So here are some common traditions, what they mean and why some people are quitting them… (with help from Google 😉 )
Rosie + Jon (below) spent the night and had breakfast together!
Spending the night apart
What it means: Google tells me it’s based on faith, but let’s face it most people aren’t very religious these days and have done the deed already! 😉
Why you might want to quit it: When I got married over 5 years ago I didn’t think much about it other than it was something everyone seemed to do. Upon reflection I wish we had spent the night together, had breakfast in the morning, listened to some music and then sent him off to meet the boys so we could both get ready. I think spending that night together would have made me feel even more connected to him at the isle because the run up to the wedding was crazy busy! What with last minute errands, nails, decorating the venue and packing for the prep location it means you probably haven’t had much (if any) quality time together. I wish we had just ordered room service, a bottle of wine and chilled out to music because the next day was so fast paced I didn’t feel like we spent much of it together and because it felt surreal it was a bit of a blur. Spending this time together may also calm any nerves. You can also factor the last 30mins together with me discreetly documenting it too 🙂
What it means: Apparently the groom is supposed to toss this at the single men!
Why you might want to quit it: They can be tight, uncomfortable or keep falling down but they can make cute shots like this! 😉 I’m yet to witness the groom tossing the garter though!
A White Dress
What it means: The tradition of a white wedding dress arrantly comes from Queen Victoria’s choice to wear a white court dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 and to some is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood.
Why you might want to quit it:
Who says you have to wear white? and who these days are pure and innocent on their wedding day? I certainly wasn’t! lol.
I love that more and more brides are experimenting with colour! including the grooms!
What it Means: Church weddings date back to when religion was prominent but now only a very small percentage of western people follow a faith.
I very rarely shoot church weddings now and only 10% of my couples have them.
Why you might want to quit it: If you’re not religious, why have one? You also get yucky lighting in most churches (ask any photographer how they feel about church lighting and they’ll probably have a little moan!) it can be patchy and yellowy and it can be really hard to colour correct (hence the black and white above) and be quite dark so your photos may end up a bit grainy as flash isn’t allowed and even if it was it would be distracting. Sometimes the priest won’t even let your photographer photograph the ceremony! So if you’re not religious, why not have a humanist and/outdoor wedding?
Not everyone has the traditional family set up or agrees with someone ‘giving you away’ so why not do something different! I love that Rosie (below) had her parents walk in together before her and she walked in alone with bridesmaids in tow!
Dad walking you down the isle
What it means: In the olden days a female child was seen as property of the father and the ‘giving away’ was because most marriages were arranged which means the contract and ownership of the bride would then go to the groom!
Why you might want to quit it: Life has changed a lot since then and some brides are turning their back on this tradition as ownership no longer exists in western society. Some people are even walking alone or in with their bride/groom! (especially if they have just had a ‘first look’).
What it means: originally it was just a toast to the couple. Nowadays it’s the groom, best man, dad and even uncle bob who say something! Why is it always just the men that do speeches too?
Why you might want to quit it: I wouldn’t suggest quitting them altogether but i’ve been seeing a lot of brides doing them lately! They’ll do them with bride/groom or alone because the bride/groom didnt feel comfortable or just because she wanted to say something too! I absolutely love it when the bride does a speech. Tell everyone to doing a speech to be mindful of times though, i’ve had a couple from bestmen that just went on way too long and the guests were getting bored!
Dads walk the bride down the isle and does a speech, but what about the mums? I’d like to see more mums do one instead of dad, after all she probably did most of the snot wiping!
What it means: This ritual symbolizes commitment to each other and is normally followed by feeding a piece to each other.
Why you might want to quit it: A lot of couples feel awkward cutting a cake while lots of people watch and it can be a bit of an anticlimax! If you are going to do it have fun with it so it doesn’t look to stagey. Some couples smash it in each other’s faces which can make for a more fun photo! Some of my couples decide to not even have one. I have blog post on cake cutting here
First dances – go big or go home!
What it means: I can’t find much on this other than it dates back to when the groom would steal his bride and dance around her in front of his friends to show her off!
Why you might want to quit it: A lot of people find the prospect of dancing alone in front of a room for people as their worst nightmare! We didn’t have a first dance at our wedding, my husband felt it was a bit too serious/weird and I really wasn’t bothered either way. That was nearly 6 years ago and i’ve seen the wedding industry change so much! Slow dances aren’t as common and couples are making them super fun! One of my couples even had a sumo first dance which I know my husband definitely would have done! If you don’t want the pressure or seriousness of a first dance make it fun! Outdoor first dances are becoming more popular too now.
When it comes to traditions I don’t think anyone should do them if they dont want to, things are changing so much now and it should be more about what’s right for you two as couple not what mum wants or what tradition dictates! xx