Do you feel like you have to do something on your wedding day that you might not feel comfortable doing?
Now, this might be anything…
…maybe you feel pressured to invite people you don’t feel like sharing your most intimate emotions with.
…maybe you feel obligated to put on a show for your guests, even though you’re more of an introvert.
…or maybe you feel stuck with a few wedding traditions that you don’t really want to do.
It’s at times like these when you should remember that your wedding should reflect your happiness, your individuality, and your personality as a couple. Just remember that whenever you feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do – even if it’s the people closest to you who are pushing you towards doing something.
And this is true for outdated wedding traditions as well.
Now, don’t get me wrong – wedding traditions can be truly incredible. They can easily add a spark of magic & tradition to your day, highlighting the significance of the event. But only IF they are in-tune with your personalities and your visions for your wedding day.
But if something feels kind of off, and you come across a wedding tradition or superstition that doesn’t really scream YOU – then feel free to say “no” to anyone or anything. Don’t stress about making everyone at your wedding happy (that’s mission impossible anyways) – just focus on yourselves, and choose your happiness. Because at the end of the day, it is your wedding – and NOT anyone else’s…
With that in mind, in today’s blog post, I’m bringing you the top 3 wedding traditions I still see couples feeling obligated to stick to on their weddings. Again, if you feel like implementing these traditions into your wedding – great, go for it! But if these don’t resonate with you on a deeper level, then please know that you can – and should – say “no”.
1. Gender-specific roles
Now, gender-specific roles can be kind of cool…
I mean, who doesn’t like a boys vs girls dance-off, or the men going around elegantly asking the women to dance?
But sometimes, taking on all gender-specific roles can be a hassle and just a pain in the a** overall.
I mean, who says the bride’s family pays for the wedding, or that the groom can’t see the bride before the ceremony? Or who decided that bridesmaids and groomsmen have to have specific duties on your wedding?
These roles are based on societal expectations that may or may not fit with modern couples like you. So it’s totally okay to question whether these traditions serve your vision of an ideal wedding.
I mean, does the bride really need to be “given away” when she’s an independent individual? Do we really need to stick to the concept of “maid of honor” and “best man” if your best friend happens to be of a different gender than what’s traditionally expected? Like, really??
The truth is, your wedding party should be about surrounding yourself with the people you love and trust the most, regardless of gender.
This is especially true if your own circumstances (or the circumstances of any of your wedding guests) would benefit from embracing a more inclusive approach, where anyone – regardless of gender – can participate in any role. This approach not only takes off A LOT of pressure from everyone – but it also acknowledges the significance of all relationships within your social circle.
Now, it’s important to note here that you can actually choose to keep some – or even all – gender-specific roles at your wedding. My point is that whether you keep them or not should be your conscious choice – and not anyone else’s.
This means that no family should be more financially responsible than the other based on the gender of the couple alone. In fact, these days many couples opt to split the costs in various ways, or even cover them all on their own.
When it comes to the actual ceremony and reception, I’ve seen an increasing number of mixed-gender bridal parties these last few years. I’ve seen couples who chose to walk down the aisle accompanied by their parents or even made that grand entrance alone to showcase their independence before joining together.
And even at the fun parts of the reception: you can have dance-offs or games that aren’t pinned down by who’s a guy or gal, but split your guests into teams based on something else.
The point is that if gender-specific roles are making you uneasy before your wedding (at a time you should feel happiness & anticipation), then it’s okay to break free from them.
2. Reading your vows in front of all your guests
Some couples genuinely enjoy having an audience of their loved ones witness their vows to each other.
– But this is not for everybody!
I mean, reading your vows to each other is one of the most emotional and most intimate moments of your entire wedding. You can definitely choose to share this moment with others. But it’s just as understandable if you want to save this experience for yourselves – and yourselves only.
After all, your vows might have references to your shared past, or envisioned future. It might include your inside jokes that nobody else would get anyways, or it might include confidential information or “little secrets” that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else – not even your closest friends & families. You might laugh, or you might cry – you might just lose it in the most beautiful way possible.
And if that’s the case, then having all – or even just some – of your guests listening to your vows might make you uneasy. And this, in turn might make you want to just want to get it over with – missing out on the flood of beautiful emotions that such an intimate & special moment could otherwise bring you.
Now, it’s important to note that some of your guests might want the opportunity to listen in on your vows. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t be curious about such a rare & beautiful moment – especially if it includes a son, daughter, or best friend?
But you’re not obligated to share this moment with anyone – no matter how much they want you to, and no matter how much you love them. It’s their responsibility to respect your boundaries, and NOT your responsibility to feel obligated to adhere to all their wishes. Especially not on your wedding day.
But I’m not telling you to ban all your guests from witnessing your vows either…
For some couples, having witnesses to the promises they make to each other just makes their vows feel more serious. Some couples genuinely want to include their closest friends & families in this beautiful moment. And then there are the natural-born showmen and show-women who just can’t wait to share all their emotions with their audiences.
If that’s you, and you don’t mind the extra attention, then feel free to keep this tradition. But if you get butterflies in your stomach (in the bad way) every time you think about all the people listening to you reading your vows, then I’ve got good news for you: it’s okay to break tradition – it’s totally fine to read your vows privately.
3. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…
Finally, the least serious thing on this list – at least at first glance!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: 4 “good luck charms” to wear on your wedding day that is said to bring your marriage and future household health, luck, and happiness.
Now, if you’re superstitious, or just want to believe in magic on your big day, then stop reading here and just go for it! It’s an enchanting tradition, and finding 4 items that fit the “old, new, borrowed, and blue” criteria can actually turn out to be a fun challenge if you’re up for it!
But again, this tradition should be entirely optional. Maybe blue wouldn’t go well with your wedding dress. Maybe you want to buy yourself brand new stuff for your wedding – and wearing something old would just ruin the look you’re striving for. Or maybe you’ve never borrowed anything in your life – and you’re not about to start now.
And that’s totally okay!
If this tradition doesn’t resonate with you, then just don’t do it! Nobody is going to judge you for it. In fact, barely anyone – if anyone at all – will notice.
So, like with everything else, you get to decide whether or not you want to stick to this wedding tradition – or break free from it entirely. If you’d enjoy the magic & challenge of keeping this tradition, then by all means, find the 4 items, and wear them on your wedding day. But if adhering to this tradition is just causing you unnecessary stress – then just let it go. It’s okay.
Please keep in mind that however you decide with any wedding tradition, it will be okay. After all, your wedding is a day to celebrate your love & partnership in a way that feels right for you. So whether you choose to nod to tradition or break free from it entirely, make sure it aligns with who you are as a couple.
And if you’re looking for a photographer who will not only take breathtaking wedding photos to capture your beautiful moments, but is also here to support you in any decision you make – you’ve found The One. Check out my galleries to see if my style fits your vision for your wedding day. If it does, it’s time to get in touch with me.