Helen Faulkner
Helen Faulkner 10 Oct 2019

Non-traditional wedding format

Is anyone else planning to have or have had a wedding that follows a non-traditional/non typical format on the day. I find the whole ceremony then cocktail hour then wedding breakfast then evening buffet format a bit restrictive and bland. I feel like I would rather go for something more relaxed and flexible. Any advice or tips?

49 Comments
Jenni Westwood
Jenni Westwood 11 Oct 2019

We ate getting married late and not having a meal, just canapes and an even buffet x

Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark 11 Oct 2019

We are doing away with anything formal. Afternoon tea, relaxed country venue, open air bbq for evening, reggae on the terrace in the afternoon!

Jayne Evans
Jayne Evans 11 Oct 2019

We are getting married at 4 o clock, then going straight to the reception for drinks , buffet and disco, just a nice relaxed day and party on the night

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

4.30pm ceremony. Buffet at 6.30 then straight into reception. Buffet will be extra large, there will be 3 courses but much more relaxed than a sit down served meal.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

Exactly this. We're going with relaxed drinks and bbq after a later ceremony. Not sure the venue totally gets it! X

Emily Cohen
Emily Cohen 11 Oct 2019

Use a celebrant rather than a registrar. They will let you make whatever changes you want to the running of the day, and a good one will be able to make suggestions based on your likes and dislikes. Check out https://www.civilcelebrant.org.uk/

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

We had a church ceremony then had no seating plan or sit down meal but had pie minister so everyone queued for their food when they were hungry, had deserts available for self service and then in the evening just loads of bread and cheese and wedding cake. It felt like we got more day to enjoy as there wasn’t lots of hours stuck on a table

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

We changed ours up just slightly by having afternoon tea in a relatively informal but high-end pub-style setup instead of of the traditional wedding breakfast, then a relaxed early barbecue buffet dinner with loads of food and cakes rather than the usual late hog-roast type evening buffet. Overall about the same amount of food as normal, but much more relaxed (and bonus: we didn't have to work out a seating plan)

helen bavister
helen bavister 11 Oct 2019

We are having a church ceremony then reception in our garden so no real format

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

We got married at 2pm, meal at 5pm dj started at 7, carriages at 1am. We did photos after the ceremony but was very relaxed

Dannielle Dwyer
Dannielle Dwyer 11 Oct 2019

Getting married at 2pm (civil), then a couple of photos with guests, drinks whilst me and the H2B go off for photos, wedding breakfast at 4/4:30pm then evening starting 6:30pm DJ starting 7/7:30pm buffet about the same time as DJ

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

Getting married at 5.30 then after photos bbq and disco. Cake at 9, carriages at midnight!
Very relaxed xx

Sara Hughes
Sara Hughes 11 Oct 2019

We got married at 2pm in a church then went on to our venue. We had drinks on arrival followed by a bbq and ice cream van then bacon and sausage butty about 9ish. This way it was still traditional but not restricted or so we felt.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

We are getting married at 3pm in a church followed by photos and the venue is close by so we are walking. No wedding breakfast just a buffet, no seating plan. Speeches and first dance followed by a band and then DJ. We dont want it to be overly formal.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 11 Oct 2019

We're getting married at 2pm, hog roast at 4pm, we are having first dance and father and bride dance,(I am dancing with my dad and my daughter's will dance with their dad, my h2b) then evening buffet at 8pm. We're not having speeches, wedding breakfast, toasts etc. X

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

Married at 2 with just family. Some photos. Walk to pub for meal. Local club for DJ and buffet with friends afterwards.

Joanna Phillips
Joanna Phillips 12 Oct 2019

We went for a bbq / meze rather than a traditional sit down meal, had fruit cider on the tables rather than wine and did jager bombs as a toasting drink to start the party, also hired a nightclub DJ who only played old skool garage, rnb & UK grime 😍 best day ever! X

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

My wedding package was structured like that but I changed it to.... ceremony then drinks in foyer with our family and friends, then we were announced into the room first dance, speeches, buffet. Back into the foyer for them to turn the room around, the back in cut the cake had the cake out on the table, then everyone was relaxong, drinking, dancing, kids playing outside

