Etiquette

Wedding Traditions We Would Like to Divorce…

There is something so sacred and traditional about the sanctity of marriage. The so called “rules” that every bride and groom should follow come from a different world long, long ago, and they need some SERIOUS revamping. We now live in a very modern world, and society has changed drastically. So isn’t it time we revisit some of the old time traditions that come with a wedding and modernize them a little? I think so.

Lets begin with one of the oldest rules in the book:

The bride’s family foots the bill.

This tradition comes from old times when family would pay a dowry to marry the daughter off. The grooms family would receive money, goods, or even animals as a dowry. The big celebration that followed (the wedding as we know it today), would be to ensure the dowry was accepted by the groom and his family, and they would all go on their merry way. This was such a different world from what we live in today. Nowadays the grooms family is just happy they found someone to put up with him! That alone is enough payment in todays world. Since the brides family no longer has to “win” over the groom and his family, the tradition of the brides family paying for the wedding is slowly dying. It is becoming more and more common that a bride and groom will pay for their own wedding. A lot of times both families will pitch in a certain amount to help with the cost. Or will opt to pay for certain things, like the photographer, cake or the brides dress. When planning your own wedding, this is a conversation best had with your families early in the planning stages, so everyone is on the same page and knows what people are willing to pitch in. Do a little bit of research before hand, just to be sure you have some sort of bottom line cost in mind, so your families have an idea of how much the wedding would be.

There are many other traditions that we see and for some reason think they cant be changed or altered at all. This is YOUR day! Really make it YOURS and take complete advantage. One of the way you could do this is by breaking this next tradition..

Wedding invitations should be formal.

Who wants to go to a wedding that seems uptight and serious? No one. But everyone will go of course, because they have to. Why not make it fun and personalized and make them actually WANT to go? It is becoming more and more popular for brides and grooms to send out funny or clever invitations that really show their personality. There is so much room for personalization with the invitations and save the dates, the possibilities are really endless. This is the first thing your guests will see regarding your wedding, and this is your chance to get them excited about it! Be funny, be overly serious, be silly… this, as with your entire wedding, should showcase your personalities. Some add funny pictures, or outrageous questions for the guests to answer and send back. Find a unique way to showcase your love to your friends and family. It will be a nice breath of fresh air for everyone.

Bridesmaids are women, groomsmen are men.

This is one tradition we wouldn’t even think twice about. Of course the men are on the grooms side and the women are on the brides. But why should we have to follow that? Don’t limit your bridal party by gender. Feel free to have it traditional with the men on the right, women on the left, or make it yours and have who you actually want standing up there with you. Go ahead and have your bridesmen and groomswomen. That even has a nice little ring to it.

Bridesmaids should all wear matching dresses.

Why do we have so many rules regarding our bridal party? This is another old time tradition that really needs some modern touch. Its all too common that the bride picks a hideous dress for her best and closest friends to wear, and they all hate it. But they are her nearest and dearest, so they always play along and say things like “I can definitely wear this again!”. When in reality she cant get it off fast enough after the wedding to burn it. Can we please stop torturing the poor girls and change this rule up a little! Of course you don’t want them wearing white on your big day, but you should give them a little bit of leeway so they can choose a dress they feel comfortable and beautiful in. A lot of brides nowadays are giving their bridal party a certain color or even color scheme that they should follow. This not only makes the girls much happier, but also gives the wedding less of a cookie cutter look and lets their personality shine through.

Bride should wear a white dress.

It’s not only with the bridesmaid dresses that we can break the rules. One of the biggest elements of a wedding is the brides dress. White was the traditional color back in the day, because majority of brides would be “pure” as some would call it, and the white symbolized that. Nowadays we all know that it is pretty rare a bride is a virgin on her big day. So why cant we change the colors up a bit?? Brides are more and more thinking outside of the box and opting for a color they actually WANT to wear. They sometimes wear a color not too far from the realm of white, like ivory or cream. And sometimes they ditch the idea all together and go for something drastic like red or grey. With something as huge as what dress you will wear on your wedding day, don’t take this decision lightly. And definitely don’t limit yourself to only white!!

Bride should wear a veil, and limited accessories.

