10 WEDDING TRADITIONS YOU CAN BREAK
More & more couples of all ages are breaking away from wedding traditions. Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to tradition if that's what feels most natural for you. A lot of my couples have several traditional aspects to the day. But many couples feel pressured in to doing things a certain way. In order to have the most fun, happiest, most relaxed day you need to do things your way! These days, there's absolutely no reason why you can't have a wedding cake made of pork pies, do your first dance on a Nintendo Wii game (one of my couples did this!) or feed your guests burritos. It's not about trying to be cool or trendy. It's about expressing who you are & sharing your style and the things you enjoy with the people you love. It's about feeling comfortable, happy & at ease.
Dare I say... in the grand scheme of things, the wedding isn’t the end game. The marriage is. That’s the really big stuff. Every day that you’re together & in love, building a life and a future. Every day that you successfully solve a problem as a team. Every day that you say I love you & act on it. Those are the days that really matter. Your wedding day is the easiest day of them all, so enjoy the party!
NOT SEEING EACH OTHER BEFORE THE WEDDING
Some couples (including us!) spent the night before the wedding together and got ready in the same house in the morning. And why not! If that's what you'd rather do, just do it.
There's absolutely no reason why you have to wear white as a bride in 2018. There are SO many incredible options out there if white doesn't feel right. Maybe you do want to wear white but want to jazz it up with a bit of embroidery, a two piece dress or an ombre hem. Here are a few alternative wedding dresses I love for a bit of inspiration!
YOUR DAD GIVING YOU AWAY
I've had a bride whose Grandad gave her away, and one who had both parents give her away. Her mum on one arm and dad on the other. Feel free to have whoever you like walk you down that aisle!
MEN GIVING SPEECHES
A heck of a lot of brides want to give a speech these days, yeahhhh! The days of speeches ONLY being given by the father of the bride, groom and best man are over. Your mum can give one, you can give one, even your parrot could give one (if you're planning on having your parrot give a speech, please invite me even if I'm not your photographer). Lots of brides want to be the one to get up and say their thank yous or crack jokes and tell stories. Girl power! (I can get away with saying that, I was a teenager of the 90s)
It's still important to many people to celebrate getting married in a way that is traditional to their faith. Church weddings are beautiful weddings. This point is for the benefit of those who aren't religious, to point out that a humanist ceremony is a great alternative to a traditional ceremony or a registrar. They're completely personalised to the couple and focussed on their individual relationship and what makes it unique. The celebrants themselves are loads of fun and make the ceremony super memorable. Katie Matthews (pictured above) is one of my new favourite Instagram pals. Seriously, follow her stories, they're hilarious. She's based in Cambridge but travels all over for weddings. She says "I decided to become a Celebrant for Humanists UK after attending the Humanist wedding of two university friends. The ceremony was by far and away the best I’d been to – and by that point, I’d been to A LOT of weddings. It was completely personalised to the couple in every way, reflecting them and their relationship as well as their unique thoughts on love, marriage, and commitment. It was just an incredibly uplifting day that I still think about several years later."
Find out more about Katie and other UK humanist celebrants or listen to Stephen Fry tell you all about non-religious humanist ceremonies...
HAVING A HUGE GUEST LIST
A lot of couples invite a crap ton of people to their wedding because the guest list snowballs. "Shall we invite them?" "Yeah, but if we invite them then we have to invite this person because they might get upset" "Yes and your parents will be a bit put out if we don't ask this person" "In that case we have to invite that person as well". You get the gist. But the best thing you can do for yourselves it to just invite the people you REALLY want to share that day with. People you can't imagine doing it without. The smallest wedding I shot was just 4 people and they had the BEST time. Obviously I'm not suggesting everyone invites 2 people to their wedding but there's a lot to be said for making a guest list for yourselves and not for other people.
CUTTING THE CAKE
You don't need to make a spectacle of this anymore if you don't want to. One of my couples completely forgot to cut the cake and when we decided to do a quick snap of them doing it (without anyone else watching) they realised they'd forgotten to bring a knife! So we took one with an imaginary knife 😂
When it comes to the cake these days, it doesn't even have to be a cake! Certainly not a traditional one. Doughnut walls, cheese towers, pork pie stacks and even Connie & Colin the M&S cake caterpillars along with plenty of other weird & wonderful cake replacements are gaining popularity. And if you do want a cake, there are some AWESOME wedding suppliers out there producing stylish, colourful & affordable cakes!
HAVING A SIT DOWN 'WEDDING BREAKFAST'
More and more couple are rejecting the formality of a sit down meal at their wedding and opting for something more casual such as street food vendors. Or if they do go for a sit down meal they're opting for more homely, simple foods like pie & mash with chocolate brownie for pudding, which is exactly what we’re doing! This is another opportunity for you to inject your personalities into your day. Love Mexican food? Have a taco truck! Want to take the phrase 'wedding breakfast' literally? Have a full English! The "fill your plate full of BBQ food & sit wherever you like" approach is also becoming a popular option. Check out my blog post on wedding street food caterers in Yorkshire.
Some people genuinely want to spend loads of time and effort on their wedding favours, which is cool, but others just feel like they're *supposed* to. Wedding favours can be costly & time consuming, so don't feel like these are something you have to give if you don't want to.
For some couples, slow dancing in front of everyone they know is their worst nightmare. So there's nothing to say you can't do something else. You don't need to come up with a routine and spend hours practicing it at home in the hope that it'll go viral, but you *can* just dance to something more upbeat! Or like Bex & Scott above, you can do something hilarious & original like 'Just Dance' on the Nintendo Wii! A perfect example of a couple throwing their personalities all over their wedding day!