Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Ideas and Tips

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 03/08/24
Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Ideas and Tips

Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Ideas and Tips

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 03/08/24

Part of the Wedding

Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony Ideas and Tips

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 03/08/24

holding hands
The biggest trend in weddings right now? Getting rid of traditions. Since the pandemic forced couples to re-think their big days, the trend to get rid of wedding traditions in some aspects or throughout the entire wedding is becoming more and more popular.  

Before this was a trend, it was overwhelming to think about being judged as a couple for going against the grain, but much of that stigma has gone away. There’s a huge push for embracing individuality and uniqueness in weddings. 

Getting rid of traditions and opting for non-traditional wedding ceremonies touches and even embracing non-religious weddings instead of religious ones is starting to become the norm in weddings.

This movement of expectations has really allowed all kinds of couples to embrace their own love story and to celebrate what makes them unique and special. 

Here are some things to expect from non-traditional weddings as well as ideas and tips on how to start planning your own non-traditional wedding ceremonies.


What to Expect as a Guest

As a wedding guest, you traditionally picture a wedding day starting with a long wedding ceremony filled with walks down the aisle, vows, a unity ceremony, and a first.  Then, you’ll  probably head over to a happy hour  and have to mingle with strangers. After that, you’ll sit down for dinner, listen to speeches that are too long, and cheer for the couple about 20 times. Finally, you’ll head to the dance floor, watch the first dances, and then dance until the end of the night. In case you need some dance tips, we’ve got your back!

But, that’s traditionally. When you’re on the way to a non-traditional wedding, throw all of these predictions away. Anything goes. 

Which is probably why non-traditional weddings are becoming more and more popular. Not only can couples actually cater their day to fit their love story, but they can do things that their wedding guests will actually enjoy doing. 

So, if you’re thinking about howto plan a non-traditional wedding, expect the unexpected and be ready to have a memorable time.

Infographic for General tips and ideas for non-traditional weddings

General Tips and Ideas for Non-Traditional Weddings

If you’re planning your own wedding, make sure you’re planning for a day that truly celebrates you and your partner. Therefore, don’t feel the need or pressure to have things in your wedding that are traditional, but don’t feel authentic to you. You only have to follow traditions if you want to.  

If you don’t know where to start when planning a non-traditional wedding, start thinking about these things: 

What are you going to wear?
Don’t feel like you have to wear a white gown or a tuxedo if you’re not comfortable wearing those things. Try wearing pants, try a different wedding dress color, embrace patterns, thrift your outfit, loosen the requirements for what your wedding party wears. What you’re going to wear is all about comfort and embracing your fashion as a means of self-expression. 

Where are you going to have your ceremony? 

If you’re not religious, you don’t need to have your ceremony in a church. Of course, this is always a tricky situation if you have a religious family, but do what works best for you and your situation. 

Are you going to have a special ceremonial element?

If you’re planning a special ceremonial or bonding element of tying a physical knot, planting a tree together, ancestral blessing, and so on. Emily Cauldwell, Founder of Race Across USA, suggests “creating a wedding ceremony program for your guests that will include your specific ritual or traditions that will be performed and will explain the importance.”

Are you going to have rings?
It might be shocking to think, but you don’t have to exchange rings. Try thinking about other ideas such as a locket, pocket watch, handwritten notes, whatever is meaningful for you. 

Do you even want to have a wedding? 

What a wild question, but the question is valid. There are so many different ways you can get married and not have a wedding. Think about getting married at the courthouse, elope with a few close friends and family, host a destination wedding for a few people. You can even have a small ceremony and have a chill reception or party afterwards at a restaurant or in your backyard.

cake cutting

Atheist Weddings: Tips and Ideas

Let’s dive deeper into more non-traditional weddings for individuals who are atheist or who are celebrating their marriage through a different religion.  

If you’re an atheist, the chances are, you won’t want to get married in a church. But how else can you celebrate your marriage as an atheist? And what does an atheist wedding ceremony look like? Here are a few ideas and tips:

Find a friend to officiate 

You don’t need a religious leader to perform your ceremony for you. It’s incredibly easy to have a friend or family member be ordained by the Universal Life Church or American Ministries. Just because these organizations have a religious undertone for their name, your friends or family don’t have to be religious. Neither do you. It just means that they can legally sign your marriage license for you. 

The ceremony doesn’t need religion 

If you still want to have a ceremony filled with vows, it doesn’t mean religion needs to be involved.  There are many scripts that would work as an atheist or non-religious wedding ceremony script. You can also write your own vows for each other so you can cater your ceremony to just you and your fiance. Because there will be no religious traditions in the ceremony, it will probably be shorter than a traditional service, but it’ll leave room in the day for more personal touches and moments.

Satanic Weddings: Tips and Ideas

If you want to celebrate a satanic wedding, you may have more of a focus on ceremony than an atheist wedding. Here are some non-traditional ideas and some tips to make your satanic ceremony memorable and meaningful: 

Pick a theme 

Like we said earlier, having a themed party is definitely a trend right now. This trend lends itself really easily to a satanic wedding. Of course, the theme should be authentic to you as a couple, but some easy wins for a satanic-themed wedding include: Halloween-like decorations, skulls, coffins as centerpieces, dried flowers, etc.

Go dark 

This might be a little cliche, but to fit in with a satanic theme, embrace darker colors. For the dress code, and satanic wedding dresses, try darker colored dresses or white dresses with black lace details.


A true satanic wedding can be officiated by the Church of Satan itself. As a part of this ceremony, the couple still says their own vows. The main difference between a more traditional wedding vow and a satanic wedding vow is the emphasis on enduring love and nature.
Wiccan Ceremony

Wiccan wedding: Tips and Ideas

Another non-traditional, but still religious, wedding option is a Wiccan wedding. You might also see Wiccan weddings referred to as Pagan weddings. For the most part, they’re the same thing. Here are some tips and tricks on how to host a non-traditional Wiccan wedding: 

Integrate spirits 

Just like a Satanic wedding, there still usually is a wedding ceremony. The biggest difference you should consider during your ceremony is adding an emphasis on spirits who are participating and blessing the union and taking the time to respect your ancestors. 

Pagan wedding traditions 

Even though we’re talking about non-traditional weddings, there are traditions in Pagan weddings you can incorporate into your day. Some of these include, tying your hands together in rope, adding colored ribbons on trees, and jumping the broom. 

Emphasize nature 

Nature is a huge cornerstone to the Wiccan religion and it’s easy to incorporate natural touches throughout your wedding ceremony. When decorating, Wiccan wedding decorations can include those elements of nature.

Think sustainable 

Going off of nature, make sure you take care of nature and the Earth around you when planning your wedding. While celebrating nature, you want to make sure you respect it as well.  


Overall Thoughts

The biggest trend in weddings right now is throwing tradition out the window. Whether you decide to have a religious-free or religious-focused wedding, there are so many different ways that you can celebrate what makes you and your partner special. It’s time to stop worrying about what other people think and embrace what makes you truly shine.

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