Although weddings have been around for centuries, the traditions associated with them have shifted over time. While some traditions are more important to some people, it is common for couples to choose which ones they want to utilize in their own wedding and eschew some they consider outdated or which do not fit who they are.
It is likely you already have given some thought as to what traditions you want to include in your ceremony, but what about the others you may not want to follow? Check out some traditions modern couples are skipping entirely.
Traditions to Reconsider
Wearing a White Dress/Veil
While many brides still choose to go this route, if white is not for you, there is no need to wear something you do not like. This is your wedding dress, so you should feel comfortable and beautiful in it, no matter the color. If you want to mix in some color, try a sash, sweater or even a lightly colored overlay. Similarly, many brides are doing away with the traditional long white veil and either going with a jeweled headpiece or rocking a great hair style.
Having a Traditional Wedding Party
With more mixed-gender platonic friendships and blended families, it is important for you and your significant other to have the people you want in your wedding party. This can be any combination of men, women, children, or even pets. It also allows the wedding party to mix up the attire, so no one is stuck wearing the same ill-fitting dress or suit.
Some wedding cakes are beautiful and delicious, but well-made cakes are expensive. For those who prefer pie, cupcakes, or even cookies, couples should not be stuck in the mindset that they are required to have a cake because they have an obligation to cut the cake.
Separating the Bride and Groom Pre-ceremony
Some couples strictly adhere to the idea bad luck will follow if the bride and groom see each other before the wedding. If you are especially superstitious, you may want to maintain this tradition. However, for some couples, seeing each other before the ceremony can help calm nerves, and it is a very good time to take some photographs.
Registering for Gifts
Cohabitation before marriage has increased significantly over the last 50 years. As a result, many couples have already accrued a number of household items together and no longer need things like cookware and dishes. It is perfectly acceptable to request that your guests not purchase gifts for you and your spouse. For those who insist on giving you something, ask them to donate to your “buy a house” fund or even contribute to a charity of your choice instead.
Traditions to Skip Altogether
Bride and Groom Sendoff
While this already began to go out of style due to the high number of couples who put off their honeymoon, some couples are still sent off after the wedding. This tradition is definitely one that can be skipped, particularly if it involves throwing rice or birdseed at the couple as they rush into a car to leave the reception. It can be especially stressful to coordinate all the logistics and, with many couples throwing an unofficial after-party these days, it can be a bit of a letdown to send them off and see them again twenty minutes later.
Engagement Ring Rules
Selecting an engagement ring is already a stressful task, but in the last few decades, there have been unnecessary rules attached to it: how much it should cost (Two month’s salary? Three months? A year?), how much the size and cut of the diamond matter, if the ring should even have a diamond—the questions just keep coming. Forget all of these rules and give your significant other a ring that symbolizes what is important to you.
While some people find this tradition fun, your single guests who are made to be the center of attention will likely disagree. The older you and your guests are, the more this rule applies, especially since some of them have probably gone through a divorce or are unhappily single. Do not make your friends the objects of pity; instead, make sure everyone gets flowers at the end of the night when you hand out the leftover centerpieces from the tables. Wedding flowers can be expensive, so no need for them to go to waste.
The receiving line is a tradition best left out of your wedding. Instead of lining up to greet each guest, which can be particularly tiresome if you are having a large wedding, try to mingle with everyone during a welcome reception the night before. This will allow you to enjoy all the perks of your wedding day – dancing, eating, and spending time with your new spouse – instead of fainting from hunger and watching your friends have fun without you.
There is no right or wrong way to prepare for and host your wedding. It is your special day, so use only those traditions that are important to you. You and your significant other should decide your priorities in advance and make the event as unique as the both of you, even if it means forgoing centuries-long traditions.