Why Are Wedding Traditions a Thing??
As you plan your wedding you’re probably wondering about the traditions you “need” to include. Whether it’s the garter toss, wearing a white dress, or doing things just for the photo op, you don’t need to do what everyone else does! I know wedding traditions can be difficult to navigate if you’re dreaming of a nontraditional wedding.
If you’re looking for some unconventional wedding advice, you’re in the right place, my friend. Your day is allllll about you + I won’t stand for anybody who tells you otherwise!
Thankfully, the industry is moving away from random traditions and into weddings/elopements that are more personalized to each couple. I’m personally pumped that couples feel more encouraged to do their own dang thing! Because … let’s be honest …. breaking traditions are not going to have any ill effects on your marriage! (Your love is too strong for that, Girl!)
Let’s talk about wedding traditions for the not-so-traditional couples. It might be unconventional wedding advice, but I’m giving you 7 traditions that are OKAY to BREAK!
7 Wedding Traditions That Are Okay to Break
1. White Wedding Dresses + Black Tuxes
If you don’t want to, don’t worry about a white wedding dress or black tux. Lately, I’ve seen lots of grooms embrace colored suits like wearing gray, navy blue, tan, or dark green. OR you can find suits that are patterned! (I mean … how fun, right?!) This can be a great way to fully embrace your wedding color palette or theme.
ASOS has tons of options for men’s colored suits. Looking for burgundy, plaid, or striped suits? Look no further.
As for the white wedding dresses, there are dozens of alternatives I want ya to hear about. One of the best places to find wedding dress alternatives is BHLDN.
If you’re not a ball gown or evening dress kinda gal, why not go for a more casual wedding look? Sundresses or maxi dresses are alwayyyys in style.
Two piece dresses are also a surefire way to feel on top of the world.
And never forget about jumpsuits or pants suits if you’re into that!
First and foremost, wear what makes you feel physically + mentally comfortable. I want you to feel confident AF in whatever you chose to wear. Wear what makes you feel good!
2. Not Seeing Each Other Until the Altar
This tradition is based on it being “bad luck” to see each other prior to the ceremony. An alternative would be doing a first look or a first touch. Wondering what the heck those are? Don’t worry – you can read alllll about them in my blog post here.
It’s usually easier to plan out your day when you do a first look. Your guests don’t have to wait 1-2 hours in between the ceremony and reception while you guys take pictures. Plus you get to spend more of your day together!
No matter what you decide, seeing each other at the end of the aisle will be magical, I promise.
3. Girls as Bridesmaids + Guys as Groomsmen
As the wedding industry progresses, I want to see more mixed-gender wedding parties. Or, at the very least, less pressure on couples about the whole wedding party situation.
Too often, I see couples that scramble to fill in the spots with people so that both sides of the wedding party are even. Or they stress about having too many girls or too many guys. Or someone close to the couple gets left out because they are a different gender!
The bottom line: worry about WHO is by your side more than you worry about how it looks. There’s no reason to keep the guys + girls separated! Include your best friends on your side, regardless of their gender.
4. Something “old, new, borrowed, & blue”
This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme! The purpose is that the bride carries items around that fit into “old, new, borrowed, blue” to ensure good luck in her marriage. As your photographer, I alwaaaayss make sure I get these special details captured! Honestly, it’s one of my fave things to shoot.
Instead of scrambling to find things to fill these “old, new, borrowed, blue” spots, focus on details that are meaningful + personal to you! The thoughtful gift from your grandma, a family necklace, or shoes painted by your best friend – those are the items you’ll want to be photographed to remember!
If you’re like: “Mel, what am I supposed to include in the detail photos?” I gotchu. Just read my blog here!
5. Receiving Lines
While this is a great way to make sure you see everyone who came to your wedding ceremony, it can be exhausting to talk to so many people all in a row. Just think … How much quality conversation can you REALLY fit in when you’re stressed about talking to everyone? Also, people don’t always love to wait in long lines. If you two are super social extroverts, this might not bother you as much. Just know that it’s okay to reconsider this wedding tradition!
If you’re worried about personally thanking all your guests, try walking around during dinner after you two have eaten.
It’s also a good idea to consider spending a few minutes alone with your brand new spouse right after your ceremony! I definitely won’t judge you if you want some alone time with your boo before facing the crowd again.
6. Cake Cutting
Let’s be honest … cake cutting is pretty anticlimactic. It’s 110% okay to just enjoy your dessert at your sweetheart table or head table, instead of cutting a cake in front of all your guests!
Honestly, most people don’t realllllyyyy care about this. They’re just excited to eat some cake! (Save a piece for me, too!)
And, Girls, let’s be real, the last thing we want on our wedding day is cake smashed in our face after spending time + money making sure we look good.
7. Garter + Bouquet Tosses
Anyone else think garter tosses can be a little uncomfortable to watch sometimes? My eyes always go to grandma … not gonna lie. Like, do you really want your grandparents to watch your new spouse dig around under your dress and give you a quick lap dance?? (If the answer is “yes,” then you do you and keep this tradition! I’ll capture it all!)
I know this tradition can be funny, but they both put focus on all the single people + enforce the old-fashioned idea that everyone’s goal in life is to get married. WARNING: SPOILER ALERT … no matter what Hallmark movies tell ya, catching the bouquet doesn’t mean you’re the next one to get married. (There, I said it!)
An alternative: do the anniversary dance! This usually includes a lot more people and honors those who have been married a long time. In the end, the last couple standing will give you newlyweds some advice on makin’ it last. This brings the focus back to the two of you, which is what your day is about!
If you’re planning a nontraditional wedding or even if you’re just looking for some unconventional wedding advice to mix things up, I hope this helps! Also, a little PSA: If your wedding is more traditional, there is nothing wrong with that. Plan the wedding of your dreams, no matter what anyone else says. Do it for YOU, not for everyone else.