We're at a point in the history of weddings, and civilization for that matter, where certain traditions are being left behind. Some of them are because they are just considered silly holdovers from a forgotten time and others because creativity and new ways of thinking about ceremonies have changed. We'll leave the decisions up to the brides and grooms themselves, but here is a sampling from your pals at Bridal Traditions.
Bouquet and Garter Toss
Long ago, guests tore off a piece of the bride's gown in order to take a little luck with them. She became tired of being attacked and her dress ruined, so she started tossing her bouquet (catching her flowers is a sign of luck) to distract guests and make a run for it.
This evolved - or devolved based on how you look at it - into a bouquet and garter toss. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, guests became tired of jumping to catch something they really don't care about. They especially hated being singled out as, well, SINGLE. Couples are opting to skip this portion of the program for more fun on the dance floor with their closest friends and loved ones. If you decide to go for it, keep it clean and don't have the DJ calling for "all the single ladies" to form a circle. They are not fans of this concept.
It's pretty cute, ... right up until it's not. Brides have all but decided that the cake smash needs to be agreed upon before the day and either she doesn't care about her gown and make-up or she and her husband decide to forego it entirely. Just tastefully grab a bite like a civilized human. They make for great images, though, and show a lot of devil may care attitude. It's your call, ladies!
A Diamond is Forever
But not necessarily as an engagement ring. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds and custom designed patterns with reset family jewels are seen as much as diamond solitaires are these days. Certain cuts and stones and designs rise to the forefront, but more important than size and stone is that the girl who's going to wear it, adores it.
The Bride's Parents Pay
It's a custom that the bride's parents or family pay for the wedding and it has been for centuries. The bride's parents pick up the cost of her gown, the venue, the food, music, flowers, veil. The groom's family pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes help with the honeymoon. These days, it's all up for grabs. As couples marry later in life, sometimes the couple bears the burden or families will split the cost if one can contribute more than the others. The good news is that paying has become more open and collaborative so that the couple who wants a wedding celebration can still have one. Want to skip the discussion entirely? Elope. But that may mean skipping Thanksgiving too, because you're going to hear about it.
Seeing each other before the wedding
This one is tough, because we've all seen the groom's face when he first sees his bride coming down the aisle. It's pretty wonderful. Couples these day have about decided that it's just too much pressure and maybe a "first look" would allow them to breathe. Some couples meet on either side of a door to pray together, hold hands or read the other a letter. Between the BT crew and you and the lamppost, brides and grooms should do what they want, but if you've come this far, what's the harm in NOT seeing each other until she's coming down the aisle? I mean, c'mon!
Not so much anymore. Bridesmaids are wearing the same color with different styles, necklines and hem lengths. Brides are also just setting a scheme or palette and letting the bridesmaids choose. We're also seeing both genders on both sides of the aisle. Your friends are your friends no matter their gender, so men are now standing up for the bride and women are finding themselves playing Best Girl.
Do what makes you happy; that's what we say. Unless you are seriously hurting someone's feelings, it is YOUR DAY.