The Anti-Wedding: Tips on Throwing an Unconventional Affair

The Anti-Wedding: Tips on Throwing an Unconventional Affair

We all know that weddings are a celebration of love and coming together as one, but that doesn’t mean they have to fit the traditional, one-size-fits-all formula. In the past couple of decades, more and more couples have opted for unconventional affairs that celebrate their personalities, passions, cultures, and values. If you’re leaning toward having a non-traditional wedding that defies convention and embraces creativity, find all of our best tips on throwing a one-of-a-kind celebration below!

A wedding on a deck with a mountain view in the background.

Choose a Unique Venue

One of the first steps to planning a nontraditional wedding is choosing the venue. This is the perfect time to really think outside the box and choose a space that has special meaning to you and your partner. Whether you’re envisioning a wedding in the forest or a casual ceremony surrounded by friends, here are a few things to consider:

The overall vibe: Are you looking for something intimate? Artsy? Surrounded by nature? Envision your wedding day and jot down anything that comes to mind.

Location: Do you want a venue close to home or do you dream of a destination wedding? This can really help narrow down where you choose to commemorate your love!

Length of stay: Are you a fan of one-day events or would you rather take your time celebrating a wedding weekend with your friends and family? This can help you decide if you’re better suited for an in-and-out venue or a long weekend rental.

Wedding size: Make a rough guest list. Will your wedding be intimate or a big party? You’ll want to make sure you find a venue that will accommodate your guest list.

Flexibility: Would you prefer a carefully-selected vendor checklist or do you thrive with customizable options? Picking the right venue can help you achieve your vision!

A Personalized Ceremony

With an unconventional wedding, there’s no need to stick to the standard vows, long white aisle, or Wagner’s “Wedding March”. An anti-wedding is the perfect opportunity to craft a ceremony that reflects your and your partner’s personalities. These are just a few ways to personalize your ceremony:

Customize your vows: To add a deeply personal touch to the ceremony, write your own vows. This is an intimate way to say something deep from the heart or even throw in an inside joke.

Include your loved ones: If you want to make your ceremony even more special, invite your family and friends to participate. Ask the important people in your life to make a speech, sing a song, or share a fun memory about your relationship to make the ceremony more intimate and memorable.

Skip the ceremony altogether: If a big ceremony isn’t your thing, share your vows privately with just your partner or a small group of loved ones. Then, throw a party with your friends and family later!

An intimate anti-wedding at an outdoor mountain venue.

Custom Decor

The best way to set the tone for an unconventional wedding is with customized decor that fits your and your partner’s personalities. A few things to consider: 

Color palette: There’s no reason to stick to a mauve and dusty-rose color combo. Feel free to get creative! Go for colors that reflect your style. Love bold colors? Lean into the bright colors like fuchsia or cerulean. A fan of dark and moody? Try emerald, black, or maroon. 

Incorporate your interests: Do you and your partner share a common passion like cooking or traveling? Find a way to incorporate it into your ceremony! For example, make an edible wedding favor (like jam or cookies) for your guests or incorporate photos of your travels into the centerpieces.

DIY decorations: Create unique decorations to add a personal touch to your wedding decor. If you have crafty friends or family members, this is a great way to enlist their skills and make the decor even more special!

Entertainment Options

While offering entertainment isn’t necessary for a wedding, it can be another way to incorporate your interests into your big day!

Live Bands: Are you a fan of jazz? Hire a jazz trio to play during cocktail hour. Love folk music? Recruit a local folk band to play during the reception!

Interactive Entertainment: Offer something fun for your guests to participate in like a walking photobooth or a mini golf course.

Live Performers: Hire live performers to make your big day even more memorable. If you want to honor your cultural background, a traditional live performance can be a great way to do so!

A waiter at an anti-wedding holding a wood platter of appetizers.

Alternative Catering Options

No one wants a rubber chicken dinner. Ditch the traditional sit-down dinner or buffet and explore alternative options that you and your guests will love!

Food trucks: No said wedding food has to be fancy! Food trucks are becoming a popular (and affordable!) option for wedding receptions. Pick your favorite food truck or offer a variety of different trucks to give your guests options.

Cocktail Reception: To kick off your wedding, consider serving a variety of custom cocktails and hors d’ouerves at a cocktail-style reception. Not only can you have multiple delicious appetizers, but it also encourages your guests to mingle, relax, and spend time together.

Cultural cuisine: If you and your partner come from diverse cultural backgrounds, consider serving traditional food that has special meaning to you and your family.

Get Started

A non-traditional wedding is all about celebrating your love story in a way that feels authentic to you as a couple. By choosing a unique venue, personalizing your ceremony, customizing the decor, and thinking outside the box when it comes to food and entertainment, you can throw a wedding that embraces your individuality. There are no rules when it comes to love, so let your imagination run wild and make your special day truly unforgettable!

At Mountain Shadows, we pride ourselves on being an anti-venue for nontraditional couples. If you want to learn more about how we can help make your big day even more special, get in touch with our team.