At Aisle Planner, we’re all about putting a little creative twist on everything we touch. We love tradition as much as the next nuptial guru, but we’re also huge fans of personalization—especially when it comes to a wedding ceremony. Most creativity tends to happen during the reception, as ceremonies usually employ some tried-and-true traditions, but, by adding a little creativity to your ceremony, you can really make the moment feel that much more intimate and tailored to you as a couple. So, today, we wanted to break down our 5 favorite creative wedding ceremony ideas for you.

1. Welcome Your Guests with a Gift

The beautiful thing about a wedding is that a group of people—usually from all over the country, or even the world—all come together in one place to celebrate a single, common thing. We love the idea then, of providing guests with a welcome gift to wear that helps to make the group a cohesive one. Why not have small greenery boutonnieres for the men and fresh-flower hairpins for the women waiting at the ceremony entrance on trays? Each can have a small welcome note from the bride and groom attached to it.

2. Get Grounded

Seating is a great way to set the mood for a wedding, so why stop at traditional chairs? Are you super earthy and throwing an outdoor affair? Have guests sit on beautiful blankets and embroidered rugs on the ground. Pepper the space with lanterns, pretty pillows, chic throws and short side tables to make it feel even more special (and be sure to include some thick floor pillows and soft ottomans for guests who may have injuries or are uncomfortable on the ground). Ground seating can add such a laid-back and intimate vibe to a ceremony. We especially love the idea of coupling ground seating with the seating-in-the-round craze that’s peppering Pinterest as of late. Set up the altar in the middle of your ground-seating area, so that guests are completely encircling you as you say your I Do’s.

3. Personalize the Processional

The processional is such a great place to add some creativity to your ceremony. Who says bridesmaids and groomsmen have to walk arm-in-arm or alternate down the aisle? If you're more laid-back and want to add some fun to the ceremony, let the groomsmen all walk (or dance) down the aisle at once in a group to a fun song of the groom’s choosing. Do the same for bridesmaids. Is there anyone special in your life who isn’t a part of the wedding party or the traditional family processional? If so, try incorporating them into the processional as well. We love the idea of two grandmas walking hand-in-hand down the aisle. Or, choose three couples who inspire you, and then weave these couples into the processional.

4. Ask for Front-Row Participation

Why not skip the traditional readings and have a few people seated in the front row (parents, family members, close friends) offer up a short piece of advice instead? Let guests who will be participating know beforehand so they can prepare something. When the time comes, have each guest stand, read their piece and pass the microphone to the next family member or friend. Pick an eclectic group—this works best when more serious pieces of advice (mother of the bride) are peppered with humorous anecdotes (long-time friends).

5. Seal the Deal with a Toast

Oftentimes, ceremonies seem to end so quickly. You say I do, guests cheer, you walk down the aisle together and then it’s on to the cocktail hour. Why not harness that feeling of celebration right after you have your first kiss instead? We love the idea of having ushers pass around a glass of champagne or celebratory cocktail (extra points if it’s a custom cocktail designed by you) after the first kiss and toasting to you as a newly married couple while you remain at the altar. It’s a great way to really make the most of such a special (and otherwise-fleeting) moment.

Photo courtesy Shane and Lauren Photography