Top tips for how to create your unique wedding

Every now and again I hand over my blog to a guest. Today is just such a day. Right now I’m on my way to Sorrento in Italy to photograph a wedding, so featuring a post about ‘how to create your unique wedding’ seemed perfect, given the location and style of the wedding I’m about to photograph. I will pass you over to Jennifer Smith, who has written this on behalf of Ivy Ellen Stationers. She has put pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard, to give some ideas and tips for how to create your unique wedding.

Ideas for how to create your unique wedding

So, the question has been popped, you’re wearing a stunning engagement ring and planning to share vows with the love of your life. The most important decision now laying in your hands (besides saying the words ‘I do’), is planning the ceremony. Will it be a white wedding? Do you have a buffet or a sit-down meal? Will you really have to invite that cousin you don’t know? The whole planning process can be scary, challenging and potentially very, very stressful! For many couples, getting married is a serious business and should be kept to a high standard of tradition. Whether this means committing to one another in a religious environment, or wearing a pure white dress – tradition is a must for some.

However, not everyone wants the traditional way of getting hitched and adding character to your wedding could be important to you. If this is the case, then there is nothing stopping you from adding a twist to the celebration. Expressing your hobbies or interests through your wedding design and plan can be a beautiful and imaginative way of reflecting your personalities. So, how exactly can you be different and what options are there for you to adapt?

Give It A Style…

When you are thinking about the overall style of your wedding, you shouldn’t be afraid of pushing the limits and lighting your creative spark. Choosing an original theme can give the potential for your guests to get involved – so long as it’s something they won’t feel too uncomfortable with, especially if it’s one that requires an extravagant dress style. A theme will reflect you and your partner’s ideology and passions, and whatever you choose to go with will give you scope to play around with decor and style. Ideas to consider:

Carnival – a theme of this sort would radiate an overall bold, fun and upbeat atmosphere, due to the nature of how a carnival usually goes ahead. You can be as extreme as you like with a carnival wedding, and even introduce games and rides for your guests to enjoy. Think giant balloons, bouncy castles and outdoor games. Carnivals can be associated with retro and vintage design, therefore handmade DIY accessories will be the ‘cherry on top’ to this style of wedding. You can look at hiring jugglers or acrobats to keep your guests entertained during the drinks reception, or why not hire a fortune teller to create some intrigue at your event?

The Movies – you can open up your imagination and go fairly wild with a movie theme. Take inspiration from your favourite film or film era. The Great Gatsby brought the 1920’s to the forefront of everyone’s minds again and created loads of great ideas for Art Deco-styled weddings. Jenny Packham is one dress designer who is massively inspired by that era. If you love the idea of making movies why not create your own movie trailer to be played before entering the ceremony or during the reception. Taking ideas from fairy tales and Disney movies could give your wedding a magical and enchanting touch, with beautiful ball gowns, fairy lights and fireworks.

Jennifer Smith Ivy Ellen Stationers London wedding photographer colourful wedding groom in light blue and black suit large teepees for reception - ideas for how to create your unique wedding wedding photographer colourful and rustic wedding with wooden centrepieces, table and seating plan, Ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0018 Rustic wedding with bonfire - couple alone - ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0001

The First Dance

For many, the first dance can be an awkward situation, if you’re not one for romantically dancing to slow music, there are a few alternatives. We have all seen the dances where the married couple breaks into an unexpected dance routine. This is an option if you love to dance, aren’t shy about performing, don’t have two left feet and have a lively group of guests to get the reception buzzing. Getting a few dance lessons can be enough for many, but you can always push the boat out a little further.


A Hip-Hop first dance – have a go at constructing a dance routine that will give you both a boost in energy and enjoyment. Try watching some online dance tutorials to give you an idea of some of the moves you could pull off. This is one that might need a change of clothing before the dance though!

A dance-off – get the bridal and groom party involved in a ladies vs men dance-off. This could be a great source of entertainment, and it will bring you and those involved closer pre-wedding whilst thinking of dance routines. You could even be the head of the ladies and get your husband to be the main man of the male troop.

The none first dance first dance! – for some having an ‘official’ first dance where everyone stands around and watches just isn’t on the radar. If that’s you why not give a miss to the first dance tradition, but arrange for a time during the evening for a song you and your new husband love and have a bit of an impromptu first dance. When your guests see you dancing together on the dance floor they will get involved and it will feel like a more spontaneous moment.

If you are brave enough and feel like putting on a little show even before the ceremony, you could always dance down the aisle! Get the whole party to have some fun and bust a few moves while going down the aisle, then if you do fall in your Louboutins, everyone will already be laughing anyway!