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

I organised mine so that it was just the ceremony, pictures in local pretty gardens and dinner at a top restaurant with all our closest friends and immediate family. Couldn’t have wanted better!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We married at 1pm did a few photos in the local park (only a few it was freezing lol) then went to a pub where we had no seating plan and a big pizza and salad buffet. Evening food was just our cheese "cake" and crackers, fruit etc. Least formal wedding I've ever been to and my favourite by far lol xx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We got married at 3.30 on the afternoon so there was less waiting around for everyone, then we had drinks (g&t rum and coke and Prosecco) our in Kilner jars for everyone to help themselves, then a BBQ and a band. Very informal and relaxed and loads of fun xx

Beverley Farrand
Beverley Farrand 12 Oct 2019

We had 2pm wedding with cake and drinks for everyone in cathedral, while photos done Then we went for a drive and more photos and came back for afternoon tea in our reception venue, linked building and then that was it. We went for sunset pics and met anyone who wanted to join or was stopping in the pub. No main evening reception and disco or dance. It was what we wanted and people loved it.

katie Lou
katie Lou 12 Oct 2019

Were getting married at 3.30 then personal couple pics for 15mins while everyone makes way to reception venue we will then have more outside pics of groups ect then straight inside for buffet disco drink and dancing hopefully bouncy castle for the kids x

Cheryl Jackson
Cheryl Jackson 12 Oct 2019

We got married at 2pm and then photos and then the party started bbq & buffet food around 4 and pizza in the evening when ppl where drunk, no sit down seating plan or speeches most people spent all day outside in the sun watching the kids on the bouncy castle ☺️

Charlotte Shuttleworth
Charlotte Shuttleworth 12 Oct 2019

We've got booked for ours next year, getting married at 1, afternoon tea for just the 2 of us at 2, drinks reception at 4.30pm and evening meal at 5.30pm that's it :) just fo whatever makes you happy! 😊👍 xx

Jill Monaghan
Jill Monaghan 12 Oct 2019

Mine has a timetable. We were given the choice of what we wanted. It's simple basic format. I wasn't going to bother as I too wanted a more relaxed approach but I think there does need to be some structure especially if you're dealing with photographers and other suppliers so that they can plan x

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We had tipis we got married at 12 went to the field at 1pm had a Magician and cocktails whilst the kids played football and went on bouncy castle and people just lazed about on hay bales and sat in sunshine. The photographer walked around getting photos I wanted it really natural kids doing gymnastics kids and grown up playing football lovely natural shots obviously we had the more serious ones with parents etc. Then we had a hog roast brought to table with lovely green salads and profiteroles and then a singer going into evening when evening guests arrived we had a DJ and wood fired pizzas dead relaxed had everyone we wanted there 130 day 239 night hog roast was really reasonable. We had a magic Mirror too was the best day ever dead relaxed loved it

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

You could do an afternoon tea as your wedding breakfast xxx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We're getting married at 2 then having afternoon tea no top tables no seating plans just round tables guests sit where they like

Ashley Power
Ashley Power 12 Oct 2019

We're getting married at 4pm at our local town hall and then it's straight into our evening reception at the same place with buffet, bar and DJ after we have our photos taken by our photographer who we're only having for 2 hours (just for ceremony and family pics) xx

Alexandra Lawton
Alexandra Lawton 12 Oct 2019

We're getting married at 4pm. Canapes while photographs are taken. Bbq buffet type thing at reception

Anne-marie Scarbrough
Anne-marie Scarbrough 12 Oct 2019

Were getting married at 4pm. Told them we didn't want a wedding breakfast, having a few pasties after the ceremony to keep people going until the buffet in the evening. Prefer people to choose what and when they eat on the day not be forced to sit and eat. Also worked out cheaper 👍🤣

Veronica Tucker
Veronica Tucker 12 Oct 2019

My wedding is going to be in an orchard with van alpaca bring the rings up the aisle. We are having the service, then I'm allowing 1 hour max for photos and straight into the hog roast and dancing. We decided that we didn't want va formal wedding as such just a celebration of our love with family and friends. Yes there is more to think about and plan as you have to start from scratch but to be able to have everything the way you want without having to decide who comes to what part if just so freeing

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

Yep we had a black and purple wedding as late in the day as registrar would let us. We then had some prosecco during photographs and went straight into an informal evening party (not even a table plan) with a hog roast. It was definitely the best way!

