Wedding Day rules have come a long way from the days of frilly unappealing bridesmaid dresses and party favors for each guest. There are still wedding customs like jumping the broom that may seem hard to leave behind. Today, more and more couples are making their own wedding rules for their special day.
There are wedding superstitions, traditions, and customs that can make you feel like you are in a tangled web of rules. At the end of your big day, you may be glad you tossed more than just the bouquet throw, out of your rulebook.
1. It’s “Bad Luck” For The Groom To See The Bride Before The Wedding
Considering you have found the love of your life it’s probably safe to say your luck is good. Whether you choose to take beautiful first look pictures as a new tradition or you stick to waiting for the customary reveal, you will be overjoyed. Go with your heart and not superstitions.
Actually, this tradition dates back to pre-arranged marriages where the bride and groom didn’t even MEET before the wedding. Lots of couples are opting out of this tradition and taking advantage of “first look” photos, a rising trend in modern day weddings. (Related: 30 First Look Wedding Photo Ideas)
This gives the photographer a better chance to capture that “magical moment” when the couple sees each other for the first time in their wedding ensemble. It can also give family and close friends an intimate moment with the couple and more chances for photo ops, thus saving time between the ceremony and the reception. If you feel strongly about seeing each other before the wedding, it’s your decision. But don’t be afraid to break the mold of traditional wedding rules and celebrate the magic and romance of that “first look.”
2. Bouquet And Garter Tossing Is A Deal-Breaker At The Reception
Hit or miss for most, if you want to please and slightly embarrass your guests with this wedding tradition, go for it. Your guests will have such a good time at your reception that if you do decide to skip this tradition, they probably will not notice.
This is a time-honored tradition that supposedly reveals the “next to be married.” Not all couples want the frenzy of single friends fighting over the wedding bouquet and garter. Nor do most brides want the groom displaying her bare thigh for all to see while he removes the garter and then tosses it to one of his drunken buddies. (Related: 30 Gorgeous Summer Wedding Bouquets)
Many couples have been simply handing the bouquet to a cherished friend or loved one, or even the couple that has been married the longest as a sweet sentiment of love and remembrance.
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3. Weekend Weddings Are A MUST
A Saturday afternoon in August sounds traditionally perfect, but what if the Saturday of your dreams is booked? You can often negotiate on the price with venues to save for a weekday wedding. A weekday wedding is a perfect way to cheer everyone’s spirits with the most exciting event of the year!
Concerned about working guests opting out of attending? Aim for an early evening wedding. Send out invitations in plenty of time for your loved ones to plan ahead. Remember, however, this may affect your guest list as it may be more difficult for guests to schedule time off from work, as well as for those who have to arrange travel accommodations, but if you are able to do so, it can’t hurt to break the rules and have a weekday wedding.
4. The Bride ‘Simply’ MUST Be Escorted Down The Aisle
There are a million reasons why stealing the show all by herself can still be quite magical, even without an escort. Maybe you have more than one person you feel is fitting to walk you down the aisle. Maybe it is just not your cup of tea. There is no harm in setting a new tradition and making this moment solo. There’s no doubt the bride will be escorted out, by her husband. Cheers.
Not everyone has that “special someone” in their life to walk them down the aisle. That’s okay if you want to fly solo, it’s YOUR day and YOUR moment to shine. Let all eyes be only on you. And besides, if you have a puffy dress and narrow aisles, it might be best for you to go it alone. There’s no doubt every bride will be escorted out, by her husband. Cheers.
5. The Bridal Party Must Be Evenly Matched And In Accordance With The Number Of Guests
Aesthetically, sure this seems to make sense, but on that special day, you will want the people who are closest to your heart to be there beside you. That may mean uneven numbers, a decision you will be able to live with.
Ideally, your bridal party should consist of the people who mean the most to you: your closest friends, coworkers, and family; not a mob scene of everyone you know. And who cares if one of you has more on their “side’ of the bridal party? There are some couples that even opt out of having a bridal party altogether. This keeps the focus solely on them and saves a lot of headache, drama, arguments over both minor and major details, and let’s face it, money. The number of people in the bridal party is up to the bride and groom. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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6. You HAVE To Invite Every Child Of Every Guest
Consider an adult only reception or wedding. Weddings are mainly an adult occasion. If there aren’t children in your wedding party (be it your own or your friends/family’s offspring), it’s totally acceptable to forgo inviting children of guests. You can also have a wedding invitation with an insert explaining, “You are cordially invited with (1) guest/child…” If you do not want an overload of guests that happen to be children the adult only reception will let the parent know in a timely and tactful manner what the expectation is.
Just make this fact clear on the “save the date” and the formal invitations so that guests don’t automatically assume their offspring will be in attendance and can make advance preparations for child care for the big day. You may also delegate someone to handle the R.S.V.P calls and let them handle taking on tough questions. Discuss what you want them to lovingly convey. Of course, someone may get offended, but let’s get real, someone will ALWAYS be offended by SOMETHING, but don’t let this stop you from having the wedding you desire.
7. Wedding Favors Are A MUST Have
Favors are often traded in for more customized choices, reflective of the specific bride and groom instead of the expectant guests. Quite frankly, most of us don’t even LIKE Jordan Almonds and we really aren’t looking for objects monogrammed with the newlywed’s initials to add to our ever-growing pile of “stuff.” Unless you can find something that unique, meaningful and practical, you can pass on the wedding favors.
Sometimes those expensive favors get left behind, where memories last forever. In this “selfie age,” pictures are a great alternative, especially with booth rentals or Polaroid cameras, guests can use to create a new twist on an old custom. Some couples even donate to their favorite charity in lieu of favors.
8. Wedding Day Transportation Is Your Responsibility
If you have the means to provide shuttle services for your guests, then go for it. But it is NOT mandatory, or necessary. Most guests actually prefer having the freedom of their own transportation.
Make sure your accommodations or lack thereof are understood up front. You do not want last minute disappointment from loved ones. This also allows time for compromise or alternate plans to be set.
9. You Must Follow A Strict Timeline For Your Reception
Your style and your choice. A strict timeline may make you feel restricted. Having a plan is smart, but flexibility will allow you to live in the moment and deviate without a knee-jerk reaction causing tension on your big day. Plan your reception so it will be fun, hassle-free and memorable for everyone.
10. Hiring Your Friends Is A ‘Great’ Idea
Unless your friends are professionals and you have seen their portfolios, your wedding may not be the best time to give them that big shot or cut corners. You do not want the end of a friendship to overshadow the beginning of your marriage.
One of your friends may offer to officiate the ceremony. This may SOUND like an awesome idea, but many couples regret making this decision. Not all states even ALLOW this so check if this is something you really want. Also, hiring your college-roommate as the DJ may actually turn out to be a disaster. Save yourself the drama and hire professionals. Let your friends and family attend as guests and enjoy the day.
So go ahead, toss the tradition and REALLY take control of your wedding. Forget the myths, superstitions and conventional wedding rules and have the wedding of your dreams. Don’t worry about offending anyone. It’s YOUR wedding, YOUR reception, YOUR day and YOUR marriage! Make it everything you’d hoped it would be..and more!
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