Old School Wedding Traditions that are ‘Ok’ to Ditch

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I don’t care how traditional you are. I’m willing to bet there’re at least one of these wedding traditions you’d reconsider…

1. Having a white dress

Even when I was a little girl, I knew I did not want to have a blinding white wedding dress. Maybe it was my mom wore a hunter green wedding dress while she was nine months pregnant with me at my parent’s wedding, or maybe it’s because I have always marched to the beat of my drum, but I just knew a traditional wedding dress was not for me. For brides who have similar tastes as me, it is totally okay to have a dress that is ivory, champagne, or any other color that doesn’t remind you of your grandma’s doilies. I feel just as much like a bride in my blush and taupe wedding dress as my grandmother did in her white one.

2. Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus.”

After interning with one of the best wedding planners in the world, I got a pretty good sense of what I did and did not want after watching 13+ weddings in one year. One thing I have always been confident of is not playing the standard bridal march as I walk down the aisle. You have way more control of the feel of your wedding by picking a song that reflects the atmosphere you want your wedding to have. One military couple we worked with had a very fun and playful relationship, and the bride was walking down the aisle to Emily Sande’s “Next to Me’ was a huge reflection of not only their relationship but set up the mood for the very fun filled reception to follow. Personally, I want the ceremony portion of our wedding to be very emotional and heartfelt. That is why I am going to be having my bridal party walk down the aisle to Runner Runner’s “I Can’t Wait,” (seriously it makes me cry every time) and I’ll be walking down the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “I Can’t Help.” I fully expect all of my friends to be ugly crying.

3. Having just your dad walk you down the aisle


I have been blessed to have grown up with three amazing father figures in my biological dad, my step-dad, and my grandpa who raised me. There’s no way I could ever choose to include one and exclude the other two, so I’ll be having all three of them escort me down the aisle. If you’re not that close to your dad, or he’s passed way, It’s 100% okay to have a close relative or friend (like a brother or even your mom), it’s perfectly acceptable to have that person walk with you.

4. Matching bands with your soon to be husband

Besides the fact that we have entirely different tastes, my fiancé and I have very different skin tones. Where I’m pale with orange undertones, my fiancé is darker with richer undertones to his skin. He knew when picking out my ring how much I loved rose gold, and got me a ring that’s a mix of white and rose golds. Our plan was to match our band colors, but when we went to try on bands together, the rose gold of my band contrasted with my skin beautifully and blended into his. The regular gold, however, looked beautiful on his skin. It’s cool not to have matching bands if that’s what you want. You’re married, not Siamese twins.

5. Bridesmaids dresses have to match

I LOVE the trend of mismatched bridesmaid dresses. With ten bridesmaids it would have been impossible to find just ONE dress to fit their very different body types and personalities. Plus, to me, it’s pretty crappy to make someone pay 100+ for a dress that they will a) never wear again or b) makes them feel uncomfortable. My girls and I are using the website Azaie to coordinate dress colors since burgundy is a hard color to match. This allows them to order a dress of their choosing in the color I want and have it ordered to fit their bodies.

6. Having your guests seated on different sides.choose-a-seat-not-a-side-wedding-printable-24x36-85x11-5x7-chalkboard-typography-script-bunting-flags-seating-sign-wedding-download
“Pick a seat, not a side. We’re all family after the knot is tied” sums it up best. It’s a wedding, aka the joining of two people, not Krypts vs. Bloods or Capulets vs. Montagues.

7. Exchanging traditional vows

Like I said above, my goal for our ceremony is for it to be very personal and heartfelt which is why we are writing our vows. If you’re not the best writer or don’t know where to start, Pinterest has tons of ideas to give you inspiration and get you started. The best words come from the heart, and there’s nothing more heartfelt than vows that are tailored to your relationship.

8. A church ceremony

a. While my fiancé and I are both very religious, it works out much better for our guests and us to have the ceremony, reception, and cocktail hour all in one place. Pick a space that’s meaningful to both you and your fiancé, but make sure to check with your officiant that they are comfortable with that arrangement.

9. You should register for fine china and kitchenware

Thankfully, we are totally set on basic needs for our house. While we are hoping to upgrade some items in our home with our registry, we are primarily encouraging our guests to donate to our honeymoon fund. If you go this route, just make sure you do have some physical items on your registry for people that want to gift you with something more personal than a charge on their card. If you’re as well stocked as us, add things like camping gear, outdoor furniture, or cool knick-knacks and gadgets to make life easier.

10. A bouquet and garter toss

There is nothing more that I hate to see at a wedding than a garter toss. I don’t see the appeal in having my soon to be husband head deep into my dress pulling off a sweaty garter (I intend to get down at my wedding) with his teeth in front of my 100-year-old great-great grandma. If you also don’t like the idea of overall singling out your single friends, there are plenty of other options to fill the time at your reception. One of my favorite options that we’ll be implementing at our wedding is to have a special anniversary dance to celebrate all the married couples at your wedding. The DJ plays a song and eliminates each couple depending on the amount of time they’ve been married. The last couple remaining is presented with the bouquet as a gift or sweet memento from your wedding.

11. Traditional wedding cakes

a. During my internship, I went to a wedding where the bride and groom had various members on each side of their family bake their best cakes. It was a great way to tie the two families together and gave guests a delicious host of options. Since then, I have been wholly on board with having a wide selection of cakes vs. just one traditional wedding cake and grooms cake. It doesn’t just have to be cake either. You can have a pie bar, ice cream bar, or cupcakes.

What are some wedding traditions you’d be willing to ditch? Let me know in the comments!

About Chloe

Chloe is a San Antonio, TX native who loves margaritas and brunch almost as much as she loves reading a good book and a catching up on Empire. Learn more about Just a Girl in This World, click on the "About" tab in the main menu.