The Best Unique Wedding Ideas, According to a Photographer


  • As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen some really clever ideas at receptions and ceremonies.
  • I love it when couples take first look photos with different people or hold ceremonies without phones.
  • Unconventional desserts and suggested dress codes are also super cool.

As a wedding photographer, I have witnessed countless celebrations and am always amazed by the new ideas and creativity that make each event so unique.

Here are some of the best ideas I’ve seen.

Couples won’t regret having a private moment immediately after the ceremony

Wedding days can be so busy that couples often don’t have time to realize they’ve just been married.

For this reason, one of the best things I’ve seen a couple do is sit together in a private space in their room immediately after saying “I do” and celebrating in the aisle. They just took a few minutes to reflect and soak in before embarking on the rest of the evening.

Live music with a meaningful twist is so special

I recommend that couples have live music at their wedding, especially if the performer is a close friend or the songs selected are meaningful.

I’ve seen couples hire a singer to perform their favorite song as they walk down the aisle and ask talented friends to sing a song for the first dance. It’s a great way to make music more special and unique.

You don’t have to have a cake at your wedding – there are so many unique options

Your wedding “cake” can be anything you want – what’s the point if you don’t like what’s for dessert?

I’ve seen couples serve chocolate covered strawberries, ice cream, waffles, cookies, chocolate covered bananas, candy, etc.

For my own wedding, we made a stack of cinnamon rolls shaped like a cake.

Dessert table at a wedding with donuts and cake

You can serve any dessert at a wedding.

ianmitchinson/Shutterstock


I’ve seen a lot of clever ways to incorporate guests into the ceremony

There are countless ways to involve your friends and family in the ceremony and I think it’s a great way to show them that they are not just there to be witnesses – they are part of your story by that special day.

Some of the fun ways to incorporate guests I’ve seen include singing songs together, reading poems, or filling baskets with well wishes.

Having a suggested dress code can make for great photos

This one is for the couple who wants the ultimate, aesthetically pleasing wedding photos.

I’ve seen couples put a suggested dress code with specific colors on their invitations, and it was the perfect way to create the most colorful wedding photos ever.

I’ve seen the happiest couples get married in a place that represents them

If you like a big wedding venue, then please get married there. If you love hiking and that’s a big part of who you are, then head to the top of a mountain and exchange your vows in the open air.

I’ve seen couples get married under waterfalls, on the beach with water rising up to their ceremonial arch, on cliffs in national parks, in backyards, in camping, in temples, churches and other remarkable places.

The most important part is that the venue is exactly what the couple wants.

A couple taking wedding photos in front of a waterfall

If you love nature, consider getting married outdoors.

Sampetua/Shutterstock


Cellphone-free ceremonies are always a win for photographers

There’s nothing worse than when a great ceremony photo is ruined by someone with a phone in their hand.

I strongly recommend that the couple ask the celebrant to announce in advance that there are no cell phones to use or bring during the ceremony. I also saw some cool signs you can hang up that say the same thing.

Many people don’t realize this is a problem, so a gentle reminder is always a good idea.

I love when couples take multiple first look photos with their family and friends

Typically, a first look takes place when the couple first see each other in their wedding attire. I’ve also seen couples do first looks with other people and it makes for the most beautiful photos.

I also love when my couples do a solo first look with their parents and the bridal party.

first wedding look, a bride covering her groom's eyes with her hands

The first photos can be made with anyone.

Sergii Sobolevskyi/Shutterstock


Video can enhance the traditional guestbook

A fun guest book idea I’ve seen is to leave out a self-service recording device or hire a videographer to film your guests saying kind messages.

Video messages can be reviewed indefinitely. And, believe me, put the guests in front of a video recording and they will say the most beautiful, funniest and most memorable things.

Disposable cameras are expected to make a comeback

For my wedding, I gave disposable cameras to some guests and had them take pictures throughout the day.

It was the best decision because I collected photos that represented the experience of the guests.

I would also suggest that you give the cameras to some guests you trust so they don’t fall into the hands of little kids too much (although I still liked the handful of footage from my cousin’s point of view of 6 years) .

It’s a great way to give your guests something fun to do throughout the night, and you get even more photos of your day.


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