Fun first dance ideas by Jennifer Smith for Ivy Ellen Stationers - ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0009Iranian knife dance Persian wedding London


You really can think away from the traditional with your clothing. You don’t have to wear a white dress. Bubbly couples will get away with distinctive attire, as people won’t necessarily be expecting the norm. Some couples will benefit from wearing something a little different, especially if the idea of a big dress or a suit seems daunting and not at all your style. Some chose to dress casually for their ceremony, as the idea of making a fuss doesn’t interest them. If comfort is key, why not invest in a style more like something you wear day to day or choose an alternative coloured dress, one that suits your personality? Love shoes? Choose a pair that adds a splash of colour and a dash of personality to your wedding style.


A short dress and flats – nobody strictly stated that getting married had to involve strutting in killer heels, so flat shoes will look just as dazzling. A pair of converse or pretty pumps with your dress will give you a relaxed and quirky look and will also make it much easier walking and dancing later on. There are so many amazing shorter dresses around now. You can go for a 1950’s style with a wide swirly skirt and petticoats or a classic and elegant shift dress.

Shirt and skinnies – if your groom isn’t crazy about wearing formal attire why not look at a smarter shirt with skinny trousers or jeans combo. Again, think 1950’s or 1960’s in style to get some inspiration.

Fancy dress – the extent in which you might want to take this is entirely up to you. Your day is important to you and if you like the idea of straying away from the norm, then perhaps a themed fancy dress reception ceremony would suit your personality best. This can easily tie in with the wedding theme if you are choosing a particular era. Maybe you would like your wedding party to reflect your love of the 1940’s? Maybe you love the idea of guests being in evening wear so the ladies would wear cocktail dresses and the men tuxedos.

ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0008 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0002 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0013 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0007


The normal options would be a sit-down meal or buffet? But there are other ways! Get your guests up and hire a burger van or a fish & chip van. Barbeques are a great way to create a relaxed yet very tasty eating experience. If you have the time and money, you can go all out with the food you supply for your guests. Most good catering services have a lot to offer, so why not ask them to mix up their menu choices? You will without a doubt get a few fussy eaters if you can find a way to please them all it will go down very well!


A chocolate extravaganza – indulge in a ginormous chocolate fountain or supply your guests with a chocolate dessert table, offering as much chocolate delights as you desire.

A hog roast – freshly cooked pork tastes extraordinary, and getting one at your wedding lets you and your guests watch their meal be prepared and also makes it a more ‘fend for yourself’ type of event. If you opt for this though, remember to also supply a vegetarian substitute.

Homemade cake table – can’t decide what kind of cake you want? Why not have a homemade cake table? Everyone has friends they know who love to bake and this is a great way to get a great selection of cakes and yummy homemade desserts without costing a fortune.

Quirky cocktails – why not make up your own ‘his’ and ‘hers’ cocktails for the day.

ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0017 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0003 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0016 ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0015


It would seem like an easy thing to do, but doing your speeches differently is an uncommon decision. Ever since McFly frontman Tom Fletcher became a YouTube sensation, women everywhere have been dying for their husband-to-be to feel inspired by him and to do something a little more unique and personal. Mr Fletcher shocked us all and warmed our hearts by making his speech into a lovely musical number. He wrote and performed a song to his wife, accompanied by a brief on-screen presentation. It’s not for everyone, and those who are nervous enough about doing the speeches should keep it sweet and simple. If you do fancy trying something different here are a few ideas.


A poem – what better way to show the one you love your appreciation than a heartfelt poem? If you don’t already possess the talent, take a look at other romantic poems and find a way to personalise and adapt it. There are a number of people who offer to write poems for wedding days and special events, so you can commission someone to write something for you if you just can’t get the words to work.

A video – pre-create a wedding speech with the use of a video camera, this allows you to include creative ideas and involve the things that you couldn’t necessarily bring to your wedding. This is also great if you don’t like the idea of standing up in front of everyone on the big day.

A book – create a book and read from it, it’d make a lovely piece of memorabilia that you could both keep with you forever. Using a collage of photos and words to make a scrapbook. This is brilliant is you are more creative and find it hard to get the words you’d like onto paper.

As you can see, there are so many amazing and wonderful ways in which you can be different. Remember – be bold, be brilliant, be beautiful and be unique! It’s your wedding and you should do exactly what you want to do.

Can you think of other unique wedding ideas? If so, share your ideas in the comments.

All these images are from weddings I have photographed. Hope this blog gets you thinking and gives some inspiration to get a bit creative.

Thanks for popping by

Fiona x

ideas for how to create your unique wedding_0019