As time goes on, traditions can change, making things better, easier, or less troublesome for many brides and grooms. There were great reasons that some traditions started, but sometimes, they are just outdated and can become cumbersome for couples today. I remember that my sister was worried about her best friend growing up and how uncomfortable he'd be standing up for her in her wedding. Fortunately, her hubby-to-be had lots of sisters that wanted to stand up for him, so there was a mixed lineup of bridesmaids, bridesmen, groomsmen, and groomswomen. It made for a fun wedding party lineup and a super-fun rehearsal and wedding day. Here are some ideas to shake up those old traditions.
Blended Wedding Parties
With people today being in all kinds of relationships, there's no rule that only females can stand up for the bride and only males can stand up for the groom. There are many cases of bridesmen and groomswomen, and a mixture makes your pictures more symmetrical as well. Also, there's no rule that your flower girl has to be under the age of 8 anymore. Flower girls and ring bearers can be pets, babies, teens, or anyone else that you desire.
The first dance is a tradition that allows all of the wedding guests to watch the bride and groom dance for the first time together as a married couple. Some people aren't the dancing type, while others simply don't want to have a first dance. If this is the case, just have the DJ announce your first dance and invite all of your guests to join you on the dance floor.
Wedding Cake Alternatives
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wedding cake anymore. Wedding cake alternatives will allow your guests to eat without plates and forks, allow you to save on your budget, and can be simpler when it comes to planning the reception. Cupcakes can be a cheaper alternative to a cake, as can sundae bars, candy bars, or any other sweet treats for your guests.
The White Dress
Some girls are fair-skinned and don't want to wear white, while others simply want another option for their dress on the big day. Your wedding gown doesn't have to be white. Ivory, blush, champagne, and powder blue dresses are great alternatives to white. If you are going extra-casual, you can skip the wedding gown all together and wear your favorite dress, regardless of the color.
Go Ahead and Peek
There is an age-old tradition that the groom seeing the bride before the wedding ceremony is bad luck. Sometimes that isn't a convenient tradition, though. Waiting until after the ceremony to take pictures can sometimes lead to running makeup or splotchy skin from crying tears of joy, messed-up lipstick from the first kiss, and possible messed-up hair from younger bridal party members' meltdowns (think a 3-year-old flower girl and a 2-year-old ring bearer). Go ahead and do a first-look shoot before the ceremony for the sake of the pictures. There will be tons of pictures after the ceremony, but you want to get the essence of your perfectly done makeup and hair and also his reaction of seeing his gorgeous bride for the first time. Plus, it's always nice to tell your soon-to-be spouse that you love them right before you say "I do."
Garter and Bouquet Toss
This is a silly little tradition that most brides and grooms do simply because it is a tradition. You might choose to only toss a bouquet, but if you aren't comfortable with either of these traditions, just skip them. No one will notice, especially if they are dancing and having a good time. Plus, most of your single friends would probably rather go without these rituals, too.
Anyone Can Pay
In this day and age, people are working hard to pay for college, weddings, savings, vacations, and retirement. It may not be tradition to get help from whoever is willing to give it, but it isn't necessary for the bride's family to pay for everything anymore. Talk with family members to see if they are willing to pay for certain things. Grandparents can possibly help pay for flowers. Try to get help with the bigger items from both sides. Maybe his family can pay for the venue and DJ, while her family pays for the flowers and the cake. Some fees that can be split are the photographer, videographer, and catering. Or it may be that you and your fiancé want to pay for everything yourselves, and that's fine, too.
Asking for Cash, Tactfully
Although it would be tacky to ask for cash gifts on your wedding invitation, you can quietly provide options for guests who want to give cash, especially if they are unable to come to the ceremony and reception. Word of mouth works well for this, and there also may be an option on your wedding registry to register for gift cards. Some couples also set up a "honeymoon fund" website where people can help send the newlyweds on a dream vacation.
Rings Are Optional
All brides want everyone to know that they're married, but sometimes a ring for the groom (or even the bride) isn't a favorable option. Some people work heavily with their hands and don't see a ring as a good choice. Tattoos are becoming more popular in the place of wedding rings. Some people choose to tattoo a ring or even simply tattoo their spouse's first initial on their ring finger. Some just forgo the ring idea entirely and tattoo each other's names on their body.
Walking Down the Aisle
Many little girls dream of their daddy walking them down the aisle on their wedding day. Unfortunately, sometimes, that just doesn't work out. Nowadays, anyone special person can walk the bride down the aisle. Mothers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, or children can escort the bride: The person who "gives away" the bride simply needs to be someone who is close to the bride and was there for her as someone to look to in times of need. Alternately, the bride can just walk down the aisle on her own if she'd prefer.
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