60 Unique and Different Wedding Ideas for 2023
Author: Hollie Bond
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You will remember your wedding day for the rest of your life, but it’s often the smallest and unexpected details that will make your day most memorable.
We have selected our current top 60 unique wedding ideas that will help transform your day from being a great wedding to being the most talked about and unforgettable event ever. For more information about wedding favours, check out our wedding favours ideas piece here.
Top Tip: Pick out those that you think the majority of your guests will appreciate most, which fit within your wedding budget and your existing theme if you have one.
For DIY Wedding Ideas, check out our article on DIY Wedding Decorations.
60 Unique Wedding Ideas
1. Drinks Coasters
Practical bespoke printed coasters are a fun way of making sure drinks are not cleared from the tables while your guests are enjoying themselves on the dance floor – they can also take them home as favours. These heart carved wooden coasters are a great option for something simple!
2. Bring your guests closer
Why not change the seating style from formal straight rows and have the chairs set in a circular pattern around you, it can not only make you more visible to all the guests but make everyone feel more included, and the whole ceremony more intimate.
3. Ribbon Wands
Simple to make and less messy than confetti, ribbon wands can be made in any colour and fit with any theme, they can be displayed all together as a feature too. An easy craft to do at your hen party perhaps?
4. Create An Original RSVP Card
5. Flower Girl Keepsake
Have a message embroidered on a handkerchief or scarf.
6. Your Bouquet’s Not Just For Flowers
Pinning something to your flowers can be a lovely way of carrying something sentimental with you – a photograph of a loved one or a piece of jewellery – it can be visible or hidden discreetly in the foliage whatever feels right for you.
7. They're Engaged...
No-one wants to have to call either of the soon to be newly-weds on their wedding day so having a list of phone numbers for everyone in the main wedding party should keep any last-minute problems at bay so the couple can concentrate on getting ready. A wedding planner is a great way to keep all this information together!
8. Novel Ways To Throw A Garter
Garters can be attached to footballs, rugby balls or even wrapped tightly around a golf ball.
9. Wedding Piñata
Get your guests to write you a note for your first anniversary and use these to fill your very own piñata to open a year on from your big day.
10. Balloon Splash Canvas
If your style is original and random this one is for you – fill balloons with paint, attach them to a canvas, give your guests some darts and get them to try and burst the balloons to create a spectacular painting.
11. Read All About It….
Take a picture of the rings with a newspaper from the day of your wedding as a keepsake. Or, if you’d prefer something more personal, why not create your own wedding newspaper. This souvenir wedding newspaper can be customised with your wedding photos and your vows!
12. Table Names To Keep Your Guests In The Groove
Give each table a song name or lyric and when that song plays everyone at that table has to get up and dance.
13. Sole Messages
Have the groom or bridesmaids write a message to the bride on the bottom of her shoe on the morning of the wedding. It’s said that whoever’s name does not wear off by the end of the night is the next to get married!
14. Take Away
You’ve had a beautiful cake created but some of your guests couldn’t eat another thing – make sure you have some boxes that can hold a slice or two for your guests to take some home so it doesn’t go to waste. This one can be personalised with your names and wedding date!
15. Munchie Attack
It’s been a long day so make sure that you have some nibbles on hand to keep everyone’s energy levels high so they can keep on dancing!
16. Desserts Trolley With A Difference
Desserts can be one part of the menu that you can give your guests more choice over – so play around with a theme or let them be creative with a variety of wedding cake toppers or decorations.
17. Something For The Morning After
Create some fun but practical hangover kits to give away to guests as they leave. This handy kit comes with handmade chocolate, hangover rescue tea and some special party on pick me up oil to help you through the morning after!
18. Say It How It Is…
You won’t be sending anything to strangers so your correspondence doesn’t have to be formal – start how you mean to go on by creating a fun atmosphere, from the save the date to the thank you notes and everything in between.
19. Special Messages…
Creating and giving personal messages to those really special individuals around you on the day can create everlasting memories and keepsakes – they don’t have to be serious….
20. Design Quirky ‘Save the Date’ Stationery
Don’t make it look like every other Save the Date – do your own thing, find some props that people will connect you with, write the details on them in your own handwriting and photograph it – have it printed on some nice paper, check the details and send, simple! Or, if you aren’t confident handwriting them, why not send something more unique, like this save the date key ring?
