11 Ideas For Non Traditional Wedding Features in 2024

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now it’s time to get planning and research shows that more Gen Z and Gen X engaged couples are looking to have a non-traditional wedding features from a quirky outdoor tipi venue to unique experiential catering and entertainment. Non-traditional weddings don’t have to be seen as less special or impressive, but an ideal opportunity to be extraordinary and memorable, often talked about for years to come.

Our team of wedding experts here at Sheepy Meadows have provided 11 ideas to help embrace the non-traditional and get creative with your special day. 

1. Unique Location or Venue

Demand is increasing for unique locations and wedding venues and a popular choice of venue is the outdoor tipi. Outdoor tipi venues such as Sheepy Meadows in Warwickshire offer a blank canvas, perfect for personalisation and an array of styling from DIY to professional.

This unique style of wedding space with roll-up windows and sides, allows for the indoors to meet the outdoors, and encourages a constant flow of people throughout the venue instead of segregating areas. It’s a great option for couples looking for an alternative wedding and hoping to add interesting and out-of-the-box features to their special day.

Styling by Make It Special Events

2. Specialty Catering

Ditch the 3 course sit down meal where everyone is forced to eat a set menu containing something they likely don’t like all whilst being made to talk to strangers they don’t know across the table. Instead allow your guests to eat at their own pace and reduce food waste with unwanted courses, by using our specialist street food suppliers. It may save you a few ££ too! Popular choices for 2023 were classic Fish & Chips and a Hog Roast, for 2024 we predict people will become even more adventurous by incorporating around-the-world cuisine and more plant-based options. Seek inspiration from award-winning wedding catering companies such as Anthony’s Catering, Black Peppermint and Beef on the Block.


Styling by Make It Special Events

3. Activities and Games

When we think traditional wedding, we think alcohol and dancing and not much else in the way of entertainment. Surveys show that Gen Z and Gen X couples care about inclusivity, diversity and equality and because of this they have been shown to consider this when planning their wedding.

Research from the Guardian in 2023 stated that between 2002 and 2019, the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds in England who reported monthly drinking fell from 67% to 41%, showing a generational shift in attitudes to alcohol and a need to change the way we have always planned events and weddings. It also explains why you may be seeing TV adverts for popular brands such as Corona, Guiness and Captain Morgans all promoting their 0% alcohol range. A common trend for gatherings in 2024, is a “no and low” – meaning no or low alcohol available. It’s not for everyone but with the growing number of people deciding not to drink alcohol, guests would appreciate the inclusion of some fun activities present that help keep everyone socialising throughout the day.

Favourites for non-traditional weddings include, garden games, photo booths and props and even outdoor inflatables.


To start planning your dream wedding speak with our friendly team. Head over to our contact us page. 

4. Unique Ceremonies

In 2024, there are many options for making your ceremony less traditional, more alternative and more representative of you as a couple. There are many rituals you can consider such as sand pouring, tying the knot or our favourite, tree planting which allows you to give something back to the earth during your vows to one another. A tree planting ceremony is a great option for couples who love being together in the outdoors, countryside or in their garden.

Alternative wedding ceremonies like these are perfect for couples who prefer to connect on a more spiritual level.

5. Alternative Entertainment

Evening entertainment at your wedding is crucial to guests having a great time and staying for the duration. A DJ is always a great shout for any wedding, particularly ones who offer a bespoke playlist service, tailoring the music to your guest’s taste.

However, if you are on the lookout for something more YOU, then we have plenty of ideas for unique evening wedding entertainment. Maybe you and your partner love live music? If so, why not try a roaming band? A roaming band is more than your typical stand-on-stage performance, it involves each band member walking around your venue and encouraging guests to get involved in popular songs from across the generations.

Another popular and engaging form of evening entertainment for weddings in 2024 is Singing Waiters. Your guests will be amazed when the waiters break their disguise and burst into song and dance midway through their meal, surprising them even more so with popular hits and personalised lyrics.

6. Quirky Venue Décor & Theming

Each bride and groom are different and here at Sheepy Meadows we are seeing more couples take the DIY styling approach in efforts to be sustainable and cut costs.

However, if DIY is not your thing and styling your own venue is the LAST thing on your list of worries ahead of the big day, then there are so many quirky themes you can opt for when hiring a professional venue stylist.

Here at Sheepy Meadows we’ve seen unusual and more classic themes, from Gorgeous Greens, Forest Fantasy, Chic Bliss and Minimalist.

In 2024 we’re bringing colour back! Check out our Festival and Safari (Wild at Heart) themes.

Get some inspiration from the creative geniuses at Make It Special Events.

7. Alternative Photography Styles

With so many options for wedding photography, how do you know where to start? We recommend thinking about the style of photography that best describes your personality as a pair.

Although traditional wedding photography still has its place, people are choosing to express their love through new and creative ways.

Studies by Bride Book 2024, said that the top 5 most popular styles for wedding photography include, Natural, Candid, Traditional, Light and Airy and Black and White and demand for other alternative photography styles such as documentary/photojournalistic and vintage is increasing rapidly each year.

Check out Lovely Creatures for insight into the types of photography you could request. 

8. Cutting the Cake… Not as you know it…

The cutting of the cake is a tradition that started in the Victorian era and although it is still seen as a special moment for some couples, others are wanting something a little more fun to symbolise giving a piece of themselves to one another.

Behold…. The first bite! The first bite is a new trend that originated recently in the USA and we predict will become huge over here in the UK too.

Instead of cutting the cake, one partner is asked to scoop ice cream and to present it to their better half. Most ice cream suppliers offer vintage carts and vans which make fantastic photo opportunities! Be sure to ask your supplier if you need vegan or lactose free options.

For mouth watering inspiration head over to Jenni and Ice Cream.

10. Sustainable Favours

The climate issues we all face today has raised concerns for us all, and as a result we are seeing more couples consider the environment at their wedding. A popular and quick win for the eco-minding brides and grooms to consider is reducing single-use materials or waste generated by their wedding favours. Many couples are now offering seeds or natural cosmetics to their guests as a thank-you for being part of their day. Another unique option is to team up with a local flower grower such as Fleece and Flowers, to offer bunches of flowers such as Lavender as a favour that not only smells fantastic but looks pretty too!

11. Wedding Website

We are in a digital era and as a result new couples are using a wedding website to send and manage guest lists and invitations. So, no more handwritten invitations and hours spent posting, embrace the new way to invite your guests. Check out Hitched and Squarespace for ideas on how to create your own wedding website for FREE. Reduce time spent planning and do your bit for the planet at the same time! It’s a win win!


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