If I didn’t tell them, almost every couple I meet would think that there was a master template on how a wedding ceremony should work and if changes were to be made you would need to get Jesus, the US President and a JP to sign off on the proposal.
Alas, in Australia there are only 3 things that need to happen in your wedding and I’ve detailed them in other blog posts (Post: The bare minimum). Anything else that happens in your wedding ceremony, from being walked down the aisle to exchanging rings, should only really happen if you’ve actually decided upon it.
Here are 15 wedding traditions you could afford to forget when planning your wedding ceremony.
Of course, if you do chose to include any of these traditions in your wedding, do it because you’ve decided too, not because that’s just what happens.
Disclaimer: I might sound a bit ‘ranty’ and cynical below, but it’s all in the name of encouraging you to creatively create the best wedding ceremony for your wedding day, not just doing what everyone else has always done.
Your marriage certificate requires two witnesses, but they don’t need to be in dresses worth hundreds of dollars and wearing a rented suit that doesn’t fit. It’s totally acceptable to not have a bridal party today. The tradition grew out of superstitions that believed that evil spirits would try and attack the bride, so bridesmaids would be dressed like her to try and trick the evil spirits.
At my wedding we both had about 5 close friends there and in the end I would have been better off not burdening them with the cost of a suit and what not.
For the girls, still invite your best friends to come with you on the journey, and they’ll probably still buy an expensive dress, but don’t make them buy the same dress as four other girls.
The bouquet toss
The intention behind the bouquet toss was to distract guests from tearing a shred of the brides dress as the couple left the reception, because it was good luck to have a piece of her dress. These days it serves to embarrass single girls.
The wedding dress
White, red, long, short, above the knee, Vera Wang, Coco Chanel, or not. Traditionally wedding dresses were seen to be the best dresses of that time, but ever since Queen Victoria got married everyone’s been wearing long white dresses.
Wear the most beautiful dress you can find, and don’t worry about the colour.
Your father giving you away
I’ve covered this in another blog post (Post: Giving the bride away), but there is no reason your father, or your mother, or any other person has to give you away. The tradition is rooted in women being possessions that were to be given to another man. You can make the tradition mean something else, but don’t just do it because it’s the ‘done thing’,
Parents giving their approval
Who gives this woman to be married to this man? No-one does, she made the decision on her own.
Not seeing each other before the wedding
You’ll be no less unlucky if you see your bride or bridegroom on the wedding day before the ceremony. But it might be nice to build the suspense. But don’t do it for luck.
Inviting every man and his dog you’ve ever met to the wedding
I don’t pay $120 for me to eat dinner, you shouldn’t have to. Any married couple will understand if they aren’t invited, they’ve paid the bills before. So don’t feel the pressure to invite every single person you and your parents ever met.
Do you dance? Is the art of dancing a big part of your relationship? If not, why is your first dance together as a couple an important milestone?
As sexy as it is for the groom to go up his bride’s dress and pull the garter off, I felt so awkward receiving my dad’s new wife’s garter on his wedding night. What are you supposed to do with that thing?
The wedding cake
Two desserts does sound like a great idea I suppose. But why get a cake if you don’t like cake?
The groom waiting at the end of the aisle
There is no reason that the bride can’t get ready early and arrive at the ceremony 30 minutes early like the groom and welcome everyone as well. Why does the bride arrive late and get all the attention anyhow?
Having an aisle
Why is there even an aisle if we’re not in a church or a supermarket?
I wear a wedding ring as a symbol of my relationship with Britt and so every other girl on the planet knows that I’m taken, I like to show off. But you don’t have to exchange rings, in fact one friend where’s his ‘ring’ on a necklace, why not just have a necklace?
Brides look beautiful in a veil but they’re no longer warding out evil demons. So maybe there’s a different fashion accessory that you could wear on your wedding day?
Being married in a church
More weddings happen outside of churches today than ever happen inside churches. Embrace the creative opportunities by staging your ceremony anywhere in the world. Imagine being married on a rooftop, a mountaintop, on a boat, or in a tree. You can choose!