Are anyone else’s toes basically numb? It’s crazy cold here in the Rockies, and between the cold temps and the wind (always the wind in Wyoming), I’m pretty sure I’m not going to thaw until June.
I know a lot of people who are planning weddings, which makes me think back on my own wedding planning process. What was weirdest to me about planning a wedding was how many rules there are. Unlike planning a birthday party, a wedding has so many prescribed rules, traditions, and expectations. Which should you follow? Which are outdated? Everyone has their own thoughts, but there are 6 big traditions we ditched.
The Bouquet Toss
We went to quite a few weddings while we were dating and even while we were engaged, and we always dreaded the bouquet toss. There was something about jumping for a bouquet that felt awkward since I already knew who I was going to marry and I wasn’t worried about when. We felt awkward doing the bouquet/garter tosses, so we saw no need to include them in our day.
Instead of a bouquet toss, we did a “bouquet dance.” All of the couples got out on the floor, and were slowly eliminated by how long they’d been together. The couple who had been together the longest got the bouquet. It was really fun to see who had been together the longest and we loved their marriage advice: “Wake up every day and ask yourself: ‘How can I serve my spouse?'”
I think our opinion on this matter is summed up with this quote from Brandon: “I’m not going to get all up in your business in front of everyone to get a garter off of your leg.” Lots of people go through with this tradition at their wedding, but it just wasn’t for us. We’re pretty low-key on the PDA, and all we felt like the garter would accomplish was making us both feel awkward. Also, similar to the bouquet toss, we weren’t feeling the “toss” part.
The “No Seeing Each Other the Day Of” Rule
This tradition is adorable and initially, I was all about it. I loved the idea of our first time seeing each other being in the church, but honestly, it just wasn’t practical for us. We weren’t about to A) leave our guests stranded, waiting for hours between the wedding and reception while we took photos or B) invest in some sort of fancy cocktail hour. I would have loved the latter but it was just too expensive.
In place of this tradition, we did a “first look” and our photog captured it on camera. Much easier and I don’t regret a thing!
The Traditional Father-Daughter Dance
My dad and I aren’t smooshy and emotional. That’s not my family, and that’s not our relationship. Instead of doing a traditional father-daughter dance to a song like Daughters by John Mayer, we mixed it up.
We surprised everyone by starting out slow dancing, and then launching into a choreographed rendition of Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. We had a lot of fun planning our dance together, and that meant more to both of us than a sentimental song. Plus, from what I gather, our guests really enjoyed it!
When you’re planning a wedding on a budget like I was, wedding favors should be the first thing to go. While they can be fun and creative, people are really coming to your wedding to see a happy couple in love and be fed good food. They aren’t coming for the favors. We skipped the favors; no one batted an eye, and I saved a lot of money. Win-win.
The Big Getaway
This isn’t as traditional as the other things we skipped, but it’s become pretty popular. A lot of people make a big deal of the couple’s getaway; guests throw flower petals, blow bubbles, or light sparklers to celebrate the couple’s exit from the ceremony as they drive away. We didn’t intentionally “skip” this for a specific reason; we just didn’t make a big deal of it.
Instead of a big, formal exit, our DJ played Sweet Caroline, and whoever was left at the ceremony sang and danced with us as a send-off. We said final goodbyes to our family and friends, then quietly got in our car and slipped away. This is another one I don’t regret.
A wedding is a highly personal thing, and so I believe there’s no right or wrong way to do any of it. As I planned my wedding, I found it helpful to find out how others thought about their wedding and what they included or omitted, so I thought I’d share our ceremony did’s and didn’ts as well.
If you’re married, what wedding traditions did you embrace or skip? Share them with me!