Tradition is an integral part of a wedding celebration. It has defined the ebb and flow of ceremonies for centuries, passed down through families and cherished by loved ones. Heartwarming: yes. Necessary: not always. The tradition that trumps all is a couple’s personal touch on their special day, and their overall part in the process. If you are rethinking a traditional ceremony, read on for some examples of add-ons that you may want to leave behind.
1. Guests should have assigned seating. Unless your cousin can’t stand your uncle, there’s no need to corral and separate grown adults into assigned seating at dinner. Guests enjoy socializing and open seating gives them the freedom to move around and sit with different relatives and friends throughout the evening. If you are going for a casual feel, this tradition is best left in the past.
2. You shouldn’t see your fiancé until the ceremony. I pose this question: why can’t you see your betrothed before the ceremony? Do you like the idea of waiting to glimpse his face when you are walking down the aisle, or is it just tradition for tradition’s sake? Bottom line: if you want quality time with your almost-husband before the ceremony, go ahead and take it. It’s your day, and you should do what makes you comfortable.
3. You should have a same-sex bridal party. Yes, the bride and grooms’ attendants usually belong to their respective genders, but who says your best guy friend can’t stand next to you on your wedding day? The tradition of including friends in the ceremony is an important one, and should supersede whether they are female or male. Friendship is invaluable; include those who deserve to be included.
4. Guests should sit on “sides.” Many couples struggle with an imbalanced guest list; that is, one side of the family is bigger than the other. Mitigate the problem by eliminating sides altogether. Not only does it even things out, but it encourages the families to mingle and get to know one another. It’s a win-win.
5. You should toss the bouquet and garter. Many people consider this age-old tradition cheesy, but they play it out because it is expected. While some wedding guests may be looking forward to fighting for wilting flowers or a satin skivvy, it is avoided by others. If you aren’t keen on this tradition, review your guest list to help decide on its inclusion. If there are 50 singles attending, you might let this one go. One the other hand, if the single people are limited to your twice-divorced step-uncle and your 45-year-old aunt, it may be best to spare them the awkwardness.
Tradition has its place, but your wedding should be your own creation. Give the “should’s” of wedding planning a backseat to your own feelings. You will be happier with the result.