For our summer 2023 wedding, we had two main goals in mind for the day: for it to look beautiful and most of all, for it to be FUN for all our guests!
Please enjoy these five unique wedding ideas to entertain a range of ages and interests, as inspiration for your upcoming special day. Remember – you can make your wedding as unique or traditional as you like, or find a middle ground that suits your styles and personalities best.
Live Wedding Painting
I loved the idea of having a live wedding painter create a painting, or a series of paintings, at our wedding. It felt nostalgic and traditional, a bit ‘extra’ and yet fitting for such a special occasion. I love the uniqueness of original artwork, and how the artist captures events through their eyes, in their own creative style. You’ll end up with one-of-a-kind pieces to frame in your home, or to create a gallery wall with.
We chose Aaron Jacob Jones, aka the Wedding Illustrator, and he was brilliant! One word of advice is to book him early though – Aaron travels all over the world to paint weddings and his schedule fills up fast.
The really nice thing was how much our guests loved chatting with Aaron, and watching his paintings come to life. We didn’t expect so many people, of all ages, to comment on how cool this was afterwards.
We went with Aaron’s ‘full day live package’, so we could create a gallery wall with different painted scenes from the day. We asked Aaron to paint a scene from our ceremony, the speeches (which is such a fun idea – he recorded highlights of the speeches in a painting, with illustrations and text!), along with the cake cutting, guests mingling, and my mum, bridal party party and I all getting ready in the morning. You can request any other elements of your day to be painted, or for Aaron to paint your guests as gifts for them to take home!
Audio Guest Book
We hired an audio guest book from Calleo, and it was such a fun activity station for guests! But the best part of all? We now have a collection of both sweet and absolutely hilarious messages from our friends and family to treasure forever! Amongst the good wishes, we got people singing songs, placing takeaway orders, reporting funny incidents to the police, and leaving messages pretending to be other people! We did not expect to laugh so much when we were listening back to them, and we had no idea what each message would be. How cool to have your loved ones’ voices saved like this.
The whole process with Calleo Audio Guest Book was super smooth. You book your vintage phone of choice from their website, and shortly before your wedding you’ll be asked to record a welcome message for guests to hear. We chose to have it delivered directly to our wedding venue, where it arrived a few days before for peace of mind, and then it was picked up by Royal Mail on the Monday after. Since our booking, they’ve now added incredible antique phone options too, which I would definitely go with if I booked them again. You can also choose different packages, with upgrades such as engraved USBs. I highly recommend them! You get sent your audio messages after, and be prepared to have tissues for both those happy tears, and genuine LAUGHS at the funny messages your guests will have left for you!
360 Video Booth
Forget boring photobooths, opt for a video booth instead!
360 video booths become more fun the more cocktails are consumed (teehee) as guests loosen up and dance away! It’s a great activity station to have set up in the evening, while your band or DJ are playing in the next room.
A video camera spins round a disc that’s stood on by up to three people, capturing guests dancing or striking poses. You can choose which special effects to have added, and whether you’d like to add any text or a logo. We had our videos in portrait (ready for posting to social media!), and they reversed and played back in slow motion half way through.
One thing to bear in mind is ensuring you have the right amount of floor space (typically about 3x3m), and that you choose an area that’s ‘vibing’ but not in the way of the bar, dance floor or loos!
Shoes For Guests
Even the comfiest high heels can start to hurt after hours of standing and dancing, and blisters or swollen toes can really put a damper on your guests’ night.
That’s why we opted to provide flat shoes for our guests to slip on. But not just any shoes – we went with Rescue Flats, which come in a beautiful box, a range of colours and sizes, and they’re actually shoes that look nice with dresses and formal ware, unlike the flip flops that lots of people supply! Rescue Flats are fold-up dolly or ballet shoes that guests can take home with them and re-use, and they won’t be embarrassed to be photographed in them as they look so cute!
Our box of shoes was more popular than I could have imagined. They were completely gone by the end, and my cousin even left a message about them on our audio guest book, saying what a lifesaver they were, because her heels had actually broken on the way to the wedding venue!
I’d really recommend Rescue Flats, even though they’re not the cheapest. Each pair of shoes comes wrapped in a pretty ribbon, which several of our guests used to tie their hair up with while dancing! If budget is a concern, you could find deals for fold-up shoes online, and make your own.
Modern Wedding Parties
There are certain aspects of weddings where you can choose to ‘go traditional’, or to put your own spin on things. For our wedding party, we did a few things a little differently to suit ourselves, and to give our bridal party and groomsmen the best experience.
Firstly, I had two Maid of Honours, and Paddy had two Best Men. These were our closest friends, and the people we’d always imagined would be at our sides. The amazing thing with this, is that they could share the load of wedding duties to remove any stress, and Paddy’s best men ended up performing the most hilarious speech together, bouncing off each other and feeling much less daunted standing up there together! So if you have two best friends, or a best friend and a sibling you can’t choose between or don’t want to upset, know that you have the option of asking both!
Speaking of speeches, I also scheduled my dad to do his speech first, just as guests sat down and before starters were served. Not that he’s a nervous man, but I knew he’d be able to enjoy his meal more without having that hanging over him. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way with your guests.
I also let my bridal party choose their own dresses from Birdy Grey, within a similar colour palette. This is something I’d highly recommend, as my girls chose dresses to suit their own body shape and therefore felt fabulous, as they should, on the day!
I hope these five unique but easy ideas for weddings inspire you to get creative and think outside the box, to create a wedding day that’s enjoyable for all, and truly yours! Happy wedding planning 🤍