You’ve decided to get married. Congratulations! Your mind now slowly (or quickly) switches into high gear organising mode. Where will the ceremony be held? What kind of menu should we have? The dress/suit, the rings…and so on. One thought leads to another but before you know, you feel like you’re back to square one. The options seem limitless, the choices overwhelming. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you’re likely to feel like you can’t find what you’re looking for.
The good news is planning an alternative wedding doesn’t have to blow your mind! That’s why we’re sharing these 20 quirky alternatives to the traditional wedding with you.
Whether you choose to scrap some elements of a traditional wedding, or simply add a modern twist to old traditions, we’ll take you on an inspiring journey to unique and alternative, yet beautiful venues, and introduce you to endearing wedding stationery and everything in between. With a little luck, we’ll help ease the stress of organisation and replace it with excitement and inspiration!
1. Alternative Wedding Venues
Once you nail the venue, the rest will fall into place, so it’s a good place to start. A venue that captures the essence of your relationship is a must. First up is the unique Almonry Barn, believed to be the oldest wedding barn in England. Owner, Louise Wilson-Ward says: “It’s the ultimate blend of genuine character and rustic charm with a ton of 21st century pretty thrown in”. The family behind the barn is passionate about making your special day the best it can be. This is why Almonry Barn is one of our fan favourites.
Traditionally, couples who wish for tranquility, privacy and grandeur opt for a country manor. The result is an overwhelming list of country houses to choose from, many of which are VERY similar. Truly distinguishing features are hard to come by. This isn’t the case for Warwick House. This house would suit a couple that likes the idea of a wedding in the countryside but wants to add slightly more character. It’s modern interior and traditional exterior differentiate it from the rest. From laid-back luxury to breathtaking opulence that’s not oppressive, Warwick House could be an ideal choice for modern couples who don’t want to stray too far from the traditional wedding. Available on an exclusive basis, you could be lord and lady for your special day.
Another popular setting for a wedding is by the sea side — where nature provides a beautiful, effortless backdrop. It’s tricky though to find a venue that compliments the setting. You want somewhere that’s just as picturesque inside as it is outside. Polhawn Fort in Cornwall strikes that balance. It’s hidden in a small cove on the Rame Peninsula, seemingly untouched by civilisation. Your wedding can be as intimate or grand as you want it to be, with a gorgeous unspoilt beach for those romantic pre- or post-wedding walks…
For the trendy couple, a city wedding could be right up your street. But which street exactly? And how do you strike the balance between the urban and the modern on the one hand, and the beautiful and the intimate on the other? A street you could consider is Kensington High Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, home to the The Roof Gardens, an endearing venue that’s part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition. This venue ticks all these boxes. With a capacity from 50 to 500 and stunning views of London, it’s hard not to be satisfied!
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2. Modern and Alternative Wedding Dresses
Many brides think they have to change to fit the dress, almost to the point of completely altering themselves for one day. We believe a dress should represent you, it should fit you, and reflect who you are on the other 364 days of the year!
Kevin Muscat, the driving force behind Muscat London, creates modern minimalist designs inspired by classic vintage pieces. Every piece of material he uses is natural and the dresses are lovingly handmade in his London Studio. This could be a great pick for a bride who admires the traditional wedding dress but has a modern vision.
The French word “Trousseau” encapsulates the lovely things a bride needs for her wedding day and honeymoon. It’s all of the clothes, including her wedding gown, accessories, and everything else. Vintage Trousseau, founded by Suzanne Harrington, is a unique company that works closely with the bride to create her ideal dress and everything in between. The collections ooze beauty while striving to represent the symbolism of marriage, not just the wedding day.
Luella’s Boudoir, conveniently located on the iconic Wimbledon High Street could be the ultimate dream for brides who admire detailed, pretty and vintage style dresses. Every bride and her party can enjoy champagne and macaroons as they select the gowns they wish to try, with expert guidance from Luella’s team. What a lovely way to turn this special day into a memorable time with your friends!
With an exclusive range of bridal styles they say will suit all body shapes and personalities Daisy’s Bridal Couture aims to make every bride feel sensational. Shamali, the resident designer studied and trained at The London College of Fashion and Design and St. Martin’s College of Art and Design. She’s worked alongside some of London’s top designers and attended some very high profile clientele, including members of the royal family. Daisy’s Bridal Couture could be ideal for the bride who doesn’t want to stray too far from traditional wedding dress, but who finds wedding dress shopping a bit of a chore.
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3. Alternative Wedding Catering
Food is the fuel of weddings – literally! Without it, guests lose their appetite for celebration and the party comes to an early end. Yet wedding food can be boring and unimaginative. However, if time and care are put into creating a dynamic menu for you and your guests, it could make the difference between an average wedding and one your guests will remember for years to come.
Known informally as “the unconventional wedding caterers”, Eden Caterers strives to balance tradition and variety by designing bespoke menus that reflect a couple’s individual ideas and tastes. We admire their ethical approach to sourcing food. They use the finest quality ingredients which are locally produced and sustainable. With options for a range of different taste buds, their wedding catering options include afternoon tea through to a hot buffet.
Caiger and Co Catering puts the elegance back into wedding food. By providing luxurious food made using carefully selected ingredients, they strive for the unique, helping you to realise your culinary dream at your wedding. They’re flexible and passionate — wherever your wedding may be, they will go — bringing with them the most delicious and innovate food.
Another quirky alternative for wedding food catering is Eat Jollof London with its West African inspired flavours a fusion cuisine. They use classical cooking methods to create innovative and original menus. Eat Jollof could be a good choice for couples seeking a modern and creative culinary alternative to the mainstream options.
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4. Boutique Wedding Jewellery
Tradition dictates that a bride should have both an engagement ring, and a wedding band. However for those couples who want something a little different, jewellery is a difficult one. What if diamonds aren’t your best friend? Or you prefer other colours, shapes, sizes? Maya Selway, jewellery designer, has a solution. She creates jewellery that is both understated yet compelling in their delicate lines and textural detailing. Best of all, she uses ethically sourced 18ct gold and naturally coloured diamonds. Unconventional techniques such as gold dust fusing are used to create luxurious, enduring, classical pieces. Quirky couples who want engagement and wedding jewellery that transcend time and passing trends should check her out.
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5. Unique Wedding Favours
Choosing wedding favours that are unusual and meaningful is often a nightmare for couples. So often, couples get so wrapped up in the tradition of giving them, they forget about making them symbolic. After all, a wedding favour is a piece of memorabilia that guests will treasure from special day. They shouldn’t want to throw it in the bin as soon as they get home! Once you answer the questions – “Do we need them”? and “What do we want them to mean?” – finding the ideal wedding favour is much simpler with these quirky alternatives in mind.
At Wedding in a Teacup’s online boutique, the divine is in the detail. From talking-point table plan holders to fabulous favours that have a triple role as décor, gifts and place markers, their products could be great for couples who want their favours to reflect who they are and what their style is.
For the knitting connoisseurs among you, Laura Long offers something truly special. The personalised knitted dolls – miniature versions of you and your significant other – could make the ideal gift or keepsake for your special day. Each one is handmade and can be individually tailored to match the outfits of you or your wedding party. Can you imagine yourself in knit-form?
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For more quirky alternatives, check out Part 2 !
Contributors: Taya Riabkova and Daniela Salomon
© No Ordinary Wedding and Event Company Limited