Josie Harrison-Marks
Josie Harrison-Marks 12 Oct 2019

I live on a farm, we married in the back garden & had a “Glastonbury” in the field. Lots of tents/marquees, kids, adults only, tea, main etc dotted around. Got food vans in to feed people, burger, pizza, Curry. People could eat what they wanted when they wanted whilst wondering around mingling. Worked a dream

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We are getting married at 3 then to the party and a buffet! Super relaxed

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We’re having a twilight wedding, get married at 6pm , have pics, speeches and then reception will start at 7.30 with a buffet for everyone. 60 people total with 15-17 at wedding itself. X

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

My daughter had a very relaxed reception. After we'd eaten instead of a disco her friends took turns in singing.( She's lucky enough to have plenty of talented friends). People were able to watch or talk amongst themselves and then at 10pm she asked everyone to start clearing up, which they did, and it bought everyone together chatting , discussing the whole affair and by 10.30 we were all ready to leave. A lot of people said it was one of the best weddings they'd been too and they'd managed to catch up with old family members and friends and meet new ones.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We are getting married at 4pm on Halloween, so photos, drinks, buffet and disco. We have asked guests to dress up if they want, come casual and comfortable or stay in formal wear. It’s about us all getting together and having fun! Do what ever you both feel

Emily Catling
Emily Catling 12 Oct 2019

My friend has wedding about 2, photos and drinks then changed venue and everyone had cake and tea while her husband gave a speech then they had evening do with DJ and hog roast.
My husband and I got married at 1, had nibbles and Prosecco and photos then had afternoon tea at 4.30 then had evening do with buffet at 7.30. We didn’t want a sit down meal as too formal, restrictive menu and was almost twice the price x

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

Do it like they do in Argentina: You get married (at any time) and then you have a reception with food and dance, and then like at 3am, when the kids wake up again, you have a conga line! For food you have a 2 course meal, and then the cake with an array of sweets and coffee and whisky. Also like an american style wedding. My sister got married at 9pm and we didn't go home until 8am. Lots of dance, lots of food, lots of booz (not for me, as I was pregnant)
I, on the other hand, went for the quieter version: got married at 3pm, outside, while it was raining (it always rains in north west Scotland) and then we went for cake and champagne to the tea house, and signed all the papers, and then we went for dinner. You do your wedding as you see fit. It's yours and your partner's day. Get out of the box, do whatever you please and feel like. Unconventional weddings is what everyone will speak after. Because it goes against tradition, no one can compare and less chance for it to go wrong, because is non traditional

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We're getting married at 3pm and then straight into reception after photos where there will be a photo booth, disco, sweet cart and cheap drinks!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

Me and my partner got married at 3 went to a rugby club had a hog roast had an amazing chilled out day and evening xxxx

Kimberley Jessop
Kimberley Jessop 12 Oct 2019

Our plan is to get married then head to our reception which we plan to be in a field an outdoor bbq/festival vibe. Fires, music and no seating plan, eat when you want, dance when you want and chill

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 12 Oct 2019

We had a church wedding then canapés by the river ( Aldi Prosecco and M&S canapés ) then travelled 30 mins to evening venue, ate and partied!!! No speeches etc x had a Characaturist for a few hours absolutely perfect!!! Guests still tell us it was the best wedding, no waiting around
Etc xxx

Sharon Lewis
Sharon Lewis 13 Oct 2019

Yep.....my guest will sit down at their table before the ceremony, thars where they will sit till after the ceremony then its afternoon tea and mingling.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 13 Oct 2019

We're having ceremony at 14:00 then garden games and a bbq, the whole thing Is outside with marquees

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 14 Oct 2019

We were skint. Got married at 2pm with three of our children there then went for coffee and cake afterward in a bakery in the town that we like. Children went back to work and we went to a local holiday park for three days on a free break. It was lovely, very relaxed and absolutely no stress or fuss.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 15 Oct 2019

We are getting married late afternoon, around 3pm at the church then straight to the evening reception for photos then drinks, buffet and disco. So much easier and we can invite everyone for the full day x

Comment

Before we add your comment, please: log in to an existing UKbride account or join UKbride
Why Join?