Wedding Traditions You Should Totally
Published: April 6, 2014
Rules are made to be broken–even on your wedding day. After all, some traditions don't necessarily stand the test of time. So if you're feeling confined or constrained by what you're supposed to do on your big day, throw off the chains. It's your wedding, which means anything goes.
Read the rules below to find out which wedding rules and traditions we totally recommend skipping to avoid the stress.
1. Seeing each other before "I Do."
First looks–the time where the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony–have become increasingly popular. Not only is it the chance for some great photos to capture the moment, but it also allows the bride and groom to skip some of the photo opps between the ceremony and the reception so they don't have to miss the all-important cocktail hour, says Erica Schnell, events director at Ice House and Crushed Ice in Louisville, Kentucky.
2. Smashing the wedding cake.
Cutting the wedding cake is still a major part of many couples' receptions, but be sure to skip the part where you smash it in each other's faces. It's gross, been done way too many times and it just funks up your makeup (and your beautiful clothes!), says Marley Majcher, aka "The Party Goddess."
3. The slow first dance.
Surprise your guests by skipping the first dance to "At Last" and doing something more modern and personal to your style instead, suggests wedding planner Tracie Domino. "Just because most first dances are slow doesn't mean yours has to be. The same goes for the father/daughter dance or mother/son dance. Do whatever best fits your personality."
4. Only one person escorts the bride down aisle.
In Jewish tradition, both mother and father walk the bride down the aisle. And if one or both parents aren't available to escort the bride to the altar, there's nothing wrong with multiple people doing the honor. "We once had a bride whose father passed away and she couldn't decide who was going to walk her down the aisle," says Cemone Glinton of Out of Box Events and Weddings. "Her initial thought was to have both her brother and uncle walk with her, all three together (hand and hand). This was a perfect idea except the aisle was not wide enough. So we suggested that for the first half of the brides walk her brother would escort her–midway her uncle (her father's brother) would receive her and walk with her remainder of the aisle. It worked out perfectly!"
5. Tossing the garter/bouquet.
It's just gotten tacky, and the most recent weddings I've been to, only three or four people participate, making it awkward, says Jaclyn Holtzman, editor of AllFreeDIYWeddings.com. Not to mention there's usually that one guy or girl in the mix that gets way too competitive–or inappropriate–during the event.
6. Bridesmaids Wearing the Same Dress.
The pros at Lightinthebox.com suggest embracing the new trend of letting bridesmaids choose their dress style and either keep it in the same color or let them choose complimentary colors. You want your girls to feel and look their best during the day.
7. Choosing sides.
Picking a seat and not a side is becoming more common these days. You don't have to pick ushers to direct people, and with the concept of "Brides" and "Grooms" becoming more fluid these days, letting everyone sit where they want causes far less consternation and confusion, says Liz Coopersmith Silver of Charm Events.
8. Waiting for the cocktail hour to serve drinks.
As guests are arriving, serve non-alcoholic beverages either passed or stationary on a bar or table. Think lavender lemonade or something that adds to the traditional recipes, but makes it unique and refreshing, especially if you have a rooftop, garden or outdoor ceremony in the warmer months.
9. Getting married on a Saturday night.
There is no commandment written in the Wedding Rulebook that says your wedding must be held on a Saturday, late afternoon or evening, says Lauren Fitzgerald of Uptown Events. "There is lots of fun to be had at a Sunday brunch wedding where guests sip mimosas while the bride and groom exchange vows poolside. (Hint, lots of nice cost savings on the venue too!)."
10. Don't alienate important people in your lives.
Spending too much time or too little time together can be detrimental to your new relationship, even if you have been together for years. Make sure you find the right balance for each other between seeing your friends and family, but also making time for one another. And, P.S., don't alienate your in-laws-they are family now, too.