Gone are the days of cookie cutter weddings. The sky’s the limit with what you can include in your ceremony and reception! Flashmob? Go for it. Attendants in costume? Bring it on. Ring pops instead of wedding bands? Okay, maybe not that one. But if you’re looking for unique wedding ceremony ideas that incorporate your personality, there are so many fantastic options! Here are a few you may not have considered:

1. Original song by a local singer-songwriter

unique ceremony ideas - Original song by a local singer-songwriter

Many singer-songwriters are now offering to work with couples like you to compose an original song celebrating your relationship, and performing it live during your ceremony. What a special moment and treasured keepsake as you begin your life together!

2. Poetry reading

Readings are pretty standard in wedding ceremonies, but they’re often the same Bible passages about love or marriage. Why not switch things up with a poem instead? It could be a romantic poem, silly poem, or just a little bit offbeat if that’s what you’re into. Still want to keep things traditional? Go ahead and include the standard “wedding” Scriptures, but consider asking someone special to you to do the reading instead. It will mean that much more if you’re able to involve another loved one in your wedding ceremony.

3. Involve your children

unique ceremony ideas - involve your children

And while we’re on the subject of involving loved ones, let’s talk about ways to include your kiddos! If you or your spouse-to-be has kids already, consider adding in a part of the ceremony acknowledging that you are all coming together as a new family unit. You could have additional “family vows” stating your commitment to one another, a set of written family commitments you each sign as part of the ceremony, a unity candle you all light together, or anything else you can dream up that recognizes your children.

4. Guest Vows

I recently heard of a wedding that included three sets of vows: one from husband to wife, one from wife to husband, and one from the guests to the couple! The guests were asked to state their commitment to support, nurture, and encourage the couple’s relationship in the coming years. This would be particularly meaningful at a small, intimate wedding of only your closest loved ones.

5. Colored Water Unity Ceremony

You’ve seen the unity candles, and you’ve probably heard of couples pouring sand as a symbol of coming together. Here’s a fresh take on the same concept:

Place a large, clear vessel (like a wide glass vase) in a visible place. Fill two glass pitchers with water and food coloring, each a different primary color — red, blue, or yellow. When the time comes in the ceremony, one of you can pour your water into the vase. When the other pours their water, the water will become a brand new color — a visible representation of the two becoming one!

(Here’s the color rundown: If you choose blue and yellow, you’ll end up with green. If you choose red and blue, you’ll end up with purple. If you choose yellow and red, you’ll end up with orange.)

6. Seat guests in a circle

The entire atmosphere can change instantly just by rearranging the seating! If your venue can accommodate it, consider seating your guests in a circle or semicircle around you during the ceremony. It will feel far more intimate, and the folks in the back will appreciate a better view.

7. Write your own vows and/or letters

unique ceremony ideas - write your own vows

There’s something so moving about a wedding ceremony that includes original vows. The promises you make to each other seem to mean so much more when they come straight from you, in your own voice, rather than an age-old tradition. Some couples also choose to write letters to each other to read aloud as part of the ceremony.

8. Honor relatives who have passed

If you have a parent, grandparent, or other loved ones who have passed, there are many ways to honor their memory as part of your wedding. Wrap your grandmother’s wedding ring around your bouquet with ribbon, or include a small picture pendant. Reserve an empty seat where that loved one would have sat. Include a small “memory table” at your reception with photos of your loved ones. I’ve even seen one bride display the wedding dresses of her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother on dress forms as part of her reception decor!

9. Ring Babies

The role of the ring bearer or flower girl is typically given to a young child who can walk down the aisle and look completely adorable in the process. If the kiddos in your life are still babies, don’t discount them! You can certainly include them as “Ring Babies” and have them come down the aisle in a wagon. They might be even cuter than their walking counterparts!

The only thing a wedding ceremony NEEDS is a vow and ring exchange — everything else is completely up to you! Choose elements that are meaningful to you and your honey, and you’ll look back on this day as one of the most special, unique, fabulous days of your life.

Do you have another unique wedding ceremony idea? Share it in the comments!