Rules were made to be broken
To break or not to break? I spoke to Heather from Wedded Wonderland this week and discussed what rules can be broken on your wedding day. What traditions in these modern times can we dismiss? Firstly, make sure you do what’s right for you, your partner and your family. You don’t want to disappoint your loved ones, but at the same time you want to be comfortable and enjoy “your” day. Below are a few of the traditions that I don’t think should be broken, as well as those that can be bent, twisted or just clean broken – it’s up to you!
Who pays for what?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents make a significant contribution to the wedding. These days though, couples are paying the majority themselves. This can avoid any tricky situations where those who pay feel as though they have a say in certain decisions like dress choice, or by adding an extra 40 people to the guest list! I think the best thing to do is have an upfront discussion at the beginning, and of course, if you want the day your way, then pay yourself.
Inviting the ‘guest’
Gone are the days where everyone gets to invite a guest. It’s expensive to have guests at the reception and numbers are often tight! If you haven’t met a friend’s partner you don’t have to invite them especially if the venue is tight for numbers… A lot of people are much more understanding these days, so don’t feel pressured!
A registry for the home, or for a honeymoon!
These days couples are already living together, and a lot seem to be older so they do have almost everything they need! Now, registries now can be for more big ticket items, like art or furniture like a sofa, or for experiences on their honeymoon. This is completely up to you though; people including myself don’t always like this as I think it is lovely to look back and remember people when you pull out a jug or tea set!
See them for the first time at the aisle
The first time you lock eyes with your groom on your wedding day, should be at the ceremony. This tradition seems to be one more commonly broken and couples are choosing to have their photographic session before the ceremony in order to not miss out at the reception and save time. Seeing your groom at the end of the aisle, will be one of the most special memories to take through life with you, so keep to this one! There is also nothing more special than seeing his reaction when he sees you, it’s one of my favourite parts of a wedding!
These days not many guests follow the tradition of sitting on either the bride or groom’s side of the aisle. Guests will usually take it upon themselves when they arrive, whether they should be sitting on one side or the other. More formal ceremonies may influence the tradition, or if you have someone welcoming the guests, they may direct them. Informal weddings tend to not follow this so much. Again, it’s your preference if you want to enforce it or not!
Traditionally, you have everyone who attended your wedding sign the guest book so you know who was there on the day, but realistically, you will generally have a good idea! The process of inviting your guests are far more thought about and the input is much greater.
Guests books nowadays have evolved to things like photo booth books, thumb prints message trees. Its more interactive and much more fun for your guests!
Something borrowed, something blue
This is a lovely old tradition, where the bride wears or keeps close to them, an item that someone special like their grandmother or mother has given them. And whilst it is a nice gesture, it can be quite stressful if you don’t have something appropriate; it defeats the purpose. So if it’s easy for you to do, go for it, but if not, don’t lose sleep over not having the right item.
The bridal party ‘last supper style’ table
Traditionally, the bridal party would sit at a head of a room, and all sit facing out to the guests. the last supper style table I call it!
Guests do love to be able to see the bride and groom but many couples are choosing to sit around the room in various shapes and forms and having a table made special, by hanging great floral displays, or highlighting the table with different chairs from the rest of the guests. You can also use large candelabras, different coloured textiles, decorate the chairs with florals or you own personal touch.
The garter toss
It was once customary towards the end of every wedding, for the groom to awkwardly search under the bride’s dress for the garter placed around her thigh, and then throw it over his shoulder to a bunch of keen bachelors. Let’s face it, it sometimes can be just that – plain awkward, especially if you’re having a big wedding. The thought of doing this in front of second cousins, grandparents, or even your own parents can be really uncomfortable, so don’t feel as though it’s a must do – you don’t want to be dreading this part of the night all the way through the reception!
Leaving for your honeymoon straight after the reception
Well, traditionally…. However, these days couples are choosing to leave three or five days after the wedding so that they can spend time with family and relatives – especially if they have a large number of overseas guests!
The big overseas honeymoon
It’s ideal I know, you spend up big on the one-month honeymoon through Europe, but realistically, weddings are expensive and usually by the end of it, you can’t always afford to spend all that money.
Remember that we live in Australia, a country with so many wonderful places to explore. Why not venture in your own backyard; snorkel your way through crystal clear Queensland waters at The Whitsundays or Lorde Howe Island. Head down to Tasmania – they have amazing food, romantic retreats and a beautiful untouched coastline. You don’t need to be away for a month either; a week or ten days is all you need to have a romantic honeymoon that won’t take a further hit on the pocket.
The even bridal party rule
You don’t have to do this; if you have five best girlfriends and your partner has two best mates, roll with it. Don’t stress yourself and your friendships over having to pick from the best bunch! And don’t feel restricted with who you ask either . Heather is having her grandmother as her Flower Gran! It’s also becoming more common have both the father and mother of the bride walk her down the aisle. Involve those who are special to you and don’t feel like you need to stick to a number.
The matching bridesmaid dresses
Not many brides have four bridesmaids all with the same figure, and you don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable by wearing something that doesn’t suit their shape. There’s no need for them all to have the same dress; instead have them all in the same colour theme. Or let each of them choose a style of shoulder strap or neckline, something they’ll feel good wearing.
This is your day; you need to enjoy yourself, feel comfortable with your decisions and of course make sure that everyone is happy too!
Make sure to check in daily on Wedded Wonderland’s blog and Instagram for inspiration on the latest trends, celebrity features, and answers to all those tricky wedding related matters!
To listen to the full podcast of this episode of Weddings, Parties, Celebrations, click here.