Weddings are magical celebrations of love that bring people together.
However, some long-standing traditions may no longer fit contemporary couples and values.
We’ll explore 16 wedding customs that are ripe for refreshing with a modern twist.
From outdated gender roles to expensive norms, we’ll look at traditions that could use innovative reworking.
Our goal isn’t to dismiss the meaningful parts of tradition but to make weddings more welcoming and meaningful for all.
So let’s get started navigating how love, customs, and new perspectives can blend beautifully.
I’m excited to share ideas for honoring the past while designing ceremonies reflective of today’s diverse couples and communities.
#1. Not Sitting People at Certain Tables
In the past, you tried to assign seating so people who knew each other would sit together.
While this makes things easier for the guests, it doesn’t really add much to the ceremony.
By randomly assigning seats, you allow guests to get to know new people, which in turn allows them to share stories about the bride and groom others may never had heard before.
#2. Getting Married in a Church
Nowadays, it isn’t a given that the wedding ceremony will be at a church.
Sure there still are plenty of weddings held there, but more and more people are choosing to have e location that has meaning to them.
This could be a beach, outdoors in nature, and more.
No longer is a requirement that the church be involved in your wedding.
#3. Cost Increase Because it’s a Wedding
Why does the price triple when you mention the word “wedding” to a caterer or venue?
While it makes sense these businesses want to make money, they are taking advantage of people because they know the couple only have a few options.
It’s time for these businesses to realize that inflating prices hurts the couple long term, especially if they go into debt to afford such services.
#4. Bouquet Toss
The bouquet toss has been a longstanding tradition at weddings for years, but it’s time to retire this tradition.
It reinforces old stereotypes that women need to get married and have children to be fulfilled, and it can also put unnecessary pressure on some guests who may not want to participate.
The competition to catch the bouquet can also get quite intense, leading to potential accidents or injuries.
#5. Brides Controlling the Wedding
It’s no secret that planning a wedding can be stressful.
With so many details to consider, it’s understandable that many brides want to be in control and ensure everything goes as planned.
However, there’s a growing trend of brides taking their need for control to the extreme, leaving little room for input from anyone else involved in the planning process.
This behavior can lead to a negative experience for all involved, including the bride.
It’s time to recognize that a wedding isn’t just about the bride, but a celebration of love between two people.
#6. Tied Down Ball And Chain
For years, we’ve heard the phrase “tied down to the old ball and chain” to describe being in a committed relationship.
While it may seem harmless, this phrase perpetuates negative stereotypes about marriage and relationships.
It suggests that a committed relationship is a burden and that one partner is dragging the other down.
Not only is this untrue, but it also damages the idea of healthy relationships.
#7. Bride Being Given Away
It’s a common tradition for the bride to be walked down the aisle by her father and “given away” to her future husband.
Many people have raised objections to the patriarchal undertones of this tradition, arguing that it reinforces the idea that a bride is something to be possessed and transferred from one man to another.
Furthermore, in modern society, where most women are independent and capable of making their own decisions, the idea of being “given away” seems outdated and unnecessary.
It’s time to let go of old traditions that no longer have a place in our society and embrace a more inclusive and equal approach to marriage.
#8. Smashing Cake in Each Other’s Face
While smashing cake in each other’s faces at weddings might seem fun and harmless, it’s past its time.
While some may find it amusing or playful, it is an unnecessary and disrespectful tradition that can cause unnecessary fights and wedding stress.
Instead, let’s make our wedding a highlight of love and unity without disrespecting one another.
#9. Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties Last Night Of Freedom
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are known for being the ultimate celebration before tying the knot, but why is it called the “last night of freedom”?
This phrase implies that marriage is a prison and the bride or groom-to-be will lose something in becoming a wife or husband.
It’s important for us to shift this mindset and view these parties as a celebration of love and commitment rather than a mourning of supposed lost freedom.
#10. Not Inviting People You Are Upset With
Another issue that many are guilty of is holding grudges and not inviting people they are unhappy with.
So what if Aunt Edna said something rude to your partner when she first met them.
It’s time to act like an adult and invite those important people in your life.
#11. Going Into Debt
Weddings are supposed to be a magical experience, but the rising trend of going into debt for them is far from enchanting.
With the average cost of a wedding in the United States reaching over $30,000, couples feel pressured to impress their guests with lavish venues, designer dresses, and extravagant catering.
But is it necessary to start a new chapter in life with a pile of debt?
From delayed home purchases to compromised retirement plans, the financial consequences of taking out loans or maxing out credit cards for a wedding can be significant.
In the end, couples need to remember that the true value of a wedding lies in the love and commitment shared between two people, not in the flashy details that can often be forgotten.
#12. Expecting Others To Go Into Debt
Another money issue regarding weddings is the bride and groom expecting others to go into debt.
This could be in the form of lavish bachelor or bachelorette parties in other cities or ones that last a few days.
Or it could be destination weddings where you need to purchase plane tickets and book expensive resort rooms if you want to attend.
The wedding couple needs to sit down and think about other’s finances, not just their own.
#13. Garter Toss
The garter toss tradition has been a staple at weddings for decades, but it’s time for this outdated custom to end.
The thought of a groom sticking his head up his new wife’s dress in front of all their friends and family is cringeworthy.
Not to mention the fact that this tradition perpetuates the sexist notion that women are objects to be claimed and fought over.
#14. Inviting Everyone You Know
Why is there a need to invite every single person you’ve ever met to your wedding?
A wedding isn’t the biggest party of the year.
It’s a special moment in your life that you want to share with those who matter most to you.
So who cares if your best friend from first grade who you only talk with every few years doesn’t come?
#15. Splitting the Congregation into Families
Instead of having your guests stand on opposing sides for the wedding party, why not mix it up a bit?
Make it a coming-together event and joining of families.
This way, you’ll have an inclusive atmosphere that encourages conversation while still maintaining a traditional feel.
#16. Ring Warming
Rather than having the officiant bless the rings before they are exchanged, why not let your guests share their blessings with them?
You can ask your guests to hold the rings in their hands for a few moments while thinking of a blessing for the couple.
This is a way for the couple to receive all those special blessings in one place.
And it allows your guests to feel more involved in the ceremony.
It is also an incredibly meaningful gesture that will show how much the couple cares about their family and friends.
Hilarious Signs From The Wedding The Marriage Won’t Last
When going to a wedding, we wish for the couple to live a long, happy life together.
But sometimes, the writing is on the wall. Here are some stories from wedding guests where they knew the marriage was doomed before it began.
Things Women Do That Annoy Men
There aren’t many things that turn men off. But when you do one of the few things that do, it’s a deal-breaker.
Here are common things women do that men drive men away.
First Date Mistakes That Make Women Cringe
First dates can be tough, but some men make them harder by being, well, idiots.
Here are 10 things men do on first dates that guarantee there will not be a second date.
Women Share The Worst Things About Being A Guy
It’s hard to walk in the shoes of the opposite sex.
But a question was asked to women about what they think is the hardest parts of being a man.
Here are their answers.
Nice Guys Finish Last
Why do women prefer bad boys over nice guys?
Every woman is different, but here are the most common reasons women don’t go for nice guys, straight from women
This thread inspired this article.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.