Since when have women been ok with limiting accessories? This is probably the only time in life a woman would ever even dream of it. But it shouldn’t be that way! This is as great of an opportunity as ever to get crazy with your accessories. Glam it up! Think prom type accessories, with a touch of wedding class. As far as veils go, tradition used to be that the bride would walk down the aisle with the veil over her face. Why would you want to hide your pretty face from your closest friends and family during one of the biggest moments of your life! Many brides nowadays don’t want to lose the photo op of this moment, and they opt to wear their veil not covering their face. This is becoming more and more popular because brides finally realized they spent hours getting ready for this big day, why hide all the hard work? There are also many alternatives to a traditional veil. Many brides like to have a headband, feathers, or even sparkly clips in place of the veil.

You should only have two wedding colors.

What? Why? I don’t understand why brides feel as though they have to limit themselves when it comes to wedding colors. As long as your colors work well together, the possibilities for wedding colors is endless. Take into account what time of year your wedding is to help decide on colors if you are at a loss. Many autumn weddings have oranges, browns and reds, while summer weddings tend to have pinks, greens, and yellows. Some of the most amazing color schemes are monochromatic. So if you have one color you really fall in love with, just focus on working in different shades of that color.

Traditional ceremonies can’t be personalized.

Make it your own!! There are many parts to a wedding ceremony, and every single one of them can be personalized to fit you. The unity candle part of the ceremony is a component that many people like to change. People have done alternatives to the traditional unity candle anywhere from a paint and canvas to mixing two of your favorite spices together. This should be something that really symbolizes both of you becoming one. Whatever you two are in to is a great place to start when thinking of ideas for a unique alternative. Check out this website for some really unique ideas: http://offbeatbride.com/2011/04/unity-ceremony-options#.UyTQwaxOWUk.

You shouldn’t see each other before the ceremony.

This is another old tradition passed down for generations. This is something that many brides and grooms still follow today. There is a way to still follow this rule, while also not making your wedding guests wait an hour and a half after the ceremony for you and your wedding party to take pictures. Consider taking a “first look” picture before the ceremony. The first look picture is becoming more and more popular not only because it saves time after the ceremony, but also because the photographer can get a better shot of the groom when he first sees you. There is so much going on when the wedding begins, its typically pretty tough for the photographer to capture both you walking down the aisle, and also his reaction when he first sees you. Along with getting the “first look” shot you are longing for, this also gives an opportunity to do the formal pictures of the bridal party before the ceremony, so afterword all you have to worry about it getting your groove on. This also makes for much happier guests because they can visit with you right away after the ceremony and not have to wait until you get back from taking pictures. On top of all of that, you get a chance to talk to your soon to be husband, which I’m sure will calm some of the nerves for both of you.

There should be one flower girl, and one ring bearer.

Oh great so then the little ones can all fight about who gets to do it? No way. This rule needs to change right away. So many times brides and grooms have large families and don’t want to be limited to just picking one of each to be in the wedding. Feel free to have as many as you would like. And don’t forget to not limit by gender!! Or even species for that matter! It is becoming ever so popular to include our furry loved ones in the ceremony as well. What better role for a pooch?

You should exchange traditional vows.

Repeating what so many others have said before doesn’t seem like the most romantic way to express your love. But writing your own vows to be said in front of practically everyone you know can be pretty nerve wracking. Really try and brainstorm what is sentimental to you, and what is sentimental to your significant other as well. Reflect on the time you have shared together and the things you love most about the other person. Cant come up with something from scratch? Turn to your favorite books, movies, and songs for some inspiration. Maybe even steal a line or two!

With all of the wedding before you, and all of the weddings after, its really a thing of the past to follow every tradition exactly. People don’t want to have another conventional wedding from the old days. They want to make it their own and unique. Which is exactly what you should do! Don’t be afraid to make this day your own. Because it is! This is a chance for you and your fiancé to showcase your personalities, and personalize it to the extreme. Most of all, HAVE FUN with it. This is a joyous and exciting occasion. Don’t feel as though the rule book is written and you must follow every rule. Break the rules, and have a good time doing so.

Think outside the box, and happy planning all! 🙂