We have shot a lot of weddings and being involved in the wedding industry, we’ve seen a number of wedding traditions start to fall out of style with today’s chic couples. Of course, we specialize in offbeat, alternative weddings, so our couples often forgo pretty much everything traditional. Regardless of whether you are an offbeat, non-traditional couple or extremely traditional, here are ten wedding traditions that you can consider ditching from your wedding planning.
White Wedding Dresses
White wedding dresses have been around since about the 1840s, but that doesn’t mean you need to rock one. Of course you can wear whatever color you want, a combination of white and color, or even an ivory dress. There are so many options available today and you should find one that fits your personality and wedding.
The origin of the veil is even older than the white wedding dress. Ancient Romans thought evil spirits were attracted to the bride, so the veil was used to shield her. Then, in the medevil times, when arranged marriages were used for political gain, veils were used to hide the bride’s face. They were only lifted after the ceremony, in case the groom felt she was too unattractive to marry.
Needless to say, many bride’s these days are ditching the long white veil all together and opting for chic headbands, flower pieces, or nothing at all.
Matching Bridesmaids Dresses
These days bridesmaids are being liberated and allowed to choose their own style and flare with a mismatched look. To keep things looking cohesive, keeping a similar color tone or length helps.
Avoiding Each Other Before The Ceremony
Waiting to see each other at the alter also steams from the medieval ages for much the same reason as the veil. Monarchs arranging marriages for political reasons wanted to limit the opportunity for the groom to take off, so he never was aloud to fully see the bride until after the ceremony. These days, well…that really doesn’t apply. Instead of waiting until the alter, you can opt for a first look and be able to have a much more intimate experience together. Plus, you’ll be able to spend more of your day together and get to your reception faster! Check out our post on considering the first look to see if it’s right for you.
After Ceremony Cocktail Hours
Typically cocktail hours are used to entertain guests while the couple is being photographed. These days, especially with so many opting for the first look, cocktail hours aren’t always necessary, but that shouldn’t stop you from having one. Consider having one before the ceremony, especially for hot summer days. Avoid alcohol so you don’t have hammered wedding guest passing out before the reception, so treat them to light snacks, as well as, refreshing lemonade or infused water.
Designated Ceremony Seating
Much like assigned reception seating, designated ceremony seating is also taking a backseat in favor of all of the couple’s family and friends coming together as one. This allows everyone to mingle and enjoy themselves with less formality.
Flower Girls + Ring Bearers
You actually don’t need a flower girl or ring bearer. You could also have multiple if you prefer all coming down the aisle. You can include a wagon for the real young ones or even opt for your favorite pooch instead.
The Receiving Line
To be completely honest, we’ve never actually shot a wedding that included a receiving line. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact we specialize in off beat weddings or because the tradition of a receiving line is fading away. Overall the receiving line seems like a good way to thank everyone, but it seems that guests would prefer to get to the reception quicker for food and drinks. Plus there’s always plenty of time at the reception to mingle with everyone.
The Garter Removal + Toss / The Bouquet Toss
Here are two other traditions we really don’t see much of. Again, this might be because we specialize in non-traditional weddings, but singling out all the singles may not be your cup of tea, so don’t feel pressured to include a bouquet toss. You can always take your beautiful bouquet home or give it away for someone else to enjoy at their home.
The garter removal has always seemed a little odd. Something about couples parents, grandparents, and other guests all watching as your groom performs a sexy lap dance and removes your garter from under your dress with his teeth can be a little embarrassing to say the least. If you opt to skip over this then obviously there would be no need for the toss either.
My name is Matt Druin and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer that specializes in unique, offbeat weddings for all awesome people! Not only do I shoot amazing Atlanta weddings, but I also travel frequently for destination weddings, and weddings all over, with no travel fees in the US for amazing wedding photography. I also shoot Atlanta engagement sessions for newly engaged couples. I’ve even been known to travel, and far, for engagement sessions too!
Contact Atlanta Wedding Photographer Matthew Druin
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