Lionlady Photo & Video is a team of artists focused on bringing warmth and connection to weddings, portraits, and editorial projects.

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Wedding Traditions that We’re Ditching

One of my favorite aspects of a wedding day is that two people have decided to come together, share who they are and what they love with friends and family. So many couples bring unique moments to their wedding days to show off their priorities.

Let’s be honest, there are many traditions that have become synonymous with weddings, but I’m here to tell you that you are not tied to any tradition! Some people include events only because it’s important to a family member, and that is okay! Adding in something that is meaningful to your family can be an important aspect of your celebration. But it’s also perfectly fine to go in your own direction. Let’s explore wedding traditions that some couples may consider outdated and provide alternative options that can make the celebration more meaningful and memorable.


Bouquet and Garter Toss

The bouquet and garter toss are often considered a fun and lighthearted way to involve guests in your reception festivities. However, some couples may feel uncomfortable with the idea of publicly showcasing their undergarments or throwing a bouquet to a group of single guests.

Plus, separating men and women when we’re aware of so many more genders now is a bit outdated and can be polarizing for those guests that don’t ascribe to either. Moreover, not all couples may have single friends or family members to participate in these activities. If the bouquet and garter toss are not something that resonates with you, skip it!

Grand Entrances and Exits 

There’s so much pressure to include all the traditions! Whether it’s something you’ve seen at someone else’s wedding or because you’ve seen it on Pinterest, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do. For us introverts, a grand entrance where we’re expected to dance or be even more center of attention than we already are might cause anxiety. Again, all of these can be bypassed, don’t let anyone pressure you into a tradition you’re not fond of! 

We’ve all been to weddings with a fun sparkler exit at the end of the reception or confetti throw at the end of a ceremony. While this can add excitement to the celebration, it can also be unnecessary and wasteful. Some venues have restrictions on the use of certain materials so it can add just one more stressor or one more item to clean up. Couples who prefer a more low-key entrance or exit can opt for a simple walk or choose a quieter, eco-friendly option.

White Dress 

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress dates back to the 19th century when Queen Victoria popularized the style. Today, many people still opt for a white dress, but there are no rules that dictate this choice! We’re not selling virginity anymore! Some couples may prefer a colorful dress or an outfit that better reflects their personal style. The important thing is that the YOU feel comfortable and confident on your special day.

 

Large Wedding Parties or Wedding Parties at All

The idea of a large wedding party with numerous bridesmaids and groomsmen is a common tradition. However, having a large wedding party can be expensive and time-consuming. There’s nothing wrong if you’re looking forward to having all your people up at the front with you! But, you can totally opt for a more intimate group or no group at all! You can still do a fun bachelor or bachelorette party, but not require all your friends to buy dresses and suits.

Lots of Guests

Having a large number of guests at a wedding can also be costly and stressful. Many couples are choosing to have smaller, more intimate weddings with just close family and friends. This allows for a more personalized and meaningful celebration without the pressure of entertaining (and feeding) a large crowd.

Wedding Cake but Other Dessert Options

Wedding cake is a staple of many receptions, but it is not the only dessert option. Couples can choose to incorporate other sweets, such as cupcakes, pies, or a dessert bar. This can add variety to the reception and allow guests to choose their favorite treat.

The Wedding Registry

The traditional wedding registry often consists of household items, such as dishes, bedding, and appliances. However, some couples may already have these items or prefer a more unique and meaningful gift. Instead of a traditional registry, you can opt for charitable donations, experiences, or contributions towards a larger purchase, such as a down payment on a home. Or, you can skip it altogether! No rules for your wedding day.

Father Walking the Bride Down the Aisle

The tradition of the father walking the bride down the aisle is a sentimental moment for many couples. However, it may not be appropriate or comfortable for all families. Some people may choose to have both parents or a close family member walk them down the aisle, or they may choose to walk alone or with their partner. The point is, there are so many options and you don’t have to default to the obvious.

The Receiving Line

The receiving line is a traditional way for the newlyweds to greet and thank guests for attending the wedding. However, it can be time-consuming and impersonal. Instead of a receiving line, couples can choose to visit each table during the reception or mingle with guests on the dance floor.

Bridal Party Gender Divide

Traditionally, the bridal party consists of only women, while the groomsmen are all men. However, this gender divide doesn’t work if you have friends or family that don’t ascribe to these genders or if the couple isn’t a bride and groom or if one person wants both men and women as a part of their party. So many reasons to ditch this tradition! 

Traditional Wedding Vows

This can go two ways: it’s become a trend for couples to write their own vows so that may seem like a common tradition you’re seeing. Or, you might remember growing up going to weddings where the vows were traditionally “in sickness and in health” type. Either way, you get to decide what works best for you. 

I’ll go as far to say as you don’t even have to do vows during the ceremony at all! You can write each other letters that you read during the first look (just make sure to tell your photographer and videographer so we have the opportunity to capture it). Or, you might decide that you don’t want to have to think about writing something sentimental and remove the tradition altogether!

bride and groom dance in front of large crowd

There are no wrong decisions for your wedding day, unless you’re only doing something because you’re “supposed to”. You can create the day you want with as many or as little tradition as you want. You can take input from family or you can lead with your heart! Take some time to meditate on what traditions you find outdated and which you’d like to include to make your day unique to you.

You know I love a non-traditional wedding, so reach out and we can can chat about yours!


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