Traditions: take them or leave them

By Sharon, for The Bride's Avenue

Traditions are great, and wedding traditions are the stuff of nostalgia. Whether you are a modern day rebel of a bride or you are a more traditional woman, the decision to stick to tradition or veer off is a difficult one to make.

While some traditions might be really meaningful to you, others not so much. So how do you know which to keep and which ones to ditch? Well, most times that is where a good wedding planner comes in. However before speaking to your wedding planner, it makes sense to have an idea of what you want. So let’s explore.





A white wedding dress or not?

Well the white wedding dress is certainly traditional and if you have your heart set on wearing one, then by all means go ahead. However, if you are not so keen on this colour, it is okay to leave out this tradition. The more modern take is to go for a colour of your choice. And if anyone gives you trouble, just remind them that the white wedding dress only became popular with Queen Victoria who wore it to her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Before then, people just wore their best dresses.

Same style bridesmaid dresses?

If you have ever been a victim of a bridesmaid dress that made you cringe when you thought of it, then you might want to leave out this particular tradition. Bridesmaid dresses do not have to be the same style and they don’t all have to be in one colour. Actually they can each wear different colours, just be sure to work with an experienced planner who can help you coordinate things by making sure the colours belong to the same palette.

Matching Wedding bands

The groom and bride’s wedding bands don’t have to match. Yes, it is cute to have your wedding bands match, but if you both have different tastes in metals or in wedding band styles, there is nothing that says you can’t each have the sort of wedding band you want. You could personalize your bands by engraving your names or initials or something that is meaningful to you both. If the groom is partial to platinum and the bride prefers yellow gold and you really can’t seem to agree on matching wedding bands, then this is one tradition you absolutely should leave.

Getting married in a religious institution

Well, we all have our dreams and if getting married in your religious institution has been a childhood dream of yours, then you should definitely take this tradition. However, if you are ambivalent, or you just want something fresh that represents who you are, then skip this. My best friend got married in a beautiful garden surrounded by flowers and nature. Everyone who knew her and her groom admitted it was just perfect for who they were.

There are other options you can explore. A very good friend of mine had a destination wedding at an exotic island in another country. If you are not certain that you want your wedding ceremony to take place inside a religious institution, then work with your wedding planner to find a location that is just perfect for you and also to ensure that your wedding celebrant is comfortable officiating outside the traditional venue.

Photo: Maria Lamb Photography

Photo: Maria Lamb Photography

Don’t see each other before the wedding

So this is just a carryover from medieval culture where the bride and groom saw each other for the first time during the wedding ceremony, by which time it was too late for the groom to change his mind if he did not like the look of the bride. Seriously, I would say ditch it. But just in case you are looking for the perfect reason, I’ll give you one. The first look photo shoot. This is a private moment just before the wedding begins when you can meet with your groom for a photo shoot that involves just the two of you. Some professional wedding photographers insist that you get your best pictures then probably because you are not under pressure and everything (including your makeup) is still fresh. Food for thought!