New Twists on Old-School Wedding Traditions


Even if you consider yourselves a traditional couple, we bet there is at least one wedding upgrade you would consider on your big day. Take a look at some of these wedding traditions that aren't being as commonly used today, and how couples are putting their own spin on things.

Old-School Rule: You can't see each other before the ceremony.

photo via Of Fate and Chaos

The New Twist: This superstition has long been proven false, so there is really nothing stopping you if you can't wait to see your future spouse before your walk down the aisle. First-look photo shoots are becoming more and more popular these days and the pictures speak for themselves on why. These first-looks give couples an intimate moment together before the ceremony just as a couple to take it all in!

Old-School Rule: Brides must wear a long, white gown.

photo via The Knot

The New Twist: It's your day, wear whatever you want! Sure, most brides go with the long white or ivory dress, but for your wedding day attire, anything goes. Make it colorful, make it casual - as long as you feel amazing in your wedding day outfit!

Old-School Rule: You have to wear a long white veil.

photo via Kelsey Rae Photography

The New Twist: You don't have to wear a veil at all! Break away from the standard headpiece and opt for a chic headband, flower crown or some sparkly clips. Or, go for a more subtle look with nothing at all! It's your day, make it all about your personality!

Old-School Rule: You can only have two wedding colors.

photo via The Commoneer

The New Twist: Your palette can have as many (or as few) colors as you want. The trick is to make sure they work together by incorporating neutrals or colors in the same family of shades (think: blue, purple and red or while, cream and blush). Some of the prettiest palettes we have seen are monochromatic, whether its with a cooler white or a bold blue.

Old-School Rule: You should make your exit in a shower of rice.

photo via Jason Collins Photography

The New Twist: There are so many more exciting options than rice, from guests throwing confetti, blowing bubbles or waving sparklers. You can even create a "toss bar" where guests can choose what to shower you with upon your grand exit. Set out bowls of confetti, herbs (like lavender), glitter, or even dried flower petals. Don't forget a few paper cones or bags for them to fill.

Old-School Rule: Your bridesmaids should wear matching dresses.

photo via The Commoneer

The New Twist: Let your girls' individual personalities shine by having each one pick a dress that best suits their own style and figure. The trick to pulling of this mismatched look is to have one cohesive element, like the same fabric, color or length. Or instead of picking their own dresses, let them personalize their look with accessories of their choosing.

Old-School Rule: Ceremony seating is separated by a bride's side and groom's side.

photo via Ashley Peterson Photography

The New Twist: It used to be that guests of the bride sat on the left and guests of the groom on the right. Even now, plenty of your guests will still go by this guideline. However, if your partner's family is huge and yours is tiny, the ceremony seating could look a little lopsided. If you are having ushers, ask them to direct your VIPS (grandparents, aunts, uncles) to front row seating and instruct other guests to sit in any open seat. No ushers? Not a problem! Use cute signs to direct your guests to their seating!

Old-School Rule: You should exchange traditional vows.

photo via Photos from the Harty

The New Twist: There's nothing wrong with sticking with the same vows many couples have said before you. But adding your own language can make the ceremony more meaningful to you. If you're nervous about writing your own vows from scratch, work with your officiant to come up with something custom or just add a few tweaks to the traditional wording.

Old-School Rule: You have to do a bouquet and garter toss.

photo via Silverbridge & Co. Photography

The New Twist: If you're not into the idea of singling out the singles, try one of these fun alternatives. Take your bouquet apart and present individual flowers to friends and loved ones, or have a bouquet station where guests can create their own! Another cute option is to have a special anniversary dance to celebrate all the married couples attending your big day.

Old-School Rule: Wedding ceremonies take place in religious institutions.

photo via Caiti Garter Photography

The New Twist: If you grew up attending worship services and have always dreamed of walking down that aisle, then skip this one! Otherwise, pick a ceremony venue that's meaningful to the both of you. It can be anywhere: a park, backyard, winery or a hip spot downtown. Just check with your officiant beforehand to make sure they're comfortable with marrying you outside of a religious space.


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Marylee Marmer Events

Wedding Planner

PO BOX 29615
Richmond VA 23242
(804) 295-9940 marylee@maryleemarmerevents.com