21. Dress Your Chairs For Dinner
If you can’t find a chair cover you’d like to hire, why not make your own decoration – simple coloured ribbons can look really pretty or a bow of personalised printed, or embroidered, ribbon tied to the top of each one will add a finishing touch but won’t blow your budget.
22. Something That Sparkles Apart From The Ring
Create a great photo. Take the opportunity and give everyone a sparkler when it gets dark.
23. Anyone For A Favour?
Long gone are the days of giving a few sugared almonds – the more thoughtful or practical wedding favours, the more memorable they will be. From bespoke soaps, sunglasses for those glorious summer days, wraps to keep the chill off when the weather turns cooler, to these flip flops for those whose high heels have been discarded …the list is endless.
If you’re into ‘growing your own’ or cooking and want to keep your day as environmentally friendly as possible why not try herbs as an alternative to petals, or a mixture of both.
25. Wedding Crèche
Keeping the kids entertained, and the parents (and for that matter the other guests!) relaxed, is really important and so if you have lots of children attending it’s a good idea to hire a babysitter and set aside a room where the children can go to relax, play and take a nap. Make sure you have some games and activities, appropriate to their ages, available too.
Most couples receive a few cards on their wedding day and having somewhere to keep and store them can often be overlooked. Keep a lookout for old post boxes or kids toys that you can make a feature out of and that is easy for guests to find in the venue.
27. Creative Lighting
Great lighting effects can often be created very economically and easily. Lighting can work especially well when used to transform a space from day to night and you can create all kinds of effects with up-lighting and by projecting patterns, images or even videos on blank walls.
28. Wedding Artists
From sketches, caricatures, to large scale oil paintings, the sky’s the limit with the kind of work that can be created by artists and craftsmen before, during, or after your wedding.
29. It Doesn’t Have To Be A Book….
As an alternative to the classic guestbook why not give your guests something else to write on, perhaps create a website for guests to upload messages to – if you play games try Jenga blocks or a pack of cards or get them to write on the border for a photo frame then print the best group shot you can from the wedding. We love this idea of every guest writing their name or a short message on a wooden heart and creating a piece of art work out of it. Such a fantastic record of everyone who came and their messages to you.
30. Yes Your Guests Can Be Florists
On your way up the aisle why not ask the guests at the ends of each row to each hand you a flower and create your bouquet as you go, this works particularly well if the bride is not been given away by anyone. The Essex Occasions company have some fantastic floral decorations, here you could advise guests to each takes a flower upon entering to help create that guest-made bouquet.
31. Favours Don’t Have To Cost Money
Why not give something back to each of your guests – some of your time or make them something this works best with a small number.
32. In Perfect Place Cards
Think of something topical or novel to hold your place cards from sweets to wax (just make sure you tell them which it is !). Another great idea is to use something that matches your wedding theme. These mini log cuttings are great if you are having a more rustic wedding!
33. Love letters Straight To Your Heart
Why not use any love letters you sent each other to make some beautiful paper flowers that you can keep forever.
34. Chalk Is Not Just For Kids
You can paint virtually any flat surface with chalkboard paint – go to charity shops and search out items that you can make into great signs. Paint add some funky handwriting and they will look great.
35. Follow That Balloon
If most of your guests will be walking from the ceremony venue to the reception venue give them each a helium balloon so they can follow each other and then join together for a group balloon release and great photo opportunity.
36. Four Legged Friends
Although animals would be a no no to most, some of us are so close to our pets it seems a shame they miss out on a party. Although they may not be the centre of attention they will certainly appreciate any fuss made of them.
37. Change The Timings
Not everyone gets married on a Saturday morning, have your ceremony when it suits you. It can be in the late afternoon on a Friday, followed by dinner and a party.
38. Bake, Make And Personalise With Labels!
If you have a tight budget or simply prefer your own cooking you can really go to town by making your own favours, cake, jam for afternoon scones or even homemade lemonade. Use online label printing to help personalise everything you make. How cute is this stamp to show everyone your bakes are home made?!
39. Ta- dah!
Wedding cakes can be expensive, make the most of them by giving them a grand entrance or reveal just before you cut them. Dim the lights, play a special tune or go mad with indoor fireworks.
40. We All Just Want To Have Fun!
Bouncy castles are for the kids inside all of us, if you have a decent outside space and can find one that doesn’t look too out of place, go on give your guests a bounce – it will no doubt create some of your favourite photos from the day.
