Wedding: Rules & Traditions that are Okay to Break

by - Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weddings are so strict with rules and traditions these days that so much of our time planning our dream wedding goes onto those traditions and rules that you don’t really want. At the end of the day, its your wedding so do what makes you happy and if it means scrapping a few traditions then so be it. But, there are also some rules that you don’t technically need to follow nowadays. After all, we are in the 21st Century. Who cares that the Bride’s parents don’t pay for the wedding.

So yup, you guessed it by that comment the first rule or tradition that it’s okay to break is who pays for the wedding. God knows why the Bride’s parents were expected to pay for weddings in the past. I mean, in old traditions – a man would propose, you’d change your last name, you’d move in with him and you’d have his children and you are also expected to pay for the wedding too? Pfft. I feel sorry for the dads who are like my pops (two daughters and no sons) who have to pay it several times over. I don’t even think I’d feel comfortable with my parents paying for my wedding. These days, couples just usually pay for their wedding themselves. At least that way everything is decided by the couple, it can be exactly how they want it to be and no-one will be telling you that the little things need changing.
Photographers and couples love to capture that “Groom see’s the Bride for the first time” moment, but many couples aren’t bothering. Take me and my fiancé for example, we get married abroad so it means our official/legal ceremony is the week before we fly to Spain. No-one knows about it and no-one is coming, so we won’t be following the tradition. Instead we will be waking up together and getting the paperwork done and treating this like any other day, seriously, I am even getting my flu jab an hour before we get officially wed. Whoops! For our wedding in Spain, we are spending the night before the wedding separate and will be spending it with each of our families, however we will still see each other before the official ceremony as we will be having a lot of our “staged” shots done about an hour or so before we get married. Not only does it mean that your hair and make-up will look fresh but it also means that when its time for cocktails and canapes, we can actually enjoy the day that we’ve paid for.
Many people dream of having the perfect bridal party wedding photo with the Bride and Groom n the centre, with an even number of maids and men either side. But realistically, do you have the same number of “best friends” as your fiancé? Can you truthfully say that you both can pick 4 maids and men without just picking someone for the sake of it? No. Exactly. Which is why I think it’s perfectly okay to disregard this rule. I have. I picked my maids and my best man, and my fiancé picked his best man and ushers for a reason. Whether they are an usher or best man or bridesmaid or the Brides best man, they all mean something to us and no matter the title we chose them because they mean something (okay a lot) to us and whether that means that we have odd numbers of bridal party then so be it. But I didn’t want to pick someone for the sake of it. At our wedding, I have a best man and three maids made up of two family members and a friend and my fiancé has a best man and two ushers made up of close friends. Whoever you decide, make sure you make the choice because you want them in your special day.  
Traditionally, a wedding would usually be conducted by a religious authority figure. Regardless of your religion or culture. It’s common nowadays for couples to choose a venue and an officiant of their choice and typically now, not many ceremonies are religious. You don’t need to have your wedding in a church or a house of god to make it special and meaningful. Take me and my fiancé for example, my fiancé is Catholic and I am Christian, we would feel rude getting married in either by either religious priest. Although we are getting married in Spain, we have hired a beautiful venue instead. We wanted to make this wedding about what we wanted and as neither of us are very religious, we didn’t see the need to get married by a religious authority figure.
I don’t know why, but regardless of whether indicated on the invitation, guests thought it was acceptable to bring a plus one. Of course it’s polite to invite said guests’ plus one. Its not a rule, and if you are on a budget and you have never met the guest then you don’t need to invite them. Its quite common for guests to be invited as a single party, especially if they know other guests anyway it really doesn’t matter if someone attends solo. Nowadays its quite common for couples (who’ve been invited as a couple) attend functions solo. I would however say if you are inviting someone who doesn’t know anyone, make sure you give them a plus one. Just hope that the other singles don’t turn up with a plus one without telling you! Thank god I got married in Spain is all I am saying, no surprise guests. 
Traditionally, the Bride and Groom would write a gift list filled with pots and pans and other household appliances, this would be shared with the guests and each guest would pick an item to purchase. I never really understood how this would work in the “olden days” as how did they know whether someone else was buying it? Thank god for technology these days as luckily you can share you online gift list and people now use a specific link to purchase your “wants” and once purchased it means another guest can’t buy. Phew. Seriously how did we manage without technology? Nowadays however, most couples – like me and my fiancé – live together before they get married. So they may already have everything they need for their house,  and may therefore decide to go for an untraditional (that is actually becoming quite traditional) option of asking for a wedding wish, or as we know it money, towards their honeymoon. If you’re opting for a wedding wish rather than a gift, be sure to speak to the older guests (particularly family) as you may still get your grandma & pa turning up with a stylish casserole dish.
Most brides have dreamt about their wedding day since they were little girls, walking through the centre of the living room dressed in your mum’s white silk dressing gown holding a bunch of flowers (not that I did that.. okay maybe). Although many brides want the long white/ivory dress covered in lace and pearls, not every bride nowadays wants that. Whether you prefer a short retro dress with a tutu underneath, or whether you prefer surprising your guests by turning up in anything but a white dress. Its your choice. And who cares? Many brides are now choosing a dress that suits their style and individuality, and I actually think its quite creative to notwear a white dress. Wearing white is not set in stone, in fact my photographer told me about a shoot she did where the bride wore all black, because that was what she wanted. You go girl!
Old traditions meant that newlyweds were to jet off to a romantic destination straight after the wedding (or even sometimes during the wedding ceremony). I think this would be a nightmare and completely bonkers. Not only have you paid for tens or hundreds of guests to attend and you’re also going to be missing out on a hella’ party that’s all about you, but you’d have to keep your passport and boarding passes on you as well as a packed suitcase and turn up to the airport in your wedding dress. No thank you. Many couples (especially those asking for wedding wishes) will book their honeymoon after the wedding or have it booked for a few weeks after. As our wedding is in Spain, there’s no point jetting off to the other side of Europe for a romantic break instead we are going to look at honeymoons once we are in the UK and probably the following year.
What do you think about breaking wedding traditions? Did you break any traditions at your wedding? Leave your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below as I’d love to have a read.

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