Effortlessly cool wedding ideas Midwestern couples can draw inspiration from

A groom and bride pose outside with a small bouquet of flowers

From smarter RSVP cards for the DJ to sushi bars, you’ve got some creative wedding options to consider

When you see as many weddings as we do, you start to notice trends. 

The 1980s were all about puffy shoulders and dramatic flare, pearls, lace, and gold accents. 

The 90s brought us minimalism, clean designs, and (thanks to Carolyn Bessette’s slip dress from her wedding to John F. Kennedy, Jr.), more chic, sophisticated affairs. 

Come the 2000s, we saw everything from retro cake designs to metallic accents and shimmering, mirrored surfaces at every table setting. 

What’s in style and trendy today among wedding planners and online algorithms at Pinterest and Instagram are heirloom pieces, “shabby chic”, and an atmosphere that tries very hard to look rustic and simple but is anything but.

There’s no shortage of people today who want big weddings, barn-style weddings, or lavishly elegant and classy weddings. 

But the number of people who recognize the costs and effort in “a big wedding” is not for them is larger than ever. Thousands of brides- and grooms-to-be like you are embracing:

  • Simple courthouse wedding ceremonies
  • Comfortable clothing, or at least more comfortable dresses and flat shoes over heels
  • Easy-to-please meals and food, drinks, and cocktails
  • Affordable entertainment and decor
  • Quirky, unique, and delightful ideas for people to participate in 

Cool, fun, and downright whimsical ideas for a simple wedding

Consider some of these ideas:

Ditch the bouquet, or, instead of a whole bunch of flowers, maybe just a few hand-picked stems. Instead of a dozen roses, maybe it’s 2-4 or some number representing something important to you, like loved ones you’ve lost that couldn’t be there on your wedding day.

Ask people to write down song requests in advance. You’ll eliminate the need for people to work up the courage to ask at the reception. And you can ask on the RSVP cards, use an App or shared note, or hand out cards as people come in so they can drop them in a box or hand them to an usher later. (This helps DJs if you ask for song requests on RSVP cards — a professional DJ can invest far more time designing a custom set in advance, but great DJs can still spin up a mix on-the-fly).

Forego the standard “sign here” guestbook that no one ever looks at later. Instead, put some cameras around that print photos on-demand or set up a makeshift photo booth or selfie station. This works whether you’re in a large reception hall or just in a backyard.

If your family and friends are all close by, consider a “wedding weekend” instead of a single day. Everyone will automatically feel more relaxed and no one will be rushing around.

And consider some of the top, best, and most fun ideas for your wedding entertainment

We’re music professionals, so we care a lot about the music before, during, and after a wedding. But the whole experience is worth re-thinking from the traditional meat-and-potatoes affair:

  • At the reception, let everyone eat then clear away the tables and bring out something fun like painting or Legos. Just be sure people know in advance so they can wear appropriate clothes. Or, use fabric-safe paints.
  • Change the food to sushi bars, taco bars, or a build-your-own dessert station.
  • For entertainment, consider a magician or comedian in addition to a band or DJ. Encore Entertainment can help find both, making us a rare resource in central Indiana for booking different kinds of acts. Just get in touch to start.
  • Let everyone leave with snacks for later, either from the leftovers or pre-made fare like Trail Mix.
  • Fireworks — legal virtually year-round in Indiana — can be fun if you’re having an outdoor wedding. They can even be timed with the band or music if we know what kind of fireworks show is expected. 

Brides (and grooms!) often have a clear idea of what they know they don’t want for their wedding. That’s frequently something “fun, delightful, and not boring or traditional.” Replacing traditional wedding ideas, however, is challenging because you still have to replace the experience with something else short of having a quiet ceremony with a few friends at your house. 

If you’re interested in more effortlessly fun and cool ideas, let’s talk about options.

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