Don’t let this title let you think otherwise — we do love many of the classic wedding traditions, but we’re of the opinion that a couple should have their wedding day their way. So, if the bride and groom feel uncomfortable with the sometimes awkward (and, at worst, cheesy) traditions and superstitions that have become a mainstay for weddings throughout the years, like the garter removal and toss, the bouquet toss, the cake cutting, etc., then we think it’s A-okay to skip these ceremonial add-ons.
In fact, a lot of professionals and brides alike now share the opinion that many of these traditions of old have had their time and should be skipped if the couple of honor feel so inclined. And, if you’re worried about what your guests might think — don’t. Although they aren’t likely to admit it, most guests will welcome the absence, especially the single ladies and gents that get put on the spot.
So, if the idea of including any of these next 7 wedding traditions into your big day makes you feel uneasy or don’t really fit into the vision you have for your dream day, skip them. Oh, and don’t forget that you can pick and choose — keep the traditions you love and toss out the ones you don’t.
1. The Bouquet Toss
Not only does this wedding tradition put all your single friends on the spot, many feel awkward about gathering into a group and competing with other women for your flying bouquet. If you want to spare the single ladies in your life, skip it altogether or include come up with a plan to include all your female guests. Our favorite alternative is gifting your bouquet to the couple in the room who has been married for the longest amount of time or providing every woman in the room with a single stem flower.
Stuart Corbishley via Flickr
2. The Garter Toss
The garter toss is probably the most awkward of all wedding traditions, especially the part when the groom sticks his head under the bride’s dress to remove to garter. If you want to avoid potential embarrassment for you and your guests, go ahead and leave it out of your plans. The single men in the room definitely won’t mind.
3. The Cake Cutting
Cutting the wedding cake as a couple isn’t all that weird, but if you’re just not keen on the idea of including the tradition in your day, don’t feel like you have to. A fun alternative is to have the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom cut the cake instead. Or, if you don’t want to make a big deal about the cake at all, simply have your caterer cut and serve, do cupcakes instead, or you can always have just a photo of the two of you “cutting” the cake, but there’s no announcing of it. As long as there is cake or plenty of desserts, your guests won’t complain at all.
4. Having a Bride’s Side & Groom’s Side
Tradition states that the groom’s family is seated on the “right” while the bride’s is on the “left”. Why not shake things up (no one’s going to notice!) by having ushers escort guests to a “seat, not a side”, or have a cute sign to advise the guests?
5. Female-Only Bridal Party & Male-Only Groom Party
Although the bride’s wedding party usually consists of female-only bridesmaids and the groom’s wedding party usually consists of all-make groomsmen, this tradition is becoming less and less standard for modern brides and grooms. If you’ve got a guy bestie you want to include on your side, go for it! If he wants to include his sister on his side, don’t hold back! There’s no reason that the perspective “parties” have to be divvied up by gender, and we encourage you to do what works best for you, regardless of what others might think.
6. Not Seeing One Another Before The Ceremony
Over the past few years, we’ve seen many couples choose to forgo not seeing each other before the ceremony, and instead having a “first look”, where (often in private) you see each other for the first time, before the actual nuptials. We’ve seen parents/Dads too, join in this fun (new) tradition. Coming up with a creative way and place to meet each other, of course with your hired photographer ready to go, is half the fun!
7. Wedding Favors For Guests
Wedding favors are a wonderful way to thank your guests for joining you on your big day, but there are many ways show your appreciation without spending a small fortune on traditional wedding favors that your guests may never use. Send-off snacks or making a donation in your guests’ honor works just as well. Or, if your budget can’t handle any more strain, let your cake be the favor instead.
Well, brides-to-be, what wedding traditions will you be leaving off your timeline? Share below or contact us for more tips about alternative solutions!
~Blog contributed by Audra Jones