Best Wedding Traditions to Keep, and Which to Skip


Wedding Traditions
Photos by (left to right): Clean Plate Pictures, Cody Raisig, Clean Plate Pictures


Some of the harder wedding decisions often deal with the question of tradition. Which wedding traditions to incorporate and which to kick to the curb? Choosing only the ones that are important to you can involve diplomatically navigating family customs, expectations, and norms. The good news is, modern weddings have transformed old traditions into personal interpretations, so the conventions are constantly evolving, loosening, and expanding. Don’t get browbeaten into doing things that don’t feel like you. Knowing that you can be creative with wedding traditions to further personalize your day can actually make the whole process way more fun! Here are a few examples of practices that have seen a relaxing of the rules, and ones that we’ve noticed starting to emerge.


Choreographed Wedding Party Introductions

This may not be the most ancient of traditions, but not so long ago, there was a time when it felt the norm to spend upwards of twenty minutes announcing each member of the wedding party as they enter the room. While this can be a special way to welcome and thank your closest friends for being part of your wedding day, many couples opt to skip this, especially if it’s a smaller wedding. The real logistical benefit here is that by removing it, you’ll shave down your timeline, giving you more time to dance and enjoy the party.


Cake Cutting

This tradition continues to morph as the years pass, with many couples opting to skip the cake-in-the-face-smashing. If that part of the cake cutting ceremony doesn’t feel like you, it’s perfectly okay to skip! We’ve seen couples simply cut the cake, or skip that moment all together. Cupcakes, donuts, or other desserts are also making a more common appearance as wedding desserts, which alters the tradition in a (delicious!) way. If you are a cake fiend, go for it! If you are crazy for pie, go for it! Just know that there is flexibility no matter what you choose.  


Bride & Groom Dramatic Exit

This tradition can be fun, and another great photo op, but unlike the old days, the bride and groom are probably not heading straight to the airport. This can make your reappearance a little strange, since chances are, you’ll join your guests again for the after party.


Old Wedding Traditions
Photos by: Sean Gallery Photography (left), Brindamour Photography (center top), Cody Raisig (center bottom), Clean Plate Pictures (top right), Love in Theory (bottom right)



Colorful Wedding Gowns

We’ve already shared the beauty of this new tradition—take a look here!


Mismatched Bridal Party Dresses & Suits  

The expectations of what qualifies as proper wedding party attire is constantly expanding, with countless possibilities. Further, the idea that the bridal party all needs to wear identical dresses is changing rapidly. Not only has it become more common to have dresses of different cuts for different body types, we are seeing increased numbers of dresses of different colors and styles.


Photo Guest Book

The Polaroid is here to stay! We love this tradition. Adding printed photos to the guest book creates a more treasured document, rather than a formal binder of signatures that may not give you the same warm fuzzy feelings to look at years down the road.


Pre-Ceremony First Look

The tradition of bride and grooms avoiding even a glimpse of one another before the ceremony is getting sidestepped for a practical reason: photos. Photos can take boatloads of time, and by getting a portion done beforehand, you’ll be able to take full advantage of your allotted venue time. Many couples opt to do bridal party portraits and couple portraits prior to arrival at the wedding venue. This is a great way to get a variety of photo back drops and looks.

Coordinating a first look before the ceremony is also a really sweet way to share one final moment with your fiancé right before tying the knot. It also increases the amount of time that you get to spend together on your big day, which is really what it’s all about anyway.


New Wedding Traditions
Photos by: Justin Lee (top left), Lauren Cowart (top center), Rob Zajac (bottom right), Samm Blake (bottom center), Brindamour Photography (right)


As always, remember that at the end of the day, you and your S.O.-to-be get carte blanche for which traditions you choose to include. Embrace the cheesy traditions if you think they are fun! Go completely untraditional if that’s more your style. There are no hard and fast rules about what makes a wedding special, so go forth and make your own traditions.

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