When you’re a relaxed kind of gal or groom, planning a relaxed kind of wedding, the rigid traditions attached to weddings can feel more than a little bit out of place.
You’re in luck though, because while some wedding traditions are probably best kept – if only for pleasing your family – there are others that are definitely up for debate.
Some of our featured couples lead the way, showing us the best ways to spice up the traditional wedding to create a balance that better suits them, especially when some wedding traditions can become downright awkward. And now, it’s our turn to show you, starting with these three wedding traditions you can cross from the list – if you want to!
He can’t see you in your dress
While it’s still by far more popular to keep your dress hidden away until the big day dawns, more and more couples aren’t waiting to meet at the altar on their wedding day. Instead, they choose a secluded spot for just the two of them, usually joined by their trusty photographer, where they have their ‘first look’ before the ceremony.
Seeing each other in private first lets you embrace if you want to, say what you like and will calm both of your nerves. And the incredible natural photographs your photographer will snap while it all happens are a huge bonus – you’ll love them.
Certain people must give a speech
Tradition has it that speeches are given by the groom, best man and father of the bride, but weddings are no longer a simple movement of a daughter from their father’s home to their husband’s as they began hundreds of years ago. Getting married these days is a shared commitment and an equal union, so it’s only fair that the ladies should get to say a few words too. Do this with a bride’s speech, with a bridesmaid speech (here’s how to nail it) or with your mothers raising a toast.
And equally, if the men in your family aren’t so keen speakers, there’s nothing to say that they have to speak at all. There are lots of alternatives to the traditional wedding speech too, to take the pressure off and make it more appropriate to the speaker – you can find five ideas to get you started here.
The wedding breakfast
If you love a three-course dinner with teas, coffees and truffles afterwards then nothing needs to change. If you prefer things a little more laid back, with food that invites you to mingle, and a whole host of fantastic flavours, those three-courses might not be hitting the right notes.
Once again, the world of wedding food really is your oyster to explore! Think pop-up food stations serving everything from sushi to luxury burgers to oysters to ice cream. This informal, pick and mix style dining is ideal for tipi, festival and outdoor weddings. Hog roasts, table barbecues and bring-and-share buffets are all big hits too, but we’ve got most of the ideas you’ll need to spice up your first meal together in this A-Z of wedding food and drink ideas. These alternatives can sometimes be gentler on your budget too in comparison to your venue’s traditional three-course dinner package.