers as an afterthought, incorporate them into the tablescape. Says Carissa Jones of JL Designs, “We worked with Jesi Haack to bend thick wire into numbers, then added sprigs of olive branches so that the numbers blended into the reception décor.” 

    Related: 5 Creative Ideas for Your Table Numbers

    Photo Credit: One Love Photography

  • Pretty Place Cards

    Pretty Place Cards

    A few simple additions can make place cards really pop. Emily Campbell, founder of Bella Design & Planning, used bronze and gold spray paints to add a metallic touch to magnolia leaves and stalks of wheat, then attached craft paper cards for a formal fall feel. 

    Related: 100 Ideas for Fall Weddings

    Photo Credit: Studio JK Photography

  • Pretty Place Cards

    Pretty Place Cards

    Instead of lush flowers, this wedding was inspired by modern, geometric shapes. “We wanted to carry that into the place cards, so we used sea glass and miniature succulents,” says planner Alicia Falango of Alicia K Designs. It’s a unique take on the organic theme that’s totally fresh.

    Related: 50 Ideas for a Modern Wedding

  • Double-Duty Place Cards

    Double-Duty Place Cards

    By the end of a wedding, everyone is family. But what about at the beginning? Name tags got a chic makeover at this event by Viva Max Weddings, where personalized pins served as place cards, then helped guests get to know one another before the party got started.

    Related: 50 Fun Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

    Photo Credit: Weddings by Two

  • Sweet Guest Books

    Sweet Guest Books

    There’s nothing more romantic than symbolizing your love with a lock on Paris’s Pont des Arts — except, of course, recreating it for your wedding. “We found this great gate and metal locks and keys, but wanted it to be functional as well as a statement piece,” says Alicia Falango of Alicia K Designs. “So we had guests use the locks to attach love notes to the couple to the gate.” 

    Related: 50 Unique Wedding Guest Book Ideas

  • Custom Crest

    Custom Crest

    Take a custom monogram to the next level with a crest that would make the Scots proud. This bride and groom chose symbols that represent their personalities, hopes, and dreams, then had the graphic designer from VLD Events turn the crest into a sign that let guests in on the deeper meaning.

    Related: 101 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

    Photo Credit: Jess + Nate Studios

  • Modern Invitations

    Modern Invitations

    Invitations are the first chance to really set the scene for your wedding, so let your theme shine through. “This bride had impeccable taste. Adding a soft, curved marble pattern and metallic accents gave the clean, modern invitation suite by Nic Roc Designs a feminine feel,” says Carissa Jones of JL Designs.

    Related: 50 Ideas for Your Wedding Invitations

    Photo Credit: Love Ala

  • Fab Favors

    Fab Favors

    Make sure the morning after is just as sweet as the wedding itself by sending guests home with breakfast to go, like these sticky buns and cinnamon rolls by WildFlour Pastry from a recent wedding by Pure Luxe Bride.

    Related: 25+ Edible Wedding Favors Your Guests Won't Leave Behind

    Photo Credit: Hyer Images

50 Wedding Ideas You've Never Seen Before

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