Bride and groom

More couples than ever are doing away with Britain’s great wedding traditions – from confetti throwing, to the classic white bridal gown

We all know to expect with a Great British wedding – the white dress, the exchange of rings, a toast to the bride and groom, and confetti in the air as the happy couple drive away in a “Just Married” car.

But it turns out that more couples than ever are throwing the rulebook out the window, as a new survey by group travel experts Red7 has revealed that attitudes to weddings are seriously changing.

Of the 2,002 respondents surveyed, almost a third admitted that they wouldn’t insist on any wedding traditions at all on their big day, while nearly three quarters of brides stated that they wouldn’t choose to wear a white dress.

Only a third would recite traditional vows on their wedding day, while only a fifth would want a toast to the bride and groom. One in four couples would also insist on guests throwing confetti at the end of their ceremony.

Are Britain’s great wedding traditions under threat?

“The way couples think about their big day and what they want is changing,” says Ian Lucas, Founder of Red7. “Some of the traditions we take for granted are being challenged and it’s not just the big day itself that is looking different, either.”

Woman holding a glass
Only a fifth of those surveyed would want a toast to the bride and groom

“Traditions around the build-up to a wedding – especially the hen and stag experience – and what happens after are also being given a different flavour.”

As it turns out, two in five couples would want to combine their stag and hen night (rising to half among 16 to 34 year olds), while only two in five brides keep their dress a secret before the big day. As many as eight per cent of brides would want the groom to take their name, rather than the other way around.

Even present lists are being challenged, as nine out of 10 newlyweds asked for money towards their honeymoon rather than more traditional gifts, like homeware or vouchers.

“The responses were insightful,” adds Ian. “The survey showed that women are more traditional than men – this was reflected in almost every category – but it also reflected a greater willingness in society to do things differently.

“In the same way that stag and hen parties are changing – with foreign trips to exciting destinations being favoured instead of the local pub – the wedding day itself seems to be evolving.

More than half of respondents said they would welcome ‘new’ wedding traditions and younger people backed ideas like handwritten vows or the bride making a speech. We have seen all manner of changes in the 20 years that we have been in business, it will be interesting to see what new trends emerge over the next 20.”


Which traditions will you be doing away with for your big day?

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