41. Less Can Be More
When it comes to flowers, make a statement with one huge beautiful paper flower, it can make a really bold statement in the right colour.
42. Getting To Know You
It’s not unusual for some of the members of the main wedding party not to have met, if you can get everyone together before the event for a casual evening or fun activity, it can make everyone feel more comfortable on the day.
43. Keep Dancing
From bespoke flip flops to cool Converse, make sure you have some comfortable dancing shoes to replace the heels you have been wearing all day.
44. Design Your Own Table Plan Display’s And Table Numbers
Put the easel, cardboard and laminator away, instead go to town by making a feature of how and where your guests find their names and places.
Think of your theme and the location for the meal or something that relates to you; for example, if you travel a lot put everyone’s label on a country on a map, or if you are sitting outside hang the names to trees with beautiful coloured ribbons – don’t forget to have lots of scissors on hands so guests can cut them off.
We love this around the world wedding seating plan which would be perefect for a couple who love travel! Name each table after a country you have traveled to together!
45. Everyone Remembers What They Ate
Why not create or get your caterer to come up with mini versions of your favourite meals as canapés, you may not want a particular dish as a main course, but a tasty single meatball topped with spaghetti and a bit of sauce can be eaten in one bite.
46. Say It With Lanterns!
Your bridesmaids don’t have to carry flowers; they could carry feathers, fans or parasols or if you have an evening wedding how about some beautiful lanterns.
47. Buttonholes Don’t Need To Make You Sneeze
Not all grooms are keen on flowers but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a bit of decoration. Go quirky from mini guitars to Yoda or stick to your theme, if you are having a beach or seaside themed wedding you could pin on a starfish or a shell.
If you have lots of kids they won’t be that interested in tossing the garter! There has to be a decent prize for them – toss a cuddly toy or wrapped sweets for them to enjoy.
49. Music Evokes Strong Memories
If you have any family or friends who are musicians why not approach them to write you an original piece of music or song or create an arrangement of a song that’s important to you, for when you walk down the aisle.
50. Colour Table Cloths And Napkins
51. Hidden Heart
Not everything about your day needs to be visible to everyone, why not make hidden heart ties for the groom and ushers with a message and the date of your wedding stitched in by hand.
How Can I Make My Wedding Different?
The easiest way to make sure your wedding is different and unique is by making sure you don’t copy anyone else’s big day. By choosing suppliers, decor and a venue that you love as a couple and that makes you both happy will ensure that your wedding is different to any that have come before.
If a meddling member of your bridal party says they don’t like something you’ve chosen, just ignore them, it’s your wedding, not theirs. Forget what you think a wedding “should” look like and instead focus on what your perfect big day could look like.
Try and steer clear of any venues that only offer a cookie-cutter service with no room for your preferences or suppliers that don’t listen to your ideas and try and convince you to have something you don’t like. You don’t want your wedding to be exactly the same as the one that happened at the same venue the day before or have the same cake as 100 other couples just because the cake maker likes that design.
Sit down with your partner and talk about what your dream wedding day would look like. Discuss what you both love in everyday life and try and incorporate these elements into your big day.
If you’re both massive Harry Potter fans then why not walk down the aisle to Hedwig’s Theme and have chocolate frogs as your wedding favours? Perhaps you’ve never worn a dress in your life so why start on your wedding day? Don a cool white suit instead. In short, do what makes you happy and before you know it your wedding will be as different as you are from every other engaged couple.
How Can I Surprise My Wedding Guests?
Little surprises throughout the day can make a wedding really magical for the guests, especially when you schedule unexpected entertainment at natural lulls in the day. For example, when you’re having your photographs or between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception.
It can be difficult to think of ways to keep guests entertained that haven’t been done at weddings before though. Our top tip for wowing your guests is to keep all your ideas a secret in the run-up to the big day and only tell a few trusted people who you might need to help you.
Keeping your cards close to your chest means that every small detail, from personalised place settings and an evening outfit change to fireworks and a flash mob first dance, will be a complete surprise for your guests. You could also consider suprising your loved ones with a uniquely-designed wedding ring. Spend time looking through the inspiration section of For Better For Worse and at other real weddings to get ideas that’ll delight your guests too.
What wedding ideas did we miss? We would love to hear from all you amazingly creative people out there who are planning your own unforgettable day and the lovely things you have planned for your big day. Maybe you have adapted something from our list above? Or come up with a new twist of something more traditional? Whatever it is we know it will be great and unique, just like you.