Wedding traditions are a great way to bring substance and meaning to your wedding ceremony and reception.
But for every meaningful and sweet wedding tradition out there, there’s just as many that seem outdated and frankly, tired. We have the run down on wedding traditions that are, thankfully, beginning to fade.
Google “bouquet toss gone wrong” and you’ll get video compilations loaded with wrestling bridesmaids, grown women knocking over the young, and plenty of dance floor dives…all for the goal of grabbing that bouquet.
All single ladies “of age” gather in a group, standing behind the bride, usually on the dance floor. From widowed aunts to matching bridesmaids, they await with open arms to catch the prize. Being the one to catch the wedding bouquet means you’ll be the lucky single girl who will be married next.
Thankfully, we have progressed past marriage being a single woman’s sole ambition in life.
As such, the tradition of the bouquet toss is fading. For years brides have already begun ordering a separate “throw away” bouquet from their florist, preserving the real bouquet.
If a bouquet toss is done at a wedding, you’ll have just as many single women slink to the back of the room as you will towards the bouquet.
There are lots of ways to celebrate friends and family at your wedding. Acknowledging that their life doesn’t begin once they walk down the aisle is a good way to start.
The garter toss tradition can be just as “cringey” as the bouquet toss.
The garter toss is typically conducted towards the end of the wedding reception. The bride, newly wedded, usually sits in a chair while the groom reaches up under her skirts to retrieve her garter. Cue appropriate DJ music.
Well intoxicated single men line behind the groom, vying to catch the garter as it’s launched in the air. This tradition can get just as rough and tumble as the garter toss, if not more so.
Many couples are foregoing the garter toss alongside the bouquet toss. Like the bouquet toss, the tradition seems outdated and a bit passe. Not to mention that more modern, form-fitting wedding gown styles can make the garter retrieval tricky.
Receiving lines at weddings don’t have as much storied history as other wedding traditions. The goal here was simple: greet all your guests.
A receiving line gives the bride and groom an opportunity to both welcome and thank all their guests. In addition, the parents would also be a part of the receiving line to greet guests as well.
Weddings are overall less formal and in many cases more intimate than the past. Couples have more opportunities to interact with guests throughout the reception. Additionally, parents of the bride may no longer be the official hosts of the wedding reception, as couples often finance and plan their own weddings. This means having them a part of the official greeting line doesn’t make sense, and a variety of family dynamics can further complicate a receiving line order.
To avoid the drama and extra time, receiving lines are typically only seen in very traditional and formal weddings. If you do skip this tradition, be sure to take time to roam during the reception and personally say hello to your guests.
His & Hers Ceremony Sides
As couples’ lives are becoming more entwined far before the wedding date, seating guests by “bride’s side” or “groom’s side” has become increasingly moot. Not to mention the many scenarios where the term “bride and groom” doesn’t reflect you as a couple.
Traditionally, the bride stands on the left with her friends and family behind her, with the groom and his guests on the right. (Though this varies depending on religion and culture.)
However, most are guests of both the couple, not just one of them. The couple is more likely to have shared enough time in life together to have mostly mutual friendships where guests are happy to sit on either side.
If you do forego traditional ceremony seating for the majority of your guests, still reserve seating in the front two rows for VIP’s. This would include anyone walking down the aisle during the processional, or elderly family members who need to be seated in advance.
The First Dance
Just kidding, we still love the first dance.
Freezing the Wedding Cake
Let us set you free from this tradition once and for all – almost no one freezes the top layer of their wedding cake anymore.
Just like the throw-away bouquet done by florists, bakers offer a cake top that is separate with its own packaging to put into the freezer. But if you’re expecting the delicious, moist cake you remember from your wedding reception, you’re out of luck.
Cakes used to be soaked in liquor like rum which would help preserve the cake a year later. Today’s confections don’t hold up as well, even using the best cake bakers in the area.
Ultimately, there are many great ways to celebrate your one year anniversary. Eating hard, cold cake shouldn’t be one of them.
Speaking of wedding cake traditions, let’s address smashing cake in each other’s faces.
Giving each other a sip of champagne with arms linked, or feeding each other a small bite of cake can make a great photo op. Getting a large piece of wedding cake smashed into your expensive, beautifully done face is a different story. You’ll have many photos left to take that night, and will both want to look your best.
Prep your fiance ahead of time on what the cake cutting is going to look like to avoid unwanted frosting up your nose.
At the end of your day, your wedding is your wedding. Keep the traditions you want, corny or not, and let go of the ones that don’t reflect who you are as a couple